Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World
Journey to a New World
The DVD Cover
|Directed by||Tom Ellery
|Produced by||Leslie Hough|
|Written by||Allen Estrin
David Ogden Stiers
|Music by||Lennie Niehaus
Marty Panzer (lyrics)
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Home Video|
|Release date(s)||August 4, 1998|
|Running time||72 minutes|
Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World is a 1998 straight-to-video sequel to the 1995 Disney film Pocahontas. While the first film dealt with her meeting with John Smith and the arrival of the British settlers in Jamestown, the sequel focuses on Pocahontas's journey to England with John Rolfe to negotiate for peace between the two nations, although her death is omitted from the film's ending.
In London, John Smith is ambushed by a group of soldiers with a warrant for his arrest and presumed dead in the ensuing confrontation; Governor Ratcliffe has lied to King James (being a personal friend of the King) and framed Smith as the traitor from the first film in a plot to declare war against the Powhatan Nation while avoiding punishment for his own crimes. In order to prevent this, the King sends a young diplomat, John Rolfe, to bring Chief Powhatan to England for negotiations. In the New World, Pocahontas, Powhatan's daughter, mourns John Smith's death but is eventually able to move on. John Rolfe soon arrives, greeted by English civilians (who by now have settled in Jamestown) and a curious Pocahontas. Rolfe eventually speaks with Powhatan, but he refuses to accompany him to England, so Pocahontas goes in her father's stead, believing that she can bring about peace between the two nations. Powhatan sends a bodyguard, Uttamatomakkin (Uti) to accompany Pocahontas. Rolfe and Pocahontas have a rocky start, but gradually warm up to each other.
In England, Rolfe leaves Pocahontas at his mansion and meets with King James and Queen Anne, but James refuses to meet with Pocahontas despite Rolfe's pleas. Instead, per Ratcliffe's suggestion, James invites both Rolfe and Pocahontas to an upcoming ball and promises that if Pocahontas impresses him by acting "civilised", he will prevent the armada from sailing to Jamestown, but if she does not, he will declare war. Knowing that Ratcliffe deliberately manipulated the King, Rolfe and his maid, Mrs. Jenkins, educate Pocahontas in the ways of British etiquette to prepare her. At the ball, Pocahontas wins over the King and Queen with flattery and almost manages to prevent war, but a bear-baiting arranged by Ratcliffe and greatly enjoyed by the snobbish nobility infuriates Pocahontas and she openly accuses the King of savage behaviour. James angrily orders Pocahontas and Uti imprisoned in the Tower of London, and declares war on the Powhatan tribe.
At his home, Rolfe is approached by a hooded stranger who helps him break Pocahontas and Uti out of the tower and take them to an inn, where the man reveals himself to be John Smith. Smith implores Pocahontas to stay hidden with him, but she instead takes Rolfe's advice and decides to try and stop the war one last time. She openly confronts the King in the palace and reveals Smith, thus proving that Ratcliffe had been lying the entire time. Realising Ratcliffe's treachery, James sends a battalion to stop the armada. They are successful in stopping the ships before they can set sail, but Ratcliffe refuses to give up and tries to kill Pocahontas. Smith appears and fights Ratcliffe one-on-one until Ratcliffe draws a gun, but before he can fire, Rolfe sends him overboard with the ship's mast. Ratcliffe makes it back to the port, where he is arrested by the King.
Smith receives a royal pardon and his own ship from the King as a sign of apology. Pocahontas and Rolfe, meanwhile, appear on the verge of admitting that they love each other. Before they can, Smith appears and implores Pocahontas to accompany him on his new journeys around the world, but Pocahontas chooses otherwise and she and Smith part ways as friends. As Pocahontas later prepares to return to Jamestown, she finds Rolfe waiting for her on the ship, having chosen to go and live with her in Jamestown (with Uti remaining in London in his stead). They kiss as the ship sails into the sunset.
- Where Do I Go From Here? – Sung by Pocahontas (Judy Kuhn)
- What a Day in London – Sung by Pocahontas (Judy Kuhn)
- Wait 'Till He Sees You – Sung by Mrs. Jenkins and John Rolfe (Jean Stapleton and Billy Zane)
- Things Are Not What They Appear- Sung by Radcliffe (David Ogden Stiers)
- Between Two Worlds – Sung by Pocahontas and John Rolfe (Judy Kuhn and Billy Zane)
- Irene Bedard as Pocahontas: the main character. Desiring everlasting peace between England and her people, she travels to London as a diplomat, falling in love with John Rolfe on the way.
- Billy Zane as John Rolfe: the diplomat sent to bring Chief Powhatan to England and who falls in love with Pocahontas to the point that he stands up against Ratcliffe and King James' injustice.
- Donal Gibson as Captain John Smith: Pocahontas's one time love, presumed dead after a confrontation with Ratcliffe. He later resurfaces to aid Pocahontas and John Rolfe against Ratcliffe.
- David Ogden Stiers as Governor Ratcliffe: the main villain. Having lied to King James about the events in Jamestown, Ratcliffe becomes more determined than ever to go to war with the Powhatans in order to find his falsely speculated treasure, even if it means influencing the King.
- John Kassir as Meeko: Pocahontas's pet raccoon, ever looking for fun.
- Russell Means as Chief Powhatan: Pocahontas's father and chief of the Powhatans. He refuses to travel to England, so Pocahontas goes in his stead.
- Frank Welker as Flit: Pocahontas's hummingbird friend, now warmer towards strangers than before.
- Linda Hunt as Grandmother Willow: Pocahontas's spiritual guardian. She advises Pocahontas to go to England for peace.
- Danny Mann as Percy: once Ratcliffe's pet dog, now living with Pocahontas and Meeko in Jamestown.
- Michelle St. John as Nakoma: Pocahontas's best friend, now married to a Powhatan who somewhat resembles Kocoum.
- Jim Cummings as King James: King of England. While well-meaning, he is also simple-minded and snobbish, easily falling for every lie Ratcliffe tells him.
- Finola Hughes as Queen Anne: James's wife, somewhat more intelligent and open than her husband.
- Jean Stapleton as Mrs. Jenkins: John Rolfe's well-meaning housemaid.
- Brad Garrett as Uttamatomakkin: Pocahontas's bodyguard, sent by Powhatan to watch over her. His nickname is "Uti".
The film was met with negative reviews from critics.
Comparisons to real life events
Pocahontas did travel to England in 1616, although at the time of her journey she had already been baptized and taken the Christian name Rebecca. Furthermore, she was already married to John Rolfe at the time, as well as the mother of his son, Thomas. She traveled to England accompanied by Rolfe, her son, Uttamatomakin, and a retinue of Native American women. While in the film she appears to have stayed in England for about a week or two, she actually remained in England until her death in March 1617. John Rolfe was certainly in love with her, as expressed in letters he wrote, but it is unknown whether Pocahontas loved him in return, or if she simply saw their marriage as a political alliance. The return voyage was halted before the ship made it to open sea as Pocahontas was too ill for them to continue; she died soon after and was buried at Gravesend, Kent on the Thames. Her son, Thomas, was also very sick but managed to survive and remained in London while his father continued on to Virginia. Rolfe died before he saw his son again.
In real life, Ratcliffe died in 1609, three years before Pocahontas came to England. She did encounter John Smith during her stay, but was angry with him for betraying the kin relationship that her father had established with him.
During the "What A Day In London" sequence, a character appears who is evidently intended to be William Shakespeare, and is shown getting the idea for the line "to be, or not to be", from his play Hamlet. In reality, Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616, preceding Pocahontas' arrival in London, on June 12, 1616, by two months.
- Official website
- Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World at AllMovie
- Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World at the Internet Movie Database
- Review by David Keyes at Cinemaphile.org