Pocahontas

Pocahontas

4.1 31
Director: Mike Gabriel, Eric Goldberg

Cast: Mike Gabriel, Eric Goldberg, Irene Bedard, Mel Gibson

     
 

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History gets the Disney kiddie treatment and a politically correct interpretation in the studio's 33rd feature-length animated movie, the first to be based on actual events and people. Pocahontas (Irene Bedard) is the daughter of Algonquin chief Powhatan (Russell Means), who promises her in marriage to Kocoum, a brave whom she doesn't love. Pocahontas would rather be… See more details below

Overview

History gets the Disney kiddie treatment and a politically correct interpretation in the studio's 33rd feature-length animated movie, the first to be based on actual events and people. Pocahontas (Irene Bedard) is the daughter of Algonquin chief Powhatan (Russell Means), who promises her in marriage to Kocoum, a brave whom she doesn't love. Pocahontas would rather be paddling in her canoe or wandering in the forest, communing with nature and her animal pals, Meeko, a raccoon, and the hummingbird Flit. When European settlers arrive, she becomes enamored of handsome John Smith (Mel Gibson). Their attraction is encouraged by Grandmother Willow (Linda Hunt), a talking tree. The situation between their peoples is tense, however, as the settlers, led by Governor Ratcliffe (David Ogden Stiers) desperately want the gold that they're sure the natives are concealing. When a dutiful sentry, Thomas (Christian Bale) follows Smith into the woods on one of his secret meetings with Pocahontas, a tragic mistake leads both groups to the brink of war. Only the love of Pocahontas and Smith can prevent bloodshed. Pocahontas (1995) was awarded two Oscars, for Best Original Musical or Comedy Score and Best Original Song for "Colors of the Wind."

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
Disney followed up The Lion King, its first animated feature based on an original story, with its first such film based on a historical figure, the Indian princess Pocahontas. The strong-willed, free-spirited heroine (voiced by Irene Bedard) listens to the spirits and reckons they’re telling her to follow a path other than what her father, Chief Powhatan (Russell Means), intends for her. A saga of passion and prejudice, Pocahontas is a love story in which the heroine defies Powhatan's plans when English adventurer John Smith arrives on Virginia’s shores, speaking and singing in the lusty, robust voice of Mel Gibson. Accompanying Smith is a shipload of encroaching settlers led by a gold-digging colonial governor named Ratliffe (David Ogden Stiers); greed and cultural differences threaten to escalate into hatred and violence until Pocahontas defies her father to intervene. The tale treats the native Powhatan tribe with respect, even as it takes liberties with history and adds animal sidekicks for comic relief. This 2005 reissue is a marked improvement over the original Pocahontas DVD release, with the original theatrical version of the film as well as a 10th Anniversary Edition. The latter restores to the film the lovely ballad, "If I Never Met You," which Smith sings to Pocahontas on the eve of his scheduled execution (audience restlessness in test screenings spelled its deletion). Archival treasures include an early "presentation reel" of the film-in-progress, storyboarded deleted scenes, and a 1995 segment devoted to the film's historic premiere in New York's Central Park (there’s an uncomfortable line about the event requiring enough electricity "to light the World Trade Center"). Bedard hosts a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film, and there is a segment about Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz's Oscar-winning musical score, which includes "Colors of the Wind." Audio commentaries further heighten appreciation for the animators' truly stunning work.
All Movie Guide
Pocahontas is often cited as the most forgettable of Disney's wave of animated triumphs that kept coming with remarkable regularity during the 1990s. But it's far from a bad movie, bearing enough of Disney's well-traveled standard components to make it easy enough to sit through. On the heels of the gargantuan box-office smash The Lion King, Pocahontas can't help but feel like something of an arthouse movie by comparison, even if it did manage to rustle up over 140 million dollars domestically. The only thing not small about the movie is the vocal talent hired for the blandly handsome John Smith, but even Mel Gibson can't distinguish the character from the parade of vapid Disney heroes who came before and would come after. Disney movies often endure on the strength of their villains, but viewers would likely have trouble recalling much of anything about the settler governor who provides the requisite heartlessness in this outing. Basing the movie on history didn't prove too popular with the kiddies, either -- for years afterward, Disney stores were trying to unload their overstocked merchandise at increasingly ridiculous discounts. But the "mouse house" can never be accused of giving less than its all, and the sheer number of people working on the project ensured that it would be well-stocked in color, wit, music, and even the occasional breathtaking thrill.

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/03/2005
UPC:
0786936157147
Original Release:
1995
Rating:
G
Source:
Walt Disney Video
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:24:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; 2 versions of the film including the original theatrical version and new tenth anniversary edition; Audio commentary featuring producer James Pentecost and directors Eric Goldberg and Mike Gabriel; "If I Never Knew You" performed by Mel Gibson seamlessly intergrated into the film; Nine deleted scenes; Set top games including "Disney's Art Project" (build a drum and create a dreamcatcher) and "Follow Your Heart" (use your knowledge of the film to help save John Smith); Sing along songs; "Colors of the Wind" music video performed by Vanessa Williams; Multi-language reel; Early production reel; Storyboard-to-film comparison; Production progression; The making of Pocahontas; The music of Pocahontas; The making of "If I Never Knew You"; Original "If I Never Knew You" music video performed by Jon Secada and Shanice; "The Premiere in the Park" featurette; Publicity gallery; Design galleries; Art design, layouts, and backgrounds gallery; Theatrical trailers; Sneak peek at Pocahontas II; Fully restored and remastered; Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound; 1.66:1 - enhanced for 16x9 televisions; French and Spanish language tracks

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Irene Bedard Pocahontas
Mel Gibson John Smith
Judy Kuhn Pocahontas [Singing]
Linda Hunt Grandmother Willow
Russell Means Powhatan
David Ogden Stiers Gov. Ratcliffe / Wiggins
Christian Bale Thomas
Billy Connolly Ben
John Kassir Meeko
Danny Mann Percy
Michelle St. John Nakoma
Gordon Tootoosis Kekata
Frank Welker Flit
Joe Baker Lon

Technical Credits
Michael Gabriel Director
Eric Goldberg Director
Danda Axelrod Production Designer
Chris Buck Screenwriter
Brian Chavanne Casting
Robert Gibbs Screenwriter
Ed Gombert Screenwriter
Joe Grant Screenwriter
Mark Hester Editor
Glen Keane Screenwriter
Ruth Lambert Casting
Karen Margiotta Casting
Duncan Marjoribanks Screenwriter
Alan Menken Score Composer
Bruce M. Morris Screenwriter
James Pentecost Producer
H. Lee Peterson Editor
Pres Romanillos Animator
Ralph Zondag Screenwriter

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Scene Index

Side #1 -- Pocahontas, Disc 1
1. Off to the New World/"The Virginia Company" [4:00]
2. Governor Ratcliffe [1:29]
3. Opening Credits/"Steady As a Beating Drum" [2:11]
4. Pocahontas [3:08]
5. Pocahontas Tells Her Father About Her Dream [1:48]
6. "Just Around the Riverbend" [2:30]
7. Grandmother Willow [1:39]
8. Advice From Grandmother Willow/"Listen With Your Heart" [1:24]
9. The New World [5:21]
10. Powhatan's Council [1:25]
11. Digging for Gold/"Mine, Mine, Mine" [3:49]
12. John Smith Meets Pocahontas [4:41]
13. A Clash Between the Settlers and the Indians [2:27]
14. Getting to Know One Other [3:17]
15. "Colors of the Wind" [3:56]
16. Finishing the Fortress [2:23]
17. In the Cornfield [2:25]
18. John Smith Meets Grandmother Willow [2:36]
19. The Warriors Arrive [3:27]
20. Pocahontas Runs Off to Meet John Smith [1:55]
21. The Final Meeting [5:46]
22. Pocahontas Visits the Prisoner/"If I Never Knew You" [4:34]
23. "Savages" [1:52]
24. Pocahontas Understands Her Dream [1:08]
25. Sunrise/"Savages" (Part 2) [1:05]
26. Pocahontas Saves John Smith [3:05]
27. The Departure/"If I Never Knew You Reprise" [5:04]
28. End Credits/"If I Never Knew You" & "Colors of the Wind" [5:31]

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