Three actors in the film have been involved in other Pocahontas-related projects. Gordon Tootoosis acted as Chief Powhatan in Pocahontas: The Legend (1995). Christian Bale and Irene Bedard would portray John Rolfe and Pocahontas's mother, respectively, in Terrence Malick's The New World (2005).
Timed with Pocahontas' 400th birthday, Pocahontas had a limited release in North America on June 16, 1995, playing in only six selected theaters in Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Detroit, St. Louis and Los Angeles. The film grossed $2.7 million during its first weekend, standing at the eighth place in the box office ranking. It beat the record set by The Lion King the previous year for the highest-grossing opening weekend on fewer than 50 screens, a record that has not been beaten. The wide release followed on June 23, 1995, in 2,596 screens. Studio estimates initially anticipated Pocahontas earning $30.5 million, ranking first and beating out the previous box office champion Batman Forever (1995). The figure was later revised to $28.8 million with Pocahontas falling second behind Batman Forever. The final estimates placed Pocahontas narrowly ranking first grossing $29.5 million in its first weekend with Batman Forever falling into second place taking $29.2 million.
Timed with Pocahontas' 400th birthday, Pocahontas had a limited release in North America on June 16, 1995, playing in only six selected theaters. The film grossed $2.7 million during its first weekend, standing at the eighth place in the box office ranking. It beat the record set by The Lion King the previous year for the highest-grossing opening weekend on fewer than 50 screens, a record that has not been beaten. The wide release followed on June 23, 1995, in 2,596 screens. Studio estimates initially anticipated Pocahontas earning $30.5 million, ranking first and beating out the previous box office champion Batman Forever (1995). The figure was later revised to $28.8 million with Pocahontas falling second behind Batman Forever. The final estimates placed Pocahontas narrowly ranking first grossing $29.5 million in its first weekend with Batman Forever falling into second place taking $29.2 million.
As all of the actors and actresses recorded their dialogue separately, they did not meet each other until the premiere. Mel Gibson was absent from the film's premiere because he attended the premiere of Braveheart (1995) overseas at the time. As of 2019, Irene Bedard has not met him in person.
This animated film was released in the same year as another Pocahontas related film titled Pocahontas: The Legend (1995). It stars Gordon Tootoosis as Chief Powhatan. Tony Goldwyn, who starred in that live action film as Sir Edwin Wingfield, later voiced the title character in Disney's animated feature film Tarzan (1999).
I haven't attended a film in the Disney Screen series for several weeks, for a variety of reasons, so it was terrific to return tonight for POCAHONTAS (1995).POCAHONTAS contains two of my all-time favorite Disney songs, "Just Around the Riverbend" and the Oscar-winning "Colors of the Wind," composed by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz. Despite my love for the music, I had never actually seen the movie! I had a baby who was a few weeks old when the film was released so I didn't catch it in a theater, and although my children have had the DVD for years I'd never watched it myself. So many movies, so little time... In more recent years, as older Disney films have screened at the El Capitan Theatre and elsewhere, I was determined to hold out so that my first viewing of POCAHONTAS would be in a theater, and tonight I finally got my chance!POCAHONTAS is a lovely film, with gorgeous visuals matched by that beautiful score.In the simple story, inspired by historical events, John Smith (Mel Gibson) and the Virginia Company travel to the New World from England and settle Jamestown. Governor Ratcliffe (David Ogden Stiers) is greedy, wanting to personally enrich himself, and is also ready to kill all of the "savages" they meet without provocation.John befriends Pocahontas (Irene Bedard, sung by Judy Kuhn), daughter of Chief Powhatan (Russell Means, LAST OF THE MOHICANS). Can they overcome the mistrust between soldiers and Indians and achieve peace?The movie portrays the Indians' world before the arrival of the settlers as a near-idyllic Garden of Eden, other than the fact that the braves return from a war at the start of the movie; the colonizing governor is the bad guy, which is par for the course these days, but that's offset by the kindness of the John Smith character. Most important of all is the overriding message of the friendship which starts between John and Pocahontas and then, as predicted by Grandmother Willow (Linda Hunt), ripples out to include others.The film's look is sumptuous, with colorful swirling leaves and beautiful waterfalls; it's a feast for both eyes and ears. The presentation of the two key songs listed above is a superb melding of animation and music, as good as anything Disney has ever done. It's a very worthwhile film.POCAHONTAS runs 81 minutes. The supporting voice cast includes Christian Bale and Billy Connolly.The film was directed by Mike Gabriel and Eric Goldberg. I had a nice chat with Goldberg at the 2013 D23 Expo!POCAHONTAS has had multiple releases on DVD including a 10th Anniversary Edition and in a set with the direct-to-video sequel POCAHONTAS II: JOURNEY TO A NEW WORLD (1998). It's also out on Blu-ray and was released on VHS. It can be streamed via Amazon.Tonight POCAHONTAS was preceded by ALL IN A NUTSHELL (1949), in which Donald Duck battles Chip and Dale for possession of some nuts and then nut butter. I love Chip and Dale, and this cartoon had a couple of laugh out loud funny moments. It can be found on DVD in the Disney Treasures set The Chronological Donald, Volume 3.Previous Disney Screen reviews: OLIVER & COMPANY (1988), EIGHT BELOW (2006), THE LOVE BUG (1968), THE ROCKETEER (1991), ROBIN HOOD (1973), and POLLYANNA (1960).
James Cameron's Avatar (2009) premiered to some predictably scathing reviews comparing the film to Kevin Costner's Dances with Wolves (1990) and Disney's Pocahontas (1995). Set 145 years in the future, the film tells the story of the Na'vi, 10-foot-tall blue-skinned humanoids living on an Earth-like moon called Pandora in a monolithic "Hometree." Humans have come from Earth intent on mining "unobtainium," a rare mineral located beneath Hometree and considered the solution to Earth's energy crisis. Hero Jake Sully, a parapalegic ex-marine, is hired to gather intelligence and given a genetically engineered Na'vi body, or avatar, to pilot in the alien Pandoran atmosphere. When he is attacked by wild animals, he is saved by Neytiri, the daughter of the Na'vi chief, and they later fall in love. Neytiri teaches Jake that Hometree and all living beings are alive with the spirit of "Eywa," described as a "network of energy" represented as bioluminescent, brightly colored seeds, trees, and animals. Given this romantic plot and luminous setting, it is not surprising that most reviews referenced the commonplace figure of the "ecological [End Page 143] Indian" in movies that seek absolution for the sins of industrialization and evoke desire for the re-enchantment of nature (Newitz n.p.). 041b061a72