George: Disney has released four Blu-ray sets this past week. We reviewed Oz the Great and Powerful last week so that leaves us three films to cover this week! Disney has released combo packs for Lilo & Stitch, Atlantis and Emperor’s New Groove. Like other Blu-ray releases, the combo pack has the Blu-ray and DVD discs. The three releases also follow other Disney Blu-rays with the addition of the direct-to-video sequel. Are these perfect summertime films? Should you add these to your collection? Will George ever stop typing?
Jeff: Man, that George certainly has a lot of questions! Let’s start off by looking at the Lilo & Stitch disc. There isn’t much more we can say about the original film at this point; I’ve always loved it immensely, and enjoy watching it. The over saturation of Stitch in the theme parks does nothing to sour the original film in my mind. I still find it very lovable and full of heart! Unfortunately, that same heart doesn’t translate as well to Stitch Has A Glitch, the second film. It’s kind of all over the place. However, it is by no means the worse direct to video sequel that Disney has produced.
George: Lilo & Stitch has always reminded me of a Studio Ghibli/Myizaki film; it’s simply gorgeous and, like Jeff said, it has so much heart. It’s cute and fluffy! So, the disappointing news is that there are no extras on the Lilo & Stitch combo pack. You’re just getting the two films. Nothing else. Sadly, you’re going to hear that several times in this review.
Jeff: That’s the unfortunate thing about these three releases. They are some pretty great films, but are bare bones. But, we’ll get to that in a second. Because next up, we have the Atlantis combo pack! Containing both the original film Atlantis: The Lost Empire and Atlantis: Milo’s Return, it’s almost the same as Lilo and Stitch. While the original Atlantis doesn’t get a lot of credit, it certainly deserves it. I think it’s definitely a product of its time, but it’s definitely a good film when standing on its own.
George: I’ve always seen Atlantis in the same vein as Treasure Planet. They both have a steam-punk vibe that has really captured a cult following of sorts. I enjoyed Atlantis, but like Treasure Planet, felt that they both missed the mark somewhere. Michael J. Fox and the voice cast of Atlantis were fantastic, but it’s still not one of my all-time favorite Disney films. The extras on the Blu-ray are found on the DVD section of the pack. It seems to be the same special features that were released with the previous DVD.
Jeff: As for the sequel, Milo’s Return, I think the less said about it the better. It was made as a prequel to an upcoming television series, and it’s evident by the animation quality and plot cuts. It clearly was made as three separate episodes, and then smashed together to form one long plot line. Audiences didn’t take to this film so much, and it’s abysmal performance is evident of that. Definitely not their best work. There are a few special features for the sequel, comprised mostly of deleted scenes that don’t really add anything to the story.
George: The last set is The Emperor’s New Groove/Kronk’s New Groove. I’ve always loved the Emperor’s New Groove and find myself quoting from it years later (“Boom, baby!” and “No touchy, no touchy”). We watch it on occasion and always find the film charming and entertaining. Not so much for Kronk’s New Groove. I’m always surprised when the original voice actors (especially when they’re fairly notable) return for a direct-to-video sequel. I’m always thankful that Iger squashed the sequels and I was a little frightened when Pixar’s Planes was announced. The dirge of sequels has been bemoaned by many animation fans and will really be seen as a dark time for the company.
Jeff: I absolutely agree. While Emperor’s New Groove isn’t what it was originally meant to be, it’s still an enjoyable film. The sequel, not so much. But that’s OK, because I believe the Original is more than enough to make up for it! The Downside is that there are no special features featured on this disc.
So, it looks like Lilo & Stitch is a definite buy. We’re both big fans of the film and love the Blu-ray treatment. We both enjoyed the feature films of the Atlantis and New Groove packs, but found the lack of extras very disappointing. Grab the other films if you’re a fan of them!
Are these a worthwhile addition? What do you want to see Disney release on Blu-ray?
By Jeff Heimbuch and George Taylor
The Disney Review is written and edited by Jeff Heimbuch and George Taylor
Other places you can find George and Jeff:
- The 626 (Jeff)
- ImagiNERDing (George)
- From the Mouth of the Mouse (Jeff)
- Communicore Weekly The Greatest Online Show ™ (Jeff and George)
You can also see us EVERY week on Communicore Weekly on the MiceChat Youtube Channel.