The Leviathan is a giant Atlantean war machine that was left near the underwater entrance to Atlantis to serve as its guardian. Being longer and overall larger than a modern day submarine, the Leviathan is a mechanical monstrosity that closely resembles a lobster. According to Milo Thatch, the Leviathan's lair is filled with the sunken wreckage of ships from every era, meaning that the giant has killed many mariners throughout the centuries. It is also capable of flight as seen just before the destruction of Atlantis.
|The directors always thought of the Leviathan as the largest of Atlantean warships left over from the holocaust that drove Atlantis to the center of the earth. Since that day, the Leviathan has, by circling the entrance to Atlantis, kept intruders at bay.|
The Shepherd's Journal describes the Leviathan as a sea serpent; while the Bible describes it as a beast that breathes fire from its mouth. Milo Thatch thought this was merely a ruse, however, and thought that it was a statue meant to frighten the superstitious. Unbeknownst to him, the Leviathan was, in fact, a machination set to patrol the waters outside the gateway to Atlantis. The crew of the Ulysses was warned of the machine's presence when they detected the creature's eerie, metallic call. The monster subsequently attacked and destroyed the Ulysses, killing many of its crew members.
The Leviathan is a gigantic mechanical lobster-shaped automaton, several times larger than the largest man-made vessels ever invented. It is autonomous and intelligent, able to make surprise attacks on intruders and use the underwater terrain to its advantage. Its exoskeleton is strong enough to absorb torpedo fire and remain unscathed. The Leviathan's primary weapons are its gigantic pincers, which can easily snap ships in half. However, it has smaller mandibles closer to its face that mostly handle the tiny vessels that it destroys. One of these mandibles is large enough to hold the entire Ulysses. The Leviathan is also capable of shooting a powerful energy bolt, generated by wires on its face that work similar to spark plugs. It has two menacing eyes that can zoom inwards like an aperture to examine smaller objects. Despite its size, the Leviathan is quite agile and fast, maneuvering around the underwater pillars to outflank and surprise enemies, and catch up with fast vessels. Using its unmatched bulk and power, the Leviathan has claimed hundreds of intruding vessels over the centuries. However, its enormous size became a liability when the Ulysses sub pods descended into the crevice that the Leviathan couldn't fit through.
In Atlantis: The Lost Empire, the Leviathan, or another of its kind, is seen being swallowed by a gigantic tsunami accidently generated by the King of Atlantis. It is then presumably charged with guarding the entrance to Atlantis.
In the original opening sequence for Atlantis: The Lost Empire. It presumably presents the failed expedition Thorfinn Karlsefni participated in to find Atlantis. Following the directions illustrated in the Shepherd's Journal, a Viking ship sets forth through a thunderstorm to locate what is believed to be a portal that will lead them to Atlantis. One of the crewman is concerned about the page that shows a giant creature supposedly guarding the entrance, the Leviathan, but the captain will hear none of it and threatens to kill anyone that tries to halt the expedition any further. Suddenly, the gigantic creature leaps over them before it attacks the ship. Tentacles violently drag crewmen to their watery grave while also tearing the ship apart. The captain shows no fear, but is knocked down from a falling mast. Satisfied at eliminating all aboard the ship, the Leviathan descends into the water before shooting an energy blast that completely destroys the vessel.
More than a thousand years later, it attacks the submarine Ulysses for trespassing on its territory. The submarine is destroyed, but a few crew members survive.
In Atlantis: Milo's Return, the Leviathan is known to have investigated the return of Team Atlantis, who returned using the original route instead of using the volcano for some unknown reason, as they would not have encountered the being otherwise. It apparently sensed the Atlantean crystal necklaces the team wore that identified them as Friends of Atlantis and allowed them to pass. Later on, it is mentioned in passing as a possible suspect regarding Kraken attacks, although the Kraken was neither Atlantean nor mechanical.
It is unknown what became of the creature after the raising of Atlantis, but it is presumed that it continues to guard the (no longer needed) entrance.
Abilities and Weaknesses
Being a giant, the Leviathan can easily crush most enemies. It can also fire energy blasts from its mouth, which can easily destroy a small ship with a single hit. However, due to its size, any ship that manages to elude its capture can escape into Atlantis' entrance passageway, where the creature is too big to follow.
In the original treatment, 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. All that remains of this are one or two storyboards and an animation test that also contained an early design idea for Helga.
- The Leviathan resembles a lobster, much like the other Atlantean vehicles resemble sea creatures. It (or perhaps another of its kind) can be seen flying in the movie prologue.
- Another strong resemblance the design of the Leviathan has, is to the long dead sea creature Jaekelopterus.
- As mentioned by Milo, the creature is one of the three Biblical monsters, the others being the Ziz of the sky, and the Behemoth of the earth, with the Leviathan being of the sea.
- It is possible that the Leviathan has armaments on par with, or more powerful than atomic bombs, and the Atlantians were testing/using it at the beginning of the film. This is implied by the Atlantian’s dialogue while fleeing the cataclysmic explosion.
- The Leviathan's piercing roar during its pursuit of the remaining subpods and Aqua-Evacs containing the expedition crew is actually the roar of a Gallimimus from Jurassic Park.