Atlantis: The Lost Empire/Atlantis: Milo's Return - 3-Disc Special Edition [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray ALL - America - Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Ethan Stevenson (30th August 2013).
The Film

“I know, I know. Sometimes I get a little carried away. But, hey, you know, that's what this is all about, right? I mean, discovery, teamwork, adventure. Unless… maybe… you're just in it for the money.”

The saying goes; the road to hell is paved with good intentions. And good intentions directors Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale had when they set about making Disney’s 41st full-length animated feature, “Atlantis: The Lost Empire”. While working on their under-appreciated adaptation of Victor Hugo’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1996), the two filmmakers began to view their close-knit group of animators and other artists more like family—one that worked incredibly well as a unit—and wanted to make sure they could all stay together, and work on something else, when “Hunchback” wrapped. “The Lost Empire” fed the desire of figurative papas Trousdale and Wise and the family-crew to exploration, and extrapolate, within their art form—a desire to do something new, or at least revive something old that had never been attempted in the realm of animation, all with cutting edge technology. The team embarked on their adventure with the hope it would take Disney in a different, decidedly more daring, direction. Indeed, as one of the last traditionally animated films ever produced by the Walt Disney Company, “Atlantis” did take the company in a different direction. Unfortunately, it was steered in that direction not by the company’s creative minds, but rather through the machinations of meddling money-minded executives, who ended up gutting “Atlantis” of what might have made it one of the greats, and instead turned it into an interesting, passably entertaining but problematic footnote.

Might have being the opportune phrase, as we’ll never know how well the project-as-intended would’ve faired on the open sea of the summer movie waves of 2001. “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” is—like its predecessor, “The Emperor’s New Groove” (2000)—a perfect example of the increasing disconnect between the creatives and the executives at Disney in the company’s post renaissance period around the turn of the last millennium. Initially, “Atlantis” came about because the Wise and Trousdale and their crew wanted to push the boundaries of animation with a two and a half hour, plot driven, character piece; it exists in its finished, if greatly compromised, form at a brisk 96-minutes with credits, because the executives ultimately in charge were worried Trousdale and Wise’s vision wouldn’t make them money. At the time, Disney’s box office receipts supported the theory that audiences hadn’t yet grown tired of their tried and true animated-musicals, and as the thought always seems to be in Hollywood, why innovate when you don’t have to? The early 2000's were not a time for experimentation and gables with genre and form at the Mouse House, especially because the company was coming off the much troubled, barely profitable, misfire that was “The Emperor’s New Groove”. The penny-pinchers and Eisner-loyal executives took a tight hold on the production of “Atlantis” in the wake of that tumultuous near-disaster, and the film we have today doesn’t quite live up the grand ambition and good intentions of its creators.

After a brief prologue—a different one than originally intended—in which the ancient city of Atlantis disappears beneath the waves, with its inhabitants protected by some mystical dome-like force field, the film opens on Milo Thatch (voiced by Michael J. Fox), a bookish junior professor of linguistics who believes that he’s found the key to uncovering the location of the lost civilization. The bespectacled Thatch is positive an ancient Viking journal buried somewhere in Iceland holds the final pieces of the puzzle he needs. Unfortunately, Milo is the low man on the totem pole at his university, where he’s left to look after the boiler room rather than give lectures or have time for serious study. When the board of governors rejects his proposal of an expedition to Iceland in search of the Atlantis myth for being absurd fantasy, all seems lost. At least until, at the last minute, a wealthy benefactor—and an old friend of Milo’s long-deceased famous explorer uncle—sweeps in and saves the day. Suddenly, Milo’s mission is not just fully funded; a team has already found the journal in Iceland, and it does indeed hold the final clues to a very real Atlantis.

To say Milo and the men and women in his team find the lost empire of Atlantis in their expedition is not a spoiler. What they find—a city nearly destroyed, and a culture on the brink of collapse—might be. And what happens after that most certainly is.

But spoilers are necessary to explain what exactly is wrong with “The Lost Empire”. Viewers meet Milo, he meets his team, they equip themselves with a submarine, lose the sub in a battle with a creature of the deep, escape and explore the surface of, well I guess you could call it the under-earth, and find themselves besieged by mysterious masked men who burn their tents and trucks and leave them even worse off than they started. The above and more all happen in span of the first 30 minutes. And at almost exactly 30 minutes, they reach Atlantis; the film barrels on fast and faster from there. We learn of a dying monarch—the Atlantean king (voiced by Leonard Nimoy) and his daughter Princess Kida (Cree Summer)—and mysterious power crystals that are tied to the life force of the ancient Atlanteans themselves. Milo and Kida embark on an oddly forced relationship, which just sort of happens because it happens. And the weirdest of all, Milo’s team turns on him, as they attempt to take the riches of Atlantis back to the surface for themselves, only to rejoin his side several minutes later. Obviously, their wishy-washy ways were bigger part of the original story—presumably elaborated in the character building moments that would’ve made the double cross more surprising (which it isn’t here; like the lame love story, it just sort of happens—as do most things in the film). The quick reconciliation is even sillier as it only undoes something that barely made sense, or impact, before.

In fact, a big reason why “Atlantis” both works and doesn’t is Milo’s team—led by cold Colonel Rourke (James Garner) and his blonde femme fatale bombshell of a sidekick Helga Sinclair (Claudia Christian)—who make their way to the center of the earth, where Atlantis supposedly lay, with a massive submersible, and apparently an entire regiment of militant mercenaries in tow. These team members include Italian explosive expert Vinny Santorini (Don Novello); feisty female mechanic Audrey Ramirez (Jacqueline Obradors); a radio operator who should be living the life of a retiree named Ms. Packard (Florence Stanley); Dr. “Strongbear” Sweet (Phil Morris); a crusty old cook nicknamed “Cookie” Farnsworth (Jim Varney, in what would be his last role); and a creepy little Frenchman, with beady eyes and the botched face of a rodent, whose an authority mining/digging and appropriately called “The Mole” (Corey Burton). With such a large cast, it’s clear the filmmakers wanted to have as many characters to develop as possible—their way of filling the original runtime. It’s a shame then that so many of the character are underdeveloped to never evolve beyond the archetypal.

I like “Atlantis: The Lost Empire”. Saying that I like it a lot would be overly generous, so let’s just say I like it more than Disney’s 40th animated feature, “The Emperor’s New Groove”, and many of the movies Disney produced during the company’s so-called Dark Ages. But almost exactly like its llama-led predecessor, “Atlantis” is a film that could’ve been a masterpiece, and instead… isn’t. It’s the product of grand ambition, with lofty goals sadly never achieved. Technically—and I use technically in strict terms of the technology behind the animation—the film is impressive; a marvel unlike anything else in the company catalog. Gorgeously animated in the epic scope of 2.35:1 widescreen with an angular, distinctly un-Disney art style influenced by the comic books of Mike Mignola—who served as the film’s production designer—and integrating 3D CGI models on a scale that at the time was never before attempted in traditional animation, “Atlantis” is a visual treat. Unfortunately, the innovative use of technology and eye-catching design is almost entirely undone by a hackneyed script that came about through a series of ruinous rewrites and production woes.

The crew’s unofficial motto while making “Atlantis” was the cheeky, “fewer songs; more explosions.” The musical had been done, to death, and Wise and Trousdale—who had already written and directed “Hunchback” and the garden of earthly delights that is the Disney renaissance’s most masterful creation, “Beauty and the Beast” (1991)—wanted to revive another part of the company legacy. They wanted to make a film in the style of the live action adventure films Walt put into production during the 1950's and 60's. Without musical numbers, the crew would have ample time to devote to character development and actual action sequences. Without an elaborate piece of song and dance clogging up the place between the plot, the filmmakers could take the time to let their characters have a simple conversation around a campfire. And then there’s the action, which could be choreographed as complexly as something from a musical, only far more violent; with its well-earned PG rating, “Atlantis” remains a rarity in mostly G-rated Disney animation stable. Even with its problems, the film does have expert action, including an exciting climax in which Milo leads a group of Atlanteans in an airborne assault against a dirigible piloted by Rourke. It’s amongst my favorite end “battles” in all of Disney-dom, in part because the animation in that sequence offers an incredibly articulate blend of style, and the contrasting traditional and CG mediums.

In its attempt at aping old adventure films, “The Lost Empire” takes a page, and more than a few film frames from “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” (1954). Although the Disney-produced, Richard Fleisher directed adaptation from 1954 is a key source the filmmakers looked to for inspiration, a more easier explanation of what the finished product is like might be “Stargate” (1994) meets Jules Verne, with a dash of the "Indiana Jones" franchise (1981-2008)—or at least the serials that Steven Spielberg and George Lucas took their inspiration—thrown in. Which sounds like a winning combination, doesn’t it? It might have been had the screenplay—with one of its earliest drafts written by a certain Joss Whedon—not lost a third of the original 155 pages in transition to screen. Sequences were deleted, and abandoned, well beyond the writing stage, which is unusual in animation, and a telling sign of the trouble the picture had behind the scenes. The original opening prologue was cut at the last minute, despite being fully animated in color. It survives on the blu-ray in full as a supplement, along with about 15 minutes of other material. Many more sequences not included were lost in the shuffle of the various re-writes, too.

The many character-building “campfire” scenes that were in the original script are stripped down to a single scene. And a majority of the journey Milo, et al make into the molten depths and back out into the air of Atlantis, with trials and tribulations that would’ve bonded them, takes place in montage—a layering of maps and miscellaneous scenes, not unlike the effects seen in "Indiana Jones", or the older adventure serials to which both owe the editing aesthetic. The result is too rushed to have a lasting impact, but I’ll be damned if “Atlantis” isn’t an entertaining, and admittedly empty, watch.

Despite its issues, the completed film, running at a considerably streamlined hour and a half, is fun, but, as a result of the screenplay’s obvious truncation, remains feverishly paced. “Atlantis” jumps from action scene to action scene, with little time in-between for those character moments and so-called campfire scenes that were part of the original concept. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the furious and fantastically animated action as it unfolds, but stepping back and looking objectively at both the plot—which is pathetically sketched—and near non-existent character arcs, the script clearly has more holes than a piece of rank, rotten and especially porous Swiss cheese even the rats aboard the metaphorical leaky, sinking ship that is “Atlantis” would turn their nose up at.

The less said about “Atlantis: Milo’s Return”, a sort-of-sequel to “The Lost Empire”, the better. Like a lot of Disney’s Direct-to-Video productions, “Return”—in my opinion, the House of Mouse’s fourth worst Direct to video animated film ever produced; partly because it very obviously wasn’t intended as a film at all—was meant to setup a television show. Unfortunately, or perhaps I should say fortunately considering the shockingly shoddy quality of the animation and overall execution, this would-be TV series was abandoned when “The Lost Empire” under-performed at the box office. Although plans for the television show fell through, a majority of the pilot episode, or episodes, were already completed, and rather than scuttle the material, it was quickly and amateurishly salvaged into something that vaguely resembled a barely feature-length movie for the home video market.

“Milo’s Return” is borderline unwatchable. Plot? There sort of isn’t one. Rather, three disconnected stories, each solved in about 25 minutes, have been smashed together to add up to a total runtime just north of an hour without credits. Brief though it may be, “Milo’s Return” is actually a laborious task to get through. Unlike “The Last Empire”, which had enough plot for another hour, but had to be cut down and feels rushed, “Return” has the opposite problem. There simply isn’t enough here; its just the three tangentially linked stories that episodically lead to the next. Some of the original voice cast is missing. The delightful Fox was perfect as Milo—and I don’t usually praise voice acting. But, presumably due to scheduling or cost, Fox was replaced by an insufficient imitator (James Arnold Taylor) in the DTV sequel; Cookie, too, is a different actor, although understandably so, considering Varney died before the first film was completed. The worst part of “Milo’s Return” is the annoyingly inarticulate animation—done in a cheaper, almost child-like style that looks more like an awful animatic than a fully animated feature when watched in tandem with the first film. The sequel is ugly, and worse still, completely unentertaining. Frankly, I’m glad Milo never returned.

“Atlantis: The Lost Empire”: B-
“Atlantis: Milo’s Return”: F

Video

Disney’s decision to cram two features onto one Blu-ray disc will no doubt displease some—a few on principle alone. Indeed, part of me wishes they’d just given “The Lost Empire” its own BD-50, and dropped “Milo’s Return” altogether. But most the problems that plague both the first film and its sordid sequel likely trace back to the source, and have less to do with compression and the arbitrary use of disc space.

The good news is, the film anyone in their right mind actually cares about—“The Lost Empire”—looks very good on Blu-ray, even with the restricted confines (essentially a single layer BD-25). “Atlantis” arrives with a generally fine looking, if not entirely problem-free, 2.35:1 widescreen 1080p 24/fps AVC MPEG-4 encoded transfer, taken from the original CAPS files. Although produced on 70mm film (“Atlantis” is one of the few Disney animations to originate on a large-format stock), with its extensive use of CGI, and computer-based color-fill and shading, “Atlantis” was essentially a digital production. Predominately cast in blues and grays, with intense backlighting and intentionally oppressive shadow, the picture has a dark and dim quality to many scenes. Scenes, especially those early on in the caverns deep below the surface, that are often lit by a direct source, like a lamp or truck light, reveal only the faintest of detail in what’s meant to be seen. Its contrast-y and less colorful palette give “Atlantis” a look that’s fairly far from what could be considered conventionally attractive. It’s not bright, bold, and bursting with lush candy-coated color. But line art is distinct, and the intricate CG offers impressive texture detail.

A purely a subjective issue in aesthetics, is the style of the film itself. Personally, I think it looks great; but I know many others who find the harsh, angular style, and elaborate integration of CG elements onto a traditional 2D plane both unattractive and awkward. Again it comes down to how you take to the unique style of the art. The film’s strength is its style—and the strange sort of retro-future from two eras present in the picture (an anachronistic 1914; and the ancient Atlantis, which has technology far more advanced than even today).

The encode is not perfect, revealing trace amounts of aliasing, at least one burst of blocking artifacts, and a few bouts of severe banding in the underwater scenes with the Ulysses submarine and the Leviathan, as well as a hint of haloing around strongly contrasted objects in a handful of scenes. But at least some these issues seem to be inborn in the CG and/or traditional animation itself.

“Milo’s Return” is an ugly movie, and its 1080p 24/fps AVC MPEG-4 encoded transfer, framed at 1.66:1 widescreen, reflects this to a fault. The inarticulate animation is choppy, and rife with issues; the line art is simplistic, and the overall design favors a crude, flat, style that lacks texture and detail. Colors are muddy and dull. Aliasing abounds, artifacts run rampant, and banding is even more bothersome than it is in the first film. It’s hard to know who’s at fault for most of the flaws present in this high def rendering—the current crew at Disney in charge of authoring and compression, or the original filmmakers, animators and other artists, who I hope to god either actually learned the craft, no longer work at Disney or anywhere else. For most of the runtime, “Return” resembles a DVD rather than a Blu-ray; indeed, comparing it to the included standard def disc reveals little upgrade in detail. The lower resolution might even help hide some of the more egregious issues inborn in the animation.

“Atlantis: The Lost Empire”: B+
“Atlantis: Milo’s Return”: D

Audio

With sound design courtesy of Gary Rydstrom and a spirited score by James Newton Howard, it’s of little surprise that “The Lost Empire’s” DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack (48kHz/24-bit) is the highlight of its AV presentation. In fact, it’s the best thing about this entire release. The movie literally opens with an explosive bang, which sets off an impressive rumbling tidal wave as the atlantean’s airborne defences—namely their hover bikes—race toward the city, as citizens run screaming below. It’s an impressive set piece, and the film hardly lets up from the outset. The track makes terrific use of surrounds for both subtle ambience and rousing, perfectly panned, action effects, low-end frequently bottoms out with booming bass, and dialogue remains intelligible throughout the film, even in its most chaotic moments. In that sense, I suppose it’s a good thing “Atlantis” is a less interested in character development, favoring one relentless action scene after another, if for no other reason than it makes for a fantastic sound mix, which sounds spectacular on Blu-ray.

On the other hand, the lossless audio track on “Atlantis: Milo’s Return” is about as unimpressive as you’d expect. It’s not awful, which I guess is a compliment considering everything else about the film is, but it’s much blander than its bigger budgeted brother. “Milo’s Return” may share the same DTS-HD Master Audio codec and 5.1 configuration (48kHz/24-bit) as its sibling, but the much smaller sequel offers an innately less significant mix—not as dynamic, lacking both the hefty LFE and immersive surround activity. Dialogue is thinner, if still intelligible. Like the DTV production as a whole, “Return’s” meagre soundtrack reminds that it was cut-rate; a cheaply, amateurishly, made movie. However, unlike the unwatchable film itself, and the atrocious video transfer, the audio offers a bland but palatable experience.

Both “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” and “Atlantis: Milo’s Return” include the same set of dub and sub options: French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 surround soundtracks; English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.

“Atlantis: The Lost Empire”: A+
“Atlantis: Milo’s Return”: B-

Extras

Unlike the barebones “The Emperor’s New Groove/Kronk’s New Groove” two-pack released at the same time, “Atlantis: The Lost Empire’s” maiden voyage to Blu-ray comes with a considerable amount content in the cargo hold. Despite sharing a dual layered BD-50 blu-ray disc with its rightfully derided, deplorable DTV sequel—the miserable “Milo’s Return”—all of the significant supplements from the 2-disc DVD release have been carried over. These include an audio commentary, a magnificent making of documentary, a few featurettes, and more.

DISC ONE: BLU-RAY

“Atlantis: The Lost Empire” includes a copious amount of the bonus content, which first appeared on the film’s fantastic double-disc Collector’s Edition DVD set released in 2002. Gone are the visual enhancements to the audio commentary, the endless art galleries and the complex tri-mode menu system. But what remains—an audio commentary with the crew, a massive multi-part making of documentary, deleted scenes and more—more than make up for what’s missing.

The audio commentary with producer Don Hahn and directors Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale is an enlightening listen, with the three major players in the production offering insight into the pictures origins and rocky road to theaters. From the earliest days of writing to the final days before release, almost every base is covered in this terrific track. What’s missing—a retrospective reflection on the lukewarm if not overtly cold critical response and underperformance at the box office—is understandable, if for no other reason than the track was recorded before anyone knew “Atlantis” would bomb, or eventually become a supposed cult classic on video.

Prefer a visual element for your dive into the depths of “Atlantis” and its production history? Look no further than Michael Pellerin’s massive documentary “The Making of ‘Atlantis’” (1.78:1/2.35:1 variable anamorphic widescreen 480p, 1 hour 59 minutes 51 seconds). Pellerin produced and directed the encyclopedic explorations of Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy seen on the extended DVD and Blu-ray releases of those films, so it’s of little (in fact no) surprise that he’s incredibly thorough here, delivering a documentary that’s almost a half an hour longer than the 96-minute final cut of “Atlantis”. Hahn, Wise, Trousdale, credited screenwriter Tab Murphy, production designer Mike Mignola, the entire voice cast, then-current president of Disney Animation Thomas Schumacher, and many, many others appear in this tastefully put together multi-part piece. The individual chapters are titled as follows:

- “Tour Intro”
- “The Journey Begins”
- “Creating Mythology”
- “Finding the Story”
- “Designing ‘Atlantis’”
- “Setting the Scene”
- “The Voices of Atlantis”
- “Creating the Characters”
- “Digital Production”
- “Music and Sound”
- “Atlantis Found”

“How to Speak Atlantean” (1.78:1 non-anamorphic 480i, 2 minutes 13 seconds) is a featurette with Marc Okrand, the film’s linguist, who created the Atlanean language infrequently heard in the film from scratch. The featurette is done in the style of a vintage newsreel or educational film.

“DisneyPedia: Atlantis – Fact or Fiction” (1.33:1, 6 minutes 37 seconds) is a featurette that gives a rundown on the myth of ancient Atlantis. It’s geared toward the kiddies.

A sub-menu marked “Publicity” houses three trailers from the ad campaign:

- Theatrical trailer #1 (1.33:1 480i, 1 minute 9 seconds).
- Theatrical trailer #2 (1.66:1 non-anamorphic 480i, 1 minute 17 seconds).
- Theatrical trailer #3 (1.66:1 non-anamorphic 480i, 2 minutes 54 seconds).

A sub-menu “Deleted Scenes” includes 4 sequences that didn’t make it into the final cut of the film:

- The original opening, which was deleted after it was fully animated in color, can be found under “The Viking Prologue” (2.35:1 widescreen 1080p, 2 minutes 5 seconds).
- The three other deleted sequences, presented in much rougher form—either an animatic or storyboard, with temp dialogue, Foley, and score—are titled as follows:

-- “The Squid Bats” (2.35:1 non-anamorphic 480i, 6 minutes 27 seconds).
-- “The Lava Whales” (2.35:1 non-anamorphic 480i, 3 minutes 40 seconds).
-- “The Land Beast” (2.35:1 non-anamorphic 480i, 4 minutes 28 seconds).

Pre-menu bonus trailers are for:

- "Disney Digital Copy" promo (1080p, 1 minute 4 seconds).
- "Disney Rewards" promo (1080p, 20 seconds).
- “Epic Mickey 2: The Power of 2” (1080p, 30 seconds).
- "Radio Disney" promo (1080p, 30 seconds).
- “Mulan & Mulan II: 15th Anniversary” on Blu-ray (1080p, 1 minute 30 seconds).
- “Super Buddies” on Blu-ray (1080p, 15 seconds).
- “Return to Neverland” on Blu-ray (1080p, 1 minute).
- “Tinkerbell: Quest for the Queen” (1080p, 1 minute 14 seconds).

“Milo’s Return” includes a lone extra: a short deleted scene dubbed “The Baby Kraken” (1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen 480i, 32 seconds).

DISC TWO: DVD (“The Lost Empire”)

The standard def DVD-9 rendering of “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” offers viewers the choice between its original 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen format and a cropped 1.33:1 full frame version. Both encodes offer an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack with optional English subtitles. The packaging incorrectly states that the DVD includes the making of documentary, and oddly omits the audio commentary and several other special features that disc actually does contain.

Hahn, Trousdale and Wise’s audio commentary is only available on the widescreen version of the film. The “Viking Prologue” original opening, “ How to Speak Atlantean” and The DisneyPedia” featurettes seen on the Blu-ray are redundantly available here.

A menu marked “Digital Models” includes two render reels of “The Leviathan” (1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen, 2 minutes 5 seconds) and “The Ulysses” (1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen, 2 minutes 12 seconds). Both models are seen in various stages of the creation process, from wire-frame to final integration into the finished film.

Bonus trailers are for:

- “Beauty and the Beast: Special Edition” on DVD (1.33:1, 2 minutes 16 seconds).
- “Cinderella II: Dreams Come True” on DVD and VHS (1.33:1, 1 minute 12 seconds).

DISC THREE: DVD (“Milo’s Return”)

“Atlantis: Milo’s Return” is presented in 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen with English DTS 5.1 and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound, a French Dolby 2.0 dub and optional English subtitles. Special features include an interactive game called “The Search for the Spear of Destiny”, and the “Kraken Baby” deleted sequence seen on the Blu-ray.

Bonus trailers are for:

- “The Lion King: Special Edition” on DVD (1.66:1 non-anamorphic widescreen, 1 minute 35 seconds).
- “The Haunted Mansion” (1.33:1, 58 seconds).
- “The Jungle Book 2” on DVD and VHS (1.66:1 non-anamorphic widescreen, 1 minute 31 seconds).
- “Stitch: The Movie” on DVD and VHS (1.33:1, 1 minute).
- “Bionicle: Mask of Light” on DVD and VHS (1.33:1, 40 seconds).
- “Kim Possible” (1.33:1, 30 seconds).
- “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” on 2-Disc DVD (1.33:1, 1 minute 5 seconds).

Packaging

Disney delivers this “Atlantis” two-pack in a 3-disc Special Edition. Calling it that seems a bit silly. Only one of the three discs is a Blu-ray— region free, dual layered BD-50—and it contains both “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” and its sequel, “Milo’s Return”, in high definition, and a sizeable selection of supplements for the first film. The other two discs are DVD's, each with an additional copy of the films in standard definition and a smattering of supplements. The discs are housed in a two-disc case, with the two DVD's stacked on top of each other. First pressings include a cardboard slip-cover.

Overall

“Atlantis: The Lost Empire” is fast and fun, but undeniably flawed, adventure film. While anomalies—both the compression kind, and those inherent to the unusual CG-integrated source—present infrequent problems in an otherwise impressive 1080p video transfer, the film’s lossless DTS-HD Master Audio track is nothing short of amazing. On the other hand, everything about the sequel is horrible. Well, no; it’s audio track is decent for being low budget direct-to-video. Because “The Lost Empire” retains a reasonable amount of its DVD-era bonus content, Disney’s “Atlantis” two-fer is more satisfying than the comparable “Stitch” and “Groove” double features, which lose nearly all of their special features. Recommended for fans.

NOTE: Film, Video, and Audio scores below are averages, as is the Overall score, which takes the entire package into account. Look at the body of this review for individual scores.

The Film: C Video: B- Audio: B+ Extras: B+ Overall: B-

 


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