Ronald Sammi Dante is the protagonist of Disney's 2005 animated feature film Atlantis Planet. He is a black and white tab kitten and serves as a linguist and cartography expert who directs the part 2 expedition to find the lost continent of Atlantis on Atlantis Planet. He is voiced by Canadian actor Pete L. J. Dickson.
Ronald is a very adventurous, mild-mannered, smart, rebellious, and caring young lad who loves to translate new languages. He is also a fan of Powerline.
Ronald was born in a pet store in Washington D.C. in 1990. His mother passed away in an car accident and he was orphaned until being adopted by his uncle Artemis Dante, who raised and educated him. While orphaned, he was picked on by another orphan deer named Karus. This led to his hatred of deers. Ronald took after his uncle with regard to his affinity and passion for languages and antiquities.
After Artemis passed away, Ronald was then adopted by Kim and her dog Riley. Riley took an oaf to Artemis that he protect Ronald no matter what. He has since bonded with Riley while growing up with Kim. Through Ronald and Riley worked good together, He and Kim never saw a connection, but she cares for the young kitten. Kim had always felt that Ronald deserved better than her.
- “Okay Ronald, this is it. Any last wise words? Yeah, I really wish I had a better idea than this!”
- ―Atlantis Planet
In 2001, at age 11, Ronald took a job at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, working as a janitor. One day, during gym class at his Elementary School, He and his geek friends hijacked the school auditorium stage to preform a concert portraying as Powerline. However, this ended Ronald setting off the fire alarm and flooding the entire school. He was then sent to the Principal's Office where his step mother and Riley talked with the Principal of the school about his mischief. Many days later, Ronald is preparing for a presentation he has scheduled with the board of directors to seek funding to locate a book called the Star-Shepherd's Journal in Iceland, and a small talisman in the United States called the Nova Map, believing it will lead them to Atlantis Planet and the lost empire itself. Shortly after four o'clock, he receives notice that the meeting had to been moved to three-thirty. He then immediately receives another notice that the matter is closed due to his supposed no-show.
Angered by the deceit, he chases after the board members and manages to catch his boss Nigel Hardcore. Hardcore lays it thick that the museum only funds expeditions based on fact and not folklore, also belittling Ronald's skills by saying that he is needed to tend to the boiler during winter. Ronald attempts to hand over his letter of resignation, but Hardcore adds that no other institute would fund his expedition and he would throw his career away just like his uncle.
A disheartened Ronald returns home to find Helga Sinclair waiting to bring him to her employer, discovered to be a friend of Ronald's Uncle Winston Whitmore. He also meets the son and husband of his uncle's deer friend, Bambi and The Great Prince of the Forest. He quickly notices the talisman around Bambi's neck to realize it's the Nova Map. He explains it to Bambi, but the fawn doesn't understand any of what Ronald knows. He is surprised by Ronald's understanding of the space Atlantean language. Whitmore presents a parcel from Ronald's uncle that turns out to be the Star-Shepherd's Journal. After a test by Whitmore on Ronald's commitment to finding Atlantis, he reveals that the expedition is all set and ready to go. All that's left if for Ronald to fill in for his uncle to translate the directions from the book.
Ronald brought along his K-9 pal Riley to embark on a life-changing adventure, accompanied by Bambi, his father, his friends Thumper, Flower and Faline, and unexpectedly Ronno, Bambi's rival. Ronald and Ronno immediately dislike each other like him and Bambi. Ronald and Bambi were assigned as cabin boys for Max Dominic, the ship's cook. At first, Ronald didn't warm up to Bambi (might have been because he was assigned with the Nova Map and that he was a deer). But as the voyage's time passed, He and the fawn had formed an unexpected friendship.
However, when Bambi's confidence was low about failing to keep Mr. Hark, Captain Amelia's first mate, alive from a space storm, Ronald comforted him by telling him he had greatness in him, something Riley told Ronald when he was six. After arriving on Atlantis Planet and part two of the expedition departed, Ronald and his friends (except Ronno) had difficulty getting along with the others of the expedition, some even pulling pranks on them. In the end, they finally let them in during a rest stop. They manage to get Ronald to stop reading the book for a moment, even though there appears to be a page missing. Ronald, Bambi and some of the others begin to open up about themselves. In the middle of the night, Ronald awakens to use the restroom. He accidentally points his flashlight at a lamp housing fireflies that attack. The expedition is dropped into a cavern with Ronald seemingly separated from everyone else.
When Ronald comes to, he finds himself surrounded by strange figures. Upon noticing a scar on his chest, one of the figures removes its mask, revealing itself to be a young girl fox. Ronald watches in shock as the girl fox uses a crystal to completely heal his scar. The figures make off with Ronald following until he finds himself looking at Atlantis, alive and thriving. The figures return and he recognizes them as Atlanteans, able to communicate with them until it is discovered that they can speak other planarian languages since they root back to Atlantean.
Though the meeting with the Atlantean King Milo Thatch does not go so smoothly, the girl fox Ronald met, revealed to be Princess Kikanakash Nedakh Thatch, leads him, Bambi and The Great Prince on a tour of the city while they get to know one another. Ronald's interest in looking for the power source is sidetracked when he discovers that no one in the city can read the space Atlantean language or even remember much of their past culture. Kika leads him, Bambi and The Great Prince on a swim where numerous writings are found and Ronald begins to understand the true nature of the power source known as the Heart of Atlantis, as it is responsible for keeping the city, and the entire world of Atlantis Planet alive.
Upon surfacing, Ronald and Bambi learn of James Brock's true intentions, having been the one responsible for Mr. Hark's death, the one who stole the missing page from the book and leading the rest of the expedition to find the crystal and sell it on the black market. Ronald, Bambi and The Great Prince do not join them, but are forced to cooperate when Brock has a gun aimed at Kika. Ronald translates the page that the crystal is hidden in the core of the planet, but does not understand the riddle. Brock figures it out and forces Ronald, Bambi, The Great Prince along with Natasha forcing Kika, to descend into the Crystal Chamber to recover it. Ronald and Brock argue about how to bring the crystal down until Kika is called upon by the crystal and they bond.
As Brock and the expedition prepare to leave with the Heart of Atlantis back to Earth, Ronald makes one last plea to them to reconsider their actions as it would kill the Atlanteans. Brock punches him and Bambi, but the majority of the key members of the expedition end up siding with Ronald and his friends. Ronald and Bambi learn from the dying Milo that they must also save Kika, for if she remains bonded to the crystal for too long she will be lost. After a pep talk from Sean Kind, Ronald and Bambi lead the others in using Ketaks to stop Brock.
During the volcano battle, Ronald and SC acted as decoys while Kind, Ronno, Helga, and Faline attempedd to free Kika and the Heart of Atlantis. When Brock and Natasha forced them to retreat, Ronald crashed his electric stone fish into the Gyro-Evac and it began to descend. While Bambi led the dogs away from the group, he was chased onto the Gyro-Evac and was cornered, but he killed the last one by pushing him over the edge. However, Brock managed to get the air ship's back going by tossing everything off including Natasha. Brock also injured the Great Prince by throwing his combat knife at him and kick him off the edge. While Ronald, Bambi and Brock fight, Natasha destroyed the main balloon by firing an RPG, making Brock enraged. Brock attacked with an axe and smashed a glass cover. Ronald noticed the energy seeping into the class from the crystal and used it to stab Brock, turing into a crystal. A chance swung by Ronald and Bambi caused Brock to shatter against the moving propellers.
Though Ronald, Bambi and the container avoid the Gyro-Evac crashing upon them, it does result in the planet activating it's self-destruct mode. Ronald, Bambi and the others manage to get the Heart of Atlantis back to the city in time to save it and Kika is freed from the crystal. Ronald chooses to stay behind to help the Atlanteans rediscover their lost culture and has also fallen in love with Kika. He slips a package to be given to Whitmore, thanking him for his belief in the Dantes. He also slips one to Bambi as well, thanking him for restoring his like in deers and being a good friend. Now King of Atlantis, Ronald constructs the stone effigy of Kika's father to join the other stone effigies of the past kings that orbit the Heart of Atlantis now hovering over the restored city.
- Main article: Ronald Dante/Relationships
James Baxter and Glen Keane were the head animators for Ronald. Originally, Ronald was called Roland and was an orange cat. When Dickson was cast, he showed the directors and producers a photo of his late pet cat Sammi. The animators saw a connection between Dickson and his late cat, they changed Roland's name to Ronald, naming him after Dickson's grandfather, Ronald Cross, and redeisgned him as a black and white tab cat.
- Ronald is similar to Puss in Boots as both of them wear boots.
- The boots that Ronald wears are the same ones worn by Jim Hawkins from Treasure Planet.
- Ronald's complaint about how much he does not like Rag tail cats after puking over the RLS Saga could be a reference to how his voice actor Pete L. J. Dickson is actually allergic to rag tail cats, the line was ad-libbed by Dickson, it wasn't supposed to be in the original script.
- Dickson stated that this was his favoruite Disney role as the character he voiced was named after his grandfather.