Commander Lyle Tiberius Rourke is the main antagonist in Disney's 2001 feature film Atlantis: The Lost Empire. He was the Commander of a previous mission to Iceland where he assisted Milo Thatch's grandfather in locating the Shepherd's Journal. He is voiced by James Garner.
Composed, practical, resolute, pragmatic, brave, understanding, reasonable later scheming, calculated, devilish, sarcastic, arrogant, cunning, unfriendly, ruthless, violent, greedy
According to Rourke, he also has quite a bit of control over his temper, as he tells Milo and congratulates Milo for setting it off.
Lyle T. Rourke was born in 1860 and learned the ways of military life at an early age when his father, a cavalry officer named Lt. Col. Jackson, was killed in battle in 1864 during the Civil War. After repeated expulsions from boarding school for fighting, Rourke resolved to follow in his father's footsteps and joined the military in 1875 at age fifteen. There, he exhibited a remarkable talent for leadership, owing to his analytical mind, charisma, and refusal to acknowledge the white flag surrender. He married in June 1887, but his wife left him after only four months.
He held numerous expeditions during his career, most notably leading the Whitmore Expedition to Atlantis.
Role in Atlantis: The Lost Empire
In 1914, he is hired by Preston B. Whitmore in another expedition to Atlantis with his second-in-command Helga Katrina Sinclair. After escaping from a robotic Leviathan in the city's gates, Rourke and the team are taken to the King's room, where he asks to spend the night. After Milo and Kida swim while learning about Atlantis's heart, they re-surface only to discover that Rourke became mercenary. After Kida is fused with the Heart, he takes off with Helga and his soldiers, but Atlantis's citizens, Milo and the rest of the team chase him to a volcanic crater. Rourke and Helga attempt to escape in a hot air balloon.During the battle Milo crashes his flying stone fish into one of the balloons,to relive the weight Rourke throws Helga off the balloon and mockingly apolgizes to Helga as she falls yelling "nothing personal".However Helga manages to survive long enough to shoot a flare into the balloon and it begins to descend, while fighting Milo with an axe.Rourke gets scratched by a crystal shard and turns into a statue, but still manages to move towards Milo. He is finally destroyed when Milo overweights the metal structure he's standing,causing him to be hoisted up into the balloon's still moving propellers killing him for good.
House of Mouse
Rourke appeared in Donald Wants to Fly. Watching Kida fly above his head in quiet awe. Strangely enough, he for some reason does not appear in the show's tie-in film Mickey's House of Villains, not even as a cameo, and is therefore the only Disney villain featured in that show that doesn't appear in that film at all.
- Rourke is similar to Sir Ector from The Sword in the Stone, Governor Ratcliffe from Pocahontas, and Judge Claude Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, as all three are soldiers/army commanders and are trained in combat or lead an army into battle against the Heroes.
- Rourke is also similar to Stromboli from Pinocchio and Clayton from Tarzan as all three are thought of as good guys at first, but then they reveal their true colors by betraying the protagonists who thought they could trust them.
- Rourke's treachery and eventual betrayal was actually foreshadowed early in the film during Milo's conversation with Whitmore: When Whitmore shows Milo the photographs of all of the explorers he will be travelling to Atlantis with, Rourke's photograph shows only half his face. Also, along with their photos are small sheets of paper showing the explorer's profiles and biographies. Since we do not see the other half of Rourke's face, we do not see his biography at all.
- Also, when the remaining crew members are forced to evacuate the submarine, Rourke is the first to enter the escape pods. In real life, the captain is always the last crew member to evacuate a sinking ship (hence the phrase "go down with the ship"), so this is often considered disrespectful to maritime culture, although the writers probably deliberately had him do so to further foreshadow Rourke's treacherous nature.
- After Rourke abandons all of his teammates except for Helga along with Milo and the other Atlanteans in Atlantis, as he and Helga are leaving Atlantis with the crystallized Kida, he tells himself, "P.T. Barnum was right." P.T. Barnum was a famous American showman who coined the phrase, "there's a sucker born every minute."
- Rourke's middle name, Tiberius, could be a possible reference to Captain James Tiberius Kirk from the show Star Trek, of which Kashekim Nedakh's voice actor Leonard Nimoy played Spock.
- Rourke has at least 90 henchmen (including himself and Helga), given the fact that the Ulysses was supposed to have 200 crew members at the start of the expedition, and that half (100) of said crew were all killed in the Leviathan attack, and that only seven crew members (Milo, Vinny, Molière, Audrey, Dr. Sweet, Mrs. Packard, and Cookie) actually survive at the end.
- For a while, Rourke (and to a much lesser extent, Helga), was the most marketed character from the film following Atlantis' release, and was therefore officially the most popular character from that film. However, Rourke's popularity may only be due to the fact that he is the villain.
- At one point Tommy Lee Jones, Jack Davenport, and Kurt Russell was going to be cast as Rourke.
|Atlantis: The Lost Empire|
Characters: Milo Thatch | Kida Nedakh | Obby | Helga Sinclair | Lyle Tiberius Rourke | Audrey Ramirez | Vincenzo Santorini | Gaetan Moliére | Joshua Sweet | Wilhelmina Packard | Jebidiah Allardyce "Cookie" Farnsworth | Preston B. Whitmore | Kashekim Nedakh | Queen of Atlantis | Fenton Q. Harcourt | Leviathan | Chakashi | Atlanteans | Keepers of the JournalAtlantean language
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