Pocahontas (1995)

Pocahontas is the wild and carefree adult daughter of the chieftain. She is to marry a striking and handsome warrior of her people but one day she comes upon John Smith, a white man who has come to find gold in the area now known to us as Virgina. They fall in love….

This isn’t gonna be pretty….

Matoaka, the pre-teen daughter of the chieftain, performs a ritual that adopts a foreigner. She later grows up to marry a different foreigner and is later paraded around England where she dies an incredibly young death.

Warning: There be spoilers in this here rant review.

Where: Netflix
Rating: G
Release Type: Theatrical

Cast:
+3 for Mel Gibson as John Smith. I didn’t know he had voiced the character so I was startled the first time John Smith opened his mouth. He eventually grew on me.

+15 for Irene Bedard as Pocahontas. I have to give Disney some kudos – they could have easily cast white voice actors; but they did go with Native American actors when possible. Bedard does a fantastic job voicing Pocahontas.

Score: 18

Production (Writing/Directing/Soundtrack, etc…):

-5 for the storyline. Why, Disney, why?! I mean, if you were gonna make things up you could have kept her as a little girl who saved someone’s life. Like, little girls are your bread and butter. You could have turned it into a buddy movie. Or even show her falling in love with the man she does actually end up marrying. But no, you had to make up a story; slap on the names and places of people that are real and call it historical entertainment. I.just.don’t.understand.

And at this point you, the reader, may be asking yourself, has Leslie ever seen this movie before?

No. No she has not.

Because I’ve always known that the way they played incredibly fast and loose with history was gonna drive me up a wall.

+10 for the musical score. While I’ve never seen the movie; I am familiar with the music – especially Colors of the Wind. And it is some very pretty music. I will say that Savages was seriously making my scalp itch until the song transitioned into showing us that everyone considers the outsider a savage. And for that….

+5 for showing that hatred for the “Other” is not just a white problem; but an every human problem.

Score: 10

Other

+3 for family friendliness because if I had kids, I don’t think they’d be seeing this movie.

-1 for watching again. I’d have to really love the person who wants to watch it, to gaze upon this set of pixels again. And that’s only because it does have some enjoyable moments. I’d be unwilling to watch it if I truly hated it.

+3 for diversity. It was the 90’s. They tried. They really did.

-3 for John Smith getting shot and everyone is all like – let’s get him back to England, he can’t survive here! Never mind that gun shot wounds like that would have likely healed in the 6-12 weeks it would take to cross the Atlantic. Especially when…

+5 for when Pocahantas gives John Smith some of the bark from Grandmother Willow. Because she essentially gave him aspirin! (Because yeah those natives wouldn’t have had cures for things like infection. Oh no. They wouldn’t.

+1 for the quote “What do you say to a tree?” which made me laugh. And I did laugh a few times throughout the film.

Score: 8

Total Score: 36

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