If not for giant sloths, we might not have avocados to enjoy today.
Prehistoric ground sloths first appeared around 35 million years ago. Dozens of species lived across North, Central and South America, alongside other ancient creatures like mastodons and giant armadillos. Some ground sloths, like the megalonychid, were cat-sized, but many were massive. The Megalonyx weighed about a ton, and that was small compared to megatherium, which could reach six metric tons, as much as an elephant. They ambled through the forests and savannas using their strong arms and sharp claws to uproot plants and climb trees, grazing on grasses, leaves, and prehistoric avocados. Smaller animals couldn’t swallow the avocado’s huge seed, but the sloths could,and they spread avocado trees far and wide.
20 Disney’s Atlantis Facts (You may or may not know)
After Hunchback of Notre Dame was released, Disney decided they didn’t want to do another musical. Instead, they chose to do an Action-Adventure film inspired by the works of Jules Verne.
The weaponry used is correct to the time period of early 20th century. The film features the Lee Enflied, the Lewis Gun, the Broomhandle Mauser and a variant of the Luger.
The creation of the Atlantean language was done by the same man who developed the Klingon language for the Star Trek films.
The filmmakers became interested in the readings of Edgar Cayce and decided to incorporate some of his ideas. (Edgar Cayce is an American psychic who allegedly possessed the ability to answer questions on subjects as varied as healing, reincarnation, wars, Atlantis and future events while in a trance.)
Vinnie’s last name “Santorini” is actually the name of an ancient chain of volcanic islands in the Mediterranean (probably explains his obsession with explosives).
They utilized all three Disney Animation studies, employing 250 animators, artist and technicians.
The Crew actually traveled 800 feet underground in New Mexico’s Carlsbad Cavern to view subterranean trails, which they used as the base model for the movie.
A Japanese anime film “Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water” and “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” were both inspired by the novel “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”.
American comic book artist Mike Mignola creator of the series Hellboy worked on the film.
Joss Whedon was the first writer involved with the film. Whedon is bet known as the creator of the television series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and also directed Marvel’s The Avengers.
Because the movie was planned as an Action-Adventure, the production crew made up t-shirts that read, “ATLANTIS” - fewer songs, more explosions.
The final scene was created by combining many 24 inch (61cm) pieces of paper. Each piece was carefully drawn and combined with animated vehicles flying across the scene. The entire piece reaches an equivalent of an 18,000 inch (457.2 m) piece of paper that the camera slowly pulled away from.
Animation Fun Fact! - Not many people realize that three Disney Animation Studios films were actually animated within Walt Disney World rather than the studios in Burbank.
Mulan, Lilo & Stitch, and Brother Bear were all animated in “The Magic of Disney Animation” attraction in Disney’s Hollywood Studios (then MGM Studios). Along with bits from The Little Mermaid, Lion King and all of Jasmine’s animation in Aladdin. The studio eventually closed in 2004 but you could originally look down upon the animators working (I had witnessed Mulan as a kid). That’s why the video in the attraction is stuck in 1998 with Mushu narrating as if Mulan is an up and coming feature.