On June 23, 1995, Walt Disney Pictures and Walt Disney Feature Animation released its 33rd Walt Disney Animated Classic. An animated musical romantic-drama entitled Pocahontas.
This film is a fictionalized portrayal of a Native American “Princess” named Pocahontas and her encounter with Englishman John Smith and the Virginia Company when they first arrived in the New World and established Jamestown. The storyline itself is fictional, but Pocahontas, John Smith, The Virginia Company, and Jamestown were all real, but that doesn’t make us love this love story any less.
I absolutely love this movie and it had one of the best soundtracks, which I happen to still own. The music was beautifully done and this film used music to try to send a message. Pocahontas was a young woman just trying to find her way in this world, when something new came to their home, something she didn’t understand, but was curious to find out what it was. Also she dives off really high cliffs.
This film was actually quite dark when you really think about it and it was criticized for its lack of historical accuracy. The storyline shined a spotlight on the greediness of the English settlers and their willingness to kill anyone who got in their way of finding immense riches. Radcliffe was the worst of them all. He convinced his men into believing that the Native people of this New World were hiding a stash of gold when they were not. The Native people of this New World were suspicious of the English settlers, who came to their home and claimed the land for themselves. I would be suspicious too. Anyways, Kocoum gets shot trying to protect Pocahontas and John Smith nearly gets beheaded by the Chief, oh and a war almost breaks out. A lack of understanding something new played a big role in what happened to The Virginia Company and the Native Americans in this movie. Like I said DARK.
But besides ALL OF THAT…. The songs were beautiful and each song made a powerful statement when you really listened. Meeko, Flick, and Percy are FANTASTIC! Grandmother Willow may be a tree but she is full of wisdom and she snaps people in the butt with her vines and she has the best sense of humor.
Now for Pocahontas. As a little girl she was someone who I admired. She ran freely through the forest, she was friends with the animals, kind to the world around her, and her Grandmother was a tree. She didn’t want to get married to the man her father chose for her, she wanted love. She was so curious about the world around her.
She even tried to teach John Smith about the value of the world around him. They may be from different worlds, but they can learn a thing or two from one another.
And she risked everything to save his life.
I also have to admit that John Smith is kind of adorable. Mel Gibson did an excellent job.
All in all, I really do love this movie. It is one of the better Disney “Princess-y” movies out there.
And since it is the 20 year anniversary of the movie today I hope that you take some time to watch the movie, its worth it, especially to see Meeko, he’s so cute.