Lyle Tiberius Rourke is the main antagoist of "Atlantis: The Lost Empire." He is the leader of the expedition that leads to Atlantis along with his henchwoman Helga Sinclair. He is at first thought to be good, but is revealed to have intention of stealign the Heart of Atlantis to become rich. He has grey hair, green eyes, a grey tanktop, green military pants and brown boots; he is 'voiced' by the late James Garner.
Rourke leads the expedition to find the Shepherd's Journal in Iceland. When Thaddeus Thatch is not looking, he rips out a page concerning a giant crystal and convinces virtually everyone else on the forthcoming expedition to Atlantis to retrieve it and sell it on the black market for a hefty sum.
As commanding officer of the expedition, he is primarily responsible for making the decisions that will ensure the mission's success as well as the survival of his crew. This includes the belief of there being acceptable losses in his attempt to defend the Ulysses from an attacking Leviathan before ordering all hands to abandon ship.
He has little contact with others outside of his directing orders, preferring to stand apart. When the expedition is dropped into a cavern while escaping the attack of fireflies, he recognizes a possible exit route through the top of the volcano they are in. With the discovery of Atlantis being alive and thriving, Rourke maintains to a hesitant Helga Sinclair that their primary objective remains as planned.
After attempting to learn from the Atlanteans where the crystal might be, he turns to Milo Thatch to decipher the stolen page, but not before Milo discovers Rourke's treachery when the young cartographer sees his former allies armed with guns. As a result, Milo refuses to play along with him, and Rourke, in turn, becomes more forceful and has a gun pointed at Princess Kidagakash. He then has the doors to the king's chambers blown open and demands King Kashekim Nedakh explain the riddle that reveals the location of the crystal, going so far as to strike the already dying king in front of a horrified crew. Sitting on the throne and threatening to execute the king, Rourke manages to figure out the riddle on his own and proceeds to descend into the chamber with Helga dragging Milo and Kida along.
While Milo and Rourke argue over how the crystal is to be retrieved, Kida is called upon by the Heart of Atlantis and is bonded with it. Rourke then has Kida sealed up in a container and prepares to leave. Milo pleads that their actions will kill the Atlanteans, but Rourke does not care and decks him. However, he ends up losing all, but Helga, of the key members of the expedition when they develop a conscious. Rourke has the bridge destroyed to prevent them from following in an attempt to stop him.
Rourke has the top of the volcano blown open and has a hot air balloon ascending with the container when Milo and the others arrive in flying stone fish vehicles. During the chaos, Milo crashes his stone fish into one of the balloons, causing it to descend. With all of the extra weight having already been thrown off, Rourke tosses Helga off in an act of self-preservation. However, a dying Helga gets back by destroying the main balloon with a flare gun.
Enraged, Rourke begins to take his aggression out on Milo and uses an axe. He hits a glass cover of the container, with glass shards becoming embedded with the Heart of Atlantis. As Rourke holds Milo up for a killing blow, Milo cuts him with one of the shards and he begins to transform into crystal form. Rourke still attacks, but a chance situation causes him to be hoisted into the still moving propellers, destroying him for good.
Rourke hasn't appeared much in the MCF series, but it is revealed he has ressurrected and is seeking vengeance on Milo and Kida for the events that happened in the movie. His return is also why Skyla is afraid of guns and why Milo and Kida sent her to live with the Crosbys.
- MCF: The Mystery of Skyla
- MCF: Journey to Atlantis(Mentioned)
- 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 is also similar to Prince Hans from Frozen, as they both are villains to a female lead with light- colored hair (Kida and Elsa), as they are first shown to be kind and trustworthy at the beginning only to be shown as cruel and ruthless at the climax of their films.
- When Rourke gets turned into a crystal creature it's similar to Sa'Luk's death in Aladdin and the king of thieves, but he stills lives when crystallized. Like Sa'luk, Rourke is unbelievably strong, as he manages to effortlessly overpower Helga and trounce her in unarmed combat. While Helga is using every ounce of strength in her body, Rourke needs only one arm to toss her. Despite her using much more of her energy and strength to try to defeat him, Rourke still manages to subdue Helga without breaking a sweat or showing any signs of fatigue. On the other hand, she is clearly out of breath and giving it her all. However, in spite of her giving it her all and him putting in no effort during the fight, he subdues with her hilarious ease, making her look like a pathetic child in comparison to him. Right after tossing Helga (who is by no means a weakling) with such ease, he overpowers Milo with even greater ease.
- Rourke's fight with Milo was similar to the fight between Gaston and the Beast, even having Rourke trying to smash an axe against him. Coincidentally, both Beauty and the Beast and Atlantis: The Lost Empire were created by the same writers.
- 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 traveling 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.
- Yet another clue to Rourke's betrayal includes some of his early lines in the film, especially those containing either the words "rich" and/or "money", with the most obvious example of this being his line, "This will be an enriching for all of us."
- 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.
- Rourke is the fifth male Disney Princess villain, after Gaston, Jafar, Ratliffe, and Shan Yu, but before Doctor "The Shadow Man" Facilier", Mordu, and Hans.
- Lyle Tiberius Rourke having is the second Disney Villain to have one part of a book that the hero has, and the part the villain have has something important and use it for their own nefarious plans, Rourke has a page of the Shepherd's Journal from Milo Thatch which contains information about the Heart of Atlantis, the first is The Bookman from Bedknobs and Broomsticks has the part of The Spells of Astoroth from Miss Eglantine Price for the Substitutiary Locomotion spell and the third is Mittington Random in the Phineas and Ferb episode, Klimpaloon having the second journal of the Klimpaloon from Phineas and Ferb which contains the map to Klimpaloon.
- We don't know how Rourke is able to survive, but it could be possible that he was ressurrected by Jafar when the other MCF were sent away.