Pocahontas (1995)

Genres - Children's/Family  |   Sub-Genres - Animated Musical, Family-Oriented Adventure  |   Release Date - Jun 23, 1995 (USA)  |   Run Time - 81 min.  |   Countries - Philippines, United States  |   MPAA Rating - G
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Review by Derek Armstrong

Pocahontas is often cited as the most forgettable of Disney's wave of animated triumphs that kept coming with remarkable regularity during the 1990s. But it's far from a bad movie, bearing enough of Disney's well-traveled standard components to make it easy enough to sit through. On the heels of the gargantuan box-office smash The Lion King, Pocahontas can't help but feel like something of an arthouse movie by comparison, even if it did manage to rustle up over 140 million dollars domestically. The only thing not small about the movie is the vocal talent hired for the blandly handsome John Smith, but even Mel Gibson can't distinguish the character from the parade of vapid Disney heroes who came before and would come after. Disney movies often endure on the strength of their villains, but viewers would likely have trouble recalling much of anything about the settler governor who provides the requisite heartlessness in this outing. Basing the movie on history didn't prove too popular with the kiddies, either -- for years afterward, Disney stores were trying to unload their overstocked merchandise at increasingly ridiculous discounts. But the "mouse house" can never be accused of giving less than its all, and the sheer number of people working on the project ensured that it would be well-stocked in color, wit, music, and even the occasional breathtaking thrill.