MEL GIBSON SPEAKS AND SINGS AS JOHN SMITH IN "POCAHONTAS," AIRING ON ABC'S "THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY," SATURDAY, JUNE 25
Animated Film Will Air in HDTV with 5.1-Channel Surround Sound and Spanish Audio
"Pocahontas," greeted upon its release with great critical acclaim (Time magazine called it "perfect for a film romance that earns a place of honor among Disney's latter-day animated film stunners") and embraced by audiences all over the world, will air in HDTV with 5.1-channel surround sound and Spanish audio as a presentation of "The Wonderful World of Disney," SATURDAY, JUNE 25 (8:00-10:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. (Rebroadcast. OAD: 3/1/98)
Time's movie critic also called the score "the most complex and rhapsodic of all the fine scores Alan Menken has composed for Disney animated features ('The Little Mermaid,' 'Beauty and the Beast,' 'Aladdin')." The Motion Picture Academy apparently agreed, awarding Oscars to Menken and lyricist Stephen Schwartz for Best Original Musical Score and also for Best Song ("Colors of the Wind"). "Colors of the Wind" also earned a Golden Globe as Best Original Song.
Along with its loving retelling of a classic American story, the film boasts a historic first as Mel Gibson both speaks and sings as the voice for John Smith. Other featured voices include David Ogden Stiers as John Ratcliffe (and also as Wiggins), Linda Hunt as Grandmother Willow, and American Indian Movement activist Russell Means as chief Powhatan, Pocahontas' father (Means called the movie "the finest film ever done in Hollywood on the Native American experience"). Native American actress Irene Bedard is the voice of Pocahontas, with Broadway's Judy Kaye providing the voice for her songs.
Things don't start on a promising note for the lovers-to-be: Capt. John Smith arrives in the New World with nothing more noble in mind than plundering its riches for England's Governor Ratcliffe, and Pocahontas' father, Chief Powhatan, has pledged his daughter to the village's greatest warrior. Those plans melt quickly when Smith and Pocahontas meet and fall in love. Soon, however, they have an even more serious situation to deal with: War between her tribe and the Englishmen seems certain, unless a purer, loving commitment to peace can intercede.
As Time's critic noted: "The movie passionately argues that, of all causes, love is the one most worth fighting for."
The 1995 Walt Disney Productions film was distributed by Buena Vista Pictures. Directed by Mike Gabriel and Eric Goldberg, the movie was produced by Baker Bloodworth. (CLOSED-CAPTIONED) (Broadcast in stereo where available)
"POCAHONTAS" IN HDTV:
The ABC Television Network's HDTV broadcast of "Pocahontas" will air in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC's selected HDTV format, with 5.1-channel surround sound and Spanish audio.This film carries a TV-G parental guideline.