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3.9 out of 5 stars
Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World [DVD]
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 22 July 2011
This film was a great let down. For someone who is a big fan of Disney's and particularly of Pocahontas 1 this film was very disappointing. Don't get me wrong the songs and graphics are excellent as always but the plot was painfully poor and the writers have completely altered the personalities of the characters. Their actions and words often contradict ideas from the first film and their original personalities. John Smith and Pocahontas suddenly seem to no longer care for each other and in the end they go their separate ways. This of course completely ruins the storyline of the first movie, in my opinion they should have left the great classic to stand alone without the sequel. However I suppose that if you haven't seen the first film then this one could be enjoyable, but if you have then I would not recommend watching this one.

In addition the price would be a complete rip off for any film, and for one as poor as this it is practically robbery.
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Since I’ve never been a fan of Disney’s Pocahontas, I never made watching the sequel a priority. But since Disney combined the two for the recent Blu-Ray release, I decided it was time to give Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World a try. Yep, it was pretty much what I expected, and that’s not a good thing.

Pocahontas (voiced by Irene Bedard) is trying to figure out her next step in life now that John Smith (Donal Gibson) has returned to England. As she is contemplating this, she meets the new leader of the Jamestown settlement, John Rolfe (Billy Zane). He is looking to bring the leader of the Native Americans to England as an emissary to King James (Jim Cummings). When her father is reluctant to go, Pocahontas volunteers.

What no one knows is that Ratcliffe (David Ogden Stiers) has spread lies about what happened in the first film. He thinks he’s killed John Smith and convinced King James to take an army to attack Pocahontas’ tribe. Her presence in London upsets him greatly, and he begins to scheme about how to get her discredited. Will it work, or will Pocahontas be able to save her people?

Once again, there are issues with the historical accuracy of the piece. For starters, Pocahontas was married to John Rolfe before she went to England. And nothing I can find shows a plan to attack her tribe that she thwarted. However, I’m willing to let some of this go as historical fiction and leave it at that. After all, the plot is interesting enough that I was concerned with how they would resolve things in the last quarter after spending the first three quarters watching the predictable plot complications arise. On the other hand, the plot does make King James out to be a laughable idiot. He might have been, but this was something that didn’t sit well with me.

The political correctness of the first movie rears its head again, mainly when Pocahontas goes off about “respecting my culture” at one point. Hello 90’s buzz phrases. While there is an uncomfortable scene where Ratcliffe is attempting to provoke her, but since he is using it as pure evil, I’m okay with it.

The problems with the film run much deeper than that, however. It’s just not that well written. The dialogue is adequate at best and painful much of the time. They always go for the obvious line instead of trying to come up with something new.

The songs are bland and forgettable. Nothing will stay in your head after you’ve finished watching the film. In fact, you’ll probably want to fast forward most of them. The one exception is “Where do I Go from here?” Pocahontas sings this ballad early in the film, and it’s beautiful. The words aren’t that original, but the music is grand.

This was done by the TV animation department, and it doesn’t show the depth or artistry that the first film had.

And our three animal friends also make the trip with Pocahontas. They’re still amusing but distract for the overall story.

I will give the voice talent credit. They do their best to make this movie watchable. They are always believable. While Mel Gibson didn’t return to voice John Smith, I liked the fact that they gave that job to his brother Donal. He does a great job here.

Overall, this movie is typical direct to home video quality all the way around. If you like the first movie, you might find yourself enjoying Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World. Otherwise, feel free to skip this one.
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Despite now being 19, I still love Disney movies. I'm really just a big kid at heart. My favourites are definitely the films of Disney's "Renaissance" (i.e. Tarzan, the Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Hercules). Pocahontas was one of the films released during this period, in 1995. As I was born in 1993, I didn't see this film when it first came out, or if I did I don't remember it. My mum didn't take me to the cinema until I was about 5 or 6, and I plan on doing the same with my children as I hate crying children at the cinema. I did really enjoy Pocahontas though, and I remember the first time I saw it.

I've wanted to watch a lot of the Disney sequels for a while now, and recently I bought a few of them including the Hunchback of Notre Dame 2 and the Fox and the Hound 2. Disney movies are expensive though, and even renting them is expensive (and the employers in Blockbuster judge you if you rent 5 children's DVDs without a child with you). I recently added the Sky Movies package to my Sky account for a month using my Ciao earnings, which were slightly higher than normal last month. This comes with Disney Cinemagic, who this week were showing Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World. I scheduled it to be recorded as soon as I saw it on the planner and managed to find the time to watch it this morning.

Plot

Pocahontas tells the tale of a well known Native American figure, the daughter of a tribal chief, Pocahontas. It is a love story between a Native American and English explorer, John Smith and Pocahontas. Pocahontas saved John's life by stepping between him and her father, who planned on executing him. At the end of the film, John Smith is shot by another settler, Governor Ratcliffe, and has to return to England for medical treatment.
The second film carries on from the first, telling the story of Pocahontas' visit to England. The film introduces John Rolfe, Pocahontas' real life husband. He is sent to the New World by King James to bring back the chief of the Indian tribe. The chief declines to go to England but Pocahontas is more than willing to go in his place, offering herself for the job. Rolfe is reluctant to take a woman back as a diplomat but agrees and they soon set off for London. On arrival, Pocahontas looks upon the city in wonder. She attends a ball held by the king, dressed in English formal wear and seems to get on well with those present, but soon causes a scene when the entertainment is revealed to be bear bating and she calls all of the Englishmen savages. Pocahontas is arrested and her tribe soon becomes threatened when the king sends an armada their way, but the story has a classic Disney happy ending.

Both the original and the sequel were historically inaccurate. I'll go into more detail on how this film was historically inaccurate later on.
Did you enjoy it?

I thoroughly enjoyed it. As a teenage man I think I'm supposed to enjoy action and horror films, but I still love a good kids film. One of my best friends, who is 25, recently watched The Smurfs movie with me, so I know I'm not alone. It was one of the better Disney sequels, having a strongly related story line to the original. Unlike many sequels, this one was based on actual events and I think that gave the Disney writers less scope to f*** it up. They took many creative liberties but the point of the film is to entertain families, and while it is somewhat educational I don't think Disney were trying to paint a full and accurate picture of Native American relations with the English settlers.

It was a great film, with good voice acting, with almost all of the performers from Pocahontas returning (the exception being Mel Gibson who voiced John Smith). The animation was great, and the soundtrack was good but not memorable.

Story

While not 100% historically accurate, the story is pretty close to what actually happened to Pocahontas in the 17th century. It has been romanticised, and is a heart-warming love story between a Native American and an English settler. It is an interesting and enjoyable story, set against a dark part of American and English history.

Historical Accuracy

Pocahontas was a film fraught with historical inaccuracies and this one is no different. Here are just a few of them:

At the beginning of the film, a ship sails towards the New World (specifically, Jamestown, Virginia). The ship is seen to be flying the current Union Flag (i.e. the amalgamation of the Saltire, St George's Cross and St Patrick's Saltire). Pocahontas was alive from 1595 to 1617. At this time, the ship would have flown the Flag of England, as the Acts of Union didn't take place until 1707. Additionally, it wasn't until 1801 that Ireland joined the union and the flag became that which is shown in the film.

The characters say they are sailing to Great Britain. While this has long been the accurate name for the island, the Kingdom of Great Britain was not established until the Acts of Union 1707. London was a part of the Kingdom of England in the days of Pocahontas.

John Smith was not a fugitive. He continued to explore after his encounter with Pocahontas and the Native Americans near Jamestown, and later was made a knight.

John Ratcliffe was killed in 1609 by Native Americans. Pocahontas didn't travel to England until 1616 and so John Ratcliffe would have played no part in the story.

When Pocahontas travelled to England, her name was Rebecca Rolfe, and she had already married John Rolfe. She did, indeed meet John Smith, but was angry with him over a deal he'd broken with her father.

The Native Americans weren't entirely blameless in the violence. Some of their violence was unprovoked, such as the murder of John Ratcliffe and 14 of his men. The English were not blameless in the slightest but the Native American hostilities were ignored in the film.

King James was not the King of Great Britain. He was King James VI of Scotland and King James I of England and Ireland.

Pocahontas would have been about 21 when she first arrived in London, and to me she seems older than this in the film. She was 12 when she saved John Smith from execution and she doesn't seem to have aged at all between films.

These inaccuracies don't really affect your ability to enjoy the film, but they are a little annoying if you notice them. I am someone who pays a lot of attention to insignificant details like this. Disney does not pretend this is an educational film - it's meant to be entertaining and that's what it is. I do wish the settlers were called "English" rather than "British", as we Scots had nothing to do with the conquering of other nations. Scotland didn't have any empire at all until the Acts of Union (unless you count Shetland, which I don't).

Characters / Performances

I love the story of Pocahontas because she was a kind, gentle woman who supported her people but also wanted peace with the English. She seems like the equivalent of a modern-day liberal, just wanting people to treat each other equally. John Rolfe also seems like a decent character, despite being something of a bigot when it comes to women. He instructs the men on the boat to treat Pocahontas with the respect any diplomat would receive, and in the film at least doesn't seem to be as closed-minded about the Native Americans as the rest of the English (who all insist they are savages). He looks out for Pocahontas at several points in the film, such as making sure she fits in at the ball and describing the incident with the bear as a misunderstanding.The animals have got to be my favourite characters. Unlike some Disney films (e.g. The Fox and the Hound and The Aristocats), the animals in this film don't have speaking parts. They are still quite funny, with Meeko the raccoon being my favourite as he's constantly annoying Percy, a dog left behind by Governor Ratcliffe at the end of the previous film. Meeko eats all of the treats before Percy has a chance. Flit, the hummingbird, doesn't really play a pivotal role in the story but travels to England with Pocahontas, Meeko and Percy (the animals all stow-away on the boat to London).

Soundtrack

The soundtrack is rather unmemorable. Pocahontas featured a very memorable soundtrack, with greats such as "Colors of the Wind" and "Just Around the River Bend" being extremely well known. I love a good Disney sing along, but I didn't find myself singing along to any of these songs. I've found that almost all Disney sequels have awful soundtracks, a notable exception being The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea. I can't really even remember any of the songs and wouldn't be tempted to buy the soundtrack on CD, if it existed.

Value for Money

This is currently one of the cheaper Disney DVDs. Most of them will cost you £10 or more for a new copy, but you can get Pocahontas II for £6.59 on Amazon (brand new, including postage). Used copies will cost you £4.99 (plus £1.26 postage). If you shop around, you might even be able to find it cheaper. Or, if you have Sky, you could always wait until it's showing on Disney Cinemagic again. They do tend to repeat films quite often.
How does it compare to similar films?

Compared to other Disney sequels, this is quite a good one. It's based on historical fact, so unlike most sequels the story had already been written before Disney got their hands on it. Pocahontas was definitely one of my favourite Disney Classics and I'm really pleased that Pocahontas II is such a good film. It's only let down is really the soundtrack, and for British watchers the historical inaccuracy is a bit of an annoyance. Overall, this film compares very well with similar Disney films.

Conclusion

I loved this film and think kids will love it too. It's got a good story, if a little fraught with historical inaccuracy, and the characters are just as good as they were in the original. The soundtrack let it down a bit, but it's still enjoyable.

© 2012, Clydesdale Enterprises
This review was submitted by a Clydesdale Enterprises employee. The views reflected in this review do not necessarily reflect the views of the business.
Submitted by Terry Black
This review can be found on Amazon, Ciao, DooYoo and eBay.
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on 20 May 2012
Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World is the 1998 straight-to-video sequel to 1995 animated classic Pocahontas. Beyond the original 1998 premiere video release, it was first released here on DVD in 2000.

Continuing where the first film left off, it starts off with John Smith in England having been framed by Governor Ratcliffe as a traitor, being ambushed by the King's soldiers. With John Smith seemingly dead, Pocahontas mourns him and moves on. From here the King sends young diplomat John Rolfe to bring Chief Powhatan to England for negotiations. Pocahontas is sent instead leading to her discovery of savage English behaviour and a choice that she has to make when it comes to her love for Rolfe and her love for John Smith who later returns.

As with most Disney straight-to-video sequels the colour is extremely muted and pales in comparison to the beautiful animation of the first film. Beyond the curiosity of what happened next beyond the first film, the story is quite weak in places. I do however love the songs, and think Judy Kuhn as the singing voice of Pocahontas does a phenomenal job. The standout song for me is Where Do I Go From Here? sung by Pocahontas- it's just a shame the animation doesn't deliver this sequence as beautifully as it could have been. Other songs include What a Day in London sung by Pocahontas, Wait 'Till He Sees You sung by Mrs Jenkins and John Rolfe, Things Are Not What They Appear sung by Radcliffe and Between Two Worlds sung by Pocahontas and John Rolfe. Some may be interested to know that Mel Gibson does not return to voice John Smith in this sequel, and that John Rolfe is voiced by Billy Zane. And the DVD soundtrack is Dolby Digital 5.1, compared to the original Stereo on video.

In the same way that this straight-to-video sequel pales in comparison to the original, the UK region 2 DVD pales in comparison to the already lacklustre in itself US region 1 DVD presented under the banner Walt Disney Gold Classic Collection. First let's talk aspect ratio. The US DVD has a 1.66:1 Non-Anamorphic image (that's basically a widescreen image designed for a 4:3 almost square television). The UK DVD has a 1.33:1 Non-Anamorphic image (that's basically the old full screen image designed for a 4:3 almost square television). Confusing matters is that the new Pocahontas II Blu-ray that has started to be released internationally and is due out in the US in 2012, appears to have an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 in HD 1080p (designed for a 16:9 television). So I'm frankly confused as to which is the correct aspect ratio, and I don't have a side by side comparison to hand. Is the US DVD the correct widescreen aspect ratio or was it cropped to look like widescreen? Based on the new 2012 international Blu-ray version is the UK aspect ratio correct after all? Frankly, I don't know. Note that Pocahontas II, at time of writing is not due to be released on Blu-ray in the UK. Moving on from my confusion, the US DVD has a DVD storybook, a trivia game and the classic cartoon "Little Hiawatha". The UK DVD on the other hand has no special features to speak of.

in summing everything up, I'm sure completists will buy this, but in my view, apart from one really amazing song and the what happened next curiosity appeal, Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World is an unremarkable video sequel.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2006
Pocahontas finds a new path in her life, as she sails to England with her new companion John Rolph in a mission of peace. Once again, the animation and music are stunningly beautiful, the old characters especially Grandma Willow, Meeko, Percy and Flit add sparkles of humour to the film. The obnoxious, horrible Governor Radcliffe is also back with a vengence. He makes the perfect villain and you will be rooting for his downfall! Pocahontas is spectacular once again as the brave, spiritual heroine who is determined to make peace with the English King, James.
Personally, I was not entirely convinced by her new companion John Rolph. I didn't sense much passion between them, unlike when she was with John Smith in the first Pocahontas where you could really see them interacting spiritually and falling in love. John Rolph seemed to be a bit of a cold fish at times and he was a little arrogant to Pocahontas upon their first meeting. This is just my view however, others may see this differently. You'll have to watch and find out!
The only other downside was that the film only ran for approximately 65 minutes; it was a little bit short and there were no bonus features on the DVD other than multiple language selections.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 14 May 2007
I was deeply dissapionted with this film. I found the characters bland, and the songs quite dire, and in whole the film left much to be desired.

Nothing like the origional.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 20 January 2011
As a child, I'd grown up adoring the first Pocahontas film, and I still do when I watch it with my little sister, I adore it just as much as I did then. I was shocked that I'd never heard of this second film until a good few years after it's release. I sat down to watch this one with my sister (who is five) and I have to be honest, I was bitterly disappointed. Disney have let themselves down with this one. The songs don't scratch the surface of the great songs in the first, like Colours of the Wind and the Drums of War. I also found that the story in this film was not great. The fact that they introduced someone new for Pocahontas to fall in love with ruined it for me. With the first, you could see her and John Smith falling in love and you could feel the emotions Disney were trying to convey, in a way. With this one, you can't. It's as if Disney didn't even watch the first film before making this one. They completely forgot about her love for John Smith, and this ruined it for me. I grew up with Disney, and I love their films, but if you want a Disney film to sit down and watch with your kids or brothers and sisters, or even yourself, don't pick this one. You would be disappointed.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 29 January 2008
truly appalling! wer do i begin? firstly it slaughters the first movie which was fab and destroys the romance in it that was btwn john smith and pocahontas. secondly the story line was crap and that was because ther was no decent story line. so dissapointed that i cant watch the first one now coz i know they break up! ruined a classic. dont watch it seriously! spare yourself! heed my words!!
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on 21 February 2014
I watched Pocahontas last week and had a quick look at the Bonus. It was great to understand the reason behind the story. If you look into it, it might help you understand why in Pocahontas 2, she ends up with John Rolph and not Smith. Pocahontas (Disney) is inspired from a true story. She really existed and married John Rolph. I think Disney probably wanted to carry on the story as it really happened.
I have to say it broke my heart first time I watched it, but now that I know the real story of Pocahontas, I understand why Disney chose that story line
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on 4 May 2015
If I could give this a negative-star I would. Brought this on faith as I have never found a Disney movie I did not enjoy. Until today. Terrible sequel to a great story. They altered the personality of the original characters to the detriment of all. John Smith is entirely unrecognisable, having gone from careing and heroic to selfish and self-obsessed. Pocahontas is weak and easily led stray. The natural themes that held so much depth in the first movie are used in a way that makes them feel shallow and superfluous. Not recommended.
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