Great story, amazing characters, superb action, enthralling cinematography. Yes, this is something I am glad I spent money on.
... View More
Exactly the movie you think it is, but not the movie you want it to be.
... View More
Pocahontas suffers from a dated depiction of native American tribes and the fact that it came out the same year as Disney's masterpiece The Lion King, but it's so much better than the Princess Movies that get more attention. Pocahontas feels like a real person with hopes and dreams and fears, the score is breathtaking and the animation is absolutely lovely. Yes, there are stereotypes, but on the whole it's not the most backward story from the 90s, and if you watch with a critical eye and a grain of salt, you can learn a lot about history and love and taking care of mother nature. Colors of the Wind is one of the best songs in the world.
... View More
The Movie Diorama
Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon? No, me neither, and after watching this you wouldn't have either. Reason being is due to the extremely rapid pacing for a ridiculously short animation. These two fundamental detriments makes this a slight misfire from Disney. Captain John Smith sails across to "The New World" where he encounters Pocahontas who he madly falls in love with. The indigenous population is under threat from the wave of modern colonisation. Disney clearly have good intentions as they fictionalise the account of Native American Pocahontas in order to illustrate colonialism to a younger generation. The basic storytelling allows the intended audience to swan dive right into this romantic epic with the colourful animation and harmonious musical numbers. Let's face it, "Colours of the Wind" and "Just Around the Riverbend" are two of Disney's strongest original songs that imitate the natural idyllic environment that the animation conveys. For the more mature audience, the racial overtones throughout the narrative just aren't dealt with carefully. John Smith exclaiming "I prefer hello" as Pocahontas teaches him about her own linguistics just seems so careless, leaving a bad aftertaste. Pocahontas is one of the more famous Native Americans, the historical depiction surrounding her and the indigenous culture was highly inaccurate. However, I have to give praise to the narrative for carrying a surprisingly thoughtful message that allows the viewer to meditate on what is being shown. The use of colours plays a major role in this, especially when the colonials are deforesting the picturesque woods in which a dark blood red shade swamps the background. I appreciate the lack of humour, it enhances the seriousness of the film. The romance between the leads, much like the whole film, is brisk and feels slightly underdeveloped. The primary antagonist may metaphorically represent modernisation, but is hardly memorable. Having said all that, the film isn't necessarily bad, just underdeveloped and misrepresented.
... View More
I've heard this called many things, such as "racist," but I watched this for the first time today, just 'cause. I was expecting bad things, for it's been turned down by many people, but I had seen a few clips that didn't seem bad and was hoping a bit. Now I think it should be called "the most underrated Disney movie."Honestly, "racist" is the last thing I would call it. The English are the bad guys, and all the good guys are the natives. Like another said, Disney put the natives in the light, so I don't see why "racist" is a word for this. This is a masterpiece. Sure, white people call natives "savages," and so do natives to white people. (Which makes it interesting that the opposites see each other the same.) They also call each other devils, which was a bit disturbing, but that is probably one of the few things that was accurate about this. Sure, most of it is inaccurate, but why be annoyed by that when the fairy tales Disney does are inaccurate? I loved the personality of Pocahontas. She was spunky, kind, curious, and even had a sense of humor! The characters (personalities) of John Smith and Governor Ratcliffe didn't seem to be that well-built, but they were built well enough that when John Smith left, I was a bit depressed, and when the villain got what he deserved, I was satisfied.The music and songs are incredible. We all know about "Colors of the Wind," and some know "Just Around the River Bend," but I liked the intro song "Steady as the Beating Drum" and its reprise, which were new to me, along with the other songs. Sometimes, at moments where there where no words, the music took over and spoke instead. his has a different style of songs than other Disney movies, but it's a good different and has a wonderful uniqueness to it. One beautiful thing is that this shows acts of true love. Pocahontas risks getting herself hit--and killed--when she throws herself on top of John Smith, and John Smith blocks Chief Powhatan, making himself get shot. They care about another before him/herself.The animation was well-done. When light flashed, you could see faces and people from a different perspective that looked 3-D. Not everyone looked the same. I like that Pocahontas didn't have enormous eyes but was still pretty. Grandmother Willow was moving around, yet wasn't 2-D. Fire, smoke, and shadows were well-done. The backgrounds weren't as good as they used to be, like in Snow White or Sleeping Beauty, where they looked real, but they were still good.The characters, music, and animation all put together blew me away. When John Smith left at the end, music to the tune "Colors of the Wind" began playing, but it was louder and more powerful, also more beautiful. With the desperateness on Pocahontas's face, the music, and the connection I felt to the characters, I was crying. Seriously, crying, sobbing, not just wet eyes. I won't say what happens at the very end, but there was a connection of some sort between Pocahontas and John Smith in the last few seconds, and it broke my heart and touched it at the same time.Of course, it isn't perfect. I didn't like that "spirits were everywhere," and I didn't like many of the characters. In the past, Disney has made it clear when a song is coming--music starts building up, and there's a pause of talking, but here, I was surprised multiple times when characters suddenly started singing. It was disturbing to hear both sides call each other "devils," too.But even with its flaws, this is a masterpiece. It should get more attention and is a wonderful movie everyone should see.
... View More
Do you remember, when you were little, how you sat with your family on a boring night and watched Pocahontas together? Pocahontas is a 1995 Disney animation that heavily relied on Native American history and culture to entertain the American children. Pocahontas is one of those movies in which you enjoy watching when you were little, but the only reason you would re-watch it is for nostalgia. However, besides providing us with childhood memories, Pocahontas also provided us with a schema that models our concepts of Native Americans culture and values, which we refer to growing up. In addition, it is a movie that emphasized on romance rather than the Native American culture.First of all, although the movie is based on a historical event, there are several significant historical inaccuracies. In the Disney adaptation, Pocahontas is a young adult while in reality she was only eleven or twelve when she met John Smith. This brings into question the primary conflict that Pocahontas faces in the movie: the forbidden love between her and John Smith. The real age difference between Pocahontas and Smith, along with several historical speculations, suggests that there was never any real romantic relationships between the two. In addition, one obstacle that stood in between the love of Pocahontas and Smith is her arranged marriage with Kocoum. Historically, there are mentions of her marrying Kocoum (although not proved), but it happened during her story with John Rolfe and not with Smith. Furthermore, even the famous story of how Pocahontas saved John Smith from death may be partially false. Some historical accounts suggest that Pocahontas saving Smith was part of a ritual Native Americans perform to welcome a stranger as family.These historical inaccuracies show how the Disney film does not place much emphasis on being historically accurate, but more on developing a romanticized plot that the American audience and children desires. Actually, one of the first pitch for the idea behind Pocahontas is "an Indian princess who is torn between her father's wishes to destroy the English settlers and her wishes to help them—a girl caught between her father and her people, and her love for the enemy." This is shown towards the end of the film where the Native Americans and English settlers were about to wage war with each other. The entire mise-en-scène (the effect of the details in the setting), in which the color of the skies turned from a calm blue to a violent red, shows Pocahontas's dilemma between her tribe and her love. Another technique that the producers used to emphasize the romance between Pocahontas and Smith is to develop the character of Smith as a lovable hero. Before he met Pocahontas, he is just another Englishman that likes adventures and is willing to kill "Injuns." For example, the scene was low key (lighting is dimmed to show shadows and darkness) just when he was about to shoot Pocahontas, which emphasizes the dark and suspicious side of Smith that is willing to kill Native Americans. However, after he met Pocahontas, Smith is suddenly developed into a kind character that is absolutely in touch with the Native American culture (for instance when he could see Grandmother Willow). This "fated" transformation of the "hero" in the script allows the audience to disregard unethical actions of Smith's past (and any other Englishmen for the matter) and focus solely on the development of the romance throughout the movie. In the end, this movie never truly teaches about the Native American history and culture, but is just another Western romanticized film adaptation of the Native American culture. Because the purpose of the film is to be more "socially responsible" than "historically accurate," as supervising animator Glen Keane explains, there are several instances where they misrepresented the Native American culture in the film (despite hiring Native American consultants and doing other research on their own). For example, the physical appearances of the Native Americans in the film were not representative of the actual Powhatan people (Pocahontas's tribe). One of the most popular representation of Native American in Western film and media is the use of headdresses (or war bonnets) and feather headbands. Pocahontas is not an exception to this misrepresentation: it is seen that chief Powhatan wears a headdress and Kocoum wears a feather headband. In reality, however, headdresses and feather headbands were only worn by a small number of tribes that were West and North of the Powhatan tribes. Despite this, one thing that Disney and their consultants did get right is the clothing style of the Native Americans: shirtless with breechclouts and leggings for men, and one-piece dresses for women. Finally, Pocahontas is a well-made animation in 1995 for a movie about Native Americans in 1995. The producers went through extensive research on the culture of the Native Americans to make sure that they are using the most historically accurate information (such as for the clothing of the Native Americans). However, their true intentions were never to be historically accurate, but to produce a likable American film, which means that there are several places where historical accuracy is sacrificed.