My opinion right after watching movie
My opinion right after watching the Pocahontas sequel is that it is not that bad, but it is not that good either. I do feel like there is a lot that is contrived in the movie, and certain plot elements that are shoehorned in there, but the animation is really nice, it has somewhat of a full plot, the characters are decently handled, and it is just a decent at best movie.
There is no information on the production of this film.
The film starts with Ratcliffe (David Ogden Stiers) and a bunch of soldiers break into John Smith (Donal Gibson)’s house, since they have a warrant for his arrest. Apparently, they have a warrant for his arrest for being a traitor, and avoiding the punishment of the crimes he committed. Apparently, the King of England (Jim Cummings) believed Ratcliffe’s side.
I am going to stop right here. How in the HELL did Ratcliffe get off free? I get it that he lied t the King, but how did he believe him? Ratcliffe was bound and tied by chains on the boat to England, and there were COUNTLESS witnesses that went back to England (the other sailors in Pocahontas) that can prove that Ratcliffe is guilty, an John did nothing wrong This was a complete and contrived stretch to get Ratcliffe off, and for him to have power again (though he said in the last film that no one takes him seriously). After a long chase on the rooftops, John Smith is holding onto the roof by his fingers and falls after Ratcliffe kicks off his fingers, leaving us to believe that John Smith died. The King loses it at Ratcliffe, since he wanted him alive. I immediately realize that this king is an idiot.
A few months later, Pocahontas (Irene Bedard) is still saddened over John Smith’s death, and Nakoma (Michelle St. John) tells her that she needs to move on. She sings Where Do I Go From Here, and it is a very good song, explaining her indecisive behavior, insecurities, and not knowing what to do with her life, which is something we all go through one way or another.
He arrives to their tribe, and gives the horse to Pocahontas as a peace offering from England, and tells them that the King wants Pocahontas to go to England. The natives continues to think this is ridiculous, and Rolfe is shocked and a bit disgusted when it is revealed that Pocahontas is a female, which Chief Powhatan (Russel Means) points out. She decides to go to England, and tells her animals to stay (though they of course come for some pathetic comic relief), and has a tear-filled goodbye with her people, right as she sails on the ship to England.
The boat finally makes it to England, and Pocahontas is completely astounded. You can totally tell that they are trying to establish chemistry between Rolfe and Pocahontas, but it is not really done well, since they have like nothing in common, and it is more awkward than something you 100% root for. A horrible song titled What a Day in London, which shows Pocahontas completely overwhelmed by the city, and the civilians randomly singing. Ugh.
John Rolfe takes her to his house, and his maid Mrs. Jenkins (Jean Stapleton) gets Pocahontas settled, since he has to go to the King to clear up this understanding, and so far, Pocahontas is not pleased with the King. He goes to the King, who is displeased that the native representative is a woman. Ratcliffe and Queen Anne (Finola Hughes) are sitting right beside him, and Ratcliffe manages to coerce the King to invite Pocahontas to the ball, to prove that she is civilized, and only then he will meet up with her.
We get the typical montage segment of Rolfe and Jenkins teaching Pocahontas the English way of etiquette, class, dress code, etc, and Rolfe starts to fall in love with her, and vice versa. Nice to know that he starts to like her when she is adjusting to the English lifestyle.
Ratcliffe then sets a bear baiting performance (knowing she would act out), and when she demands to let the bear go, she is…….. arrested……. She is arrested for that? I guess we will go with it for now.
So word about Pocahontas’ arrest makes it back to the local pubs, and a hooded figure instantly leaves when he hears the news. It is so clear that this is John Smith. He goes to Rolfe’s home, and the two then set up a plan to help Pocahontas escape the prison, which goes well enough at first, but then the drama with John Smith takes over, since they are fighting over Pocahontas’ fate; Smith not wanting her to die for her people, and Rolfe saying she should.
Pocahontas runs off, and has a moment, via Where Do I Go From Here reprise, and Nakoma telling her to never forget her land, which is why she reverts back to her native self. Actually, I disagree with what I said about Rolfe, right after seeing the next scene, with Smith calling her crazy, since they will not listen to her, or her culture, also saying that she will die for something foolish. This does not sound like the Smith from the last film. It is just another contrived way to get Rolfe and Pocahontas to be better.
She goes to the palace, and manages to convince the King that Ratcliffe was wrong, and that there was no gold, and when John Smith (who was supposedly be dead) shows up, they realize that Ratcliffe is full of shit, but he already left. Since I am too tired to recap all of this, I will just say that they defeat him, and Ratcliffe is arrested.
Before the ship sails off, John Smith tells her that they can travel the world together, now that the king gave him a ship, and got like some sort of promotion, but Pocahontas tells him that their paths do not follow one another anymore, but wishes him well. Hold on; I recall int he last film that he liked Virginia because he never had a home, and felt more like home over there. Now he wants to travel all over the world, and all of that is forgotten? Her and Rolfe then go on a boat that will take them to Jamestown and her people. Why does Rolfe want to settle over there when his home, his career, and so much more is over at London, and he fell in love with her when she was a London woman? He has NEVER shown ANY interest in her people or culture. There is speculation about Pocahontas dying right after the film takes place.
The characters were not atrocious, but nothing special.
The animation is actually pretty good. It ALMOST looks like it would look good for a theatrical feature. Most of the designs are the same as the designs in the first film, and the backgrounds were very detailed. There is just something that makes it very obvious that it is a television direct-to-dvd piece of animation; the best of that type of animation though.
The music is….. pretty decent. I really like Where Do I Go From Here, but the other songs are pretty ridiculous and extremely silly. It does have some of the native and european feel to it when it comes to the music, and the score is pretty decent. I cannot say anything else about it.
Reception at Release
When it was released on August 4th, 1998, it received negative reviews.
People still really loathe this film (mostly for pairing up Rolfe with Pocahontas instead of Smith), and think it is one of the worst Disneytoons films.
25.5/40 = 64%