Thousands Of Kids Loved ‘Pocahontas’

MONDAY, JUNE 12, 1995

“Pocahontas” lived up to the hype.

The tens of thousands of kids who packed Central Park with their parents for the world’s largest movie premiere were enthralled by Disney’s animated love story. And some of the 100,000 moviegoers walked away wiser.

Jessica Ecock, 11, said the bittersweet tale of an Indian princess and an English captain showed “everyone should be treated equal.”

Not everyone, however, was happy with Saturday night’s spectacle. Some said the city sold the park to the highest bidder and kept residents from their playground.

Not surprisingly, Disney chief executive Michael Eisner saw it differently: “I think it shows New York is the cultural center of the country.”

Disney distributed 100,000 free tickets; 500,000 people from around the country entered a lottery for them.

The screening did not begin until 9:30 p.m. but the extravaganza started at 2 p.m., when families began streaming into the fenced compound with food, blankets, even sleeping bags and pillows for the kids - many of whom were decked out in feathered headdresses.

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