It’s hard to watch a childhood favourite when you’re all grown up, only to realize it is not nearly as good as you once thought it was. This is exactly what I had to come to terms with when watching Pocahontas for its Blu Ray release 17 years after its theatrical release.
Disney has included a duo of Pocahontas and Pocahontas II: Journey To A New World, both remastered in high definition for the Blu Ray release.
For the few of you who haven’t seen the first film, Pocahontas tells the story of the British traveling to North America in search of gold, only to fall into quarrels with the Native Indians they meet upon their arrival. A love affair begins when John Smith befriends Pocahontas and it is up to them to bring peace to the warring sides.
What I failed to notice when I was a child is how basically flawed the entire story is. Character motivations are highly contrived, while the endless campaign of poorly sung musical numbers becomes tired very quickly. The saving grace is the Academy Award winning Best Original Song “Colours of the Wind” brilliantly sung by Judy Kuhn.
In part 2, Pocahontas travels as a peace ambassador to England, only to discover an old foe attempting to sabotage her visit.
Oddly enough, the sequel delivered a more satisfying film than its predecessor. The humour is about the same, whereas the story and characters seem less contrived. Not a brilliant film by any stretch of the imagination, but descent enough for this adult to sit through.
For this Blu Ray + DVD combo pack, both films look better than they ever did before. The special features are not the most impressive set, but there are a few interesting ones to check out. The Audio Commentary and The Music Of Pocahontas really gives us insight into the making of the movie. The other features, while interesting, only serve as distant relatives to the feature film. They include Drawing Inspiration: The Lost Story Of Hiawatha, “Little Hiawatha” Cartoon Short, Deleted Song: “If I Never Knew You”, and Deleted Scenes.
Bottom Line: Unless you’re a huge fan of the film or need it to complete your collection, you would be better off renting this Blu Ray release.
Movie Grades: Pocahontas: C-/Pocahontas II: Journey To A New World: C
Blu Ray Grade B+
Runtimes: Pocahontas: 81 minutes/Pocahontas II: Journey To A New World: 73 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1