Atlantis II: Milo’s Return appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.66:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. While the picture generally looked good, it fell short of the heights attained by Disney’s stronger animated releases.
Sharpness looked positive. The movie appeared nicely distinct and accurate. I noticed no problems related to softness or fuzziness in this well-defined presentation. Jagged edges and moiré effects created no concerns, and I also noticed no signs of edge enhancement. Print flaws seemed non-existent, but the image did come across as somewhat noise at times and it appeared to display light levels of artifacting.
The different episodes allowed for a wide range of colors to appear, and these tones looked bright and vibrant. The tones were accurately displayed and they remained tight and lively at all times. Black levels also seemed deep and dense, while shadow detail was appropriately clear but not too dark. Overall, the image seemed solid except for the light noisiness seen at times.
Atlantis II offered both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 soundtracks. The pair largely sounded the same, though I thought the DTS mix was a little stronger. It seemed more dynamic and involving, but the improvements were not significant enough for me to bump up that track’s grade.
The soundfield was fairly broad and engaging. Music demonstrated nice stereo imaging, and various effects helped created a fine sense of environment. Since the episodes provided lot of action scenes, these allowed the mix to come to life well and offer elements that moved nicely around the spectrum. The pieces were appropriately located and seemed well delineated as well. Some good split-surround material cropped up at times, but in general the mix remained oriented toward the forward channels. I felt the soundfield could have become more active at times, but it still did the job well.
Audio quality also appeared fine. Speech seemed natural and warm, and I detected no concerns related to edginess or intelligibility. Music was bright and robust; the score seemed dynamic and presented solid bass response. Effects also demonstrated some nice low-end material, and they generally came across as accurate and lively. A little distortion marred a few explosions, but the track usually was clean and tight. Overall, the audio of Atlantis II worked well and earned a “B+”.
Atlantis II includes only a few extras. We get one deleted scene. Called the “Kraken Baby Sequence”, this bit lasts 32 seconds. It adds a button on the final part of the Kraken episode, and actually, it makes sense. As currently depicted, the Kraken program ends oddly; it feels like something creepy should finish the show but it doesn’t. The deleted scene – which really just consists of about seven seconds of animation – allows the sequence to finish in a more sensible manner.
Search for the Spear of Destiny gives us another in the seemingly unending line of games found on Disney DVDs. A fairly lame Dragon’s Lair-style contest, it doesn’t go much of anywhere. At least it gives you some small rewards for progress, such information about lost cities like Pompeii.
As the DVD starts, we encounter a mix of ads. We find trailers for The Lion King, The Haunted Mansion, The Jungle Book 2, Stitch! The Movie, Bionicle the Movie, and Kim Possible. In addition, you’ll see these clips in the DVD’s Sneak Peeks domain plus a promo for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
Occasionally Disney produces a fun and entertaining direct-to-video sequel. Atlantis II: Milo’s Return doesn’t fall into that category. Nothing more than a cheap conglomeration of Saturday morning cartoon caliber episodes, none of the pieces offer much amusement or excitement. The DVD offers very good picture and sound, but it includes only a few insubstantial extras. I wanted to like Atlantis II, but the release seems like nothing more than shoddily executed product. Fans of the film should stay away from this clunker.