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Western Animation / Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World

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Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World is a 1998 Direct to Video sequel to Disney's Pocahontas.

After the events of the first film, Governor Ratcliffe tries to manipulate King James to declare war on the Powhatan nation in the English colony after apparently having his soldiers kill John Smith during an arrest. Pocahontas travels to London to negotiate in her father's stead, and is confronted with a culture that is alien to her.

This film contains examples of:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: The ships in Ratcliffe's armada during the final battle scene are computer-generated.
  • Actionized Sequel: Downplayed in that the film overall is not, but the opening and climax are much more action-oriented than the first film's was. While the first film opens on a lighthearted note as the English set sail for Virginia, the sequel begins with an intense chase culminating in the apparent death of John Smith. And while the first film's climax was Pocahontas preventing a battle, the climax of the sequel involves her and the other heroes actively fighting Ratcliffe and his men on their ship.
  • Adaptational Relationship Overhaul: The real-life relationship between James I and his wife Queen Anne wasn’t exactly as stable as it’s portrayed here…
  • Almost Kiss: This happens between Pocahontas and John Rolfe when they dance together at the ball. They're pulled apart just before their lips can meet.
  • Animation Bump: Scenes in the rain, particularly in the opening, are very well-animated and lit compared to the rest.
  • Artistic License – History:
    • In the musical number when Pocahontas arrives in London, William Shakespeare is seen writing the script for Hamlet. In real life, Hamlet was already written and performed long before Pocahontas came to England, and Shakespeare himself was also dead by that point.
    • The King and his subjects enjoy a bear baiting, which, instead of pitting dogs against a bear tied up to a stake, is replaced with two jesters stabbing a bear with pitch forks. Admittedly, an actual bear baiting would be too graphic for a kids' movie.
  • Ascended Extra: In the original film, King James I is only seen on a painting, and briefly appears during Ratcliffe's Imagine Spot in the "Mine Mine Mine" number. He has a much more prominent role in the sequel.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: The first film ends with a truce between the settlers and the natives, which anyone with a knowledge of history knows isn't going to last. The sequel indeed shows that there are plenty of tensions in Jamestown, and Pocahontas struggles to keep the peace.
  • Award-Bait Song: "Where Do I Go From Here". It has a similar melody to "Somewhere" from West Side Story, but that is forgivable as "Somewhere" borrowed from two classical pieces for its own melody.
  • Back from the Dead: John Smith, once to Pocahontas and once to the soldiers attempting to invade the New World.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: John Smith and John Rolfe end up in this position during the final battle.
    John Rolfe: Who started the party without me?
    John Smith: You call this a party?
    John Rolfe: You're not having any fun?
  • Blind Without 'Em: Mrs. Jenkins.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Sort of. Technically, Uttamatomakkin (or "Uti" for short) is Pochontas' bodyguard, assigned by Chief Powhatan to watch over her, but it's John Rolfe's responsibility to bring her to England to see King James and Queen Anne. When Rolfe guards Pocahontas from the rough crew on the ship, he explains that he's "honor-bound" to protect her. This may have been when they began to fall in love.
  • Brits Love Tea: In typical English fashion, Mrs. Jenkins puts on a cup of tea for every occasion. This is an anachronism, by the way. Tea wasn't introduced to England until about 1660.
  • But Not Too Black: Pocahontas has to wear powder on her face for the ball. It reflects standard fashion of the time, but has the added effect of making her skin look noticeably lighter than it actually is. She later washes it off before appearing to the king as her true self.
  • Call-Back:
    • As in the first movie, the opening titles appear over a shot of the Virginia shore.
    • "Where Do I Go From Here" shows the same wolf spirits that appeared during "Colors of the Wind" in the first movie.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: After witnessing the bear-baiting, Pocahontas gives an epic insult to King James that is straight and to the point:
    Your behaviour is savage! You and your people are the barbarians!
  • Canon Discontinuity: Like most of Disney's direct-to-video sequels, this sequel is not considered canon by the company. For example: John Smith & Pocahontas remain an official couple, ignoring John Rolfe completely, in spite of the fact that Pocahontas married John Rolfe in real life.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Thomas, and the rest of the settlers from the first film, are nowhere to be seen in the sequel. Wiggins, Ratcliffe's former assistant, is also not seen or mentioned.
  • Circle of Shame: This happens to Pocahontas when she attempts to stop a bear-baiting at King James' party.
  • The Comically Serious: Uttamatomakkin.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Twice in a row. An English settler who was rude to Pocahontas is nearly trampled by John Rolfe's horse. When Pocahontas pushes him out of the way, he just yells "Bloody savage!" and hits her. When this causes a uproar between the Powhatans and the settlers, Pocahontas frantically tries to stop the two groups from killing each other. John Rolfe, however, is the one that defuses the situation by ordering his men to stand down. Pocahontas promptly tells him off for interfering.
  • Continuity Nod: The design for King James in this film is identical to when he appeared in Ratcliffe's Imagine Spot during the original's "Mine Mine Mine" number.
  • Crowd Song: "What A Day In London".
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance:
    • Played for Laughs when Pocahontas is being prepared for the ball. When trying on dresses, she runs out in her undergarments, prompting an embarrassed reaction from Rolfe. To Pocahontas and the viewer, these undergarments are very modest looking and cover most of her body. To Rolfe and Mrs Jenkins however, this outfit would be the equivalent of a woman wearing nothing but her knickers and bra.
    • This is later invoked by Ratcliffe in a much more serious scenario. He has a bear baiting staged at the hunt ball, knowing Pocahontas will be horrified and speak out against it. The modern audience watching the film will be just as horrified and disgusted as Pocahontas is, seeing the bear being chained up and tortured while the other partygoers laugh.
  • Demoted to Extra: Chief Powhattan, Nakoma, and Grandmother Willow all have extremely minor roles compared to the original, only appeared in the beginning before Pocahontas leaves for England. In fact, Grandmother Willow only appears in one scene in the entire movie for about a minute.
  • Expy: A young boy in Jamestown has a brief speaking role where he returns John Rolfe's horse to him. This boy closely resembles the Ghost of Christmas Past from the previous year's animated Christmas Carol movie, and their voices are virtually identical. While not confirmed, it's likely an Actor Allusion for Kath Soucie, since she voiced the Ghost in the previous film and has an "additional vocal talent" credit in this one.
  • Foil: John Rolfe serves as one to John Smith. While Smith is a confident and adventurous Action Hero, Rolfe is more sophisticated and soft-spoken, though he proves to be just as capable in battle despite this. Pocahontas' first impressions of both are complete opposites; Smith's was being nice to Meeko, while Rolfe's was interfering in Pocahontas's attempts to stop a fight from breaking out.
  • Happily Ever Before: If you go by history that is. The movie ends with Pocahontas and John Rolfe getting together, when she would die of smallpox only a couple of years after her marriage.
  • Happy Ending Override: The first film ended with a bittersweet but still hopeful scene of the settlers and natives attempting to co-exist, and Ratcliffe being sent back to England to answer for his crimes. The sequel shows that tensions are still running high in Jamestown, and Ratcliffe managed to get away with everything - and is currently planning to lead an Armada to massacre the Powhatans.
  • Heroic Vow: En route to England, Pocahontas is cornered by the crew, who mistake her for a stowaway, but Rolfe intervenes. He explains to Pocahontas that, as she is a political ambassador to the King, he is bound by honor to protect her.
  • Hidden Depths: When they first meet, Pocahontas is unimpressed by John Rolfe's upper-class naïveté and his tendency to be Innocently Insensitive. She soon realizes that, for all his flaws, Rolfe still takes his position as a diplomat seriously, and is sincerely committed to ensuring her protection and her people's freedom.
  • The High Queen: The Queen of England - a beautiful and kindly woman who welcomes Pocahontas graciously to the court. As well as that she acts as a voice of reason towards her rather impatient husband.
  • Historical In-Joke: "What A Day In London" features William Shakespeare, in a cameo, getting the idea for the line "to be, or not to be". (Historically, Shakespeare died a couple months prior to Pocahontas's arrival in London and Hamlet was written a few years before the setting of the first film.)
  • Hollywood Costuming: The fashions are an eclectic mix of European fashions from various eras all thrown together into what's supposed to be Jacobean England. We have King James dressed in medieval clothing (hopelessly outdated by the 17th century) while Pocahontas's makeover scene features her hair piled up on her head in a late 18th century style, and being dressed in pantalettes and a crinoline (both from the 19th century, two hundred years in the future). These errors are all the more egregious because the original movie actually did a fairly good job at getting the European costumes to be period correct.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: The King, in regards to Ratcliffe. At the end, however, King James has Ratcliffe arrested and possibly even hanged.
  • I Choose to Stay: Uttamatomakkin remains in London with Mrs. Jenkins and the tortured bear.
  • Improbable Hairstyle: The one Pocahontas wears for the ball. Subverted and played somewhat realistically since she was only at the ball for about an hour and it comes undone when she's taken away.
  • Improbable Hairstyle Sequence: While preparing for the ball, before she settles on the style mentioned in the trope above, Mrs. Jenkins goes through various radically different hair styles for Pocahontas.
  • I Reject Your Reality: Ratcliffe dismisses Pocahontas' fact that there is no gold in America as a "barbarian lie". He ends up on the receiving end of this when the King tells him "No more lies."
  • Ironic Echo: "Pity. I so would have preferred to see you hang."
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: The movie resolves its love triangle in this way, with John Smith maturely choosing to let Pocahontas go when he realizes she now loves Rolfe, sincerely expressing his happiness for them.
  • Karma Houdini: Despite nearly starting an all-out genocidal war, and failing to bring back resources and riches back to England, Ratcliffe is seen with no loss of power or wealth after the previous film's events, and even spun the situation to make John Smith out to be the traitor. (Though he ultimately gets his comeuppance in this film.)
  • The Lost Lenore: John Smith is a male example, though Pocahontas only believes him dead.
  • Love at First Sight: Pocahontas seems a little too starry-eyed over John Rolfe at first.
  • Love Triangle: Between Pocahontas, Smith and Rolfe.
  • The Makeover: Pocahontas must get one to be presented to the English.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Ratcliffe, even more than in the original. He's got the King in his back pocket and wins over a crowd of nobles with some hired magicians and a few words on appearances.
  • Merchandise-Driven: One wonders if this was the main reasoning behind putting Pocahontas into a pimped-out Western ball gown.
  • Mood Whiplash: A playful scene of Pocahontas and Nakoma having a snowball fight turns sombre when the compass given to her by John Smith falls out of Pocahontas' satchel.
  • Never Found the Body: At the beginning of the film, Ratcliffe causes John Smith to fall into a river, and Smith is presumed dead. It's later revealed that he survived and went into hiding.
  • News Travels Fast: The news of John Smith’s apparent death somehow reaches Jamestown long before John Rolfe arrives there, despite him apparently leaving England before it happened note .
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Pick any character in "What A Day In London". Averted with Billy Zane, whose accent is quite decent.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Plenty, as it took place at a royal court.
  • The Plan: Ratcliffe pulls one right after "Things Are Not What They Appear" at the Hunt Ball feast.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: A lot of John Smith's lines.
    John Smith: [stops Ratcliffe from killing Pocahontas] Mind if I cut in?
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: At the end of the film, when Ratcliffe once again tries to lie his way out of the situation to King James, but James, having already learned the truth, will have none of it and has Ratcliffe arrested:
    King James: No. More. Lies.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Almost word for word with John Smith.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Ratcliffe repeatedly claims that he plans to destroy the Powhatan tribe to preserve Britain's greatness in the name of its King. In the climax, he casually slices a British flag to tatters when it gets in his way, enforcing that his patriotism was never anything more than a cover for his own greed and desire for vengeance.
  • Second Love: Pocahontas chooses Rolfe over Smith, claiming she doesn't feel the same way for Smith as she did years before.
  • Sequel Non-Entity: All the ship's crew except John Smith.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Pocahontas looks absolutely gorgeous in her ballgown.
  • Significant Name Overlap: Pocahontas's Second Love, John Rolfe, has the same name as the first—John Smith.
  • The Silent Bob: Uttamattomakkin.
  • Slipknot Ponytail: Pocahontas's elaborate updo for the Hunt Ball has come undone while she's in the Tower.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Pocahontas' untimely death is not depicted in the film.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Despite his arrest and having the word of the entire crew against him at the end of the first film, Ratcliffe was able to use his aristocratic status and his friendship with the King to avoid punishment. He even convinced the King that Smith and his crew were traitors.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • As stated above, John Smith. Though he also Took a Level in Jerkass, acting more arrogant (which is actually closer to how he was historically).
    • Also Ratcliffe. In the original movie, he was more of a greedy Jerkass than an actual Big Bad, but in the sequel, he's a direct opponent of Pocahontas; a cunning and manipulative chessmaster who almost killed John Smith in the very first scene and manipulated the king to declare war on the Powhatan tribe.
  • Tsundere: Pocahontas towards John Rolfe (at first).
  • The Unpronounceable: Uttamatomakkin (it was John Rolfe who started calling him "Uti").
  • Villain Song: "Things Are Not What They Appear".
  • Women Are Wiser: The Queen is more calm and level-headed than King James. It's she who believes that there is no gold in Virginia at all.
  • "You!" Exclamation: Pocahontas has this furious reaction when she first encounters Ratcliffe in London (given treacherous actions of nearly starting war on her people and shot Smith with a bullet meant for her father).