Pocahontas (1995)

steve jaros

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Title: Pocahontas

Tagline: An American legend comes to life.

Genre: Adventure, Animation, Family, Romance

Director: Mike Gabriel, Eric Goldberg

Cast: Irene Bedard, Mel Gibson, David Ogden Stiers, John Kassir, Russell Means, Christian Bale, Judy Kuhn, Linda Hunt, Danny Mann, Billy Connolly, Joe Baker, Frank Welker, Michelle St. John, James Apaumut Fall, Gordon Tootoosis, Jim Cummings

Release: 1995-06-14

Runtime: 81

Plot: Pocahontas, daughter of a Native American tribe chief, falls in love with an English soldier as colonists invade 17th century Virginia.

 

steve jaros

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I saw Pocahontas on its day of theatrical release in June, 1995. In the 25 years since i had never seen it again in any format, until today. Not intentionally, it just happened that way.

Beautiful movie still. Thanks Marcus Theaters, loved the Enchanted Series.

A-
 
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Traveling Matt

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Though it's not as good as the Lion King (itself not as good as Mermaid/Beast/Aladdin), I have always had a soft spot for Pocahontas and feel it's still underrated today.
 

steve jaros

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I agree. Pocahontas has a cultural resonance that has outlasted its tepid critical and even commercial response at release. As a Princess she's right up there with any of them, particularly among Hispanic and African-American girls, who have claimed her for their own over the years.

FWIW, my ratings for the 1989 - 1999 Disney Renaissance films:

Mermaid ....... A
Beast ............. A+
Aladdin ......... A
Lion King ...... A
Pocahontas .. A-
Hunchback .... B+
Hercules ........ B+
Mulan ............ A-
Tarzan ........... A-
 
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Johnny Angell

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Though it's not as good as the Lion King (itself not as good as Mermaid/Beast/Aladdin), I have always had a soft spot for Pocahontas and feel it's still underrated today.
The Lion King is not as good as Mermaid/Beast/Aladdin? Holy moly! Let’s just say I disagree strongly.
 
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Tino

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The Lion King is not as good as Mermaid/Beast/Aladdin? Holy moly! Let’s just say I disagree strongly.
Gotta say I agree. I would put Lion King 4th.
 

Jake Lipson

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Did they show the original theatrical release or the special edition from the 10th anniversary DVD? I assume the former, but that's insane. The directors clearly prefer the extended cut, which restored the If I Never Knew You musical sequence, and you can tell from their commentary on the DVD that they are ecstatic to have it back in the film. (It was cut only because kids wouldn't sit still in the test screening, not because they actually wanted it gone.)

Disney's erasure of the extended cut since that DVD in 2005 really bothers me, and this is the reason I haven't bought the existing Blu-ray. I would rather watch the extended cut in standard definition than go back to the original version in HD, because that is how much I think If I Never Knew You improves the film. The 25th anniversary this year would sure be a great time to correct that omission from the Blu-ray.
 
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Chuck Mayer

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Rankings and Ratings, bread and butter. I figured I would share.

1989 - 1999 Disney Renaissance films:
Mermaid ....... A+
Beast ............. A+
Aladdin ......... A+
That's the "holy" trinity of the Renaissance, and well deserved.
Lion King ...... A- (I loved this upon first viewing, but have cooled a bit since...I never thought it was the equal of the first big three, although it's still an exceptional film)
Pocahontas .. B+ (the longer version with the "If I Never Knew You" edges it upward noticeably, as y'all have discussed already - it's ALSO the reason I have yet to upgrade as well - it really improves the film)
Hunchback .... A+ (stealth favorite of mine, stunning animation, and the best Disney villain of the past 30 years)
Hercules ........ A- (watched this film this weekend for the first time in a decade or so; what a fun and charming film, a superhero comedy with spectacular animation, a great villain, and a great female lead)
Mulan ............ A
Tarzan ........... A- (the animation in this film is next level)

I always found the "rhyming" of the films (in terms of sequencing) interesting as well:
Mermaid leads to Pocahontas (and then Mulan)
Beast leads to Hunchback
Aladdin leads to Hercules
Lion King leads to Tarzan
 
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Johnny Angell

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@Chuck Mayer you are more generous than me. Of the mentioned films only the first 4 would get an A, IMHO. For The Hunchback, I recall (don't own it and haven't watched in years) being irritated by the happy ending. "Ya can't give this story a happy ending!" Ah, but it is Disney, isn't it. Can't upset the kiddies.

I think I enjoyed the others, but found them unmemorable and don't own them.
 

Chuck Mayer

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Hellfire remains an absolute all-timer song for me, and Hunchback gets a lot more serious than most Disney films. The 90s were an exceptional decade for the animation studio. My ”scores” would drop dramatically starting with their 2000 films.
 
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Malcolm R

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I've always loved Hunchback, and thought it was underrated among the so-called Disney classics.
 
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