Pocahontas (1995) Poster

(I) (1995)

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Better than people give it credit for
Jason Katz6 August 2005
When Pocahontas originally came out, Disney's wave of recent hits came to a crashing halt. The film was labeled as racist or at least insensitive to Native Americans and the goodwill that Disney had established with its audiences quickly evaporated. You could say they have never been the same since.

The "fearsome foursome" that is The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and the Lion King has no equal, except perhaps the last four Pixar movies. Pocahontas is not, unfortunately in that "club" and never will be. Disney spent the next four to five years trying to recreate the "magic" with films like Hunchback, Hercules, Mulan, and Tarzan. Unfortunately, none of those films had the surprise and "good feeling" of the earlier Disney hits, and except for maybe Mulan, none of those films, as films, were as good either. And although Pocahontas is and was the point where the schizm occurred, in retrospect, it's a pretty damned good movie. So what went wrong?

First, it wasn't the Lion King. They could have put out something "safe" after the Lion King, and it still probably would have paled in comparison to what was then a great big giant behemoth of a movie. That movie earned over THREE HUNDRED MILLION in its theatrical run in 1994 - not as common then as it is now - thing was a juggernaut. Pocahontas, following on the heels of this bad boy, was not going to live up to expectations.

People blamed the fact that it was about PEOPLE and not animals, and that it was based on ACTUAL history rather than a fairy tale. THEN they blamed the fact that the history part of it was botched and that the film's portrayal of Native Americans was at best insensitive, racist at worst.

I'll grant you that making Pocahontas' mentor a talking tree and having her learn English "instantaneously" because she listened to her heart is a wee bit ridiculous, but racist? Come on. The message of the film - that love can conquer hate - is anything but racist and if anything, the film shows the "Indians" in a more human light than the English, who are their usual, stereotypical pig-headed selves.

Here's what else is good about the movie: The SONGS. Remember 'Colors of the Wind'? Could there be a better song about reconnecting with nature and valuing the earth more? We NEED this song right now, especially, with the world seemingly sliding ever more into a consumerist "bliss," what better than to see some beautiful chick running through the forest teaching that rugged white man how to value LIFE? And what the hell is wrong with that I ask?

And what about some of the other songs? The one about the RIVER BEND and making choices - good stuff. And the whole montage ending song that repeats SAVAGES SAVAGES BARELY EVEN HUMAN from both sides - showing that BOTH SIDES misunderstand each other. It gives me chills when Pocahontas is running and you see the war superimposed behind her and she sings "HOW LOUD BEAT THE DRUMS OF WAR!" - makes me want to cry! Don't we need this now I ask you?

But, by far the best thing about this movie is - the animation. It is absolutely GORGEOUS. The design for this film is sumptuous, with mostly blues and a seamless style that never gets in the way and illustrates the action (and the feminine nature of the film) so beautifully. Compared to the dreck that is the HUNCHBACK - that film is ugly as sin - and the absolute HIDEOUSNESS of Hercules - the animation in that is strictly straight-to-video, Pocahontas absolutely ROCKS. Only Mulan, with its chirpy story and colorful style match up to the grandeur of this one.

While Pocahontas didn't have the grand ending that the Lion King had (it was a downer, remember?), the story bucks tradition by making it about people instead of animals, and its' message outweighs the "historically inaccurate" complaint. What movie IS historically accurate? Disney took a chance with this one and they got BURNED, which is why they went back to doing "safe" crap like Hunchback, which tanked anyway. They should have done the SCARLET LETTER or something like that - really start pissing people off. How about the MARQUIS DE SADE? There's some history for you!

Watch Pocahontas again without the weight of expectations. You'll be surprised by how good it really is.
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Beautiful... In Every Sense of the Word
jaredpahl18 November 2015
Warning: Spoilers
During the famed "Disney Renaissance", a period that started in 1989 with the release of The Little Mermaid and continued through the entire 1990s, Disney was creating modern classics with every film they released. In the midst of this revolution came Pocahontas, a rousing animated musical, directed by Mike Gabriel and Eric Goldberg. Pocahontas is something of an outlier in the Disney cannon. It is not a cutesy, kid-centric fairy tale a la Disney classics like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs or Beauty and the Beast. What Disney's 33rd animated feature is, is a sensational movie musical, and one of Disney's most technically accomplished works.

Pocahontas, in typical Disney style, takes a well-known tale and molds it into an easy-to-digest story set to music. In this case, for the first time at Disney, the story is not entirely fictional. Here's where some people come down on Pocahontas. No, it didn't stay completely true to what really happened with John Smith and the real story of Pocahontas, but it would be a much lesser movie if it had. Pocahontas, the movie, is based on the legend of Pocahontas rather than the reality. The decision to romanticize the legend is a no-brainer. This is Disney after all. We expect strong archetypes and accessible drama.

The story begins with English settlers setting off for Virginia. Their leader, Governor Ratcliffe (David Ogden Stiers) comes in search of gold, John Smith (Mel Gibson) comes for the adventure of a lifetime. Back on the New World is Pocahontas, a young Algonquin princess voiced by Irene Bedard, who is set to be married to the tribe's dashing bachelor, Kocoum. It's all very predictable Disney stuff. The settlers are mostly just boisterous, gold-lusting, brutes, The princess is weary of getting together with the jock character, and there's only one man who understands her. We've heard it before. Even so, the story is handled with care and the familiar elements are welcome for the most part. The unfamiliar elements, chief of which is a surprisingly mature and complex love story between John Smith and Pocahontas, are where Pocahontas' plot stands out from its Disney siblings. There is more to this film than surface layer romance. Complimenting the dramatic story of betrayal and acceptance is a poignant message about coexisting peacefully with each other and the world around us.

The story is as moving as any other Disney classic, but what makes Pocahontas a notable Disney Renaissance landmark is its animation and music. Hand drawn animation had been around for a half century before Pocahontas, and stage musicals a hundred years before that. It's a wonder then, that somehow Pocahontas still manages to be a jaw-dropping example of both. I don't think the film gets the credit it deserves as one of Disney's best drawn films. The animators, led by the legendary Glen Keane, do things with animation that were game-changing, even by the high standard set by the world's leading animation studio. The character designs are expertly idealized, accentuating facial features and movement without ever crossing the line into cartoon. The backgrounds are even better. The untouched beauty of the American landscape is given scale, depth, and an expressionistic dynamism. It all comes together in the musical numbers.

Music is always a matter of taste, but for me, every song down the line in Pocahontas worked in a big way. I honestly cannot think of another musical that can make that claim. Every musical, animated or otherwise, has at least one dud. It's a rule. Pocahontas breaks tradition. The rhythmic "Just Around the Riverbend", the wonderfully wicked "Mine, Mine, Mine", and the grand, Oscar-winning spectacle that is "Colors of the Wind" are all rousing, bombastic, and sweeping pieces of music. The songs are up to the quality of the very best Broadway musicals, and the animation only improves the numbers. The explosively vivid colors and spacious movement that go along with the songs are artistry of the highest kind.

There is a surplus of talent and passion in every fiber of Pocahontas. When all the pieces come together, the story, the animation, and the music, Pocahontas is remarkable. It's a film of craftsmanship and quality. While kids will no doubt enjoy it, it's not made "for" kids. Like the best Disney movies, Pocahontas appeals to anyone who loves music and appreciates the warm touch of hand drawn animation. Add to the sights and sounds, some of which were enough to literally take my breath away from me, a timeless message of acceptance and stewardship of nature, and what you get is a classic, Disney or otherwise. Show this movie to your kids, watch it yourself, just see it. Pocahontas is in a word... Beautiful.

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Another triumph for Disney in the '90s...
Neil Doyle5 May 2001
Perhaps there should have been a disclaimer at the start of the movie saying: "Loosely based on the true story of the Indian princess" and then there wouldn't be all this fuss about a Disney movie not sticking to historical facts. First of all, when you go to see "Pocahontas" knowing it's a Disney animated feature, do you really think you're going to see an accurate depiction of events? It's not meant to be a documentary--take it for what it is, a charming, completely enjoyable work of art with stunning visuals, great songs (by Menken and Schwartz) and an uplifting tale that has a message for kids and adults. What more could you want?

Definitely a must-see Disney film for the whole family. Should create an interest for kids to learn about the actual events if they are so inclined. As entertainment, it's top-grade Disney with a hauntingly beautiful score that would fit well into any Broadway musical. The songs are splendid: 'Just Around the Riverbend', 'Colors of the Wind', 'The Virginia Company' -- and the artwork combined with the music for the gold-digging number is outstanding.

Belongs up there with 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'Hunchback of Notre Dame' as one a serious film fan should not miss.
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Even better 10 years later!
irishgrl-112 June 2005
Recently I started watching this again with my 4yr old son and fell in love with it all over again! The music is outstanding (I especially love the "Colors of the Wind") and the entire movie is a visual treat! I know many have complained that the movie is a European version of an event and demeaning to American Indians, but from what I've read, Russel Means (voice of Powhatan) was happy with the final product and its portrayal of Native Americans. Whether or not it is historically accurate, it is great entertainment and I believe the overall message of peace and acceptance between peoples is timeless good advice. All in all, a great addition to the Disney catalog of movies.
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Mature love and great music
realmofjohn19 October 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Well when I watched Pocahontas back in 1995 I was only 12 years old, and I thought it was a nice movie, a bit too serious, but all in all a good movie. But now, almost ten years later I saw it again, and wow what a surprise I got... The movie is probably the only Disney movie with a REAL love story, the sneak around and tries to hide their love, and in the incredibly sad ending, they choose life over love (or something like that), which makes the whole thing mature and realistic. And the music, that wonderful music. "Colors of the wind" (fantastic singing by musical star Judy Kuhn) is probably one of the best Disney songs of all time. The other songs are great too. The only thing the film lacks is "classic" animation, these new things like; not seeing Pocahontas nose from the front, I dunno, I can't help thinking of this film with the animators (and style) from "The beauty and the beast". The voice acting is top notch by the way! I don't care that the movie is historicly incorrect, its just a damn good Disney film, that has crawled up to the top 5 Disney classics of all time in my book.
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I forgot just how beautiful this movie is...why is it so underrated??
Awakening12419 March 2009
I haven't watched Pocahontas in maybe ten years, but I was feeling nostalgic one day and popped it in. I could not believe how truly BEAUTIFUL this movie is, in every aspect.

MUSIC: Aside from the songs everyone knows (Just Around the River Bend and Colors of the Wind) every single other song in the film is wonderful, with soaring harmonies and Broadway quality singing. Everything was masterfully written and executed. The music alone is reason enough for this to be adapted into a full out Broadway musical, but don't worry...the music is brilliant but it doesn't scream "MUSICAL!" like Hairspray or Mamma Mia.

ANIMATION: Drop. Dead. Gorgeous. Every single frame is such wonderful eye candy, and the camera work serves the sweeping storyline extremely well.

STORY: Dramatic (with it's humorous moments of course), romantic, and it carries a very important message of peace, maturity, and fighting against ignorance and prejudice from BOTH sides. This is possibly the Disney movie with the greatest message for kids.

HISTORIC ACCURACY: Yes, Disney changed the true story quite a bit, but if you look to Disney for accurate re-tellings of historical events you have a serious PROBLEM. This movie is more 'Inspired by' than 'Based on' and since the true story is about a 13-14 year old falling in love with 30-40 year I think we can all appreciate that they took some liberties with a KIDS' MOVIE.

All in all, I really don't get why this isn't revered as a classic right along with The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast.
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This movie has some slight flaws, but it is magical.
cjd-1625 April 2007
This is by far the most under-rated Disney movie of all time. Sure it wasn't perfect, but it is MUCH better than a 5.6.

The story is absolutely engrossing. There are so many good and realistic things going on... a man learning about all the little things he has missed in life, an Indian princess striving for adventure and guidance amongst her steady and safe society, and a full-blown war between civilizations who both believe that the other is made of savages. I appreciate that this story is a realistic depiction of war, with two disagreeing sides, neither of which is necessarily right or wrong.

The animation in this movie is absolutely spectacular. And it is spectacular in the best way: with a basis in cinematography. The animation is not only spectacular because of the details in the backgrounds and the characters, but even more so because of how beautifully it is used. Scenes such as when Pocahontas and John meet in the mist are the kind of simple beauty that more movies need. When you hear the song "Listen With Your Heart", you can practically feel the breath of the surrounding forest. Fantastic stuff.

Another big high point is the music. Everyone's heard the show-stopping "Colors of the Wind", but the others are worthy of praise as well. "Steady as the Beating Drum", "Just Around the River Bend", "Savages", "Listen With Your Heart", "Mine, Mine, Mine", and the deleted "If I Never Knew You" ALL fit perfectly. Musically, this movie is on par with Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and just a tick behind "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Lion King".

So if all these things are good, why only an 8? Two words... the ending. Everything leading up to it is so engrossing, and "Savages" builds up such an intense conflict drama, and everything is falling apart. This was the chance for Disney to turn this movie into a classic, and with what had to happen, they easily could have. But they completely failed. After "Savages", the scene that should have been the most intense and dramatic climax in their history ended almost instantly. It was too fast, there was almost no drama like their should have been, and the dialog was awful... captured none of the epic feel that it should have. Such a shame that such a great film was wrecked by such a horribly executed ending.

I also wasn't a fan of the constant distractions of the animal sidekicks, and of course there are the matters of historical accuracy and non-stereotypical depiction of the Indians, but as an avid animation fan I was willing to overlook these issues and give it a chance to be a good film in a non-contexted world. Some may be put off by this, but since when have animated films been historically accurate? So, honestly, those who are put off by things like "People in the dynasty when Mulan lived weren't praying to ancestors yet" should probably not expect to like this movie.

Out-of-context, I give it an 8/10 because everything up till the ending was completely magical, and had some of the best moments in all of Disney history, but the ending fell flat. I still want to watch it over and over again, because the rest of the movie really was fantastic. With a proper dramatic ending, I really do think that it could have been nominated for "Best Picture" like the Disney people thought it would. As is, it's a great entry into the animated classics canon. Definitely recommended even though it falls well short of the greatness achieved by the early 90's films.
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And you'll never hear the wolf cry to the blue corn moon...
luizpaulon14 October 2007
What can I say... When I was a kid, I didn't like Pocahontas. In fact, I was disappointed with this movie. Because, to me, they HAD to be happy ever after! The years have passed, and I'm 19, and I felt really stupid because I didn't like this movie. Oh my god. This movie wasn't made for children, It was made for grow ups. It's language... a child would never understand the message. A child would just enjoy the animation, Meeko and the songs. When I saw that movie again, 2 years ago, I understood why they couldn't be together, I understood the message of the songs and I understood the fact that this movie is one of the most brilliants animations crated. When I saw "Colors of the wind" I cried. When I heard "Savages!" I got chills. How Disney did that? Kids, don't watch this movie. Grow-ups, GO NOW AND WATCH. This movie teaches values that this world forgot, and we need more movies like that. 10/10
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The greatest underrated Disney's gem !
ghostofdaniel9 July 2004
When this movie came out (in 1995), I thought : "Another one "big stupid kiddy Disney American colonialist propaganda movie" ! Nobody thinks no more about a love story between an Indian girl and a colonialist ! The indians were exterminated by the colonialists ! Not loved by them ! Everybody knows that !"

And I didn't watch such of silly movie, of course ! I'm not a stupid man !

BUT, there's a week ago, the daughter of my sister (9 years old), forgot that DVD in my home. I thought : "Let's see this stupidity, just to laugh at the most ridiculous Disney's movie !"

I watched it. And I cryed. This is the best Disney's movie, and maybe the best movie, I've ever watched !

How can you criticize it ? Have you lost your children soul ?!!

Of course, just after watched it, I thought : "Well, that's good. Better than I thought. But that's all".

But the next day, the song of the old "mother witch" remains in my mind ! I decided to watch it again, and again. Now, I've seen this movie about 20 times in one week. That's incredible, I think I'm a fan !!!!

For me, in general, the worst part of a Disney movie, was the songs. I've always hated them. For the first time, I found the songs were the best part of this movie ! I listened to every songs of this movie, and I think, they are all good, and even, great ! Also the music ! It's an Mozart's opera !

Graphics are good, but the editing is better ! The first encounter between Pocahontas and Smith at the falls is a pure master-piece ! And the movie's references are plenty ! The "3-voices song" of "savages", reminds me the "rumbles" of "West Side Story", and the final "goodbye" reminds me the final of Spielberg's "E.T.".

I don't know if this movie was done "for children", but I know I cry every time I watch it !

Thanks for Mike Gabriel, Eric Goldberg, Alan Menken, Stephen Schwartz, and the Disney Company to have kept their "children soul". I was wrong and they were right. And I'm happy of that.

Well, I quit you now, I need to watch this movie again... Goodbye ! :-))

10/10 !!!!!! of course !
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A mature Disney romantic drama
aurelie_ledoyen3 May 2005
I read the poster's comments (the one from Paris) and had to laugh, because I completely understand him. I went away for school in Europe in '95 when the film came out, and when I came back Pocahontas was the rage. You know, the way all Disney films were back then-there were commercials, songs on the radio, stuffed animals, etc....until the NEXT Disney movie came to dwarf it until a lame sequel or TV series came out. So let me tell you, I was skeptical about Pocahontas.

I saw this a year after it came out and instantly fell in love with it. It's a mature Disney animated feature- (in my opinion) even more mature than Japanime films I have seen. The love story seems very real-there is a sort of chemistry between the leads that you can feel.

The soundtrack is one of my favourite parts about the movie. Every song matches perfectly with the spirit of the time and place..a new world in the 1600's.

Finally..whoever had the idea to cast Mel Gibson(and Christian Bale) is a genius. Love those voices!

One aspect of this movie often overlooked is its dreamy editing. It is so consistent throughout and rivals many critically acclaimed films with great editing.

See it again, and remember: "You can own the earth and still, all you'll own is Earth until you can paint with all the colors of the wind."
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Decent entertainment, very pleasing to the eye.
Sarah Perry15 July 2003
For as much bad press as Pocahontas got, I must say I really disagree with the people who call it flat and lifeless. I thought that after the exclusively tan Lion King, the fresh blues and greens of the foggy Virginia woods were quite beautiful to behold. No one can deny that this is a very beautiful movie, almost exquisite in its animation. Although John Smith is nowhere near as handsome as he thinks he is and peoples' eyes have a strange tendency to all but disappear at times (Look at Smith, Nakoma and Kokoum to see what I mean), it is very very pretty.

Unfortunately, if they'd just waited a year or so after The Lion King, I think it would have gotten much better ratings. As I see it, it is a very interesting story, if a bit tired at times. Pocahontas is a fine heroine, she's very courageous and likeable, and unlike Jasmine and Nala from the previous two Disney films, she's much more than just a pretty face. The love story with Captain Smith is actually done rather well despite the fact that I really disliked the Smith character. I'm not sure why they made him so flat and one-dimensional in contrast to Pocahontas' rich personality, but I didn't find him at all interesting.

The cute animal mascots were allright, if totally out of place in the otherwise dark world. They would be funny to little kids, but they're pretty annoying to a mature viewer.

I didn't really care for Chief Powhatan, he was a little too dense considering the circumstances. I'd say my favorite characters were Nakoma, Pocahontas' best friend and Kokoum, the personality-less warrior. At least those two had some decent tension. I also really enjoyed David Ogden Stiers' duel performance as Governor Ratcliffe and his cute little yes-man, Wiggins. Those two characters truthfully provided the best entertainment of the film, and it might have been a better movie if they'd replaced some of the preachiness with more entertaining scenes of those two plotting.

All in all, it doesn't really take much intelligence to watch it, but it does have elements to appeal to a mature viewer, and besides, the songs are very pretty and of course, it's a splendid piece of animation.
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A couple of minor flaws, but this is a beautiful film!
TheLittleSongbird17 February 2009
Why on earth is this movie rated so low? It's even rated lower than some of the DTV sequels. That shouldn't happen. It is historically inaccurate, but why should that be an issue? All I want is a visually stunning film with great music, and that's what I got. The animation is splendid. America looked so rich in colour, and the colours were so bright. The songs are sometimes the weakest element of an animation. Here it is the main reason why this movie is so memorable. "Colours of the Wind" is one of the most beautiful songs I've heard, and I've sung it before. Pocahontas's singing voice is none other than the Broadway singer, Judy Kuhn, who was absolutely terrific. When I was 12, I tried to sound like her. The incidental music is also definitely the most lyrical of the Alan Menken scores. The weakest element of the film, is actually the character development. The protagonist, voiced by Irene Bedard, is very well done, but most of the other characters are not as effective. Mel Gibson has a singing voice, but his speaking voice is too monotonous to my liking, and Ratcliffe isn't a very likable or memorable villain at all(one of Disney's blandest villains actually), despite enthusiastic voice work from David Ogden Stiers. But Meeko and Flit are great fun, and Grandmother Willow was good too. Don't say this film is racist. Some of the imagery is fantastic in the songs of war and animosity, and the film has a great love story and message. The ending was actually quite effective and poignant. In conclusion, one of the least memorable of the Disney movies, is so worth watching. 8.5/10. Bethany Cox
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Wonderful musical from fictitious version of true story.
Richard Harris (Norway1)27 September 1998
Though not entirely surpassing the Lion King this was some of the best music ever experienced in an animated musical. Pocahontas is the daughter of a chief who wishes to find her path in life. She feels it her duty to keep peace between her own people and the intruding British who are hoping to find gold as did the early Spanish explorers. She finds herself falling in love with one of these new visitors and uses this relationship in attempting to prevent a potential war. But can she stop the greedy settlers from their determination to find Gold, and can she convince her Father that they should try to live in peace with their new neighbors? You may be pleasantly surprised. Between the music and the animation Pocahontas is a classic Disney film that should be included in every video collection. Just don't expect to learn any hidden truths about American history. Take it for what it is.
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It wasn't the hit that Disney was looking for, but I think this was still a decent movie
Kristine19 January 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Disney studios had hit the jackpot during the "renaissance" with The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King. Beauty and the Beast was the first animated film to ever receive a best picture nomination during the Oscar season. They wanted to hit it out of the ball park again with Pocahontas. This is where Disney was starting to slide down a little bit again. Not to put this film down because it was wonderful, but there wasn't that special little spice that made the film a huge success like it's predecessors. The animation was just spectacular, the story(despite not being at all true to the story) was very good and the songs were beautiful. But why wasn't this the major hit Disney was looking forward too? I have several theories that I'll explain in just a moment.

British settlers of the Virginia Company sets sail to the "New World". Onboard the ship are Captain John Smith and the voyage's leader Governor Ratcliffe, who believes the local Native Americans are hiding a vast collection of gold and seeks to gain it for his own. In the local tribe in the New World, Pocahontas, daughter of Chief Powhatan, dreads being possibly wed to Kocoum, a brave warrior whom she sees as too "serious" when conflicting with her spirited personality. Pocahontas, along with her friends, the raccoon Meeko and hummingbird Flit, visit Grandmother Willow, a spiritual talking willow tree who alerts her to the presence of the Englishmen. She meets John Smith and shows him the "New World" as he realizes the peace and love the tribe brings, they both try to bring a bond between their groups, but it might be more difficult than they realize.

Why this film wasn't as big a smash as the studios wanted I think was due to the way the story was told. First off, I know that for Hollywood to keep the audience's interest they do need to have their own little twist on history, but why not keep more true to the story of Pocahontas? I suppose because her story wasn't enough to keep the kid's interest just like how they "sexified" her up. Although why does her nose look like Lord Voldemort? Seriously, can she breathe out of that thing? There is a massive stare fest between her and John Smith that felt more awkward than beautiful and romantic. There's also a lot of standing majestically which I thought made the characters look more like mannequins.

However, I still like Pocahontas a lot. It's not the Disney movie I watch more than a few times, but the animation is just absolutely stunning, some of Disney's best. The songs like "Colors of the wind" and "Drums of War" were great. Even the side animal characters were really funny and cute. I would still recommend Pocahontas, not just for die hard fans of Disney, but it's a terrific family film that I'm sure anyone could enjoy as long as you don't take it seriously like some other crazy people have, it's a movie! People need to check the size of their underwear, it may be time for a bigger size.

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Highly underrated, one of my favorite Disney movies....
sparrowsrum1237 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I've spent the past half an hour reading page after page of comments, and this is the conclusion I've come to: The majority of people who despise this film say it's "racist, ignorant, historically inaccurate, an insult to Native Americans, etc." I think people need to realize this movie isn't meant to be a History Channel Documentary- it's meant for entertainment purposes, and to show a lesson (like most Disney movies). If I had to choose between Finding Nemo and Pocahontas, I'd pick this movie over any Pixar cash cow any day.

Whatever happened to the "golden ages" of Disney- when everyone seemed devoted and dedicated to what they were putting out there for people to see? Now they only care about making money, thanks to Eisner (who is FORTUNATELY gone).

Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yeah. Back to the movie: *SPOILERS* I think what separates this Disney movie from the rest is that it has more adult elements. For example: Pocahontas and John Smith don't end up together in the end. In basically ever other Disney film I've seen, they all have the "let's live together and have babies and live happily ever after. The End!" sort of movies. Pocahontas has a distinct realness about her that separates her from the rest of Disney's protagonists. For once, Disney depicts an independent woman who knows what she needs and can fend for herself. As for some of the reviewers saying Radcliffe was "weak", I disagree. He truly depicted what most money(and land) hungry conquerors were like: they wanted land to expand their empires, wanted money (gold at the time), and didn't want others to occupy it that weren't like them (both in physical appearance and social class).

I also have to add that the animation and soundtrack are absolutely breathtaking. Whenever I watch this film, I feel like I can connect to the environment, and the songs aren't cheesy at all. I was 4 and a half when Pocahontas came out, and I liked it for different reasons (such as Meeko, Flick, the Barbie dolls, merchandise, etc.) than I do know. As a teen, I see this movie as a true piece of art in cinema that should never be forgotten.
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OK, I think the low rating is very unfair!.
Chrysanthepop24 October 2007
'Pocahontas' is certainly not among the best films to come out of Disney but in my humble opinion it deserves more than 5.7. I found it to be very charming, with wonderful characters, fantastic animation, stunning visuals, sweet chemistry between the lovers, lovely songs (Colours of the Wind is breathtaking), and simple Disney entertainment. I liked the way it ended, somewhat differently from other Disney films.

My only complaint is that I didn't like it when one of the Indians got killed and how Pocahontas was more concerned about never seeing John. Also the father forgiving John immediately was unrealistic. More character development was required for us to at least understand the father's character. The dialogues were a little clichéd. It was also strange to see Pocahontas communicating with John in English.

Having read about 'Pocahontas' I found it very unfair that it was labelled a racist film. Where was the racism? If anything, it's about bringing people together. It's about unconditional love that can exist both within and between races. I also think it was very unfair that the film was trashed for not being historically accurate. Come on, it's a Disney film for kids not some kind of epic film. Perhaps the unconventional ending (quite non-Disney) was too much to take for some people.

However, except for the flaws I mentioned, I think it's a great film and one can really enjoy it especially because of the visual beauty and the beautiful songs and I loved the characters Percy, Meeko and Flit. They provided some memorable comic relief.
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The songs is the only good thing.
morphricky8 July 2012
The songs for this movie are great and are a welcome treat between the mind-numbingly boring plot and the, quite frankly, dull looking animation. I remember watching this in the cinema as a child and only enjoyed the swirling winds animation when Pocahontas sings "Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?", otherwise the animation lacks shading which makes everything appear flat.

For some reason, all the good characters just end up very bland and boring. And they have too much dialog for me to sit through, I'm certain more than 75% of this movie is just talking. Thankfully the sidekick animals don't have any words to speak, it was the only way I could even put up with them.

I much more enjoy the soundtrack rather than the actual movie, even the instrumental pieces are wonderful.
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The Late Masterpiece of Disney Animation...and even more dazzling in the "10th anniversary edition!).
martin lane25 November 2007
I have long been saddened by seeing this visually stunning, and emotionally enthralling animated classic be labeled "Disneyfied History". It was so easy to take a brave attempt at broadening an art and chop it down because it is not a documentary on the subject, or because it dares inject a bit of magic, whimsy, and humor into a "True Story".

As the filmmakers stated from the beginning, this was intended to be a dramatization of the LEGEND of the ROMANCE between Pocahontas and John Smith. NEVER was it intended to be a 100% accurate documentation of the Historical events that happened (or MAY have happened) in the earliest days of "Jamestown".

What was attempted, and what was achieved in rapturous beauty, was the most naturalistic and richly detailed Animated interpretation of nature, human figures, and a multi dimensional star crossed romance that rings true Emotionally if not historically.

I very much hope that anyone interested in the art of animation will take another look, or see the superb 10th anniversary edition...which gives the lead characters the love theme that they were so rudely denied.

This is a breathtaking, intelligent film that stands up well against the sublime "The New World" (another, even LESS appreciated film treatise of the Pocahontas tale...that was largely overlooked in 2005).

It is to be treasured for it's superb songs, bewitching beauty, and unappreciated insights into Native American culture....and for being the most Dazzling Animated Film this side of "Fantasia".

I am writing this as the Re-birth of Disney "traditional" "Line Drawn" animation is marked by the release of "Enchanted".

It would be so wonderful to celebrate by acknowledging this film as the ultimate peak reached by the art (so far!!).
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After a nine-year absence...
sugar_n_spice20 November 2007
... of watching this movie, I literally forgot everything about it.. except for "Colors of the Wind." So I was able to view it quite objectively.

Okay, let's get one thing straight: this film is BY NO MEANS HISTORICALLY ACCURATE! Pocahontas wasn't a young woman when John Smith met her, but rather a young girl; she never fell in love with Captain Smith (there are some scholars who speculate on whether or not he actually tried to *rape* her); Pocahontas wasn't her real name, but a Hebrew nickname meaning "playful one," given to her by the English (her real name was Matoaka); and I could go on and on about the history they got wrong in this movie. I suppose that, if I were an American Indian, perhaps I would be offended by this portrayal of Pocahontas, but since I'm a Euro-American with a very small part of American Indian (my great-great grandfather was a Blackfoot, adopted by an Irish family; and my great-great--uh, great?--grandmother was a Cherokee who walked the trail of tears), I can view this movie with less of a bias.

The reason that I hadn't seen this movie in nine years was because, back when I was a little kid (I'm sixteen now), I cried. I was so used to Disney 'happy-endings' that I was saddened by the outcome of Pocahontas. And I refused to watch it ever again, so my mom sold it at the next garage sale. But after watching it now, I can appreciate how Pocahontas isn't Cinderella: she doesn't have a spare glass slipper so she can marry the prince; she's not Sleeping Beauty, who can just be kissed by her true love while she rests in ageless sleep; and she's not The Little Mermaid, whose fins are miraculously turned into human legs by her father so she can marry a human prince. Pocahontas and John SMith came from two very different worlds, ones that would fight for hundreds of years over the ownership of the "New World." I am glad, actually, that the ending isn't stereotypical Disney, but rather bittersweet and unforgettable. I love the fact that this is a Disney movie for emotionally mature audiences. I don't recommend it for children under thirteen.

The music in this movie is amazing. "Colors of the Wind" won the Oscar, but I honestly think "Just Around the Riverbend" and "If I Never Knew You" are better! It's not just the wonderful melodies that add to the magic of Pocahontas, but also the deep, dark lyrics.

I give this 8/10. Unfairly underrated.
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Is trashed by plenty, why?
Dragoneyed36319 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
WARNING: I advise anyone who has not seen the film yet to not read this comment.

Out of every film that has ever been labeled Walt Disney "classic" or "masterpiece", this is the lowest rated one with a 5.9 rating, why? People think it's degrading and offensive to Native Americans, no, seriously, that's why this gem is so hated.

Okay, people, it's a Walt Disney movie; Did you honestly think it was going to be 100% accurate and meant to reach out to full grown adults? Actually, it's not degrading or offensive one bit. It's actually really beautiful and touching. The song "Colors of the Wind" is one of the most beautiful and heartfelt songs that has ever been released in a Disney movie. The characters are top notch and the, what most think is crappy, animation, I think, is wonderful! Some things like Grandmother Willow telling her to follow her heart and that Pocahontas is able to overcome the barriers of race to find love are such powerful messages that were so great seeing in this.

As one comment says, "When Pocahontas originally came out, Disney's wave of recent hits came to a crashing halt. The film was labeled as racist or at least insensitive to Native Americans and the goodwill that Disney had established with its audiences quickly evaporated. You could say they have never been the same since", which is very disappointing because this movie was not a scratch on Walt Disney's film records like most people think.

I always love seeing Pocahontas rush to save the day and prove that any "savage"'s violence and carnage, whether Native American or not, can be halted by the powers of love. While this film gets a very bad wrap, it's not anywhere near as horrible as everyone lets on. With beautiful songs, great animation and wonderful, powerful messages one after another, Pocahontas is Disney's most underrated and under-appreciated masterpiece by far. I always enjoy watching it and find myself getting chills at many of scenes; I have chills all through "Colors of the Wind", when she is running to stop the war and the final scene when she is standing on the rock and the leaves brush past her in the wind.

Beautiful movie, a shame it wasn't considered a hit like most, and just overall gets very unfair treatment. Though it's no The Lion King, Aladdin or the numerous Disney classics before the 90's, it deserves just as much positive recognition which, like I've stated many times, it fails to get. I love it, and people who hate it need to open their eyes and see it for what a beautifully crafted and heartfelt story it really is...

P.S. The extra song sang by Pocahontas and John Smith on the 10th anniversary DVD is too die for...
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What a world of difference! Excellent! Disney finally gets it right!!
Wilson10215 October 2008
I just got this 10th anniversary edition today and I LOVE it! The additional scene with the beautiful love song "If I Never Knew You" brings the movie all together and it makes much more sense with the scene. For years I had heard that there was a 'missing scene' in this movie, and I remember thinking how the original scene in the teepee between Pocahantas and John Smith seemed so abruptly cut short and terribly truncated. About 5 years ago on ABC, The Wonderful World of Disney showed Pocahantas with this 'deleted scene', but it was not complete. At the time it featured 'live' animation of the view of the hole through the top of the teepee, and stills with voice-overs from Mel Gibson and Irene Bedard. The big deal at the time was that it featured Mel Gibson singing, and I remember seeing an interview with Mel at the time saying (sic) "I got to sing a love song but they cut the scene!" But the funny thing is that I could swear that I read that this scene was complete at the time the original was released, but cut just before the release. (Anyone know about this?) I guess it doesn't matter now because the Disney Co. finally restored this very touching and beautiful song to this anniversary version, and it makes the story so much more real and compelling. There is also a reprise of the couple singing the song just before the end and it is the icing on the cake. I'm not always pleased with Disney DVD releases, but this one they got right! Also, they had the sense to release it in the widescreen ratio so you get to see the whole, beautiful product in all of its glory! (They should do this with all their releases!--How about a widescreen special edition of MoonSpinners? Hint-Hint!) Also, you can watch the original theatrical release on this DVD, but I don't know why you'd want to! P.S. Mel sings beautifully!
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Absolutely Amazing
AcornicopiaOFlove24 May 2006
I am sixteen years old, I recently pulled this film out of a box I found when moving. Remember, I was 5 when this film came out in England. My first reaction was..."wow" I understand that Disney is well loved and when I was 5, this was just another favourite film, now I can safely say that it is my ultimate favourite film, there is so much depth that is just not obvious to a typical 5 year old.

Like "To Kill A Mockingbird" it shows serious in-depth prejudice, the British settlers do not want to associate with the Native Americans and vice-versa. The British settlers want to completely take over and change the Native American's way of life. The depth touches me emotionally and along with the love story in all the political controversy, i found myself sobbing as the lovers parted knowing that they were unlikely to see one-another again. I know I am sixteen and probably too old to enjoy Disney, but quite frankly, I could not care less.

I watched this film with my sister-in-law as a 5 year old, the other day, we sat together and watched it again as a memoir of the "old days" again, we both sat in tears, it's just a pity that the sequel did not match up to the historical context!
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powerful love story!!
amyevans459013 April 2006
I have to admit, when this came out when i was 5, it wasn't one of my favourite Disney films... least i don't remember it being.

But recently, I've been watching all my Disney films again (a way to get away from GCSEs meh!) and Pocahontas just got me!! I loooved it!! The songs were stuck in my head for ages. And the love between Pocahontas and John Smith just aah!! Sooo romantic. The line "Pocahontas, id rather die tomorrow, than live 100 years without knowing you" is one of the most beautiful quotes I've ever heard. The ending is so sad tho, most Disney films they live happily ever after, but john smith has to go back to Britain. Its very sad :(

I really do believe this film is probably the most beautiful Disney film there ever was. Its weird, now that I'm older, i understand it more, so maybe thats why it wasn't one of my favourites when i was a kid, because i didn't understand the love, the history.

However I BEG OF YOU!! if you love this film, PLEASE do not watch the sequel. It will ruin it for you, i promise.
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Way underrated; the film is a masterpiece
kyle-cruse9 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I can't believe how many negative reviews this film has received. In reality, everything about the film is masterfully done. The animation is beautifully drawn and the characters are all full of life. For some reason, people feel that the film is racist, but on the contrary, it teaches that we need not look upon others as inferior or unimportant but that we should all live together and share the land. One of the things that really impressed me about this movie was the music. Although "Colors of the Wind" won the Oscar, "If I Never Knew You" is even better, in my opinion. Nevertheless, these are two of the best songs I've ever heard in a Disney movie. The interactions between the characters are perfectly done. Without giving away the ending, the film doesn't end perfectly happy, unlike most Disney films. Not that I don't love happy endings, but this keeps the reality of the story of Pocahontas more accurate, and Disney should be applauded for that. Maybe not everything is perfect about the movie, but it satisfied me and proved to be enjoyable and filled with emotion. If you've put off seeing this film, don't deprive yourself any longer. It's worth your time.

***1/2 out of ****
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Not the Greatest, but great
Marchchild249 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Alright, the movie is not accurate. I understand the anger over the mistakes portrayed in the film. I have researched Pocahontas, and understand why some are upset. But I researched her life BECAUSE of the film. It inspired in me something my teachers (and public school) failed, the desire to learn history. Disney NEVER claimed to be doing a movie on the actual events. They said they were basing the movie on the legend of Pocahontas. The legend has always held that she and John loved each other, she saved him, and etc. Legends are never historically accurate. They are derived from true happenings, but they are part of folk lore. While reading the posted comments, I noticed this argument, "The natives are stereotyped, the movie was racist" and such. When Powhaten is first introduced, he is talking about a war his people were just in with another Native American village. His people were shown as entirely human for the first time in cinema. Here they are, they love the earth and each other. They war with neighbors, and make alliances. They misunderstand and jump to conclusions like EVERYBODY ELSE!!!!! They were shown as both wise and ignorant. In short they were not shown as tree-Hughes, because they war. They were not shown as "savages", because they protect their children. They were the first to call off the fight after Pocahontas saved John Smith. I do not believe this movie was racist. Parts of the movie was edited awkwardly, and John Smith did lack flavor. Otherwise the music was grand.
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