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Pocahontas (10th Anniversary Edition)
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Product Description

A musical animated version of the life of Pocahontas, a Native American girl who legend says saved the life of explorer and colonist John Smith.
Genre: Feature Film Family
Rating: G
Release Date: 3-MAY-2005
Media Type: DVD

Disney's take on this historical confrontation between European settlers and Native Americans follows the paths of two future lovers. One is British adventurer John Smith, who travels the Atlantic with the Virginia Company to establish Jamestown. On the shore is Pocahontas, a typical Disney heroine: bright, beautiful, mischievous, and motherless. The two meet in the untamed wilds of America (the first meeting is quite divine), fall in love, and try to ward off the warring factions. It's Disney's version of a Native American West Side Story. Two Disney trademarks do not quite muster up: the villain isn't hissable and the score's only high point is the Oscar-winning "Colors of the Wind." Calling it "historical" is a stretch, but Disney created a very natural look at the two cultures. The Native American characters are handled especially well, and kids should be intrigued by their world; the movie is a far different lesson from the one their parents and grandparents learned. Disney has discovered a few things, though: you don't have to kill to solve your problems, and you can end the film without a happily-ever-after, illustrated by a touching final visual. (Ages 5 and older) --Doug Thomas

Customer Reviews:

  • Wonderful !!!
    The was a great choice to purchase. My 16 year old loves it still and I purchased it for my 4 and 5 year old. A real classic....more info
  • pocahontas vhs
    we did not recieve this movie. I got an email from the seller telling me they were sorry to hear I cancelled my order. I told them I did not cancel the order and I needed this movie for Christmas. I never heard back from them. Very poor communication and did not get my movie and actually have to check if I even got my money back. Very unsatisfied....more info
  • Okay, let's look at what Disney was really doing.
    For those who use history as the basis for hating this film, get over it. Disney was not telling the history of Pocahontas, but the LEGEND of Pocahontas. As with many historical figures, there are legends surrounding who Pocahontas was, so let's actually look at some of the other big complaints.

    1. They made Pocahontas look much older. Well, duh. Do you really want Disney to do a love story of a 12 year old girl and a 30 year old man. How would that have gone over? Of course, if they are going to tell the love story, they are going to make the main characters adults.

    2. The sequel shows Pocahontas marrying John Smith. Apparently you slept through the sequel because it is clear that she chooses John Rolfe in the sequel. (Yes, historically she marries him, converts to Christianity, changes her name to Sarah, and dies before leaving England of syphillis.) But again, do you really want to explain to your child that this American heroine died of syphillis?

    3. The animal companions/talking tree. These are representative of the spirit of nature which is sacred to many Native American tribes.

    Again, Disney does a really good job of telling the legend. They never have claimed historical accuracy, because that is not the story they are telling. Truthfully, the lessons here are wonderful lessons....more info
  • This movie is so underrated...A MUST SEE!
    I never had an interest in watching this movie. It wasn't until I heard "Colors of the Wind" on the Disney Princess Collection CD that I decided to watch it with my three year old. My daughter enjoyed the movie, but I loved it even more. The music is beautiful, and Judy Kuhn's voice is amazing. Mel Gibson also sings a song with Kuhn, "If I Never Knew You" and I thought his voice was pretty amazing too. This movie strays from some of the historical facts/legends of the real Pocahontas, but who cares. Most of us would probably be bored and depressed if the true story of Pocahontas was told in this movie. This is a beautiful love story of two people from two-different worlds who meet under unfortunate circumstances. And the ending isn't predictable like all the other Disney happily-ever-after movies which makes this movie even more heart-felt and intriguing. I also felt Disney did a wonderful job in sending a message to our children about respecting the land that we have been blessed with. Although some see the portrayal of the greedy settlers as racism (which really it was only one governor in the story who was greedy), I saw it as a lesson for us not to take nature and our surroundings for granted.
    The animals in the movie were cute and entertaining for the youngsters; but the story itself is for adults and was beautifully told in a Disney kind-of-magical-way.
    And for those who are thinking of buying Pocahontas 2: Journey to A New World... I enjoyed Pocahontas 2: Journey to A New World. Although it got a lot of bad reviews, I thought it was worth adding to my Disney collection. You get most of the original characters (minus Mel Gibson as John Smith), and Judy Kuhn again sings beautifully in the movie. I think a lot of people are disappointed with the ending, which historically is the path that Pocahontas does choose....I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't seen it. Needless to say, it doesn't quite measure up to the original Pocahontas but I thought it was interesting to find out what happens to Pocahontas and John Smith. Younger children will absolutely love part 2 because the story involves Meeko and Percy quite a bit, and they are pretty quirky! ...more info
  • Finally!
    Finally Pocahontas is being released in a 2 disc edition! This is one of my favorite Disney movies and I've been waiting since last year for it to be released in a Special Edition set. I'm also waiting for the Little Mermaid.

    I hope they include the song that was cut from the theatrical release of this film. It's such a beautiful song and shouldn't have been cut.

    I cannot wait till I can add this set to my collection of Special Edition Disney DVDs....more info
  • Lovely but innacurate
    When I first saw Pocahontas years ago as a child, I was entranced with its beauty and charming story. I still am- but only with the former. Pocahontas has arguably the most stunningly gorgeous animation of any Disney movie. Unfortunately, beauty of any kind is rarely seen outside of the movie's backdrop. Everywhere from beginning to end is fraught with violence, and while the violence never bothered me, it is the hypocritical way the stereotypes are played off of it that did. The English are all cartoonish (granted, this is a cartoon but this is really excessive, similar to depictions of the Romans in paintings of Jesus), except for the heroically Aryan Smith. Meanwhile, the Powhatan are proud and noble-looking with dream bodies. Also, the Powhatan are displayed as peace-loving people who want only to be one with nature, but they are really just as "savage" as their British counterparts (for instance, even though they may sing about how seasons go and seasons come, steady as the beating drum, their happiness stems from a war victory). Then, there are a plethora of historical innaccuracies, but to expect Disney to conform to the story of an eleven year old, somewhat unattractive native girl who later dies of syphillis and an exploitave white man who are nothing more than friends would not make for good movie-watching, so I wish that people would stop whining about this particular aspect. All the same, the movie-watching isn't great for any conciensious adult. The double standards and stereotyping totally belie the movie's message of tolerance. While I understand that many tribes felt a special connection with nature, I don't believe anyone would go so far as to tell everyone that she heard a talking tree telling her to listen with her heart (not to mention that Smith can see the tree too, showing that her communication isn't solely with the tribe). And the chief is hardly condemned for almost bringing a bloody death on a framed Smith, because the chief is just a poor victim of the vicious, greedy and suspiciously Jewish-looking Governer Radcliffe anyway. The songs are all right but often preachy and, once again, stereotyping. Should you watch this movie, turn down the sound and enjoy the scenery, because that's about all there is to enjoy....more info
  • Pochantas
    Thenk you. I facilitate a book club with members from our Local MRDD facility. We read Pochantas as a recent selection. I was looking for the movie to use as our culminating activity. This arrived in a timely manner and was just what I was looking for. Vera...more info
  • Enjoyable bit of history
    This was a gift for my little 3 and 4 yr old nieces. They enjoyed it very much and the younger wanted to know what was wrong with her face.
    Stimulating and different fromt he other movies they see. Thank you for the quick service....more info
  • Overlooked Disney gem
    Even if it's historically inaccurate, it's still an enjoyable movie.

    That being said, there's few things wrong with this special 10th anniversary edition. For a really good price (about $15) you get a ton of special features which weren't present in older releases. And it's still a great film, with great music and a good, solid storyline. And if it gets kids interested in American history, that's a bonus!

    The only reason I'm not giving it five stars is for the absolutely horrible added scene between John Smith and Pocahontas. (I still haven't figured out how to get the original version to play on my DVD player, and so it automatically goes right to the 10th Anniversary Edition). The song, "If I Never Knew You" is absolutely gorgeous (see the original soundtrack for a good version), and Judy Kuhn (the singing voice for Pocahontas) has a wonderful voice. But when she's paired up with Mel Gibson for their version of "If I Never Knew You," it's just awful. I think the concept behind the scene is great, but it doesn't seem to add much to the plot - which is probably why it wasn't included in the original theatrical version. And Mel Gibson can't sing. That's what ruins the scene for me more than anything, especially since you can tell Judy Kuhn is holding back vocally to match Gibson's lackluster vocals. Since she shines on all the other songs in the movie, she would probably have overpowered Gibson on the duet.

    So buy this DVD because it's a great movie at a great price, but then do yourself a favor and watch only the original version!...more info
  • One of the best love stories
    I've been loving the story of Pocahontas since I first saw this on video so many years ago - I also saw it at the cinema. I love the fact it's so historical, despite it being based on folklore. I also own a fictional book on it, which extends on much of the stuff in the film. I did look up the straight-to-DVD sequel, but there's no John Smith. :( I was so into Pocahontas, that it made me want to dye my hair black, and grow it long. If I have my hair in braids at work, I even get called Pocahontas. Back in those days, I wanted to be Pocahontas so much, but thankfully, my tastes have changed since swooning over a blonde, clean cut John Smith.

    This story is so romantic in every way, from their first meeting, to the finale, and all the scenes in-between. They're so different but so meant for each other. I even liked the new scene, which blends so seamlessly into the film, and seems so familiar, I barely realised that it was a new scene. It also has a brand new song, "If I Never Knew You", which was cut after children in test audiences found it boring. OK, it does go over stuff that we already know, and rehashes earlier footage from the film, but it's still one of the best songs.

    In the extras, during a very long and interesting The Making Of Pocahontas, the viewers get to see who Pocahontas was based on. Boy was I disappointed! Irene Bedard provided the voice for Pocahontas and the animated character was based on her. I look more like Pocahontas than she does!

    What sets this Disney film apart from the others (it was also the last Disney movie I ever watched) is that unlike many Disney movies these days (Shrek for example) nearly every voice in them is a big star, which just so doesn't happen in this film. I much prefer Disney movies when you don't know the voices at the other end. OK, in this movie you have Mel Gibson as the voice of John Smith, but the only other big star is Billy Connolly. (I only just realised this after watching the DVD!) Also the animals don't talk, which is normally a given in Disney movies. It also drags you into the film, until you quite literally fall in love with it. Watching it again after so many years (and now as an adult), made me feel like a little girl all over again, going all gooey over the scenes between Pocahontas and John Smith, and wishing I had it for myself. Amazing how all this stuff can just come straight back to you.

    There's been a whole hoo-ha, about how stuff wasn't historically represented, blah blah. It's a Disney movie guys. Come on! If you want to know about the legend of Pocahontas, there's plenty of books out there, I own one, and although I haven't read it in years, I'm definitely going to dig it out again.

    This film is an absolute diamond, and is much better than some of the rubbish that Disney decided to churn out after this. It has some of the best songs included in a Disney movie (hello, Colours Of The Wind could be practically considered a classic!). Pocahontas is a strong woman, not afraid to stand up to her father, although I am disappointed she didn't go to England with John. (She does in the book I've read.) The extras are quite good, with the making of going a wee bit into the history of Pocahontas, and showing around Jamestown, and where John Smith originally landed.

    Magical? You betcha.
    ...more info
  • Beautiful animation
    A fun story about the collision of cultures as the English and the native American tribes clash with each other in colonial Virginia. As always with Disney films there is some excellent musical scores and an entertaining storyline. A fun film for the whole family!...more info
  • Not as bad as I thought it would be
    Because of my interest in history, it's taken me this many years to force myself to watch this movie. I knew that Disney would twist this important historical event all out of shape, and they did. But after watching it I realized that it is good enough for children, and it might even inspire older children (and adults) to learn more about the real history. I also realized that it would be impossible to make a popular children's animated musical about Pocahontas and the complex interactions, motivations, and tragic outcomes between the English and the Native Americans without simplifying and distorting the story, and I forgive Disney for that. This movie does instill a sense of respect for Native Americans and awe for the glorious land that became America (for better or worse)....more info
  • Great movie
    I loved this movie! I know it is not historically accurate, but it is visually stunning and an unforgettable love story. ...more info
  • Great Music
    I love the song and score of Pocahontas, great Disney movie and very beautiful package...more info
  • Not Historically Accurate
    I bought this movie for my daughter who is 2. My daughter likes it, but like The Little Mermaid and Cinderella she prefers.

    The story is good and about following your heart, peace, and nature, but it's entirely inaccurate. The Algonquian Indians that were native to Virginia during that time placed women as the chiefs. This means that Pocahontas would have been the Queen (she was). Her father would have just been a hunter/soldier (he was). Pocahontas was the Queen of her tribe during John Smith's visit. I was very disappointed that Disney did a poor job of using sustainable historical details. I think the story would have been better if Pocahontas was the Priestess.

    Also, the land that John Smith landed on was not mountainous. I'm from Virigina/DC and it's flat land from the Chesapeake Bay for some 90 miles West until you reach the Blue Ridge Mountains. ...more info
  • Inappropriate for children
    Disney's fictionalized love story between the 12 year old Pocahontas and the 27 year old John Smith can only leave us praying that this didnt happen in real life. (Pocahantas married John Rolfe when she was 19 and had a child, which is, of course, left out of this movie).
    Even if you get passed the blatant pedophilia overtones, the movie is still filled with bland musical numbers, and boring dialogue. ...more info
  • Pure Happiness
    This is the first movie I ever saw in a theatre. I remember sitting next to my mom and knowing I would always love this movie as the conch shells were blown to welcome home the warriors. I din't care about it not being historically accurate. I loved the colors, the music, the people, and Meeko. :)
    True, this movie bears no resemblance to historical fact. But ignore that and watch the story. There is a powerful message about the dangers of prejudice. The song Savages always chills me to the bone. Here are two cultures so bent on anger they cannot see how alike they are. And we, the audience, see how incredibly alike they are as they prepare for battle. I am constantly reminded of this song, and, I'm sad to say, have fallen victim to preconcieved notions myself. This movie was very fundamental to helping me view people as people. I believe this is a film children should see for it's gentle message of tolerance....more info
  • One of my favorite underrated Disney classics.
    Pocahontas was the 1995 follow up to Disney's blockbuster success of The Lion King. Although it didn't manage to even gross half of what TLK did, it managed to pull in over $141 million domestically, which is quite respectable. Many don't care for it because of its historical inaccuracies. For a while as of late, I did push it aside and thought that I no longer cared for it like I did. However, when Disney announced a 10th Anniversary 2-Disc DVD, featuring a new extended version of the film with the previously and wrongfully deleted If I Never Knew You song, I decided to get it and gained an all new appreciation for the film, its themes, and its visual appreciation I never had at 12 when I first saw it.

    The transfer is much better than the Gold Collection DVD, which was riddled with grain and softness. There's not a speck of grain or any other video flaws. Audio is excellent. It's kind of hard to believe Pocahontas is 10 years old. And the film finally feels complete now that If I Never Knew You has been restored into the film.

    While not as packed as a Platinum Edition, this DVD is thankfully void of the countless games (Instead, only one game is included here.) and cheesy pop remake videos and gets down to the MEATY stuff. The two videos for the pop songs heard during the end credits ARE here, however, but they all provide nostalgic fun while looking at videos riddled with mid-90's video cliches. Nostalgic fun. Also included is a 28-minute making-of docu produced in 1995 for the Disney Channel. It also includes cliched mid-90's touches. Nostalgic fun, yet again. It's also surprisingly not completely fluffy. Also included are various featurettes on the premiere, the making of the If I Never Knew You scene, and the music, as well as an early presentation reel featuring an early demo of Colors Of The Wind, deleted scenes, and theatrical trailers.

    For a non-Platinum disc of a more overlooked film, Disney has certainly given Pocahontas an awesome DVD treatment, complete with a deleted song. I definitely recommend it, and I hope Disney does something similar in 2006 for the 10th Anniversary of another cruelly overlooked classic, The Hunchback Of Notre Dame....more info
  • New song!
    This DVD set has already made its debut in some countries in Europe, and a friend of mine told me that it does have the deleted song "If I Never Knew You" back in the movie! I personally love that song and can't wait to see it back where it belongs. Of course, if you don't want to see a new song in the movie and would rather just watch it the way it was in theaters, you have the option to do so. This should be a great DVD with awesome special features...I can't wait until May! ...more info
  • I remember this being worse when I first saw it
    In the special features on the Lion King DVD, they were quasi-lamenting that their film was kind of the B team and that Pocahontas was going to be the next big release like Beauty and the Beast. How odd and by how far the underdog team won. Lion King became to be one of the most successful animated films ever, in theatres and home video. Pocahontas on the other hand didn't get favorable reviews and only a respectable box office return. The film isn't Pinocchio or Bambi status by any means but it's sure better than what they've been doing lately, even if it was 10 years ago.

    The story centers around Pocahontas living in her village. All is fine until ships from England appear looking for gold. Each group is curious and cautious about the other until Pocahontas meets John Smith, one of the more well-known settlers. So it's a love story set against the backdrop of natives not wanting their land changed and settlers hunting for gold with Pocahontas and John Smith caught in the middle.

    What the film has going for it is a rich color palette, quite simply it looks great. It doesn't have that sharpness or finesse like Lion King but it's certainly a colorful film to look at. The songs aren't quite as exciting. What made previous songs work is that they worked independently of the film as well. Under the Sea or Prince Ali works just as fine without the film in front of you. The 2 big songs from here are Around the River Bend and Colors of the Wind and only the latter is memorable without seeing the movie.

    We can look at the historical changes that Disney made(which you can research, tons of sites) and say they were done for storytelling purposes(apparently Pocahontas was much older than 16 for real, would've been creepy on screen, no?), or say it's pure Disney manipulative trife that messes with things to better suit the story on a $ front. To me it doesn't matter as long as the version they're telling isn't blatantly manipulative. The villain doesn't get a big comeuppance on the likes of Ursula or Shan Yu and the film doesn't end with a big smooch like Aladdin or Hercules but at least it ends properly given the changes.

    Pocahontas is part of what is most likely going to be a series of what I call "Gold Editions" even though those kind of exist. The big classics like Lion King, Cinderella and Lady and the Tramp got Platinum while Pocahontas, Tarzan, Mulan and most likely Hercules get just a 2 disc edition. It's still nice to own them and Pocahontas is worthy of being included in the Disney shelf, it just may not be your favorite.

    ...more info
  • Pocahontas Review
    My daughter is only four but she liked this. We did have to explain to her about the violent parts, but once she heard that, she was okay with the entire movie....more info
  • prompt delivery
    i received the dvd only 3 days after i ordered it. i would also like to say that offers a no questions asked money back refund....more info
  • My Daughter Loves It.
    We had a video of Pocahontas, but needed/wanted a DVD. Since we got it in the mail she won't stop playing it. She's two yrs old and tries her best to sing along with all of the songs. Thank you for a great product....more info
  • Disney could have done a much better job.
    I actually wanted to give this one star, but my sentimental attachment to all things Disney forced me to throw in a bonus point.

    I know it's for kids. I know it's for entertainment's sake. But....

    There is so much that is of value in the truth. I don't know why the actual story had to be turned into this PC mish-mash. Disney's adult fans will not be amused. If it's for the kid's sake, please just rent it or borrow it from the library. And, while you're at the library, be sure to pick up some of the wonderful books for kids and teens that tell the facts in just as exciting a manner.

    If you really want to excite your children about history, take them to Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg, where history really does come to life!...more info
  • Honestly
    You people are crazy. This movie wasn't made to teach kids history, it was made to tell a classic LEGEND. Who wants to watch a movie about a 12 year old Native American and a 30 year old white man and their love? Don't you find that a little bit disturbing? How would you explain to a 3-year old what syphillis is?
    This movie is awesome. It has great songs and an enticing plot. I don't know anyone that doesn't like it, except, apparently, for a couple of you guys. It's not a history lesson, it's a kid's movie!...more info
  • Wonderful sound track
    Great movie for the kids (although not historically very accurate) or a relaxing evening at home with your Wife.

    Typical Disney story with a happy ending and great music!!! Good story for the whole family....more info
  • Great for musicals lovers
    I totally disagree with the original poster the movie was excellent in every aspect. The musicals were the best part of the movie. Pictures were great this movie is definitely worth your time. This is great for the kids. I give this a 9 3/4....more info
  • Pocahontas (10th Anniversary Edition)
    I was very happy to find Pocahontas (10th Anniversary edition) and at such a good price. My Grandaughter was so upset when our VCR "ate" our previous tape that I had found at a garage sale. I had been looking all over for a replacement and was happy to find it in the CD format....more info
  • Worse the second time around
    I saw this movie in the theater when it was released in '85. I remember being mildly entertained but annoyed, despite my loose grasp of American history, at the extreme liberties taken with the realities of this true story. No, I was not expecting a documentary from Disney, but a second viewing a few days ago really brought home how non-praiseworthy this film really is.

    There's a lot to like: love the "Sleeping Beauty" era animation style. Pochahontas, as a fictional construct, is gorgeous in a very exotic way, and Mel Gibson delivers a very engaging performance as a fictional John Smith. The overly (as usual) anthropomorphized animals were rendered less obnoxious by not speaking English...but then they threw in a talking tree(!). Oh, and despite the fact that I've grown weary of animated musicals, "The Colors of the Wind" is a fabulous (if tree-huggy) number with beautiful visuals.

    So what's not to like? Pretty much everything else. The rest of the songs are about on par with the dreck from the Rankin-Bass "Hobbit". Remember that? Ugh. I know people defend this movie by justifying the historical inaccuracies as "art" or "minor artistic license" or whatever, but that demonstrates a deep ignorance that testifies to the shameful state of public education. Another reviewer here used the illustration, by way of comparison, of a supposed film about Anne Frank where she might run off and marry a German soldier. That example carries the right weight, imo. Pochahontas was a little girl when the Jamestown colonists arrived! She was not a statuesque teenager! She may have had some kind of illicit relationship with John Smith later on, but she married somebody else. She was passed around like a novelty back in England and died there. This is not really Disney material, folks.

    This goes beyond "artistic license" to completely re-writing the story and replacing historical characters with fantastical constructs that just distract the educated viewer from enjoying a nice little tale. When the writers of "The Patriot" (another Gibson project) played this loose and fast with history, the historical big wigs eventually pressured them to change the names from actual persons to fictional ones, because the story was no longer really about actual historical people. This one is even worse, and they really should have done the same. This is not a fairy tale, like "Little Mermaid" (which was also changed dramatically...but who cares? It's just a fable...), and there is a should be a certain amount of responsibility to see that the lives and efforts of those represented are honored.

    If they just wanted to fill their lineup with a "native American" story, why not Sacajaweya? Here's a girl who was taken from her people as a child, volunteers or is sold (can't remember) to the Lewis/Clark expedition as a native guide, and ends up finding her own people along the way! Baby Pip grows up and is sponsored by the "evil white guys" to get a good education and ends up an important guide and Native advocate in the West. Lots of adventure and some seriously happy endings. Crazy wacky characters built right in, plus it's a "buddy pic".

    No, we'd rather make up some tree-huggy sexual tension fantasy with bad songs. Gah. It sort of works for pre-schoolers: pretty colors, cute animals, mindless songs...but then why the romantic angle? Kids hate the "kissy" stuff. It's like they couldn't make up their mind what they wanted it to be, so the whole thing is kind of half-baked.

    It could be worse, I guess....more info
  • Buy This 10th Anniversary Edition
    If you do not own Pocahontas and want to purchase. Get the 10th Anniversary edition not the gold Collector's edition. THe 10th Anniversary is a 2 disc set that is fully restored compared to the Gold Collection which looks plain bad and does not look like its only a decade old it looks like a straight port from the vhs so you will be missing out if you buy the Gold collector's edition and not the 10th Anniversary Edition.

    It has been my experience with Disney Dvd that you get the 2 Disc set becuase they always seem to better than the single disc counterparts. take the limited issue series they are bare bones just liek the gold collections are so if you are a true fan of Disny you want the 2 disc sets.

    Pocahontas is Disney's take on teh classic tale of two people trying to bridge the gap between the Native Americans and The Englis settlers but with the Disney Spin.

    Movie is very enjoyable for all ages and remeber do not get the gold Collectors get the 10th Anniversary....more info
  • Wingapo, Pocahontas! My favorite Disney movie returns in style.
    Pocahontas was, in my opinion, the last great traditional Disney animated film. I was fifteen when it came out, at the age where Disney movies soon became a thing of the past. I was attracted to Pocahontas for a number of reasons: I had spend childhood spring breaks in Williamsburg, VA and Jamestown, I spent summers Up North running through the woods of Northern Michigan, and ever since childhood, I have been active in Native American culture and crafts: learning the Native American flute, working at powwows, teaching about Native American culture in Quebec, and giving craft demonstrations of making dreamcatchers, among other things.

    Very loosely based on the real Pocahontas (who was around eleven or twelve at the time of her encounter with John Smith), Disney's adaptation features all of the Disney prerequisites: talking animal sidekicks, a beautiful, independent heroine, flashy musical numbers, and a love story. However, Pocahontas marked a departure for Disney as well: it was the first film to deviate from the traditional animation style and the first to be based on historical events rather than fairy tales.

    To their credit, Disney put a lot of research into the Native American language and customs portrayed in the film. In one interview, the director mentions having a shaman visit the studio, in another segment, a deleted song about Powhatan wedding customs was mentioned for the amount of research. The film also features Native American actors in several roles, including Russell Means (Lakota) as Chief Powhatan, Irene Bedard (Inupiat and Cree) as Pocahontas, Gordon Tootoosis (Cree) as Kekata, and Michelle St. John (Cree) as Nakoma. After watching the bonus material, it is evident what an amazing amount of research and devotion Disney poured into this project. Yes, there are groups that attack the film as a commercial sell-out of Native American culture, but isn't it better to get kids interested in other cultures and traditions from a young age?

    Pocahontas is a wild spirit who would rather be canoeing down the river instead of talking about marriage proposals, as her father, Chief Powhatan, wants her to (Pocahontas says of her intended husband Kocoum, "He's so...serious"). Adventure comes her way when the dashing soldier John Smith and a shipload of English settlers lands at Jamestown in 1607 (which, ironically, is nowhere near as hilly or lush as the animation would have you believe). The settlers, driven by the vile Governor Ratcliffe, are sure that the "savages" (Native Americans) have hidden the gold that is supposed to be in the New World, and are involved in a number of skirmishes with Pocahontas's tribe.

    Pocahontas meets John Smith and it is love at first sight. The two risk everything to be together, but a tragedy threatens to pull them apart. Unlike most Disney films, this one doesn't have a storybook ending (and unfortunately, was yet another victim of the detestable direct-to-video sequels with substandard animation, average songs, and a plot that basically ignored everything that happened in the original film), and was left open ended.

    Pocahontas also had one of the most mature and captivating instrumental scores, with a very sweeping, Native-American influenced backing of lush strings, cedar flute, and drums. I didn't care as much for the musical numbers, with the exception of "Just Around the Riverbend" and "Colors of the Wind." One neat bonus is a multi-language reel of "Colors of the Wind" sung in Icelandic, Slovenian, Polish, Korean, Japanese, German, French and French-Canadian, Turkish, Arabic, and I'm sure I'm forgetting a few!

    For the 10th anniversary edition, Disney has truly outdone themselves with the sheer number of extras: a two-disc set that features new animation and a new song ("If I Never Knew You," a duet between John Smith and Pocahontas), a multi-language reel, activities for the kids, including sing alongs, a "making of," and original storyboards and deleted sequences with commentary by the directors, producers, and composers. The film has been completely remastered and is presented in 5.1 digital surround, and sounds better than ever.

    A truly beautiful package worthy of my favorite Disney film (and plenty to keep the kids engaged as well!).
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  • Good item with a compelling story.
    It offers an interesting look at the life of Native Americans before America was conquered. I liked the approach that Disney too in delivering the story since it attracts the young crowd....more info