Even more than 15 years after its release, Disney’s “Pocahontas” still remains one of the most visually striking animated feature films. Viewing its new Blu-ray release offers a new appreciation for a film that often gets lost among the ’90s giants like “The Lion King,” “Aladdin,” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Though it doesn’t have the same fairy tale flare, the music and the scenery of “Pocahontas” were practically made for high-definition enjoyment.
The new Blu-ray version of “Pocahontas” comes bundled with its unworthy sequel, “Pocahontas 2: Journey to a New World.” Anyone picking up this release should immediately ignore that second half, a trite film with lackluster visuals, suffering from direct-to-DVD syndrome. Fortunately the original still stands on its own, not the strongest of Disney’s decades of history and certainly not for everyone, but reminding all who watch of the emotional power Disney animation and music can bring when they’re at their best.
Some new high-definition bonus features accompany this two-movie release, taking an always enjoyable peek into untold Disney history. Included is an old short called “Little Hiawatha” along with a new featurette explaining the “lost story” of this tale that inspired the filmmakers of “Pocahontas.” For big fans of the film, it’s an interesting peek behind the curtain. Also noteworthy is “The Music of Pocahontas” extra, only because anything songwriter Alan Menken does is worth seeing and hearing (even if this particular bonus feature looks rather old).
The best reason to pick up the latest release of “Pocahontas” is not for its extras and certainly not for its sequel, but instead to appreciate the beauty that Disney hand-created for every frame of the film. While it doesn’t feature quite the cast of zany and lovable characters as many of Disney’s other animated films of the time, “Pocahontas” does still show off some of the best Disney animation to ever hit the big screen – which looks fantastic in HD.
“Pocahontas” and “Pocahontas 2” on Blu-ray are available now on Amazon and many other retailers.