Atlantis: Milo's Return (2003 Video)
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When the first scene appears, your in for a shock if you just picked Atlantis: Milo's Return from the display-case at your local videoshop (or whatever), and had the expectations I had. The music feels as a bad imitation of the first movie, and the voice cast has been replaced by a not so fitting one. (With the exception of a few characters, like the voice of Sweet). The actual drawings isnt that bad, but the animation in particular is a sad sight. The storyline is also pretty weak, as its more like three episodes of Schooby-Doo than the single adventurous story we got the last time. But dont misunderstand, it's not very good Schooby-Doo episodes. I didnt laugh a single time, although I might have sniggered once or twice.
To the audience who haven't seen the first movie, or don't especially care for a similar sequel, here is a fast review of this movie as a stand-alone product: If you liked schooby-doo, you might like this movie. If you didn't, you could still enjoy this movie if you have nothing else to do. And I suspect it might be a good kids movie, but I wouldn't know. It might have been better if Milo's Return had been a three-episode series on a cartoon channel, or on breakfast TV.
If it says anything, my children ages 10 and 6 didn't even sit through the whole movie.
My first reaction after showing this crap, was to load "Bambi" in my DVD-Player, to see Disney's immortal magic, depth, spirit and charm again, to see Disney on its climax again, to see the awesome art of handmade animation again. "Bambi" was the first (and until today the only) movie that i give 10 out of 10 stars. But "Atlantis: Milo's Return"? No magic, no depth, no charm, no spirit... It deserved only 3 out of 10!
The animation quality is still poor when compared to Disney originals, and the dialog is quite trite, the story line and overall execution was really quite enjoyable.
While it is not as captivating, it does not completely fail to capture the charm and/or mystery from the first. There is some hint of it, tucked away here and there.
The children will like it, at any rate.
It rates a 4.5/10 from...
the Fiend :.
Directed Victor Cook, Tad Stones and Toby Shelton (who have all worked on various Disney DVD sequels) and penned by six writers from various TV shows and genres, this sequel is okay but that's all that it is. Although the title suggests it's "Milo's return", the story is actually about Milo's original crew having him come back to the surface in order to understand and resolve strange occurrences happening with no reason in the country. Kida's thoughts are that they are somehow connected to Atlantis; once weapons of destruction that her father had locked away hoping modern day man would not find. These events in question are that of a small town being terrorized by a deep sea kraken, a dust storm of spirit wolves and a mad man looking to start the end of the world. Of these separate cases, none of them truly give any explanation to how their Atlantian connection affected history. They're really just lazy tie- ins with Atlantis and nothing more.
The voice cast behind the characters thankfully help make the viewing relatively tolerable. There's only a few replacements; for Milo, James Arnold Taylor takes over Michael J. Fox and instead of Jim Varney, Steven Barr fills in as Cookie. Every other character remains the same. Cree Summer, John Mahoney, Jacqueline Obradors, Don Novello, Corey Burton, Phil Morris and Florence Stanley all return to reprise their roles and their exchanges are still commendable as the slew of personalities they make up. There are additional voices too and they consist of Frank Welker playing Obby (a three legged volcano dog,...precious), Jeff Bennett, William Morgan Sheppard, Floyd 'Red Crow' Westerman, Thomas F. Wilson and Clancy Brown. The unfortunate part is that with these new additions, somehow not all the main characters make it into every story. Characters like Vinny and Sweet disappear at times with no notice and don't come back until another story finishes. Strange.
Another component to the writing that doesn't exactly make sense are some of the character motivations. Some of which these motivations completely contradict beliefs from the prior movie. It's another thing to also think that sharing the gift of Atlantis will bring about good and everyone will be accepting of it. If this were a real world event, the newbies to the world should think twice. Animation was handled by Toon City, a contracting company that has frequently worked with Disney in several animated TV show spinoffs and direct- to-DVD sequels. For what it's worth, the animation is nowhere close to its predecessor's quality but it isn't garbage either. There are few relaxed scenes that have some decent fluidity to them and the action scenes are engaging too. For the action there are explosions and various other character movements (kraken, dust storms or protagonists) that have natural movement to them. The difference in quality to this is more texture display than anything else.
Of the animation, if there's one thing that really stands out, it's all the continuity errors that litter the screen. There are a considerable number moments when these problems develop. Parts of it show up for certain sections of backgrounds, while other times it's as simple as animating characters' mouths when clearly there's voice over work being played. It's moments like those that just feel sloppy and cheap. Also when Milo's friends come back to Atlantis, they arrive via plane. However the first movie had everyone go underwater; great job guys. The music to this feature is adequate though. Don Harper, who normally is the conductor to score recording sessions and who's best work would come later in The Lion King 1 1/2 (2004), composed the music. Occasionally, Harper does reference James Newton Howard's theme from the original but it's not around for long. The music itself is also not as grand but this is probably due to the constraints of the budget itself. It's just okay.
Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) was one of those Disney films that didn't need a sequel. Is this worth any of your time - not really but it's not a total disgrace either. The music, most of its animation, and voice acting is praise worthy. Its weak plot threads are more of the problem.
Milo's return is nothing more than 3 short stories, which misses the charm of the first movie Atlantis. The only reason to make such sequels seems to me to get some money easily out of the pockets of ignorant parents who are willing to buy anything 'disney' for their spoiled kids, without even thinking about quality. Why is Disney leaving the 'yellow brick road' they were walking on? There are numerous stories around the world that have the magic Disney used to bring to us in it's classics.
I will always be a Disneyfan in heart and soul, but at the moment it only means that I play the old classics over and over again, eagerly waiting for the day that Disney 'comes back to it's senses' instead of bringing us such bad sequels as 'Pocahontas II', 'Hunchback of Notre Dame II' and 'Cinderella II'.
First, the animation is choppy, wooden, not worked on, lacks naturality - I understand the drawing style was to be of some 'atlantean' kind, but, it could be done with the usual Disney finesse... see "Tarzan" to see what I mean. If I didn't see the DISNEY logo in the beginning, I would never say it was a Disney movie.
Second, the plot was more like a PC game style, like a good old quest. Not that it was bad, but it lacked a story that binds the viewer to the characters and their goals. It was inconvincing, at least. The film was meant for children, but this was waaay to childish at times.
Third, the music... I would say it was improper, but it just fits the whole scene with the plot and animation...
Overall, I think this was some kind of an amusement, just by-the-way kind of project by several apprentice animators, just to fill in the count for Disney movies. Sorry to hear that from myself, a big Disney lover...
I am completely satisfied with the ending of the first movie. Milo and Kida end up together and that's all that matters.
If you are a movie producer and are reading this, learn from this mistake. Never continue with a sequel if you are gonna change the actors/actresses or are gonna make the art worse than the previous movie.
The story feels set up and is not convincing. I mean Atlantis inspires such fantasy and longing and all they could come up with was a return to the "normal" world where they're suddenly *spoiler* fighting some other legendary monsters? Wow, that blows. *end spoiler* Considering the already (in my opinion) moderate original movie it's no wonder why this didn't make it to the cinemas.
At least you only have to endure 70 minutes of repetitive events, poor graphics and shameless rip-offs.
And now you know why Disney is a multi-billion dollar company...