Pocahontas (1995)

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Released 21-Nov-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Making Of
Featurette-Character Design
Featurette-The Music Of Pocahontas
Storyboard Comparisons
Featurette-Abandoned Concept - "In The Middle Of The River"
Deleted Scenes-"If I Never Knew You"
Featurette-Multi-Language Reel: "Colors Of The Wind"
Game-Follow Your Heart
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1995
Running Time 77:52
RSDL / Flipper No/No 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
Mel Gibson
Christian Bale
Linda Hunt
Billy Connolly
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $29.95 Music Alan Menken


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Hebrew Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Greek Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.66:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Hebrew
Greek
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 is an enjoyable animated Disney feature based on the folklore surrounding a young American heroine.

    Pocahontas is the first animated Disney feature based on the life of a historic figure. According to folklore, in 1608, Pocahontas, a young daughter of a Native American Chief, saved the life of a British colonist, Capt. John Smith, by holding his head in her arms as he was about to be executed by her father's warriors. Some historians doubt the story, which is not found in any of Smith's own detailed diaries of the time. The story only appeared many years later in Smith's Generall Historie of Virginia. However, it is generally accepted that there was an "Indian Princess", Pocahontas. There is a record that she converted to Christianity in Jamestown, and later married one of the colonists, John Rolfe, with the blessings of both the governor and her father. Following the marriage there was eight years of peace between the Native Americans and the British settlers.

    In the Disney version, the decent and gallant Capt. John Smith (Mel Gibson) and his merry crew are transporting the very greedy Governor Ratcliffe (David Ogden Stiers) from England to the New World, to what is now Jamestown, Virginia, USA. The British invaders have a fear of the "ignorant savages", and that fear fuels violent confrontations when they meet the local native people. Fortunately, Smith meets a young, courageous, spirited, and adventurous native American girl, Pocahontas (Irene Bedard, singing voice by Judy Kuhn). The two embark on a Romeo and Juliet style forbidden romance, which in turn is the catalyst for a growth in understanding between the two cultures. Of course, Disney added the romance between Pocahontas and Smith, but they've also added the usual Disney-style small, mischievous and cute animal friends for comic relief.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.66:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The image is reasonably sharp throughout, and it displays well-saturated colours.

    There are no problems with MPEG artefacts, but there is some aliasing in the form of a slight shimmer at times, such as at 38:24. There are a few tiny film artefacts that appear throughout, but they never became distracting.

    Three sets of subtitles are present, with the English subtitles quite accurate to the spoken word.

    This is a single sided, single layered disc.

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

Audio

    Originally released theatrically in Dolby Stereo-Surround, and remixed into Dolby Digital 5.1 for this DVD, the audio retains much of its original Stereo-Surround feel.

    Apart from the English and Greek Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks, there is also a Hebrew Dolby Stereo audio option.

    The dialogue quality is excellent on the default English Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track.

    The Oscar-winning musical score is credited to Alan Menken. As a musical, there are also a number of songs, including the Oscar-winning Colors Of The Wind. The lyrics are penned by Stephen Schwartz, and the well-written songs all advance the story line.

    There is not a great deal of surround presence and activity, but the rears are called upon at times, for example when the muskets are fired at 22:25.

    The subwoofer is also utilised subtly for some sound effects, such as the thunder at 41:30.

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

Extras

    There are a few extras, all presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with Dolby Digital stereo audio.

Menu

    An animated menu, presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with Dolby Digital stereo audio.

The Making of Pocahontas (28:04)

    An interesting behind-the-scenes look at this production.

Production

    This extra is divided into a number of separate featurettes: Character Design, The Music of Pocahontas, Storyboard to Film Comparison, Abandoned Concept In The Middle Of The River, and Deleted Sequence If I Never Knew You.

Multi-Language Reel

    Colors of the Wind is presented in various languages.

Follow Your Heart

    An interactive adventure game for kids.

R4 vs R1

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

    Pocahontas was released on DVD in Region 1 in 2000.

    The Region 4 DVD misses out on:

    The Region 1 DVD misses out on:

    I would call it even, but I would favour the local release for its superior PAL image.

Summary

    While not in the same class as Beauty And The Beast or The Lion King, Pocahontas is still a quality production, and an enjoyable Disney animated feature on a decent DVD.

    The video quality is good.

    The audio quality is good, albeit quite front-heavy.

    The extras are interesting.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Monday, November 25, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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