Pocahontas - Film Review

Pocahontas - Film Review

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Posted 2024-01-04 by PerthKelfollow
Pocahontas is a 1995 animated musical film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. The movie is loosely based on the life of Pocahontas, a Native American woman who lived in the early 17th century and played a significant role in the interactions between the English colonizers and the Native American tribes in the area that is now Virginia. The film tells the story of Pocahontas and her encounter with John Smith, an English settler, and their subsequent love story.

The movie begins with the arrival of a group of English settlers in Virginia in 1607. The leader of the group, Governor Ratcliffe (voiced by David Ogden Stiers), is obsessed with finding gold in the area, which leads to tension between the English colonizers and the Native American tribes that live there.

Pocahontas (voiced by Irene Bedard, singing voice Judy Kuhn), the daughter of the Powhatan tribe's chief (voiced by Russell Means, singing voice Jim Cummings), is introduced as a curious and adventurous young woman who is deeply connected to nature and the spirits that inhabit it. She is depicted as a free spirit who is not bound by societal conventions and is more interested in exploring the world around her than conforming to the expectations of her tribe.



One day, Pocahontas encounters John Smith (voiced by Mel Gibson), an English adventurer who has come to Virginia to seek his fortune. The two are immediately drawn to each other, and their relationship becomes the centrepiece of the movie. However, their relationship is complicated by the cultural and political differences between the two groups.

Pocahontas and John Smith's relationship is further complicated by the presence of Ratcliffe, who is determined to find gold at any cost. He leads an expedition to attack the Native American tribe and capture their leader, which sets off a chain of events that leads to a confrontation between the two groups.

As the tension between the English and the Native Americans continues to escalate, Pocahontas tries to find a way to bring peace between the two groups. She seeks guidance from Grandmother Willow (voiced by Linda Hunt), a wise old tree who acts as her spiritual advisor. Pocahontas also tries to convince John Smith to see things from a different perspective and to understand the importance of respecting the earth and all living beings.

The film's themes are centred around environmentalism and social justice. The story of Pocahontas and John Smith's relationship is used as a vehicle to explore larger issues related to colonialism, imperialism, and environmental destruction. The film encourages the audience to think about the impact of their actions on the natural world and to be more mindful of the cultures and traditions of others.

One of the most significant themes of the film is the idea of the "Noble Savage." This is a term used to describe the idea that Native Americans were primitive and uncivilized before the arrival of European colonizers. Pocahontas challenges this stereotype by presenting a more complex and nuanced portrayal of Native American culture. The film shows the Powhatan tribe as a sophisticated and organized society with its own traditions and customs. This portrayal challenges the idea that Native Americans were passive and unimportant in the history of the United States.

Another notable aspect of the film is its portrayal of gender roles. Pocahontas is depicted as a strong and independent woman who is not bound by the gender norms of her society. She is depicted as a skilled warrior and is shown as a leader of her people. Her relationship with John Smith is portrayed as an equal partnership, in which both characters learn from each other and grow together.

The film's animation is also notable, as it was one of the first Disney films to use computer-generated imagery. The use of CGI allowed for more complex and detailed animation, which helped to create a more immersive and realistic world.

Despite its critical success, Pocahontas was not without controversy. Some critics argued that the film's portrayal of Native Americans was still too simplistic and relied on tired stereotypes. Others criticized the film's historical accuracy, as the story takes several liberties with the actual events of Pocahontas's life.

In conclusion, Pocahontas is a beautiful and poignant film that has left a lasting impact on popular culture. Its themes of environmentalism, social justice, and cultural sensitivity continue to be relevant today, almost 30 years after its release. The film's portrayal of Native American culture challenged long-held stereotypes and presented a more nuanced and complex view of a culture that has often been misunderstood and marginalized. Pocahontas is a powerful and important film that will continue to be celebrated for years to come.

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274448 - 2024-01-03 23:59:02

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