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Toon Talk: Pocahontas: 10th Anniversary Special Edition DVD
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Disney Film & Video Reviews by Kirby C. Holt
10th Anniversary Special Edition DVD
Previously only available on DVD in a horrible transfer, Pocahontas has now been reissued under a "10th Anniversary" edition which, as well as correcting the previous DVD blunder, also manages what previous "special editions" of Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King were not able to do: successfully restore a song into the existing film. The song in question is the beautiful love ballad between John Smith and Pocahontas, "If I Never Knew You", which was cut late in production due to restless preview audiences. Most of the animation was near completion when the decision was made to remove the song, so it must not have been too difficult to reinstate it into the narrative (in fact, the rough version of the sequence was included on the laser disc release of the film, as well as shown on The Wonderful World of Disney presentation of the film). As the packaging states, the song is indeed "seamlessly integrated" ... for once, Disney hyperbole is correct. Its inclusion is very satisfying, as it deepens the "doomed love" aspect of this Romeo and Juliet tale. And, in addition to the full number (sung by Judy Kuhn and a surprisingly up-to-the-task Mel Gibson), a brief reprise has been added to the tear-jerking final scene.