Pocahontas (1995) voices Irene Bedard, Judy Kuhn, Mel Gibson, David Ogden Stiers, John Kassir directed by Mike Gabriel, Eric Goldberg Movie Review

Pocahontas (1995)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Pocahontas (1995)

Pocahontas Side Story

With a ship about to leave for America on a mission to establish a community, the adventurous John Smith joins for the adventure. When they finally arrive John meets the divinely beautiful Pocahontas of a native tribe and they fall for each other. But it soon becomes apparent that John's people and Pocahontas' people do not see eye to eye leading them to find someway for the two people to accept each other or end up separated.

I have never followed the world of animation that closely but it seems, or at least some say, that "Pocahontas" marked the end of the Walt Disney run of animated hits which included "The Lion King". And as such there are plenty of explanations as to why this animation marked the end from some suggesting the treatment of the Native Americans in this version was insensitive whilst others will tell you that nothing stood a chance in the immediate wake of "The Lion King". I have my own theory, it is called formula because "Pocahontas" feels like a story squeezed into the Disney animated formula and that makes it all too familiar.

What I mean is that we have the character of Pocahontas like just about every other female lead character who inhabited a Walt Disney animation for a while with that slight rebelliousness which made her an individual whilst an array of animal friends because animals especially those of the wild flock to nice people. Then we have John Smith who is given a flowing mane of hair, maybe long hair is easier to draw but it is all too familiar. But on top of that we have the musical aspect with nothing which stands out when you have endured several Disney animations from this period which all feature a similar musical style.

The annoying thing about all this is that "Pocahontas" features some lovely animation work and whilst the characters are for me too typical they are beautifully drawn. Yet ironically it is the background art work which is where "Pocahontas" is at its best and the scene where John Smith and Pocahontas first meet grabs your attention because of the artwork around the characters rather than the characters themselves.

What this all boils down to is that for me "Pocahontas" whilst not bad as a piece of entertainment is only just another Walt Disney animation. The trouble is that the story of "Pocahontas" has been squeezed to fit the Disney formula and that unfortunately makes it ordinary.