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Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) Poster

Goofs

Factual errors 

When Milo is rehearsing his proposal in the museum basement, he rubs against the chalkboard and wipes the map he drew onto his clothes. He then stands in front of the chalkboard and the chalk map on his clothes matches the missing part of the map, when in fact it should be a mirror image.
Jump to: Anachronisms (11) | Character error (1) | Continuity (8) | Factual errors (1) | Incorrectly regarded as goofs (2) | Plot holes (1) | Spoilers (1)

Anachronisms 

During the campfire dinner, Cookie says that a caesar salad is on the menu. The movie is set in 1914 and the first Caesar Salad wasn't tossed until the 1920s.
Just before the launch of the ship, Cookie complains about having to carry non-essentials on the trip. One of the non-essentials he mentions is "cilantro", however, in 1914 this seasoning would have been referred to as "coriander leaves".
Near the beginning, Audry is seen chewing bubble gum. This was not invented until 1928 by Walter Diemer.
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In several scenes, the submarine's crew are seen wearing gas masks akin to those developed for trench warfare. Gas had not been deployed as a weapon yet, but the concept of a gas mask dates back to the 9th century. A gas mask was patented in America in 1849 by Lewis Haslett, for filtering dust. Furthermore, the African American inventor Garrett A. Morgan invented a gas mask in 1912 that proved useful for gas/smoke-filled environments. Military use of gas masks did not occur until at least 1915, but Rourke runs a private army with unconventional equipment, to say the least. It is not difficult to imagine him or an associate seeing the need for protective masks in a dusty, potentially gas-filled underground environment.
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In the scene where Milo is handed the Book of The Shepherd you see Mr. Whitmore's huge aquarium, containing some Coelacanths. In 1914 the Coelacanth was thought to have been extinct since the Cretaceous period, first live specimen was caught in 1938 in Chalumna River.
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When Milo is trying to talk to Mr. Harcourt in the beginning of the film, there is an Uncle Sam poster outside. This poster design wasn't seen until 1916 and the US hadn't entered WWI until 1917. This movie takes place in 1914.
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When Helga first meets Milo and takes him to see Mr Whitmore she is wearing a black gala dress. The dress Helga wore were not made until the late 1920s/early 1930s.
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In one scene, "Mole" can be seen holding a PPSH-41. This gun was not created until 1941 by the Soviet Union.
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Mrs Packhard uses a portable camera to take photos of Atlantis as well as the climax but these cameras would not had been invented in that period of time.
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Some of the women in the museum at the start of the film wear dresses which were dated as far back as the 1890s and early 1900s. These dresses were actually starting to phase out in the early 1910s.
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The huge picture of Mr. Whitmore and Milo's late grandfather above the fire place is in color. In those days all photos were black and white.
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Character error 

Mr Whitmore claims the crew he has hired were the same team that retrieved the journal in Iceland. However the photo Whitmore shows Milo does not include Audrey and the man seen in her place is implied to be her father who as mentioned by Audrey is retired.
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Continuity 

At the when Milo is first seen on the ship; he vomits over the side, in the process, losing his glasses. In the next shot they can be seen safely resting on his head.
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When Milo and Kida are trying to figure out how to power to the vehicle using Kida's crystal, the crystal is removed from around her neck to power the vehicle. In the next shot the crystal is around her neck again and still powering the vehicle. And again in the next shot the crystal is missing, and replaced again in the next shot.
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When the travelers first arrives at Atlantis, they all step in front of the large "digger" machine to get a better look at the city. Then we see a wide shot of the city and travelers and the digger is nowhere to be found.
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While on the highway to Atlantis, several times Milo has to take off at a run to escape something and he never has anything but his clothes with him. Yet when he reaches Atlantis he still has his book and his satchel though he didn't have them before.
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In Helga Sinclair's initial introduction scene ("Milo James Thatch...") she is wearing a bracelet, and is lacking her trademark gloves. In the next scene, the bracelet is gone and she is wearing said gloves.
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In Whitmore's room, when he's explaining why he's funding the Atlantis trip, he smacks the painting above the mantelpiece with his cane at his head is level with, or above, the mantelpiece. However, in the next shot, his head is at least a foot beneath the mantelpiece.
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When the group is settling at the campsite, when Milo asks Audrey about her life, in one scene she's taking her boots off. Note that she has only an overall and a sleeveless shirt. In the next scene, one can see her arm throwing her sock away, and she's wearing a sleeved shirt.
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In the beginning where Milo is leaving the basement to go up for his meeting, he picks up all his maps, and has them under one arm, but then when he picks up the picture of his grandfather, his hands are completely free, arms empty.
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Factual errors 

The expedition's submarine, the Ulysses, is apparently powered by steam. This would be impossible for any vessel traveling underwater. The fires from the boilers would consume all of the air in the vessel within a fairly short period of time, leaving the vessel without power and the occupants asphyxiated.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

Cookie tells Audrey that he has 'all 38 United States' as a tattoo. In 1914 the United States consisted of 48 states, but Cookie probably got his tattoo years before, maybe when the United States did consist of 38 states - between 1877 and 1890.
After Milo reads Atlantean, Kida reveals that the Atlantean language has been lost for thousands of years. Only Atlanteans of royal lineage can live for thousands of years (for every 300 years, a royal Atlantean ages one); non-royal Atlanteans have a standard lifespan only slightly augmented by the crystals. It would only take three or four generations for the language to become lost.

Plot holes 

Milo speculates that the Shepherd's journal's description of Atlantis's power source ends abruptly, due to a missing page, while flipping between the front of the page where it ends and the back of the same page, containing unrelated text. A missing page is clearly impossible.
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Spoilers

The goof item below may give away important plot points.

Plot holes 

When Commander Lyle Tiberius Rourke takes Kida after she joins Atlantis' power source, the water stops flowing, the crystals stop glowing, and everything stops working. Except King Kashekim Nedakh's crystal. On top of that, all of the ships work when Milo teaches everyone how to power the ships with the crystals (that supposedly don't have any power) so they can fight back.

If the living crystal underneath the city was the power source for everything in Atlantis, how did anything work after it was removed?
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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