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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
I was always iffy about buying this one; as a child I loved it - until learning the truth about the story with Pocahontas being a very young girl, and it just kind of creeped me out to go back and watch. But I found this for an incredible price so added it to my collection -
The picture quality is great - this film has always had use of dynamic angles and colours, which lends itself to a very polished and beautiful look, almost working as a 90 minute screensaver at times.
The story - is pretty standard "man is evil against what it does not understand" but is passable with only a few dud moments (such as occasions painting the villains to be evil when if you do put thought into the circumstances, the villains are actually just defending themselves against the heroes who attack first)
The voice acting - is pretty hit and miss, with Pocahontas feeling like a real character, as with the villain and a few other characters, however Mel Gibson and Billy Connolly's very distinct voices can prove distracting and unimmersive at times.
The sound - incredibly crisp and clear, not much else can say really
Extras - this is where it surpasses the other Disney release this year Tarzan, as there is a pretty reasonable bulk of extras here ranging from music videos, items from the dvd, and a couple of new original documentaries.
Overall this is a fine addition to your collection - if you're a Pocahontas fan, you'll love the treatment it has received, and if you just collect Disney's you could do far worse than this.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 6 November 2007
Ever since I first saw Pocahontas when it first came out, I knew that Disney were onto a winner. Yes,I admit it's not historically accurate but it's only a Disney film designed for a bit of fun! The songs however,are the making of this film with highlights including the beautiful 'Colours of the Wind' and the very catchy 'Just around the River Bend'. If you have young children (or you just fancy a enjoyable watch yourself!), this film is a must buy. A lot of animated films may date with time but Pocahontas certainly won't! Top stuff.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 August 2012
This is my first venture into the Disney Blu-ray world and I can't get over just how beautiful it was. The question that I think a lot of people will have is: Why bother?

Pocahontas is the story of a headstrong daughter of a chief and her relationship with the English settler Captain John Smith and his crew. Two worlds completely set apart with very little in common essentially collide where Pocahontas fights for the peace and the preservation of nature that Smith's crew threaten to destroy in an effort to find Gold.

It's a story many of us already know so investing in the Blu-ray version may seem pretty pointless but I can assure you that this movie had me captivated more so than it ever has before simply because of how beautiful it was. The colouring, detailing and textures that you can now make out are so superior to the originals that I have seen. I can honestly say that before this I didn't think that Blu-ray could possibly improve on a Disney film that is relatively old and drawn - it really surpassed my expectations. I only hope the next set of Blu-ray Disney movies released look as spectacular.

There are some special features which look into the making of the original movie and music and when you watch these you can see and hear what a change has been made. I was very grateful for these particular features actually because they showed the difference so well so I recommend giving those a watch too. Speaking of special features, there are also a few deleted scenes and a deleted song "If I never knew you" which is surprisingly good".

I can't recommend this version enough, even if you have the original. If I could give this more stars I would - perfect for all ages and Disney fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 December 2013
This is a great movie on every level. It appeals to kids, it appeals to adults and it also appeals to anyone who loves musicals with great songs.

But first: who Amazon's 'in-house' reviewer Tom Keogh is...I have no idea (his review is the one that you read just under the product details). His sarcastic, nasty & sour review of this movie is a disgrace. My advice is to you (the reader) is:...don't pay any heed to his twisted & bitter little review of this good Movie. Use you're own judgment...and see how far off the mark he is.

Back to the film: the story is universal - boy meets girl from the wrong tribe (shades of West Side Story) to the disapproval of their elders & peers etc. But they continue seeing each other and this eventually leads to confrontation. There are also serious anti-war messages woven through the fabric of this film, and they are put across through the songs and the action.

But apart from the flawless animation, it's the music that really 'grabs' you from the get go: from the opening drums in the first main song 'Hega Hega ya-hi-ye Hega' - to the splendid 'Just around the river bend' - to the absolute show-stopping ensemble piece 'Mine, Mine, Mine' sung by Governor Radcliffe and the cast, - and also the evocative 'Colours of the Wind'.

Why Disney Corp. haven't turned this movie into a full blown stage musical like they did with the Lion King...is beyond me. It's a no-brainer. Great story - great songs - great setting, what more do you want?

I cannot recommend this movie highly enough. If you are an adult, don't let the fact that it's a animated movie put you off, it's a great film.

Sit back and enjoy!

All the best!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 May 2014
I watched The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin as a child/teenager but by the time Pocahontas came out I was 15 so of course wanted to watch "15" films because I could. My 3 year old is really into Disney DVDs now and I am enjoying being able to watch them at home and this was the latest one we bought. It is fantastic and I can't believe it has taken me this long to get round to watching it. My daughter really enjoys it; the music is fantastic and the character of Pocahontas is likable, interesting and a good role model. It is different to the "usual princesses" in castles and shows a different country/culture/history and way of life. I personally love it and much prefer to be watching this than Bugs Life (again). It is also in Spanish which is handy as my daughter speaks Spanish as well as English.
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The Disney animation resurgence reached its peak with The Lion King. The next year saw a movie that began to mark the decline. While still a financial success, it’s easy to point to Pocahontas as the moment when things started to go south. The thing is, the movie isn’t helped by the political agenda hidden in the beautiful animation.

The story is a very, very loose interpretation of history. As such, it follows the voyage of the first settlers to land in Virginia. The movie actually opens in England as John Smith (voiced by Mel Gibson) joins an expedition to found the colony. The expedition is under the leadership of Ratcliffe (David Ogden Stiers). We even meet a crewman named Thomas (Christian Bale). As we travel the sea, we get to experience first hand how brave and noble John Smith is.

Then we join Pocahontas (Irene Bedard) in the ideal world of uncolonized America. Her father, the chief, has just returned from a victory over their foes. His right hand man, Kocoum (James Apaumut Fall), has just asked for Pocahontas’ hand in marriage. But Pocahontas is not happy with that arrangement. She is restless and a free spirit, longing for adventure.

And that’s when she sees the strange clouds that are the sails of the ship arriving. While out scouting, John Smith meets her. The two form an instant connection and start sharing parts of their language and culture with each other. Will they be able to form a peace between their people when so many are clamoring for war?

Try as I might, I have a hard time separating myself from the bad history here to enjoy the movie as pure entertainment. I will say that the songs are gorgeous, well most of them. They certainly help advance the story, and I can get “Colors of the Wind” stuck in my head for days. There was a love song written for Pocahontas and John Smith that is available as a bonus feature, at least on the new Blu-Ray release. Why it wasn’t incorporated back into the movie like was done on the last DVD is a mystery to me.

I must also give the film credit for the gorgeous animation. This movie is a perfect example of why we must not let the art of hand drawn animation die. The forests of the new world are so beautiful to look at.

And the voice cast does a fine job with their parts. The Native Americans were all voiced by real Native Americans, who praised the film for the authenticity of the portrayals of Native American culture. (Ironically, other Native American groups complained about the stereotypes. Proves you just can’t win.)

Then there are the animal characters. They add some humor to the proceedings and the film is fairly serious, so I certainly think the film needs it. And the way they parallel what is happening or should be happening between the humans is a nice bit of storytelling.

However, they are also a prime example of what was going wrong with Disney animation at this point. They had become too formulaic. In their efforts to crank out one movie a year, they went to the same well to create characters. Dashing, virtuous hero? Check. Independent woman who wants adventure and won’t settle for just any husband? Check. Cute animal sidekicks to provide some laughs? Check. Change the names and the setting and we’ve got a new movie.

So, now let’s get into the history or lack there of. I will grant you not much is known about Pocahontas until later in her life (after this film was set), but what is suspected is far different from what is presented here. For one thing, she was most likely about 8 years younger. There was never romance between her and John Smith. And while she did save his life, some historians even protest that much. Add to that the fact that they kill off a character who doesn’t die during this time period, and you’ve got a work of fiction.

Now, I have no problem with historical fiction; in fact, I love the genre. However, you need to adhere to the truth as much as you can. In reality, this was nothing like reality. Since the Disney version of things gets so engrained in our culture, that’s dangerous. It’s one thing when looking at time periods but something completely different when real people are changed so dramatically. And with no disclaimer to warn people that what they are seeing is purely fiction.

And don’t even get me started on Grandmother Willow, the living, talking tree that gives Pocahontas advice. In a fairy tale context, I’d have no problems with this character, but again we've got that history thing going on.

Couple this with the other messages in the film. There is the pro-environmental message contains in “Colors of the Wind” and the way the two cultures are presented. The English are obviously bad for wanting to take resources and the Indians are good for wanting to keep them around to enjoy. Mind you, I firmly believe that destroying the Earth is a horrid idea and should never be done. But there needs to be a balance between the two sides, and that balance isn’t presented here.

Furthermore, our villain of the piece, Ratcliffe, is a one note, greedy jerk. And because of him, the only white man not painted with a horrid brush is John Smith. I mean, look at the song “Savages,” which both sides sing as they are going off to war. The white men are singing it because they think the Native Americans are hiding gold and are going to kill Smith out of spite. The Native Americans are singing it because one of their own was just killed and they want revenge. Which of these motives can you get behind?

Never mind the fact that Ratcliffe, while admittedly a weak governor, wasn’t even in the colony during the time that the film was set. He came a few years later.

Look, I’m not going to sit here and say that the white man was perfect in our relations with the Native Americans when we came to this country. Far from it, as anyone who has studied history certainly knows. (Although the idea that we would all still be in Europe and the Native Americans would be living here in their idealic world with the exploring period of history is ludicrous.) But the characters were created as strawmen that could easily be knocked down as examples of the good (Native American) and bad (white man). It is so painfully obvious it ruins much of the movie.

Am I expecting too much from an animated movie aimed at kids? Maybe. Usually, I just sit down, relax, and enjoy. But since this one took on history and messed with it so much, it really bothers me. Besides, with the historical background and serious nature of the film, I don’t see it appealing to kids that much. The animals, while cute and funny, will only carry things so far. Whether they want to admit it or not, I think this movie was aimed at adults.

So for the hatchet job of history and the blatant political correctness of the movie, I can’t recommend Pocahontas at all. Good visuals and music only get you so far. If you do decide to view the film, make sure you think about the messages you are getting.
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WALT DISNEY - POCAHONTAS - 1995

The film is a perfect animated production and the main two assets are the music and the songs and of course the very dynamic animation. This is particularly true with the Indians who are shown in a realistic way cultivating big fields of Indian corn and tobacco, and fishing. They are not shown hunting though. But they are shown dancing, singing, and at the end of a waR against another tribe, though the prisoners are not shown and there was no war between two Indian tribes without some prisoners, the men for ritual sacrificing, and women and children to become slaves. The best off were the children because they were adopted. That is not shown directly. It will only come later WITH John Smith.

The Europeans are shown as what they are, male adventurers with very mixed intentions and a very conflict-ridden social situation. The noble Governor Ratcliffe is a real pest and pain in the back from beginning to end. He is a perfect commander, giving orders but doing nothing, and having only one objective: to find gold by digging, as if digging anywhere in America was supposed to bring gold out of the earth. It is true noble people do not need to have an education since they are born intelligent and they have no concrete practice of what real work is. This is shown in the most obvious and impressive way.

John Smith is made the captain of the ship. He is humane and he is able to save a man overboard in the middle of a tempest. He is a discoverer and goes out to meet the Indians, and he meets Pocahontas, the daughter of the chief Powhatan who is seen as a warrior and not an old man. The Europeans are shown a little bit more realistically than usual and they use row-boats to go up and down the river, not Indian canoes, like in most other versions.

Pocahontas is shown as a young woman and not a girl, who is adventurous in her own way though at first distant and even fearful. But she accepts contact rather easily and she introduces John Smith to her grand mother Willow, a willow that speaks and gives advice.

This meeting of John Smith and Pocahontas is amplified by the meeting of Pocahontas' raccoon and Ratcliffe's pampered dog. This is both charming and funny, how the savage raccoon is so much apter to survive any kind of trouble coming from a civilized dog than the reverse. The third animal here is a humming bird who is the jester of the triad.

At this moment Thomas, a young sailor who had followed John on Ratcliffe's order, tries to protect John Smith against Kocoum who had followed Pocahontas, shoots Kocoum dead. Then John Smith, who protects the young chap, is submitted to an ordeal, a path of torture between two lines of Indians hitting him with any bludgeon they may have. He is saved by Pocahontas in extremis. Here the Indian custom is not specified, because of course it is not the case here: a woman who has lost family in a battle can claim a prisoner to replace the dead relative. This is the weak point of the film because Pocahontas' claim is not justified from the Indian point of view. That makes Powhatan weak.

But the most important part of the film is the showing of the opposition of two cultures, two visions of the world.

Powhatan declares: "These white men are dangerous. No one is to go near them." That's pure fear in front of the thunder sticks, the rifles.

But then John Smith explains to Pocahontas what follows. "We'll show you people how to use this land properly, how to make the most of it." And he retorts to Pocahontas' objection as follows. "You say that because you don't know better." And he calls the Indians "savages" which causes the retreat of Pocahontas. Then he explains his mind. "Savage is just a word, a term for people who are uncivilized." That's burning his boat and then sinking the ashes. Pocahontas conclusion is just to the point. Savages are people who are "not like you."

And that's when a war starts.

The two cultures, Indians and English men, are just the same and they sing the same song about savages, the savages being of course demons on the other side. Powhatan leads the Indian movement as the chief of them when the warriors from other tribes have arrived. Ratcliffe leads the English but for his own narrow-minded, violent, even cruel, and greedy motivations.

Grand Mother Willow advises Pocahontas properly, the raccoon brings Jim Smith's compass it had stolen a long time before and that's the dream: a spinning arrow showing the way. Pocahontas takes John Smith with her and they go to Powhatan to stop the war just when the two armies are face to face. Powhatan accepts his daughter's demand. "My daughter speaks with the wisdom beyond her years. We've all come here with anger in our hearts, but she's come with courage and understanding. From this day if there's to be more killing, it will not start with me."

The fool then is Ratcliffe who tries to shoot Powhatan, but John Smith gets in-between and It is John Smith who is shot. He has to go back to England, to be cured and healed, or to die on the ship taking him to England. That ending is a lot better than going back to England to cure and heal severe burns caused by his dumb smoking next to a bag of gun powder.

So what's the meaning of the film? Definitely a call for wisdom in the relations between ethnic groups, a total evacuation of the invasion of Indian territory by Europeans, a discrete allusion to the genocide that was to come later on, a total absence of real commerce between the English and the Indians, the fact that the Europeans do not seem keen on starting survival activities like cultivating the land or hunting properly.

The film is in fact entirely transferred from the historical point of view to the sentimental point of view, as a metaphor of the ethnic situation.

When John Smith falls in love with Pocahontas and is a prisoner destined to be brained alive or rather brained dead on the following morning he tells Pocahontas: "No matter what happens to me, I will always be with you, forever." And when John Smith is being taken to his ship, Pocahontas says: "No matter what happens to me, I will always be with you, forever." Perfect echo, perfect metaphor.

The animals show the same meaning with Ratcliffe's dog dressed in an Indian cape at the very same moment when Powhatan put his own cape on the wounded John Smith on his stretcher.

Moralistic probably but for sure in the trend of the end of the 20th century when, after the Wounded Knee Incident (February 27, 1973), when a full reassessing of the presence and role of Indians and Indian blood in America was started and found its ultimate realization in the presence of Indians and Indian floats on the inaugural parade for President Barack Obama in January 2009.

Walt Disney did not create the re-evaluation of Pocahontas, but they sure amplified it.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Pocahontas is a sweeping spectacle of a film, which desreves greater recognition than it has recieved thus far. Inevitably, coming hot off the heels of The Lion King, Pocahontas was never going to match its success, but that doesnt make it any less enjoyable.
It is the first Disney animated feature to be based on historical events, and perhaps this shines through as the film is perhaps more serious than other Disney fare.
The stroy deals with Captain John Smith, who, along with a group of sailors heads to America in search of gold. However, whilst there he meets Pocahontas and the two characters are let into eachothers worlds. Things become complicated however, when Pocahontas' father and General Radcliffe (head of the mission to the 'New World') prepare to wage a war against each other due to their hatred and discriminations of the other's race. Naturally Pocahontas and John Smith fall in love, though the usual happy ending is traded in for something much more effective.
Comedy comes in the form of sidekick pals Meeko the meerkat and Flit the humming bird, and the magical element of the movie is portrayed in the form of Grandmother Willow, the advice-giving tree.
Accompanied with rich animation, beautiful music and real heart, this is an essential buy for any Disney fan.
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on 26 May 2008
Pocahontas is one of the few Disney films that I feel has it all. It's got great music by the legendary Alan Menken, (who also composed the music for Mermaid & Hunchback of Notre Dame), loveable characters (Miko the cheeky racoon in particular) and the animation is some of the best I've seen from Disney, especially some of the drawings of Pocahontas.

The film also has some good messages for kids deep down too, it has a strong anti-racism theme and promotes the wild beauty in our environment.

I've done my research on the actual Pocahontas and in all honesty this film does fail to give a completely accurate description of the history of Pocahontas and the Indian tribes but that wasn't really why I bought it. I bought this Disney film at the age of 16 because I've grown up watching Disney films and now when also choosing which film to watch I also choose out of the ones with the best music and animation too and Pocahontas has it all.

Buy it! (Amazon's current buy one get one free offer on Disney films is also a great deal to buy this and another one too!)
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 7 March 2005
This is truly a Disney classic. With a wonderful story, breathtaking scenery and inspiring music, Pocahontas is a film I think everybody can enjoy. Based on the true story of Pocahontas, the film tells us of the sruggles faced by the Powatan Indians when their native land is invaded by English soldiers. Matters become more complicated when Pocahontas falls in love with Captain John Smith. What follows is an uplifting story of courage, bravery and acceptance. I think this film has some of the most wonderful settings ever seen in the cinema and this 2 disc DVD has some great extras. The Acadamy Award winning music, characters and story compliment eachother so well, I can't praise this film enough.
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