Pocahontas and Pocahontas II

Pocahontas and Pocahontas II
1994 was the year of Disney's The Lion King, which was an incredible sensation, building on an already impressive roster of animated classics such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. Disney shocked many when, in 1995, they decided not to do a film about talking animals and fairy tales, instead opting to animate the historical Native American tale of Pocahontas. The film chronicles the arrival of English explorers to North America in the 17th century in their search for gold, subsequently raping and pillaging the treasured land of the Natives. Based on folklore more than historical fact, Disney extrapolated and spun a tale of love between a white man and an Indian girl, seemingly also drawing from stories of interracial love and racism. Disney threw in a few members of the animal kingdom, giving the titular character a raccoon and hummingbird as her companions, and pairing the evil Governor Ratcliffe with a pampered cat, which is just enough to lighten up an otherwise adult-themed movie and make it cutesy for children. This is by no means one of the Disney "classics," but with solid animation and a memorable soundtrack, it will live on as an anomaly in the Disney animated film catalogue. Unfortunately, they opted to pair it with the straight-to-DVD Pocahontas II, where this time the titular character goes on an adventure to England with her new boyfriend (since her first bit the big one at the end of the first). Of course, no adventure abroad is complete without your animal critter pals, which inevitably leads to a variety of ridiculous shenanigans. Save yourself the hassle and pain and don't even remove this disc from the case. If for some reason you're craving more Pocahontas, there's a variety of special features bundled into the package that should satiate your yearnings, ranging from deleted scenes, commentary and music to a cartoon short film entitled Little Hiawatha. (Buena Vista)