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 Post subject: POCAHONTAS DVD REVIEW
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:11 pm 
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Hi first question: I've got a zipped file with captures from the DVD, how can upload them?????

here's my review:

I’m a designer, and the aesthetics of Disney DVDs have always intrigued me. This review will not discuss the movie or the audio commentary rather than the whole experience of this DVD.

First I’d like to start with a positive note, for once I’m glad that the cover of this DVD release is somewhat true to the original Pocahontas artworks we’ve seen when the movie came out way back in 1995, and is far much better than that horrible green cover of the US version which has the new Disney tactic of extreme close-ups of the main character (as in Bambi & the Cinderella artwork we’ve seen so far).

The problem with UK Disney DVDs is the insert. While some are lucky to have a simple double sided sheet with a picture from the movie on one side and the numbered scenes on the others, of late they all have a folded booklet with a list of all Disney films, under the title “which ones are you missing”. No scene list, no special features list. With Pocahontas, there is no booklet of any sort at all! It’s funny how the American audience are treated with gorgeous full color booklets with in-depth looks at the contents of the DVD, while the UK audience get a list of 4 items with “and Much More!” printed on the back of the case and the rest is up to you to figure out!

The print quality on the disks themselves is very bad, reminiscent of the print quality on DVDs in the mid-nineties; grainy, with high contrast images and simply cheap.


Disk one:

Starts with trailers for the Bambi, Marry Poppins and the Incredibles DVDs and the trailers for the 2-disk special editions of Alice in Wonderland and Tarzan (talk about a funny choice of trailers)! No mention of Chicken Little, Heffalump Movie, Herbie or anything else here. Still this is a lot better than the UK special edition Mulan DVD which announced that Brother Bear, a movie that was released almost one and a half years ago on DVD was “coming soon to Disney DVD”!

Unlike any other new Disney DVD release, Pocahontas feels like it’s a very old one, using old menu layouts and bad animation for the menus. I don’t have the first DVD release, but I feel like both would be very similar as I found the structure similar to the menus of Hercules of the first release of Mulan.

Unlike any of the new special editions, the animation sequence that leads to the main menu is not 3D or anything new at all. Just a few scenes from the film that lead to the waterfalls scene, then the menu appears and other scenes fade in and out of the water falls. Boring and unattractive.

The now accustomed navigation system of “music & more”, “Games & Activities” and “Backstage Disney” are no where to be found, and on disk one we only get Play, Scene Selection, Bonus Features and Set Up. And the bonus features are all meshed up in one list which includes audio commentary, Disney’s Art Project, 2 sing-a-longs, Vanessa William’s video of Colors of the Wind and the only game in both DVDs: Follow your heart with Grandmother Willow.

The Disney’s Art Project feature is a crafts segment for kids. You can either make a dream catcher or a drum. The quality of this feature is really bad, as if transferred directly from TV.

Although the DVD contains both versions of the movie, this isn’t mentioned anywhere on the case or the DVD itself. Play and Scene Selection are both for the ‘new’ version. If you go to Set-Up, then click Film & Audio Options then you get the choice of both versions, if not then nobody would be aware of it.

Although we got a taste of Mel Gibson’s singing in “Mine, mine, mine”, his voice reaches full height on “If I never knew you” with high notes and all. Great piece of singing, with ok animation. John Smith looks very quirky in some parts.

Unfortunately in the new segment there’s a very obvious mistake. At one point during the song we see the sky through the hole in the roof of the shed, and we can see a huge moon in the center with clouds. As the song ends, we see the same shot again from the same angle with stars but without the moon or the clouds. It’s very obvious and annoying that such a big mistake wasn’t detected by anybody at Disney.


Disk Two:

[Note: I haven’t seen or know any information about the Laser Disk version of the movie, so my review is for a first time viewer of these extras –new or old]

Disk 2 is what you can call “the making of Pocahontas” disk, as all the features are related to the movie without any activities, games and such. It looks better than the first disk by utilizing beautiful artwork and sketches prepared for the movie. This disk also holds a few gems unique to this special edition.

“The Making of Pocahontas” runs a bit longer than 27 minutes, and it’s your usual making of, nothing amazing but entertaining none-the-less. Has a very similar structure to the Making of Hunchback of NotreDame. It is from 1995. The quality of the video is very average, nineties TV quality, and the segments from the movie that are featured here are grainy and even pixilated. They could at least have cut and pasted some new digitally transferred scenes. It’s all about details.

The only visibly new segment is the making of “If I Never Knew You” in the Music section, where we see recent interviews with the directors and Alan Menken and Roy Disney. By recent I mean definitely not from the Laser Disk. Alan Menken gives another piano solo performance and interview, so similar to the one from Aladdin, that I think both were shot at the same time, which is not very far fetched since Pocahontas was slated for a 2004 release, same year as Aladdin.


The rest of the features are on Parr with what we’ve seen from other still frame galleries from previous Disney DVDs, great sketches, artwork and behind the scenes.

To me the uniqueness of this DVD comes from the Publicity section. We are treated with two trailers, a multi-lingual reel, gallery and an almost 4 minute feature on the world premiere in Central Park. It is wonderful to see how Disney prepared for its premieres and this is probably their most spectacular one ever. Another excellent addition to the publicity section is in the gallery, where we are treated with 4 images from Harpers Bazaar Magazine of Pocahontas modeling Versace, Ana Sui, Marc Jacobs and Mizrahi outfits, all illustrated by Glen Keane! Something you’ll never see anywhere else. Being a huge Disney fan, I never even knew this whole Harper’s Bazaar thingy ever happened. This to me was a very pleasant surprise.

Despite my previous bad remarks, Pocahontas is still a great film, here in an amazing quality with decent extras –even if the whole ‘making of’ experience is not as enjoyable as the Aladdin or even the Brother Bear ones.



Bottom line:
This is how I’d rate this DVD
Movie: 9/10
Movie Quality (both versions) 10/10
Movie Audio 10/10
New Song (animation) 7/10 (John Smith looks quirky in some scenes)
New Song (audio) 10/10 (Mel Gibson never sounded more amazing, since nothing was mentioned on the package or DVD, I actually had to check the credits to see if it is his real voice!)

DVD Cover 8/10
Disk art, menu design/animation, insert 2/10

Disk 1 Bonus Features 6/10
Disk 1 Bonus Features Quality (for Pop Video & Art Project) 6/10

Disk 2 Features (over-all) 8/10
Making of 7/10


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:27 pm 
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neat review of Pocahontas! :thumb:
Welcome to the forum Tk2! :wave:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:33 pm 
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thanks! I've made a zipped file with captures from the film (including the mistake I mentioned in the song), the file is less than 3 MGs, do you know how I can share these with you guys????


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:35 pm 
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hmm intersting thanks! :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:36 pm 
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Tk2 wrote:
thanks! I've made a zipped file with captures from the film (including the mistake I mentioned in the song), the file is less than 3 MGs, do you know how I can share these with you guys????

are the captures animation or regular pictures?
cuz if it's animation (the bandwidth issue..)
but if its just regular pictures, you can unzip the files to your desktop and upload them to an online photo album (www.photobucket.com is a good one to use) and then post them here by placing the URL of the picture.
^to see insert an image, there's a box called "Img" that you'll have to press... if i confused you, you can PM me. 8)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:39 pm 
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thanks for the suggestion, I'll do that right away. They're just images.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:54 pm 
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IMAGES!!!

Image
DISK 1 - MAIN MENU

Image
DISK 1 - BONUS FEATURES

Image
DISK 1 - Art Project

Image
DISK 1 - Scene Selection

Image
DISK 1 - Film Selection


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:57 pm 
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MORE IMAGES

Image
DISK 2 - MAIN MENU

Image
DISK 2 - PRODUCTION MENU

Image
DISK 2 - DESIGN MENU

Image
DISK 2 - Music

Image
DISK 2 - Abandoned Sequences

Image
DISK 2 - Release


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:58 pm 
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thanks for the screencaps! :)
i actually like the scene selections menu...but not everything else! :P :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 1:00 pm 
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NOTE on the previous screen shots from the menus: None of them is animated except for the Main on Disk 1.

Harper's Bazaar Pix, from the Gallery in Release




Image

Image

Image

Image

Image



From the Premiere featurette

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 1:04 pm 
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screen shots from the IF I NEVER KNEW YOU segment
(including 2 of the mistake I mentioned in the review)

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 1:05 pm 
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that's all!!!! Thanks a lot for your help RJKD23!!!! :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 2:35 pm 
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wow, thanks!

any chance you could post a whole bunch of screenshots from different scenes in the movie, showing the new transfer quality?

:oops:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 2:37 pm 
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NP!
Thanks for the pictures!
yea, but can you do what Barty asked? :P
i just wanna see the difference you know. ;)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 3:35 pm 
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Jese man, put a warning on top! :lol: I want everything new to be new to me when I see it. I've been avoiding d/ling If I Never Knew You despite my interest in the song, and I want to save the visual experience for later on... :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:59 pm 
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Wow, thanks for the screencaps and review, TK! The stills of Pocahontas modelling are fascinating. I think the moon thing might've done on purpose to symbolize something. Did the shot of the missing moon happen towards the end of the song? If so, maybe it's supposed to represent how if Pocahontas leaves John Smith, the light in his life will go out. I'm sure the filmmakers explain in the commentary track.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 5:58 pm 
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Wow, thanks a lot for the screencaps and for your input on the DVD!
Not wanting to ask much,hehe, but could you get any pictures of the newly added repriese of "If I Never Knew You" torwards the end of the movie?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 6:02 pm 
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Great screencaps!
I wont be buying Pochahontas though...........

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 6:58 pm 
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Wonderful review Tk2!!

Welcome to the forum, and I hope to see you soon..

:wave:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 10:13 pm 
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*Andy* wrote:
Great screencaps!
I wont be buying Pochahontas though...........

What?!
WHY?!

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