Milo is like myself," said John Pomeroy, who was given the responsibility of animating the hero of ATLANTIS. "I felt personal identification with him, more than usual with the characters I've animated. Even though Milo is the result of the collaboration of many people and originated from many sources, it felt like we grew up together for three years."
Pomeroy is an animation veteran whose Disney work stretches back to characters such as WINNIE THE POOH and Tigger, Elliot in PETE'S DRAGON, and Penny, the little girl in THE RESCUERS. More recently, he supervised John Smith, the strapping hero of POCAHONTAS, and the Firebird at the climax of FANTASIA 2000.
The key to Milo, Pomeroy said, is that, "He's led his life in enclosures. All his training has been in laboratories and out of books. He has no worldly experience. Of course, this means he clashes completely with Rourke and the other mercenaries, which is the source of much of the drama and comedy. Initially they treat him as a freak, shun him. The story is how he slowly melts the ice until they're willing to follow him."
Pomeroy joined the ATLANTIS team in 1997. "There was already a year's worth of material at that time, lots of graphics and sketches. I had to synthesize it all through my brain. I also did a minute's-worth of experimental animation at the start, deciding what would and wouldn't work. There were about forty ‘designs' for me to consider, though these were only sketches, not drawn with attention to moveable design. I whittled the sketches down to four or five, boiling down a basic design concept.