Blu-ray Review “Pocahontas / Pocahontas II: Journey To A New World”

Directors: Tom Ellery, Bradley Raymond
Starring: Irene Bedard, Mel Gibson, David Ogden Stiers, Christian Bale, Linda Hunt, Frank Welker
MPAA Rating: G
Studio: Walt Disney Video
Release Date: August 21, 2012
Running Time: 153 minutes

Films: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

This release for “Pocahontas” 2-Movie Collection includes both “Pocahontas / Pocahontas II: Journey To A New World”. Of course we all know that “Pocahontas II: Journey To A New World” is not as good as it’s predecessor but is not the worst DTV sequel that Disney ever made. I would rather have the film included on this set to complete the series then on a separate release. This three-disc set includes 1 Blu-ray disc and 2 DVDs. “Pocahontas” never really found its main audience with fans, besides having a hit song “Color of the Wind”. I have always liked it and it is still a beautiful film and worth the purchase. Whether you like “Pocahontas” or it’s sequel “Pocahontas II: Journey To A New World”, this is still a must for all Disney fans!

This isn’t the only film released out of the vault though. Besides this film, August 21st saw the release seven animated films over five different Blu-ray, including “The Aristocats”, “Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure”, “The Rescuers / The Rescuers Down Under” and “The Tigger Movie”. Disney if you are reading this, I still want to see a Blu-ray release for films like “Robin Hood” and “The Sword in the Stone”…(hint-hint).

“Pocahontas and Pocahontas II: Journey To A New World” are both included on the same BD-50 disc, though this doesn’t affect either film’s presentation.  The 1080p video transfers look impressive on both films though age has not been kind to either one.  “Pocahontas” looks better than its DTV sequel since “Pocahontas II: Journey To A New World” shows its cheaper animation budget. Both “Pocahontas and Pocahontas II: Journey To A New World” contain a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track. I thought that the music and score for “Pocahontas” definitely sounds better and overall really sharp.

The special features are decent for these films and definitely leave you satisfied.  There is an audio commentary track with Producer James Pentecost and co-directors Eric Goldberg and Mike Gabriel.  Overall not my favorite track ever but still informative.  The next two extras are presented in HD.  “Drawing Inspiration: The Lost Story of Hiawatha” follows Goldberg and animation historian Charles Solomon as they discuss the long-lost animated feature film that was never made. Highly recommended.  There is a deleted song called “If I Never Knew You” with optional commentary with Goldberg, Gabriel and Pentecost. There is also nine storyboarded scenes deleted from “Pocahontas”, running about 15 minutes. “The Music of Pocahontas” is a featurette on the film’s notable music and songs.  There is a cartoon short called “Little Hiawatha” from the 1937 Walt Disney Silly Symphony.  Lastly there is “Disney’s Virtual Vault” which included featurettes and extras from the original DVDs available via BD-Live.

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