Atlantis: Milo’s Return

Starring:
Cree Summer as Queen ‘Kida’ Kidagakash (voice)
James Arnold Taylor as Milo James Thatch (voice)
Corey Burton as Gaetan ‘The Mole’ Moliere (voice)
John Mahoney as Preston B. Whitmore (voice)
Phil Morris as Dr. Joshua Strongbear Sweet (voice)
Don Novello as Vincenzo ‘Vinny’ Santorini (voice)
Jacqueline Obradors as Audrey Rocio Ramirez (voice)
Florence Stanley as Wilhelmina Bertha Packard (voice)
Clancy Brown

Special Features:
Search For The Spear Of Destiny Game
Deleted Scene

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.66:1) – Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
DTS 5.1 Digital Surround Sound
French Language Track
Running Time: 80 Minutes

Synopsis:
This film is presented as the sequel to Disney’s 2001 film “Atlantis: The Lost Empire”. Before that film did poorly at the box office, there were plans to turn the cartoon into an ongoing TV series. This appears to be three episodes from that scrapped series pieced together into a movie.

When an unknown sea monster called The Kraken starts attacking ships in the North Atlantic, Preston B. Whitmore suspects that Atlantian technology may be involved. He sends the original team of explorers to retrieve Milo for an expedition. Feeling somewhat responsible for the monster, Queen Kida comes along as well. The group soon locates the monster, but it’s more than they were expecting to face. Its connection to a nearby fishing village will prove to be an important key in solving the mystery behind the creature.

In a second adventure, an old friend of Whitmore’s in Arizona calls for help. The old relic hunter has been attacked by coyotesÂ…made of dust and wind. The team goes to investigate and they soon discover that there’s a connection to Atlantian technology here as well.

In the third and final adventure, an ancient Norwegian spear has been stolen from Whitmore’s collection. The main suspect was a rival of Whitmore’s who lost all his money in the stock market crash. Now insane, he believes he’s Odin, king of the Norse gods. Milo quickly realizes that the stolen spear is an ancient Atlantian weapon that holds a powerful crystal. With it, “Odin” has the power to destroy the earth. It’s up to Milo, Kida, and the gang to recover it. Along the way they must face ice giants, fire giants, and a vicious wolf.

After seeing her people’s technology fall into the wrong hands, Kida must decide whether or not to hide her people and disable to newly revived crystal forever.

“Atlantis: Milo’s Return” is rated G.

The Movie:
Despite its poor box office performance, I really enjoyed the original Atlantis film. I thought it was a fun action adventure and it was right up my alley. However, like most Disney animated sequels, this one fails to live up to the original. The animation isn’t nearly is good, the story is weaker, and the presentation is geared to children with short attention spans.

I liked the idea of an Atlantis TV series. The whole premise was ripe for it. However, the final realization of it is a mixed bag. The situations set up are pretty cool and very Indiana Jones / Jules Verne in feel. We get to see a fight with a Kraken, an adventure in the American desert, and a battle with a Norwegian god. All these things are conveniently tied into Atlantis. However, nothing is ever adequately explained. How does Atlantis technology create an ice monster? Why was an Atlantian god in Arizona? How does a Kraken use mind control? None of this was ever explained.

They also managed to bring the entire original cast back, except for Michael J. Fox and Jim Varney, who of course passed away. All of the characters you know and love from the first film are still in this sequel and they remain faithful to their original incarnations. However, newly added to the cast is a “rock dog” character that’s primarily included to entertain children. He mainly runs around, barks, and acts cute. It’s really kind of stupid.

Like everything else about the movie, the animation is a mixed bag as well. It opens strong with a scene of the Kraken attacking a freighter. Then the animation dramatically drops in quality as we revisit the newly rebuilt Atlantis. It stays at TV show quality pretty much until the end. In the final adventure there’s some cool stuff with lightning and the Spear of Destiny. Other than that there’s not a lot remarkable about its quality.

Overall, I have to say that this DVD disappointed me. As a fan of the original, I was hoping for more. It does have its shining moments, but it doesn’t compare to the original film. I do think kids will get a bigger kick out of it than adults, though. If you have children, especially boys, who you need to entertain for a while, this will fit the bill.

The Extras:
There are two extras on this DVD:

Search For The Spear Of Destiny Game – This is your typical DVD game where the screen flies through a maze and you hit the arrow buttons to avoid obstacles. The premise of this game is that you’re in a submarine going through underwater tunnels looking for three pieces of the Spear of Destiny. As you find pieces, it shows you quick clips about other lost cities like Pompeii. It’s kind of boring since you go through the same maze repeatedly.

Deleted Scene – At the end of the Kraken adventure, a mother is shown walking off with her baby saying he’s going to grow up to be a leader in the community. In this deleted scene, we see what happens next. The baby grows tentacles and shows itself to be a miniature new Kraken. It’s dark and creepy and understandably removed to avoid freaking out little kids.

The Bottom Line:
This DVD is only worth checking out if you saw and enjoyed the first film. Even then you may find it to be lacking compared to the original. Kids, and particularly boys, will probably enjoy it no matter what.

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