(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Atlantis: Milo's Return)
Doug (vo): Perhaps the biggest crime of Atlantis: Milo's Return is that, despite a very obviously cheap animation budget and, oh, I don't know, obvious identity as a cheap cash-in, which is strange, seeing how the first film was not a huge box-office hit, it's that at first, it actually kind of has an interesting story. Yeah, at first, I was kind of sucked in by it, despite all the bad jokes and awkward-drawn scenes and...all right, let's look at the story.
Story and review Edit
Doug (vo): Milo is still living with Kida in Atlantis. But all his friends return, saying that, apparently, some sort of Atlantean monster is attacking a bunch of ships. Confused by this, Kida journeys to the surface world, bringing Milo along with her, and they try to figure out if this monster is an actual monster or one of the Atlantean machines or...maybe something else...or even someone else. They go on land, come across this creepy village, talk to all these semi-creepy people, and the more and more they find out about this mystery, the more questions it seems to raise.
(More scenes from the first act of the movie are shown)
Doug (vo): There's actually a lot of talking and even kind of ominous dread, and I mean that in the best way. Even though it wasn't animated the best, I was actually finding it kind of interesting. But here's the thing. When they do find out what's going on and what's behind it, it seems to raise even more questions. Well, that's fine, but we never get the answers. There's questions about where the person who's doing this came from and how he's able to do what he's doing. Is he even doing what he's doing? Is he controlling the monster? Is the monster controlling him? How can he possess other people? Is he possessing other people? It looks like he has to look into their eyes. Wait, now he doesn't need to look in their eyes. How does this work?
(Several scenes focusing on the second act of the movie are shown)
Doug (vo): And just as it's getting interesting, they completely drop the story. Yeah, they defeat the bad guy and then they go to a completely different story. Now it takes place in the Wild West and there's these wind coyotes and, I don't know, some guy's shit is stolen and they have to get it back, but there's this Native American who can control the wind coyotes, and it somehow connects to the Atlantean stuff.
(Scenes focusing on the third act of the movie are shown)
Doug (vo): But it doesn't stop there. It then goes to another story, where this crazy guy thinks he's Odin, and he steals this spear that has Atlantean technology, which actually kind of makes him Odin now, and he confuses Kida for his daughter Brunhilda and...shit! This is just another pilot for a TV show, isn't it? That explains why the animation looks this way and why all the stories don't really connect that well. Damn it! At least with Tarzan and Jane, I knew it was gonna be a pilot to a TV show. This...this tried harder, and fooled me into thinking it was gonna be something that tries harder throughout the whole thing!
(Scenes focusing on the ending of the movie are shown)
Doug (vo): I guess it does technically have an ending and, yeah, actually, the ending's not that bad, it even kind of retcons the ending from the first film. But it's weird when you see the choice she makes, you understand her reasoning, but there's also, like, a ton of dangers that happen throughout this film to go against her reasoning, too. I'm not saying what happens is the wrong choice, I'm saying they never explain the actual dangers that could come along with it, and it's very important to address.
(Scenes showing the characters and the animation are shown)
Doug (vo; sighs): So, yeah, I guess in terms of other technicals, the voice actors are all replacements*, and they do a good job. The animation, like I said, is a huge budget cut, but for kind of TV animation, I guess it's fine. Sometimes there's a really inventive idea, like there's this annoying dog that kind of sucks, but he was born in molten lava, so he'll constantly do things like just sleep in a fireplace. That's kind of creative. And again, when they're actually kind of talking about this Atlantean stuff, it is kind of interesting, kind of like the first film in that respect. But sadly, it just doesn't stay focused, and I don't even know if it was actually meant to stay focused. This was probably supposed to be three episodes that were gonna be connected, like I said, as a pilot of a TV show, a TV show that never got off the ground.
- Note: Actually, only Milo (Michael J. Fox) and Cookie (the late Jim Varney) are recast. The remaining actors reprise their roles.
Final thought Edit
Doug (vo): I mean, okay, I don't have confirmation of this, but if it wasn't, then this really is the most fragmented direct-to-DVD sequel ever. So I guess it's not awful, it's just...not needed and not that interesting through the majority of it, like I said, with the exception of that first third. But even then, it's not great, it's just telling an interesting story that never really has any conclusion or answers. I guess if you really liked the first Atlantis movie and you just want to see a little bit more of the technology, world and ideas, you'll get hints of it here. But if you're looking for something more, this is something that should definitely stay sunk.
(The final scene, showing Atlantis having been raised out of the ocean and into the surface world, is shown)