Pocahontas: Special Edition (1995)

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Released 9-Nov-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Menu Audio
Alternative Version-Original Theatrical Version
Audio Commentary-Filmmakers
Game-Disney's Art Project
Game-Follow Your Heart
Song Lyrics-Sing Along Songs (2)
Music Video-Colours Of The Wind
Featurette-Making Of
Featurette-Production
Featurette-Design
Featurette-Music
Featurette-Abandoned Concepts, With Optional Commentary
Theatrical Trailer-2
Featurette-The Premiere In Central Park
Featurette-Multi-Language Reel
Gallery
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1995
Running Time 80:49
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Mike Gabriel
Eric Goldberg
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Irene Bedard
Judy Kuhn
Mel Gibson
David Ogden Stiers
John Kassir
Russell Means
Christian Bale
Linda Hunt
Danny Mann
Billy Connolly
Joe Baker
Frank Welker
Michelle St. John
Case ?
RPI $29.95 Music Alan Menken
Stephen Schwartz
H. Lee Peterson


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.66:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Pocahontas had its much anticipated theatrical release in 1994. As Disney's follow-up animation to The Lion King, it was always going to be in a difficult position to repeat that kind of financial and critical success. Whilst it was one of the highest grossing movies that North American summer with over $140 million in ticket sales, it was a bit controversial with critics. It certainly lives in the shadow of another animated film that was released late in that year, Toy Story.

    Interestingly, this was the first Disney animated feature that was based on actual historical figures. It also doesn't follow the traditional Disney happy ending formula. Given the European vs American Indian hostility and themes of environmental conservatism over industrialisation, and the first ever on-screen death of a Disney flick baddie, it's not surprising that it is considered more of an adult-themed picture, rather than a kids movie.

    The film has a beautifully realised pre-civilisation New World, with a distinctive animation style. The artwork feels right for the period epic setting, and this is all the more true with this substantially improved DVD transfer. Featuring a mostly pastel palette, Pocahontas boasts a pretty unique look that works quite well.

    This double dip release came out almost 10 years after the theatrical release and as such is practically a 10 year anniversary release with considerably more special features than the previous 2001 release.

    Recommended for Disney and animation fans.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This PAL disc shows the film at 1.66:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The image is sharp and an improvement over the previous edition.

    The transfer is visually dazzling with a beautiful colour palette. It'd be a shame if hand drawn animated films die. This movie, whatever shortcomings it has, looks absolutely fantastic on DVD.

    MPEG artefacts are not present, and neither is the aliasing problem of the previous release. Thankfully, there is no grain in this edition either.

    There are no film artefacts to be seen.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s) track.

    Whilst not as stand-out impressive as the video transfer, this is still a great audio treatment.

    The dialogue comes through clearly. There were no sync or other audio related issues.

    The music sounds great and helps to advance the storyline.

    The surrounds are used well, especially to add to the sense of the wilderness (i.e. birds in the distance, dogs, and so forth.)

    The subwoofer is subtly used for a few scenes, especially for thunder.

    There is also an English Audio Commentary track in Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Both discs

Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Menu Audio

Disc 1

Audio Commentary-Filmmakers

    A well paced, conversation-like commentary with some interesting anecdotes.


Alternative Version-Original Theatrical Version

    It'd be easy to miss that there is even another version of the film. Go to Set Up, then Film and Audio options where you can choose between the Special Edition (where some musical scenes cut from the theatrical release are restored) and the Original Theatrical Edition.

Disney's Art Project

    Fun American Indian themed crafts for kids to make.

Game-Follow Your Heart

    Menu based game

Song Lyrics-Sing Along Songs (2)

    Colours of the Wind and Just Around the River Bend (Karaoke style, taken from a video transfer - shows you how bad video can be!!)

Music Video-Colours Of The Wind

Disc 2

Featurette-Making Of (28:02)

    Hosted by Irene Bedard (the voice and visual inspiration for Pocahontas), this is an excellent look at the making of the film with input from many of the cast and crew involved.

Featurette-Production

    Early Presentation Reel (3:44)

        Concept art to early music demos.

    Storyboard to Film Comparison (1:32)

    Production Progression including story reel, rough animation, cleaned up animation and then with final colour.

Featurette-Design

    Brief presentations showing the design of the look of the different characters in the film. I believe these were on the laserdisc version of the film.

Featurette-Music

    The Music of Pocahontas (7:05)

    If I Never Knew You Music Video and Making of

Featurette-Abandoned Concepts, With Optional Commentary

    Different scenes in storyboard format that for whatever reason were dropped. They include dialogue from the actual cast and sound effects.

Theatrical Trailers

Featurette-The Premiere In Central Park (3:46)

    Footage from what was the world's largest premiere with 100,000 people attending in Central Park

Featurette-Multi-Language Reel

    Fun Colours of the Wind music scene with different languages. Shows the amount of work put into international releases - it's almost like the same person sings each version. The voice hardly changes even as the languages switch from one to the other.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The features are the same, so I'll go with R4 for superior video.

Summary

    It probably won't go down in history as one of Disney's best, but Pocahontas is a beautifully done film.

    The video is fantastic.

    The audio is good.

    The special features are comprehensive and enjoyable to watch.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ben Smith (boku no bio)
Monday, May 08, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDMarantz DV4300, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL HS10 projector on 100 inch 16x9 screen + Palsonic 76WSHD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony STR-DE685. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationPioneer
SpeakersDB Dynamics VEGA series floor standers + centre, DB bipole rears, 10" 100W DB Dynamics sub

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