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Pocahontas

Pocahontas becomes the fourth new Disney princess in just six years while the fifty-two years before that managed to create only two. For that reason alone, Pocahontas is a highly merchandised film. It is included in the princess films which gives it a certain credence as a good film for little girls. At this point we have crossed the height of the Disney Renaissance although the movies are still getting great recognition and making decent money. This one only made about a third what the Lion King brought in.


This film felt very forced. It was less about a fun story and more about a message. Unlike the films before it, Pocahontas focused on how different groups hated one another and how they did not understand each other. It went full on with the pioneers feeling the natives were savages and should be killed. And then there was the spiritual native american parts. The grandmother being a living tree, messages being delivered by wind and water. It felt almost like they were making fun of the native american beliefs more than adopting them in a way that felt real.


None of the characters really stood out. Pocahontas is caring, but daring. John Smith is brash yet needy. Ratcliffe is powerful yet jumps to conclusions. They all seem to have two major attributes that fight one another. Makes the whole cast feel flatly dimensional, if that is a thing.


The animation here is starting to feel generic again. It is sharp and crisp, but could have just been any Disney cartoon. It lacked its own personality. It tried with all the wilderness things, but they just feel like backgrounds unlike the Lion King.


Even the music felt overly produced. They tried for awards as opposed to creating great songs. The Colors of the Wind feels like a slow pitch to the academy. Other songs I did not recognize as they do not hold up well. There are quite a few but they are just generic Disney music. Although I thought the opening song was interesting as it helped frame the movie setup.


I really feel like if this one lacked a princess and did not come out in the nineties, it would be forgotten. I feel it is the weakest attempt by Disney since The Black Cauldron. It is also fair to say this is one of the first Disney films to catch a lot of flack because of changing the story. As far as historical accuracy it is supposed to be pretty far from the truth. But we will see this complaint pop up every now and then moving forward.



Run Time – 81 Minutes


68th Academy Awards – 2 Nominations – 2 Wins

Best Original Comedy or Musical Score – Won

Best Original Song – “Colors of the Wind” – Won


Disney Animated Canon so far in order of Quality

1. Beauty and the Beast 9-29-1991

2. Lady and the Tramp 6-22-1955

3. Aladdin 11-25-1992

4. Peter Pan 2-5-1953

5. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh 3-11-1977

6. One Hundred and One Dalmatians 1-25-1961

7. The Lion King 6-15-1994

8. Dumbo 10-23-1941

9. The Fox and the Hound 7-10-1981

10. Oliver and Company 11-18-1988

11. Cinderella 2-15-1950

12. The Little Mermaid 11-17-1989

13. Pinocchio 2-7-1940

14. Sleeping Beauty 1-29-1959

15. The Adventure of Ichabod and Mr. Toad 10-5-1949

16. The Jungle Book 10-18-1967

17. The Great Mouse Detective 7-2-1986

18. Robin Hood 11-8-1973

19. The Rescuers Down Under 11-16-1990

20. Make Mine Music 4-20-1946

21. Fun and Fancy Free 9-27-1947

22. The Aristocats 12-11-1970

23. Pocahontas 6-23-1995

24. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 12-21-1937

25. Saludos Amigos 8-24-1942

26. The Sword in the Stone 12-25-1963

27. The Rescuers 6-22-1977

28. Alice in Wonderland 7-26-1951

29. The Black Cauldron 7-24-1985

30. Melody Time 5-27-1948

31. Bambi 8-13-1942

32. Fantasia 11-13-1940

33. The Three Caballeros 12-21-1944

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