|$||72.5M||Iron Man 3|
|$||50.0M||The Great Gatsby (2013)|
|$||5.0M||Pain & Gain|
|As of May 13, 2013|
In the original Pocahontas film that debuted in 1995, John Smith was voiced by Mel Gibson at the height of his career. Irene Bedard lent her vocal talent to the central role of Pocahontas herself. Many viewers will also recognize the voices of Billy Connolly and Christian Bale should they pay careful attention. Though I resent the manner in which Disney turned the story of the Native American princess, her father Powhatan, and the Jamestown colonists, this film is so beautiful irrespective of the inaccuracies. Disney sought to generate a buzz for the further scholarship of Native American tribes and rituals and it certainly seems to have worked. Moreover, the fact that both parties viewed the other as savage heathens makes a critical point that lends itself to the discussion of colonization and its global impact throughout history. Mel Gibson's voice is like melted butter on popcorn,; it is at once virile and effortless. The vocal contributions of Vanessa Williams are perfect for the wilderness setting.
As if listening to their harshest critics, Disney took it upon itself to offer more historical truths in the second and final installment of this animated series. In Pocahontas II, John Rolfe (voiced by Titanic's own Billy Zane) is presented as the true love of our willful princess. There is a great deal more about the indecision of the King of England and his court as concerned the practice of colonization. Though Pocahontas II will never match the beauty or the quality of its predecessor it is still better than the alternative. Heck, I wish there were three movies in this series because my students adore both films.
Pocahontas and Pocahontas II on DVD come with enhanced definition and sound, fastplay technology, deleted scenes, cartoon shorts, and a lovely musical rendition. The DVD bonus extras are well worth the ticket price. Besides, with the color enhancement these films look to be brand new. The soft pastel colors of the sky and wilderness are as beautiful as Pocahontas herself.
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