Link to Last Week’s Part: The Disneyathon: The Direct to Blog Sequel – Part 4: Beauty and the Beast: Belle’s Magical World
Link to my 1995 Pocahontas Review: The Disneyathon Part 13: Some Unique Films
Oh, they actually made another Pocahontas movie! Alright, let’s take a looksie.
First off, Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World is an actual sequel to Disney’s hit Pocahontas, so we’re off to a good start. The film starts off with Pocahontas’s man hunk, John Smith, being chased down by guards on London’s rooftops until he’s eventually cornered and pushed to his death by the first movie’s villain, Fat Man Ratcliffe. Yes, I’m not kidding, they actually killed off John Smith in the most idiotic fashion ever. Ratcliffe, a man who was arrested for betraying his country in the last movie, somehow frames Smith for all his crimes and is also given command of the city guard with which to capture him. (What the hell?) So according to this movie’s logic, only John Smith saw Ratcliffe being a naughty boy, and with him dead, The Fat Man is in the clear to convince the King of England that the people of Virginia need to be mowed down. Anyway, after that rubbish, a new John appears going by the name of John Rolfe. An improvement over the first John as this one actually has some personality. John 2 asks Pocahontas’s father to come with him to England to convince the King to not wipe out all of the natives. The Chief declines and Pocahontas takes his place and that’s our premise folks!
If that first paragraph wasn’t a giveaway that I’m not the biggest Pocahontas fan, then hopefully I just spelled it out here. So with no high expectations thrown onto the second movie, maybe this could be the first direct to video sequel to be better than the theatrical film. For me they even out, because like the first, it’s just extremely average, although I guess the plot of pleasing a king was better executed than the last story about preventing a war between two races. Pocahontas is a better character in this, except for when they try to force a romance between her and the newcomer John Rolfe. This is the same company that gave us strong romances like Aladdin and Jasmine or Belle and The Beast so how is it that any relationship Pocahontas gets into just drops dead on arrival? I don’t get it! Pocahontas and Rolfe’s romance is bad, so let’s add some actual spice to this romance by bringing back John Smith! You didn’t actually think John Smith was going to stay dead did you, it is Disney! With John S’s return we have a love triangle on our hands that of course goes nowhere because at the end of the movie Pocahontas just picks the guy with personality and disregards the connection she had with Smith.
What else can we talk about? If you like Pocahontas’s animal friends then they get plenty of scenes in which to goof off. They’re not my thing as I much prefer Pocahontas’s bodyguard. He barely says a word and he’s constantly giving people the “you’re dead” eyes, That’s my type of relief. The animation is looking better, it still isn’t on par with any of the Renaissance movies, but it’s definitely improved over the Beauty and the Beast sequels. It’s also refreshing to see the characters wearing different clothes besides just whatever was in the first movie. At the start of the movie we see Pocahontas and the other natives in a winter getup. Plus Pocahontas puts on a dress so she has something to wear during the Disneyland parades. The location of London adds a nice change of scenery from the first movie which was mainly set in the woods. None of the songs compete with the first Pocahontas but I’ll give them credit for being memorable.
To end this off, Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World excels at being a sequel to Pocahontas. It’s equally as boring, just as predictable and gives me less incentive to ever revisit it. Let’s move onto the next one!
Link to Next Week’s Part: The Disneyathon: The Direct to Blog Sequel – Part 6: The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride