1998; Not Rated; 72 Minutes
Irene Bedard: Pocahontas
Donal Gibson: John Smith
Linda Hunt: Grandmother Willow
Russel Means: Powhattan
David Ogden Stiers: Ratcliffe
Jean Stapleton: Mrs. Jenkins
Billy Zane: John Rolfe
Directed by Tom Ellery
and Bradley Raymond; Screenwritten by Allen Estrin,
Flip Kobler and Cindy Marcus
by DAVID KEYES
II: Journey To A New World" is an above-average Disney sequel.
It is a sequel with enough things going for it to get a
three-star rating instead of two-and-a-half, the standard
for such direct-to-video releases. The approach is an accurate
one to the story of Pocahontas, and the music, animation
and characters best suit such a low-budget animated feature,
which, by the way, is probably the best animated of the
television department's career.
I'd refuse to review such a sequel, but this attention must
be paid here, because the original "Pocahontas" movie was
not that great. Usually, a Disney sequel jumps back a step
or two from its predecessors, as it did with "Aladdin."
"Pocahontas II: Journey To A New World" does not--it stays
at the same level of the original, by creating entertaining
and colorful new characters which have usually been the
best things about Disney animated movies.
like the first, it has problems, and I gather these problems
could not have been prevented. In a way to tell an accurate
story of Pocahontas and her sails to the new world for peace,
things need to be told precisely in order to appreciate
them completely. Disney doesn't do this often, because such
stories are to be aimed at children, and must be somewhat
modified to fit their young viewing eyes. "The Hunchback
Of Notre Dame" is a perfect example of that--not only did
Disney modify the story, but they improved on it. When they
modified "Pocahontas," however, they molded it into an unfinished-type
way, ending just where Pocahontas waves good-bye to John
Smith as he sails back to England.
had heard of Pocahontas going to England, and I expected
such a journey to occur in the first film. This just did
not happen, and the movie felt curiously unfinished. "Pocahontas
II" DOES relieve that anticipation by setting her off to
England, but by this point, I knew the rest of the Pocahontas
story, and knew that when she sailed back to America, she
changed her name to Rebecca, married John Rolfe, and had
a family. This did not happen in "Pocahontas II," and so
it, too, seems unfinished. I imagine the studios will make
a "Pocahontas III" in the next year or so to finish up the
story, but by this point, I just might be sick of seeing
these films, for fear that they will leave out part of the
story there as well.
okay to modify stories, but it's not okay to cut them off
like they did in the "Pocahontas" films. They should be
finished, since they are based on history rather than myth.
But such a story is so long that if the movie did support
the whole story, it would have been four hours long. So,
you can see shy such a film cannot have this problem prevented.
nonetheless, "Pocahontas II" is watchable. I doubt children
will care about the story, no matter how unfinished it is,
but for adults, who felt outraged at the original film's
ending, you can skip seeing the sequel. After all, you'll
probably get the same reaction.
1998, David Keyes, Cinemaphile.org.
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