Disney’s Pocahontas II has had a tough go of things ever since its original release in 1998. Like so many other sequels churned out by Disney over the years, it has had anything but a positive reputation. Perhaps the reason for that is that so few people have taken the time to really try to see this flick for its intrinsic value.
On the surface, Pocahontas II comes across as just another sequel from Disney. On a deeper level, there are some small nuances to it that make it more interesting. For instance, the combination of the movie’s animation and musical numbers harkens back to the company’s hit 1991 movie, Beauty and the Beast. Even Pocahontas herself is reminiscent of Belle as she walks down the staircase to the ball in her yellow dress. Pocahontas II even has an elderly female character named Mrs. Jenkins who may remind some viewers of Mrs. Potts, from Beauty and the Beast (or any other figures of her ilk).
Beauty and the Beast is not the only classic movie to which Disney makes references in Pocahontas II. As subtle as it was, the movie had a scene in which Pocahontas was running away from the ball after having been set up by the evil Lord Ratcliffe. Whether or not it was intended, this scene pays homage to another Disney classic in the form of 1950’s Cinderella. As Pocahontas is running away into the forest, she loses her shoes very much in the style of Cinderella. Again, this may have been wholly coincidental. But those with any knowledge of Disney’s history will likely catch the reference, just as this reviewer did.
The animation and classic Disney references do their fair share to make Pocahontas II worth at least one watch. While they play some role in making it an interesting flick, there is at least one more factor that makes Pocahontas II fun for both kids and adults. That factor is Pocahontas’ animal friends. Miko, Percy, and Flit are all back again for this adventure. And just as in the original of the pair, Miko’s seemingly bottomless pit of a stomach gets the trio in all sorts of trouble. At the same time, all three help Pocahontas at times, too. And their antics are worth more than their share of laughs for audiences of all ages.
Pocahontas II does change the history of the famed figure for which it is named, just as in the first movie of the pair. Would it have been nice to have a more accurate history? Obviously. But the laughs from Pocahontas’ animal friends along with the animation and classic Disney references make up for that. They’re enough, all together, to make this Disney sequel worth at least one watch.
Pocahontas II is available now with Pocahontas in a special triple disc blu-ray/DVD combo pack. It’s available in stores and online. It can be ordered direct via Disney’s online store at http://www.disneystore.com.
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