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Tell Cookie to melt the butter and break out the bibs! I want this lobster served up on a silver platter!
~ Rourke addressing about his submarine being attacked by the Leviathan.
The Leviathan is a major antagonist of Disney's 41st full-length animated feature film Atlantis: The Lost Empire. While an artificial intelligence designed by the otherwise good people of Atlantis, the Leviathan is homicidal and extreme due to its flawed programming, murdering countless explorers on their search for the lost city.
The Leviathan resembles a gargantuan mechanical lobster with two massive claws, two smaller claws, a tail, and several bladed legs. It is teal in color, emblazoned with ancient Atlantean symbols and patterns. It has large glowing red eyes and several tentacle-like appendages surrounding its "mouth", which is its electric blaster.
Despite its size and the fact that it is a machine, it has shocking maneuverability and durability, able to easily swim fast enough to catch up to racing subs.
In The Shepard's Journal, the Leviathan is described as a killer sea monster that lurks in the waters around Atlantis.
Atlantis: The Lost Empire
During the prologue of the film, the Leviathan is seen being swallowed up by the tsunami that sunk the city of Atlantis. Some time after this, it was apparently appointed protector of the city. Despite the fact that the people became more open to the idea of visitors over time, the Leviathan was left, perhaps due to being forgotten (as much of the more ancient culture was forgotten over time by the Atlantean people).
Roughly 8,000 years after the sinking of Atlantis, the submarine Ulysses arrives searching for the lost city, carrying the main characters on board. As they pass through the Leviathan's lair, Milo Thatch notes that it contains vessels from almost every era, implying that the Leviathan has killed countless amounts of people who have entered its lair in the past. The Ulysses too awakens the Leviathan, which attacks and pursues the submarine. It ensnares the sub in its claws, and Commander Rourke and Helga Sinclair begin commanding a counterattack. They order the launch of the Sub-Pods, which fire torpedoes and cause the Leviathan to drop the Ulysses. However, the Leviathan soon retaliates by lashing out against Sub-Pods with its enormous pincers and firing an electric bolt that fatally damages Ulysses. The main cast and a handful of crew manage to escape the Ulysses in escape vehicles called Aqua-Evacs before the Leviathan fires another electric beam and blows up Ulysses, killing any potentially remaining crews who failed to escape in time.
It then pursues the escaping crews, destroying a few with its claws and electric blasts. However, when the survivors pass through a crevasse, the Leviathan becomes stuck. But it continues to wildly fire electric blasts, destroying even more survivors before the last of the crew (1 Sub-Pod and 1 Aqua-Evac) escapes into an underground cave system.
The survivors hold a memorial for the presumably hundreds killed by Leviathan.
Atlantis: Milo's Return
The Leviathan is presumably fixed by the events of the sequel. It investigates the crew as they enter the secret entrance, but sensing the crystal necklaces worn by the crew, identified them as friendly and allowed them to pass.
It is unknown what became of the Leviathan after Atlantis returned to the surface.
Sketch of the Leviathan in the Shepard's Journal.
Several Vikings witnessing the arrival of the Leviathan.
The Leviathan attacking the Vikings' ship.
The Leviathan destroying the ship and dragging the Vikings to their deaths.
The Leviathan's mechanical eye.
The Leviathan ensanares the Ulysses.
The Leviathan destroying the Ulysses and killing all on still on board.
The Leviathan's red eyes.
The Leviathan destroying another escape sub as the rest escape.
The Leviathan toy.
Atlantis the Lost Empire Leviathan Attack
There was a mild debate on whether or not the Leviathan should count as a villain, since it is simply doing as it was programmed to do. However, most consider it as one due to its faulty programming, its destructive role in the film, and it causing appalling body count as result of being abandoned with no means to help it differentiate friend and foe up until being fixed. Disney also considers it a villain within the context of the film.
The Leviathan, while one of the more underrated and forgotten Disney villains, has one of (if not the) largest body count in any animated Disney movie. It is shown that the Leviathan not only kills the many passengers and crew on the Ulysses, but has sunken and destroyed countless vessels in the past. This was confirmed with a deleted scene when the Leviathan attacked a ship harbored by ruthless vikings who were trying to seek and steal the crystal.
At the beginning of the movie which showed Atlantis' past shortly before the cataclysm that doomed the empire, there were at least more than one Leviathan shown, all of which fly quite ably. But apparently only one survived to continue its guardian duty to the present.
In Atlantis: Milo's Return, it is mentioned in passing as a possible suspect regarding Kraken attacks, though the Kraken is revealed later to be another being entirely.
In early development, Milo figures a way to destroy the Leviathan when in a Sub-Pod with Helga Sinclair. However, this concept was dropped early in pre-production.
The Leviathan also appears as a boss in the videogame adaptation.
Although it is a minor antagonist, the Leviathan turned out to be more dangerous than Rourke.