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Sunday, 10 June 2012

Pocahontus 2: Journey to a New World

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Pocahontas 2: Journey to a New World

Once again Pocahontas and her people are threaten by Radcliff and they are on the verge of war. The King has entrusted his judgement to Radcliffe but John Rolfe a court adviser thinks differently. King James gives Rolfe the task of bringing back the Chieftain so that they can talk this out and try to avoid war.

Rolfe is sent to the new world where he over hears the name Pocahontas and thinking this is the Chieftain requests that Pocahontas comes to London to prevent the war. Only when Pocahontas steps out does he realize his mistake, however, agreements have been made and she agrees to go in her father's place.

Pocahontas is also given the news that John Smith is dead, however, this makes her just as determined to go. However, living in close quarters with John Rolfe they develop feelings for each other. The twist comes here when John Smith turns up in London proclaiming his love for Pocahontas; she now has two men from which she must chose or hurt them both. 

Pocahontas is struggling with the customs of London, trying to prevent war and also chose which man she loves. The two men are constantly bickering over her and Radcliffe is simultaneously trying to trick Pocahontas into making a mistake and making herself the fool destroying the King's trust she has just started to build.

Can Pocahontas stop the war and also find out what her heart wants? It's a gripping plot that will keep adults and children entertained.

The Cast

  • Irene Bedard: Pocahontas
  • Jim Cummings: King James
  • Donald Gibson: John Smith
  • Linda Hunt: Grandmother Willow
  • Russell Means: Powhatan
  • David Ogden Stiers: Ratcliffe
  • Jean Stapleton: Mrs Jenkins
  • Billy Zane: John Rolfe

Verdict

As a sequel this is one of the better movies. Although it is a great plot in its own right there are far too many parodies in here for my liking. For example, Mrs Jenkins, in my opinion, is just Mrs Potts from Beauty and the Beast, they act the same, have an obsession with tea and even the songs are very similar. 

However, now that this particular rant is over, I actually enjoyed this movie a lot. Disney managed to get the culture shock just right and seeing Pocahontas is a full blown ball gown as odd. She looked uncomfortable but that was the whole point. 

I'm not so sure on Pocahontas having two men to chose over, it seems a little odd for Disney to take that route. I would have been happy with Pocahontas falling into the arms of John Smith when he returned alive and well, rather than having John Rolfe put into the equation as well. The two of them constantly bickering start to detract from Pocahontas's culture shock in London and trying to prevent the war.

Overall it is still a great movie that will keep you entertained. If you liked the original then I'm sure you'll like this one too.



Saturday, 2 June 2012

Pocahontas

Pocahontas

The Plot

King James's soldiers have set sail for the 'new world' under governor Ratcliffe. The men are excited about landing on this new terrain in search of gold. This supposed new fortune will allow them to start new lives and get the things that they want.

In the New World Chief Powhatan has returned from the war and has decided it is time for his daughter, Pocahontas, to marry his best warrior. This goes against Pocahontas's dreams as she senses change in the village: little does she know that the English soldiers will soon be upon them.

Ratcliffe and his army make dock on the shores close to Pocahontas's village and the lead character, John Smith, is ordered to go and scout for the savage Indians. Having seen the ship dock Pocahontas moves in to get a closer look at the Pale Faces. John Smith and Pocahontas meet and despite their differences form a close relationship.

Their relationship is soon discovered by both Chief Powhatan and Ratcliffe and both are convinced that it is a plot to get closer to each other's camps to make war. Both sides think of each other as the savages and it is only when Pocahontas saves John Smith's life can she show them that neither side are the savages they believe each other to be.

The Cast

  • Irene Bedard: Pocahontas
  • Mel Gibson: John Smith
  • David Ogden Stier: Governor Ratcliffe
  • John Kassir: Meeko
  • Christian Bale: Thomas
  • Linda Hunt: Grandmother Willow
  • Danny Mann: Percy
  • Billy Connolly: Ben
  • Joe baker: Lon
  • Frank Welker: Flit
  • Michelle St. John: Nakoma
  • Jame Apaumat Fall: Kocoum
  • Gordon Tootoosis: Kekata

Soundtracks

  • Colors of the Wind: Pocahontas is showing John all that he land has to offer and questioning Johns's assumption that her people are the real savages.
  • Just Around the River Bend: Pocahontas is singing about adventure and trying to work out what she wants and if it's the right thing to do.
  • Listen With Your Heart: Grandmother Willow advises Pocahontas to stop listening to outside influences and to listen to what she wants.
  • Savages: the war song between to two sides.
  • Steady as the Beating Drum: introducing the Indian tribe.
  • Virginia Company: the English settlers setting sail to the New World
  • If I Never Knew You: this was not in the original movie but was put in the 2005 Special Edition DVD release. It depicts Pocahontas's and John's love for each other on the verge of his death. To be honest I'm not a fan of this song as it doesn't really fit in with the rest of the music theme.

Verdict

Pocahontas is Disney's first historical animation and although it isn't really that accurate it still makes for one heck of a story. Since it's release in 1995 Pocahontas has been re-released in 2005 and set for the theatrical stage.

In case you hadn't guess Pocahontas is a Princess with attitude. She is not one of these Princesses stuck in the tower but is strong, independent and speaks up for herself and the rights of her people. Her character is refreshing when most Princesses you see are softly spoken and waiting for their knight in shining armor; Pocahontas actually saves her knight from death on a couple of occasions. 

There are a few characters who add to the light-heartedness of the movie. For example, Percy, Meeko and Flit are always getting into trouble and provide the momentary humor that makes Pocahontas a great film.

Disney have yet again made an unbelievable soundtrack. The songs are brilliant and add interest and depth to the story. The lyrics are easy to keep up with and are suitable for a universal audience. 

I can highly recommend Pocahontas as a great Disney movie for kids and adults alike.