on September 14, 2003
First off, I loved the first Pocahontas. That is, until I saw this one. Now I can never really enjoy it to the same level again, at least not until a few years from now when I've forgotten about this awful thing.
While it's wonderful that Disney attempted to set things right, they couldn't have done it in any worse way. I hated Rolfe from the beginning; he never develops once. That's pretty tough considering that he's the "romantic hero"... and pretty much having a romance is an easy way to develop someone. Not this guy, though, he's about as endearing as a steel pole.
I hate the tea chick, which is what I'm going to call her for lack of knowing her name. The woman, to whose charge Pocahontas is placed, seems like a feeble attempt to make me like John Rolfe: "Oh, he and this sweet if blundering old lady have an affectionate relationship! He's a good guy after all! Oh Pocahontas, soon you'll see that!" BLECH, it was so painfully obvious that she was just an attempt at character development that didn't quite work. The only thing she was good for was actually inspiring what was close to laughter... although that was only twice. Wiggins in the first movie, however, puts the tea chick to shame.
I'm going to admit that I HATE the ending. Who the heck cares if it's more historically accurate? The point is that if you're going to be historically inaccurate, go all the way! I absolutely loved the Smith/Pocahontas thing in the first movie because both were passionate, lived for danger and excitement, and had as much chemistry as people in animated movies can have. Their relationship is well-developed, as are both people as they kind of come to terms with each other's culture.
John Rolfe, though? He is pompous from the beginning until the horribly forced ending. I'm not sure if it was just me, but it really seemed like he only liked Pocahontas after she had become "civilized." John Smith liked her for who she was, not because she was dolled up in a painful musically-challenged sequence that made me think of "You'll Bring Honor to Us All" from Mulan with sheer longing. Speaking of which, I don't understand what John Rolfe was on--she looked HIDEOUS in that getup.
The animals also seemed to be an attempt to make John Rolfe more likable, because we're supposed to think "Hey, the animals want them together, and they want what's best for Pocahontas so that must be what's best for her!" Pfff, that just made me hate Meeko and Flit.
Actually, the whole London song made me think of a bad attempt to mime Bonjour from Beauty and the Beast. I really think that Pocahontas would have found the city intrusive and smelly, because think of the change she would have went through.
And yes, I agree that John Smith was 100% percent, unadulterated, pure Out-of-Character. I saw and agree with a previous review that stated that they seemed to want to make him a jerk so we wouldn't feel bad about Pocahontas ditching who had once been "the love of her life." Disney, however, seems to have forgotten that they spent an entire movie making him likable and a worthy match for their almost overly-glorified heroine. To just throw that away almost makes me sick; why bother watching the first movie with "She's going to eventually screw him over" hanging over your head.
Actually, I didn't like Pocahontas either. She seemed OOC as well; certainly the Pocahontas in movie one would not have accepted a man who seemed to ring more of Radcliffe than anything. And that Pocahontas would not have let John Smith go. Then again, that wasn't really John Smith and it wasn't really Pocahontas either. I don't know who these two were, but I certainly didn't like them. I liked them more, though, than I liked Rolfe. Which says a lot.
Oh, they needed some cameos. Thomas, Wiggins (he would have made this movie worthwhile), etc.
I agree that Radcliffe was totally demonized. I actually had some sympathy for him in the first one, since it was made clear that he was just trying to succeed at something and prove the others at court, who hated him, wrong. Although he was villainized a lot in the first, it pales in comparison to the second. I also agree that it was crazy that James believed him. James, too, was a cartoony 2d character. Poor guy, the movie insults him more than anyone.
And yeah, I also found it weird that Pocahontas knew about John Smith's death.
Basically, I'm just saying that you should either not watch this movie, forget about it, and/or just plain pretend that it doesn't exist. I can't wait until I forget about this awful thing and can enjoy the first one and I used to be able to do.