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Blu-ray Review: Disney Pulls ‘Atlantis,’ ‘Lilo & Stitch’ From Vaults

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CHICAGO – Things were a little rocky in the world of Disney animation in the ’00s as the comeback of the late ’80s and ’90s gave way to more success for Pixar than Disney proper. Films like “Dinosaur,” “Treasure Planet,” and “Brother Bear” won’t be getting theme park ride revivals any day soon. However, there were a few decent flicks in this era, and two of them, 2001’s “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” and 2002’s “Lilo & Stitch,” were just released in Blu-ray combo packs.

“Atlantis” is the better of the two films and it gets the better HD treatment as well. The first sci-fi flick in the Disney canon, “Atlantis” still has what I would call one of the strongest visual palettes of any Disney film. Inspired by Mike Mignola’s art, the film looks much better than you remember, especially in HD. “Lilo & Stitch” probably looks worse. The character design for this fish out of water tale about a girl and her pet alien is truly lackluster and the HD transfer looks sub-par. Technically, “Atlantis” is superior in every way.

Neither “Atlantis” nor “Lilo & Stitch” made much of a cultural or financial impact when they were released but both surely have loyal fans. “Atlantis” is really like nothing else Disney has made before or since and has built a cult following for that reason alone. It’s a decent action flick that came at a time when musicals and CGI were dominating the market. I still see Stitch paraphernalia at the Disney store every once in awhile and his debut film surely has fans who grew up with it who may want to see if it has held up.

Both combo pack sets come with the lackluster straight-to-DVD sequels that tried to cash in on Disney hits far too often in the ’90s and ’00s. Neither are really worth a look outside of hardcore fans. Special features are limited on “Atlantis” and non-existent on “Lilo” but that’s to be expected given the lack of “Platinum” status for these films.

Atlantis: The Lost Empire was released on Blu-ray on June 11, 2013
Atlantis: The Lost Empire was released on Blu-ray on June 11, 2013
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

“Atlantis: 2 Movie Collection”

Synopsis:
The creators of The Lion King and Beauty And The Beast take you under the sea into an amazing world of excitement and exploration. Discover Atlantis: The Lost Empire and Atlantis: Milo’s Return - together for the first time on Blu-ray, complete with digitally restored high definition picture and sound.

Set your course for adventure as Milo Thatch and his fearless crew dive into the mysteries of the sea. The group’s underwater expedition brings them face-to-face with gigantic sea monsters, spectacular spirits and the mythical land of Atlantis while they discover the power of friendship and teamwork. Loaded with thrills and stunning visual effects, this sensational 2-Movie Collection invites you on an unforgettable voyage you’ll want to experience over and over again!

Special Features:
o Deleted Scenes
o The Making Of Atlantis
o How To Speak Atlantean
o Atlantis - Fact Or Fiction

“Lilo & Stitch: 2 Movie Collection”

Synopsis:
Disney proudly presents the hilarious family favorite Lilo & Stitch and its sensational sequel Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has A Glitch on Blu-ray for the first time with perfect picture and sound. Relive two unforgettable comedies about bringing friends and family together even when they seem worlds apart, in one incredible collection!

Lilo is a lonely little girl, and Stitch is a mischievous little creature from outer space. When Stitch crash-lands in Hawaii, Lilo adopts him as her pet, but he soon turns her world upside down. The laughter continues as Stitch helps Lilo prepare for the big island hula contest in the hysterical sequel. Discover that ‘ohana means family, and celebrate the unbreakable bonds of friendship like never before with these two unforgettable movies on Disney Blu-ray!

Special Features:
None

2 Film Collection Blu-ray/DVD Combo Packs for “Atlantis” and “Lilo & Stitch” were released on June 11, 2013.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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