Disneys 33rd animated classic Pocahontas was first released on the big screen in 1995. It was in 1996 that it was first released on video in the UK under the banner Walt Disney Classics. A Letterbox Laserdisc and a Deluxe CAV LaserDisc Edition both under the banner A Walt Disney Masterpiece were also released in 1996. All 1996 VHS and Laserdisc releases were superseded by the first UK DVD release in 2001 which like the VHS was also released under the same albeit redesigned banner Walt Disney Classics. This was then superseded by the 2005 2-Disc Special Edition DVD which itself was superseded by the 2009 Musical Masterpiece Edition. And now we have the newest 2012 Blu-ray.
The 2-Disc Special Edition DVD set the bar- so is the Blu-ray better?
This single disc Blu-ray contains a beautiful Full HD 1080p image. This is the kind of film that HD is designed for as it looks stunning. The film included is only the original. The extended version sadly is not. It is in an Anamorphic 1.66.1 aspect ratio. As is expected and should be in todays world the picture is designed for a 16.9 widescreen television. The film would have actually been presented in cinemas in 1.85.1 for a more cinematic look. This tradition of animating Disney films at one scale and then presenting it at another for cinema has been around since 1955 with Disneys first cinemascope animated feature Lady And The Tramp. Equally as stunning as the picture, this time around we have uncompressed DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. A 7.1 mix would have been nice, but hey you can't have everything.
When it comes to special features you have The Making of Pocahontas, If I Never Knew You deleted song (the sequence that had been part of the extended version on the 2-Disc Special Edition DVD- this time it is not integrated into the film), The Music of Pocahontas and Deleted Scenes.
All in all, if you're looking for the best version of the original film, this Blu-ray is what you're looking for. However, there are a huge range of special features from the 2-Disc Special Edition DVD that have not been carried over. Most of us already know that Disney re-release their animated classics every 7 years or so, so chances are, if Blu-ray is a prevailing home media format which in my opinion it will be, we may see a better Blu-ray package in the future.