top-left
top-right

Animated Views logo


top-left
top-right

Pocahontas: 10th Anniversary Edition

Walt Disney Feature Animation (June 23 1995), Walt Disney Home Entertainment (May 3 2005), 2 discs, 84 mins plus supplements, 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, Rated G, Retail: $29.99

Storyboard:

Set in the “New World” of discovery – America on the cusp of invasion by the British – we find fun-loving Pocahontas living free among her Native American Indian folk. When adventurer John Smith and the greedy Governor Ratcliffe come to shore with hopes of finding riches and gold, the young Indian princess is drawn to the handsome Smith, who follows her into the woods. When they meet, it’s love at first sight, and a powerful force brings them together, with language no barrier that can’t be overcome. Ratcliffe finds out about Smith’s private encounters and uses him to locate the Indians, who see the newcomers as hostile animals. Likewise, Ratcliffe sees the Indians as savages and vows to rid the colony of them in the belief that they are hording the “gold” for themselves, and Pocahontas and Smith find their love in danger of becoming exposed and ripped apart by the events around them. When Smith is captured by the Indians, and Ratcliffe declares war, Pocahontas must choose which path she will ultimately take in trying to save those she loves…

pchnts-se-02.JPG

The Sweatbox Review:

As the punchline to the old joke goes… “What’s a hontas?”

Ten years after Disney’s ambitious animated musical first debuted in theaters, this anniversary edition DVD is a timely reminder of one of the Studio’s most overlooked and much-maligned features. After the box off punch of Beauty And The Beast and The Lion King, Disney’s then Studio head Jeffrey Katzenberg was on a roll, and he was determined to build on the mature aspects of these successes and create a blockbuster epic that would wow the Oscar Academy into handing out the first ever award for an animated Best Picture, which Beauty And The Beast had come close to with its nomination in 1992.

Again the answer lay in the story of a heroine – traditionally a Disney strong point – and again the artwork would be filled with the big, wide, broad strokes that had filled the canvases of Disney’s animation renaissance. And that’s where they pretty much came unstuck: trying, perhaps a little too hard, to catch lighting in a bottle for a second time. Though by no means the misfire that critics (and to an extent the Disney Studio itself) would have anyone believe, it is true that Pocahontas can be a little “long” for young kids to sit through, with its mysticism filling in for any real magical goings on, a villain who is more pompous than outwardly scary or theatrical, and a frankly adult tale of two people from opposite sides falling in love.

pchnts-se-03.JPG

Though at the time of release Pocahontas was criticised for taking the true legend and playing fast with facts and figures, it’s important to remember that one is watching a Disney animated film here: an idealised version – as with many films – of events. True, Pocahontas’ age has been risen, though not as significantly as historians would have you believe, and John Smith has been transformed into a loveable rogue as opposed to the rather portly older man he was. But this is Hollywood romance time and to be fair the film sticks to the truth that Pocahontas and Smith didn’t end up together and it wasn’t until the Indian princess later came to London that she would ever see him again.

Historical gripes aside, the film plays through as a decent, mature, musical drama. That’s not to say it’s not suitable for kids – for many this is their first introduction to films with more layers and underlying themes to them. But perhaps the main fault with Pocahontas is that everything is done with much more of a po-faced nature, with a forced gravitas that often doesn’t seem actually needed or work. There were, in early drafts, animal character friends of Pocahontas that could talk, and perhaps that would have lightened the mood, those these were cut in favor of a more introspective mood, where the creatures of Pocahontas are “real” animals, who do not speak and who merely follow her around for the fun of it. Pocahontas’ actual confidant (a CGI/hand-drawn hybrid, much championed at the time) is Grandmother Willow, a mystically enchanted talking tree spirit who, one argues, could be a figment of Pocahontas’ own imagination and is planted simply in the spot where she goes to think and be by herself.

pchnts-se-04.JPG

In fact, most of all this works, and the only reason that Pocahontas may have really been derided at the time may have been something deleted from the film in test screenings: a musical number, If I Never Knew You, that sealed Pocahontas’ and John Smith’s love, but which seemed to slow the film down and cause the youngsters to fidget. The victim of much discussion on whether to leave in or out, the song eventually ended up being almost totally animated during the course of production, and here it has been finally inked and painted, and inserted, Human Again and Morning Report style, back into the film, along with another surprise, a smaller change, later in the film.

With If I Never Knew You back in the film, Pocahontas works so much better and certainly more coherently as a whole. The lead characters’ lives, which had been so intertwined until this point (the moment happens late in the film, where Smith is being held captive), really needed some kind of final binding, and how better than to do this in a musical than with a powerful heartfelt song sequence? Had If I Never Knew You premiered in the originally released edition, I have no doubt that Pocahontas would have been heralded as the kind of Disney film that intelligent adults could have gone and seen without the kids for once, and could have avoided the often used “too slow for kids, not enough depth for adults” routine.

pchnts-se-07.jpg

It’s a marvel that If I Never Knew You has been inserted back in, and for once I would argue that this is the version that should have been shown back then and be seen evermore, and definitely the version that I urge you to watch on this new DVD edition (purists needed worry – the 1995 theatrical cut is also included). But having If I Never Knew You back in simply rounds the film out more, brings a more poignant closure to Pocahontas’ and Smith’s relationship and lifts the film to a new level. Incidentally, and totally abstractedly, the “new” sequence also brings up Pocahontas’ running time to the 84-minute mark, which has coincidentally been the length of many of the Studio’s most renowned productions: Snow White, The Little Mermaid and Beauty And The Beast all share this length and now Pocahontas can take her deserved place among this line up too.

Fans of the film who previously owned the CAV LaserDisc boxed set of Pocahontas will know that If I Never Knew You is good for a couple of other reasons too: it’s possibly Alan Menken’s strongest melody for a true love duet in a Disney film (Part Of Your World remaining the best “I want” song), and the recording, by Mel Gibson and Judy Kuhn, is an exemplary demonstration of exactly what a strong Hollywood musical performance should all be about. This is quality, folks, and that sweet, lilting harmony on the song’s final lines will get you every time. Those who have seen the sequence in pencil test form may be a little suspicious – as I am – that the “flashback” scenes in the song were perhaps a video cover-up to fill out the visuals more during the length, but these have remained intact here (more delicately “bordered”), so maybe it was intended, but this is a minor note, and the technique is pretty standard for such moments. If I Never Knew You also nicely bookends a moment earlier in the Just Around The Riverbend sequence, which only further illustrates that the song should have always been there. The rest of the songs, as anyone who has seen the film will know, are equally up there with the best of them, though I have to say that I became sick to death of the film’s signature Colors Of The Wind track due to massive over exposure both at the time, in the disc supplements on LD and now this 2-disc DVD set, even though it remains immensely powerful.

pchnts-se-09.JPG

The songs really work because of Alan Menken’s growing prowess as a composer, and lyricist Stephen Schwartz, a composer himself who, one doesn’t wonder, continued to push Menken in the way that Howard Ashman had done, and not simply lend him free reign in the way Menken had taken the lead with Tim Rice. Schwartz, like Ashman, likes his words, and researches them well, delving deep into the subject matter to gather new meaning and reveal others, rather than Rice’s approach, which at times can seem trite and overly elaborate at the same time. Sometimes, in trying to be too clever, Rice’s words don’t quite mesh and need further time to analyse rather than Ashman’s direct and straight to the point wordplay or Schwartz’s multi-layered but deceptively simple lyrics. Menken has hopped from collaborator to collaborator in trying to find a fit as perfect as Ashman and hasn’t worked with Rice again apart from the never realized King David. With Schwartz, he would go on to work on the even more demanding (both for the production and the audience) The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, before Schwartz departed and returned to composing himself the excellent songs for DreamWorks’ debut feature The Prince Of Egypt.

The rest of the score – the actual musical cues – doesn’t fare so well. The songs are great, but the score remains Menken’s blend of musical motif and often heavy-handed “Mickey Mousing” the action. He won another Oscar for it, so can’t have been doing too much wrong, but for me it feels a little light, and one must wonder what performers such as The London Symphony Orchestra might have made of it, or even what a more dramatic composer like Jerry Goldsmith would have fashioned. As such, the music serves the story well enough, and uses many of the songs’ main musical phrases as themes, which I always enjoy picking out and find lend themselves much better to an overall musical score, of which Pocahontas, along with Hunchback, is one of the most tightly woven in Disney films.

On the visual side of things, Pocahontas marked the directorial debut of Eric Goldberg, animator of Aladdin’s Genie and later animation director on Joe Dante’s Looney Tunes movie, Back In Action. Co-directing here with Mike Gabriel (The Rescuers Down Under, Lorenzo), there is little of the lively energy in the animation that usually personifies Goldberg’s (or Gabriel’s, for that matter) work. Everything, like the performances and music, is stately and a little too measured. It’s all done to an exacting perfectionism, of course, and there’s little to actually fault in the drawing, but for a film that really brings humans to the fore with such plotted passions, there’s precious little life in them.

pchnts-se-01.JPG

Likewise the backgrounds owe more to Sleeping Beauty (a fact I recall thinking on original release and is also acknowledged in the supplements here) though they come off as rather flat and one-dimensional (or is that just me being spoilt rotten by the Deep Canvas technique of Tarzan?) – feeling more like a Hollywood movie shot on a soundstage than any other in the Disney line-up. Certainly, coming between the lushness of The Lion King and Hunchback, Pocahontas’ look is more muted, and the Earthy-feel, while intentionally keeping up the sombre mood, doesn’t always help things feel buoyant. One only needs to compare the opening storm at sea, which brings back memories of the much more magical sequences in The Little Mermaid, to witness the different approaches. Where the film does spring to life and color is in the song sequences, where sometimes bold and abstract images take over and the art directors can really have some fun.

Undeserved of its rather glum reputation, this new and very much improved version of Pocahontas might set the record straight, though there are those that will see this adding of the “new” song as nothing more than a marketing ploy. That’s a shame, since the animation for the sequence WAS created during actual production and should have been included first time around, only being cut due to bored children in test screenings. I’ve never really understood why they show half finished animated films to kids anyway: the cry of “where’s the color” on any pencil test puts off any youngster from sitting still, not least in a serious film like this. Finally, mature Disney fans can reclaim Pocahontas as their own, and even for anyone with previous editions, there’s nothing like seeing If I Never Knew You back where it should be. Recommended!

Is This Thing Loaded?

Though Pocahontas was released toward the end of the LaserDisc boxed set boom, it nevertheless got the royal treatment with a deluxe CAV edition that gathered a good deal of behind-the-scenes material and archived it for collectors. Since then, Pocahontas has been pretty much dumped on by Disney, who until now seemed to take the popular view that the film wasn’t one of the under polished jewels in its crown. At last, we’re given the film as it should have been ten years ago, and DVD fans can catch up on all of that LD goodness, while there are enough new features to entice LD collectors too!

pchnts-se-10.jpg

Spinning Disc One for the first time, we’re sat through the usual Sneak Previews for forthcoming Disney discs and films: Cinderella, Tarzan II (which on close up view reveals a mix of pretty standard DTV level animation), Kim Possible: So The Drama, the theatrical trailer for Chicken Little, and via the optional menu, additional trails for Pooh’s Heffalump Movie, Lilo And Stitch 2, the latest Miyazaki wave and the Kim Possible Disney Channel and Princesses lines. The main menu itself is a looping animation of the waterfall where Pocahontas and John Smith meet, with very grainy, pre-digital scenes from the film playing in the water accompanied by instrumental music from the film.

Picking on Bonus Features carries us to several options including a scene specific Audio Commentary for the Special Edition only. This new commentary doesn’t just replicate the one from the 1996 LaserDisc set, as is quickly outlined in the opening remarks by the participants, producer James Pentecost and co-directors Eric Goldberg and Mike Gabriel, who here are speaking eight years after the release. While a new, retrospective track is a big plus, it’s a shame that the older one couldn’t have been reused on the theatrical cut, since it additionally featured Alan Menken, Steven Schwartz, art director Michael Giaimo and co-writer Carl Binder, and was a lively discussion (albeit one edited together from multiple recordings). Here, the three are obviously sat together and offer up their recollections of working on the film, touching on subjects such as the balance of drama and comedy, the depiction of the native American Indians, the language barrier and the inclusion of If I Never Knew You. A nice new incentive for the LD owners, and a cracking, typically filled fun and intelligent Disney animation discussion for the DVD, if not quite as in depth as the original, packed LD track.

Next up are several kid-friendly features, which are eminently skipable by adults and LD owners. The Disney Art Project invites the participant to physically make Pocahontas-related items using household objects. I didn’t make it much past the “what you’ll need” lists, but this full-screen feature would be good for young kids (with parents’ help!) and lasts a good few minutes for each activity. Next is the Follow Your Heart set-top game, which is really just a selection-led activity narrated by Grandmother Willow that profiles the main characters and shows more than anything how good the new digital restoration on the film is, since the clips here are grainy and worn. A couple of Sing-Alongs play the songs Colors Of The Wind and Just Around The Riverbend with the lyrics onscreen, from what seems like an old VHS master, adding up to just over five and a half minutes.

pchnts-se-11.jpg

LD collectors will be pleased with the next offering, the full-length Colors Of The Wind music video, performed as the film’s single by Vanessa Williams, and a notable absentee in that boxed set. It’s your fairly standard Disney pop take, all plinky-plonky synths that were all the rage at the time. The video centers on Vanessa singing in a Hollywood soundstage forest, cut in with clips of the film, and is presented in original full-frame, with an annoying “Soundtrack Available” notice that runs for the first and last 30 seconds. Still, at least we get the entire video, lasting 4:12 minutes. Finally, there’s another, different sneak peek at Tarzan II. Much of the material comes from the same trailer as in the Sneak Peek section, though this 1:45m preview adds soundbites from the voices and a little footage of Phil Collins in the studio recording his new songs.

pchnts-se-17.jpg

Disc Two is where LaserDisc collectors will sense the most déjà vu, with a host of featurettes lifted directly from Pocahontas’ original LD set. First shown on TV during the promotional push for the film, The Making Of Pocahontas is a good piece of fluff, surprisingly in-depth for its 28 minutes. Hosted by Pocahontas’ voice Irene Bedard, also a dead-ringer for the Indian princess, the documentary even plays through here with the same five handy chapter stops on the LaserDisc remaining intact (though not noted anywhere on the packaging). It’s a very nice recap of the production, produced just at the time when such programs were becoming more important to the promoting of a film, but before the DVD boom made them fairly anaemic sales tools. The documentary runs just as it did on TV and on the LD set: despite recent events at the Disney Studio, we still hear from Roy Disney, plus plentiful emphasis on the music and brief chats with the voice talent, including Mel Gibson and Linda Hunt behind the microphone. An excellent inclusion.

pchnts-se-12.jpg

Production looks at the various stages in the film’s creation, all of it featuring featurette clips culled from the LD set. An Early Presentation Reel sets things off, featuring the concept art demo that was shown at the 1992 Frankfurt Book Fair with a demo version of Colors Of The Wind (and I am glad they changed those last lyrics from this version!). New for the DVD is an introduction from James Petecost (replacing the text on the LD) and an additional audio commentary (which actually is featured elsewhere on the LD) from Stephen Schwartz, and the piece runs 3:45m. This new DVD loses a fair amount of Storyboard Art that covered several scenes from the film and appeared on the LD, but does retain the Storyboard To Film Comparison: Pocahontas Meets John Smith clip along with Eric Goldberg’s audio commentary, while replacing the text set up with a new Goldberg intro (1:34m total). Production Progression, which appeared as running clips on the LD, now uses the angle option on your remotes to switch between Storyreel, Rough Animation, Clean Up and Final Color on an early scene from the film. With an Eric Goldberg intro, it all runs around a minute and a half.

Design looks at the creation of the characters with a combination of video clips and gallery images. Glen Keane runs us through the differences in approach he took between drawing his Ariel, in The Little Mermaid, and Pocahontas (4:20), and John Pomeroy speaks about animating John Smith (2:15). Though the DVD retains most of the still gallery images from the LD, it does drop the animation tests of these two characters, which were illuminating in their own rights. Duncan Marjoribanks explains how he created Ratcliffe in another intro (0:50), and we lose two comic pencil tests from the LD, but the DVD does retain a third test, which emphasises the points Marjoribanks makes. Creating Grandmother Willow (2:10) lets us in on the computer animated breakthrough that allowed the tree’s bark to be CGI and her face traditionally drawn, and although the DVD retains one of the three test animations, it was all described in much more depth on the LD.

Creating Meeko and Creating Flit (combined run 2:25) both retain their pencil animation tests, and the remainder of the characters keep their animator profiles and tests where appropriate from the LaserDisc – one to look out for is an early piece of Kekata animation by Geefwee Boedoe, and there’s a delightful test for the deleted character Redfeather, based on John Candy, who would have really seen the film go off in another direction entirely. However, there’s no real placing these tests in context, and it would have been much better to port the LD text pages over as well, which gave a much stronger outline to the clips. Art Director Michael Giaimo discusses Art Design, Layout And Backgrounds in a 2:15m clip, which on the LD also led into still gallery sections on Color Styling, Prop Design, Computer Generated Imagery, but they have been dropped here.

pchnts-se-16.jpg

The Music Of Pocahontas is another straight LD lift, being a seven-minute piece on the songs and score, an obviously important element in Pocahontas. Producer Pentecost, composer Menken and lyricist Schwartz explain the thought process behind the creation of the music and there again is a generous amount of behind-the-scenes footage (including the duo working on the deleted song In The Middle Of The River) and singer Judy Kuhn singing the signature Colors Of The Wind in the sound booth. New to LD viewers will be the If I Never Knew You music video, running just over four minutes. Performed by Jon Secada and Shanice, this is the promo for the end-credit, pop version of the song and has much higher production value than the Vanessa Williams clip. High-flying shots of New York at night, coupled with projected images of Pocahontas on the sides of the buildings, makes for a very evocative and memorable video indeed, even if that “Soundtrack Available” blurb pops up again for 30 seconds at a time. Finally in this section, The Making Of If I Never Knew You looks not at the pop video, but at the completing and inclusion of the new sequence in the film, and is obviously a new piece for the DVD. In the 4:34m clip, composer Alan Menken and, through archive material, Roy Disney and the crew talk us through the process of first cutting the song out and then the decision to bring it back for this release.

Next up is an extensive collection of Deleted Scenes and Miscellaneous Animation. Due to the If I Never Knew You sequence now being finished off and presented as part of the feature, those with the LD and some older editions of the film on DVD may well want to hold on to them for the alternate pencil test version that was included on those discs. It could be because the mix hadn’t been finished yet, or perhaps because it was an early take, but Mel Gibson’s voice in the pencil test version sounds a lot more resonant, sounding lighter in the properly mixed film. However, that scene, as well as a reprise, is missing in the line-up here, for obvious reasons, though it’s a shame not to be able to see the beautiful line drawings that really brought this sequence to life.

pchnts-se-14.jpg

Otherwise, the deleted footage here remains the same for LD owners, right down to the audio commentary remarks from the crew on certain scenes (marked as follows with a C): Below Deck After Thomas’ Rescue, the deleted song Dancing To The Wedding Drum (C), Transition To Just Around The Riverbend, Pocahontas Dresses As An English Woman, and Wiggins Gets Mud Thrown At Him. A second page adds the deleted, and alternate to Colors Of The Wind, song In The Middle Of The River (C), John Smith Escapes (missing the LD commentary), and a Just Around The Riverbend Reprise. Missing from this section on the LaserDisc set is an alternate version of Colors Of The Wind, which had different lyrics, a different visual treatment and an optional audio commentary from Stephen Schwartz. Rounding it up is a selection of abandoned animation that features several alternative scene choices, and some quick snippets of deleted scene extensions, which came with a commentary on the LD, but which has not been carried over here. The scenes shown are primarily a grouping of storyboards, but there is a healthy dose of pencil test animation and even a smattering of fully colored shots, and all told these clips run well over twelve minutes.

pchnts-se-13.jpg

There’s more direct LD porting in The Release section, containing two Theatrical Trailers: the initial Colors Of The Wind sequence teaser as well as a more traditional preview. Both are presented full-frame and run a combined 4:20 minutes. The Premiere In Central Park is the same 3:45m piece as from the LD, featuring footage from the planning and impressive first showing of the film on huge screens set up in New York City. Also from the LD is the Multi-Language Clip Reel (3:35m) which presents Colors Of The Wind (again!), though this time with the fun addition of hearing it presented in a variety of languages which switch automatically throughout. A nice touch is the name of the foreign performer under the language selected. Lastly, a Publicity Gallery features 18 images, which all appeared previously on the LD, including theatrical posters, premiere invites and the special drawings by Glen Keane for the Harper’s Bazaar fashion layout that featured Pocahontas in exclusive designs by Gianni Versace, Anna Sui, Marc Jacobs and Isaac Mizrahi. Again, on the LD, there were quite a few more images, including foreign language posters and production stills.

pchnts-se-15.jpg

So, there you go! While there’s nothing really here to entice international collectors (this edition has basically been available in various regions for a few months now, thus negating the “10th Anniversary” badge), I would urge LaserDisc aficionados to check it out. The LD sets of old were grand affairs, and a more than decent hunting ground for these spiffy special edition DVD sets, with hours of commentaries, documentaries and featurettes ready for the picking and packaging. So far, I’ve not been big on buying several titles, as the LaserDisc set simply continues to outshine the DVD: Alice In Wonderland and Sleeping Beauty losing more than they offer anew on DVD. But with Pocahontas, LD collectors may be torn. I’d have to say go for this new disc, which features just enough new stuff (the new commentary, two music videos, the “proper” cut of the film) to warrant a purchase while not consigning the LD box to the scrapheap (the original commentary, Pocahontas’ Animation Discovery Tour featurette and some features that are just a little more in-depth went AWOL on this new edition). Although it contains much of the recycled material that was featured on that LD set, If I Never Knew You, spruced up and included in the film, is surely worth the price of admission alone.

Case Study:

A hideously off-model Pocahontas graces the front slipcover, also reproduced exactly as is on the actual sleeve underneath. I quite like the idea of slip covers, as they do lend a sense of occasion to the title, though this seems to be the only reason they are added, since most of them add little to the artwork apart from the ones that fold out, storybook style. A “fun” cover that slips off to reveal a more “arty” image on the sleeve (and Pocahontas had a ton of these such “serious” depictions) would have been very cool and in keeping with the more mature design of many of the Disney collectors editions, but ho-hum…

Inside, there’s a single-sheet insert that features chapter selections on one side, and a DVD guide to the contents of both discs on the other. A coupon booklet featuring promotions and savings on such products as Cinderella, Pooh’s Heffalump Movie, Tarzan II and the Disney Princesses is also included. The slipcase is a nice touch – if a little pointless – though a shame that recent Disney fare such as Brother Bear or Home On The Range didn’t seem to warrant the same treatment. LaserDisc owners will want to keep their boxes for the additional large-scale booklet included in that set, as well as the Artists Lithograph Portfolio and paperback re-print of The Art Of Pocahontas book, none of which is able to be included here for obvious size reasons.

Ink And Paint:

Don’t let the main menu fool you! After the grainy, gate weaving intro things settle down and the actual feature – both in Original Theatrical and new 10th Anniversary Edition formats are presented in the correct negative ratio of 1.66:1 from a direct digital transfer. The light moments fare fine, but I noticed some unsightly “banding” issues on high contrast points and some very strange horizontal lines around some of the character ink lines. Odder still is that this happened only on my PC, and when played back on a standard TV as well as my SharpVision projector, things looked not only normal, but exemplary, and this manages a fine balance between being a digital source, but retaining a slight film look. My PC obviously doesn’t like the disc: it also kept crashing my system and stopped playing of its own accord, making jumping around it for review a tough challenge!

pchnts-se-08.JPG

Incidentally, I couldn’t find anywhere that actually offered up the choice of which version of the movie to watch, though the 10th Anniversary Edition plays by default. Eventually, I went into the “Film And Set-Up” options, selected the English language track and then “Return To Film” to get the theatrical version to play – don’t worry it IS there for those who need it! Scene Selections are also geared to the Anniversary cut, though the new scenes have not simply been inserted: the layer change contains the separate last third of the film, with credits intact for the Theatrical and slightly different for the Anniversary edition, noting the new song sequence, so for once we DO actually get both the true original, and the separate new cut (which should have been the original anyway)!

Scratch Tracks:

Not the benefit of any marketing gimmicks such as a Home Theater Mix (okay, some of them have been well worthwhile!), Pocahontas still sounds great. The mix is very much in favor of the music, which fills out the soundtrack, but when that dies down, such as the beautifully judged waterfall meeting, we still get a total sense of awareness from the track. Pocahontas isn’t a particularly action filled feature, leaning more on passionate dialogue and stirring songs to heighten emotion, and it all comes through as one would expect from what is still essentially a recent Disney picture. A THX Optimizer and certification means that it’s as clean and close to the theatrical intentions as possible, and you’ll find no qualms here. English 5.1 Dolby Digital, as well as French and Spanish dubs and English subtitles, are included.

Final Cut:

Long overlooked and much underrated, this “10th Anniversary Edition” of Pocahontas does at least set the record straight on what kind of film it should have been. Does the new – and originally intended – sequence make the difference? Well, that’s probably down to personal choice, but there’s no denying it makes for deeper entertainment. However, if you’ve never been much of a fan of the film, then I doubt the new song will make much of an argument to convince you otherwise, though I do suggest a rare and worthy upgrade to those LaserDisc collectors for the new transfer, finished sequence and the few new supplementary materials, such as the music videos and especially the commentary.

A very nice DVD edition, which for once draws heavily from the excellent LD material available rather than new fluff, Pocahontas proves that Disney is capable of treating all their films with respect, and I wouldn’t doubt that we’ll see more double-disc re-issues of the later classics debut before the slow switch to high-definition discs. Kudos to Disney for finally providing Pocahontas with the respect she deserves on DVD, and for completing the film as it should have always been!

Animated Classic or Back To The Drawing Board?

pchnts-se-18.jpg MAIN FEATURE
SUPPLEMENTS
VIDEO IMAGE
SOUND TRACK
OVERALL DVD

You may be interested in these related articles:

 

How would you rate it?

1/102/103/104/105/106/107/108/109/1010/10   10.00/10

Your score:

Move your mouse along the score bar above
and then click to cast your vote.


bottom-left
bottom-right


bottom-left
bottom-right
back to top