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Movies/TV DISNEY DEBATES: Is Pocahontas really that bad?

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We know that the history being retold the way Disney is telling it is laughable and face-palm worthy. Also, some would argue that the characters aren't that interesting, at least compared to the Disney characters that had come before. However, does it really deserve to get so much flack? Some of the animation is beautiful to behold, also IMHO it has one of the most powerful endings in any Disney movie. It gives me goosebumps every time I watch it.

 

So lets hear your thoughts.

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While I'll admit, Disney has tried to whitewash history before (this movie is an example), the animation in Pocahontas is very beautiful. o in some aspects, it's bad, while in others it isn't.

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   Hard to say, my opinion at the time was mostly passée, it was the first Disney movie I didn't see in the theatre, and it was underwhelming when I first saw it on VHS. I still see it the same way I did when I was ten, just a entry to the Disney library, I do remember this was built up quite heavily by Disney at the time, it was expected to exceed the previous films, after all the "A" team was working on this project, meanwhile the subordinate "B" team was working on their own project, and completed it by 1994, that film was The Lion King. I was also living in Quebec at the time, I grew up on the stories of Jacques Cartier, Samuel de Champlain, and Les Coureur de Bois, I never knew about the English colony of Jamestown, until the movie came out, and after I when back to school in America, needless to say, the movie left no impact on me, the history did, and I often try to tell the story of the French explorers, the First Nation and New France, but it seems like people prefer the Hollywood version of history, rather than the actual history, which is quite fascinating, better than any Disney spin on history, moreover, the movie never made much of an impression on me, it could never hold my attention, and it does have that nineties feel to it, however it was beautifully animated, and the soundtrack was good, but I liked the Lion King more, and the stories my relatives told me of my ancestors and the Huron, were more interesting, and Disney could not influence that. 

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The movie never really left an impact on me, but I look at it for what it is: A fantastical retelling of an American myth based VERY loosely on real-life. It isn't the greatest in the Disney library, but I think it has some nice points to it. The animation is VERY beautiful, the music likewise, and the story, while somewhat tired, is told in a competent manner...IMO...or so I have been told by the Virginia Company...

 

The biggest failing, for me, is the character as they just feel so...flat in regards to personality and interactions. Really, the native chief was probably the most interesting overall while the rest...yeah. I won't say they are bad characters; just unmemorable. Also, while Ratcliffe works as a villain, using money as a motivation seems...cheap...pardon the pun. I can believe easier if the villain is more small scale; like a poacher or mercenary. Not someone as well-off as Ratcliffe was.

 

Overall it's fine, but forgettable. There are worse and even more forgettable films in the canon; IMO.

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If you want a more believable Pocahonatas, Watch the Thanksgiving scene in Addams Family Values where "Pocahantas" decides to scalp them all and burn their village to the ground. XD

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Yeah pretty much said what I wanted to say. I don't really care that it doesn't follow actual history but the characters are just "meh". I don't know, it also feels like there's just not enough "adventure" going on to keep it as interesting as other films.

 

tumblr_lybr208brp1qaxm50o4_250.gif

 

This song is great though. Oh and I gotta say something, this is rarely the case but this time I actually like the Swedish version of the song more xD

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I think the reason everyone dislikes it so much, is because for one, it followed up the lion king, which was like everybodies and their grandmothers favorite movie at that time (with Forrest Gump) so it had alot of shoes to fill. Then of course, the historical accuracy, which is beaten to death by now. I also think that some of the cast was badly chosen. Mel Gibson as John Smith is horrible in my eyes. He is not a good VA in any way and he was probably just chosen, because he was a very known actor at that time.

 

I also didn't like most of the comedy in this movie. Meeko is one of the worst Disney comedy sidekicks ever, because he just flat and could be replaced by anybody and he is just annoying. You could also criticize some of the racism that this movie has, but i have seriously seen worse from Disney, especially some of the more older movies, so i let that slide.

 

If i have to give the movie credit, i will say that it looks beautiful, like every disney movie did in the 90s, especially the colors of the wind sequence, which is my favorite part of the movie and the song deserves his oscar.

 

 

Still, i mostly can't find any enjoy in this movie.

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Pocahontas tops my list of "movies where the trailer was better than the movie."

 

 

 

 

Blamo.  That's all you need to see, right there.  I love that so much.  The flow of that trailer is just so amazing.  And one of the best Disney songs of all time.  Scratch that, one of the best songs of all time, period.  But the rest?  Meh.  Fairly flat characters, very forced and annoying comic relief.

 

(Other movies on that list: The Prince of Egypt, Man of Steel.  As much as I love MOS, I can't really argue with that.)

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bringing this back up because personally

 

LOVE Disney's Pocahontas, with all the fury of a thousand blue mare moons (idk).  First, all the basic but sincere and always-to-be-rightfully-appreciated compliments that apply to 90% of animated Disney movies, also apply to Pocahontas so there's them to rely on for a great time.  That's the animation, the (always, with Disney in those days) unique art/designs, the and the music.

 

As to people saying the characters are boring....... what... what.  Agh, not since Aurora has a Disney princess(/Chieftain's daughter, whatever) had so much politely controlled attitude as this leading lady.  And really, PROPS to Pocahontas for having her sh*t together.  It seems every protagonist runs away from something, and while they make excellent points (of course), things can't be good if they can't be contrasted, so HELLO dutiful and well-respected Pocahontas with her three friends (One of whom is a human/the same species as the protagonist which is like, unheard of in Disney) and single song weighing life's choices logically, thoughtfully, rather than just running for the hills and damning duty (again, the disney characters that do this are justified, but it's nice to have a hero who already knows what's up).  (And shameless shoutout to Nakoma in particular because hers and Pocahontas' friendship is adorable.  And healthy, and real, and just great in every way.)

 

The level to which Pocahontas is open-minded is all kinds of unrealistic but, as am trying to keep this light and fluffy, it's still beautiful and of course a positive example.  And it's her once again having it together without needing half the movie to figure it out; Pocahontas is not only smart and well-adjusted on her own, but she teaches others, especially John Smith.  You know, John Smith, the male protagonist and love interest.  Looking for a good female role model?  

 

The conflict in the movie is not only so real, but so dire and serious and would affect so many, that the hero might rather need to be as on the ball as Pocahontas.  This doesn't make her any less.  And of course, she does have her uncertainties and flaws (Which she handles with grace, not whining/sass/or running away), and think the advice she's given "Listen to your heart." is.. nice, if not always very helpful to many people.  Grandmother Willow is adorable anyway, especially hers and Smith's interactions (if am remembering that correctly).

 

Any further paragraphs and this ceases to be light and fluffy (It would still be positive, though).  Pocahontas, am sure, is one of the absolute best Disney princesses.

 

 

tl;dr on our girl

Unlike every other Disney hero, Pocahontas begins the film as a smart, well-adjusted person respected by her community and with actual friends (One of whom is the same species as her.), and slams some gender stereotypes.  She can think for herself, weigh options, and consider the word of others, and is always polite even when disagreeing..   babe.

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Pocahontas didn't quite hold my attention when I saw it as a kid, nor did it teach me anything I didn't already know (even at age 10) about colonial history. There just wasn't a whole lot of depth to it. Disney was overreaching itself, commenting on a huge historical issue with nothing but a cliched plot and flat characters. I guess they thought it would still be seen as profound because "hey, we're Disney!" You can hardly blame them; everything they touched since The Little Mermaid had turned to gold, but that was because all those late 80s-early 90s classics were memorable and driven by not just amazing visuals, but strong characters with interesting places to go. They forgot to do that with Pocahontas. So it was a good movie on the whole, just not great. (The historical inaccuracies and the raccoon sidekick don't help much either.)

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Well, first off I think the only criticism I have against the movie is it's politics. It completely mirepresents real history in a way that reinforces incorrect notions about the race relations between Europeans and Native Americans (like that Europeans didn't totally kill most of the people and steal the land). I grew up with the movie (it was one  my favorites!) and thus formed a completely positive opinion of the movie due to my lack of knowledge of the social context it was made in. 

 

Sorry, I'm not trying start a debate on all that race stuff.  I'm just saying that my opinion on the movie is that it is perfect when removed from the context it was made in.  I just hope I made sense because the pain pills they gave me after my surgery a few days ago makes my head a little fuzzy.

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I am not really a fan of it.

I don't hate it but I don't care much for it either.

I like the character designs and animation and Colors of the Wind, but that's about it.

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I actually watched this movie A LOT when I was young. I actually think this was a fantastic film. Sure, the comedy relief with the raccoon and pug were was a bit...awkward, but it help lighten the tone a bit since the overall theme of the movie was really dark, but it also had a huge sense of mystery to it, one of the reasons I enjoy the film. It is not typical Disney in terms of being lighthearted, but I think that is why I enjoy it. It is a very deep subject and was handled with a good amount of care.

 

I really like the movie, maybe not one of my absolute top Disney films but it is definitely one of the better ones. 

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Well, yeah, the animation was beautiful, the theme was ok, a bittersweet eding, but it was a rather underwhelming Disney movie overall. I used to watch tons of Disney movies as a kid, but this one was always in the back seat. But we can't forget the real legacy it left for the world to see..... the Kocoum reaction memes  :D

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/kocoum-reaction-gifs/videos

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No, but it isn't the best thing Disney has turned out. It is okay, but nothing I would go out of my way for. It is often criticized for its historical inaccuracy and I won't deny these criticisms are correct but on the other hand as much as I can be a stickler for that another part of me has to say that if someone expects historical accuracy from a Disney movie or movie in general than they will be sadly dissapointed. This is especially because the actual story of Pochanhantas is a lot darker and did NOT have a happy ending which would have a made a historically accurate take on it not exactly kid friendly.

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I don't think Pocahontas was that bad. The animation was nice to look at and the music sounded great, and some of the songs had good messages. I didn't mind the historical inaccuracy since I wouldn't expect Disney to be historically accurate anyway... if you wanted historical accuracy then you should have looked elsewhere...

 

I agree that most of the characters weren't very memorable though.

Edited by SparklingSwirls

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pocahontas was good but i think mulan and lion king was better.

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I like pretty much every classic Disney movie, so.. yeah. I like Pocahontas. And it reminds me of my childhood, so I suppose there's a nostalgic bias. But really, I never thought anything was wrong with the movie... it may not be historically accurate, but since Disney favors storytelling, I think they decided to take it and put it in a fairytale light, which is alright with me. I've never seen them swear that the whole things true. That would get to me a little. But it doesn't take much research to find the differences.

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I don't think its that bad yeah it was historicly inaccurate but that's not one of Disney's strong suits.

the animation was good the colors of the wind was beautiful but the characters aren't that memorable.

its a okay movie not one of disneys best but way better then chicken little can we all agree on that?

 

Edited by Nightshroud

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Definitely one of the weakest Disney films of the Renaissance era. The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Mulan were far better. The story wasn't that gripping, the morals were a little too simplistic and I can understand people's concerns about it whitewashing history and being historically inaccurate. But the animation is great and I loved the whole spiritual elements with Grandmother Willow. Oh, and the raccoon was super cute!

a63b9e80-f9ff-0132-4fa1-0ec273752cbd.gif

:adorkable:

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Just now, Tiny Hoofs said:

Definitely one of the weakest Disney films of the Renaissance era. The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Mulan were far better. The story wasn't that gripping, the morals were a little too simplistic and I can understand people's concerns about it whitewashing history and being historically inaccurate. But the animation is great and I loved the whole spiritual elements with Grandmother Willow. Oh, and the raccoon was super cute!

a63b9e80-f9ff-0132-4fa1-0ec273752cbd.gif

:adorkable:

that's another thing I liked was the whole nature thing it makes me respect nature more.

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My sister has often complained about the historical inaccuracies of Pocahontas. Her main complaint is that Pocahontas and John Smith were never romantically involved. I tend to agree with her on this. 

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It's okay to enjoyed the movie Pocahontas but just to be sure to research the actual story of Pocahontas...it is not like the movie. 

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I'm not a fan of the movie. I don't like Disney's politically skewed version of historical events beating me over the head, I thought the character design (especially for Pocahontas herself) was very unappealing, and the songs, while having nice melodies, have terrible lyrics that, at times, don't even follow the music. I'll give props to the animation, which was gorgeous, and I was very excited about seeing it when I was little, but I was very disappointed with the movie and never wanted to watch it again. 

This one is on a very short list of Disney movies I dislike. 

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No way! Pocahontas isn't bad by any means. Is it as good as The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, or The Hunchback of Notre Dame? Of course not. But it's still up there, maybe around Tarzan-tier =^-^=

 

On April 17, 2017 at 10:00 AM, BrawnyCharger said:

My sister has often complained about the historical inaccuracies of Pocahontas. Her main complaint is that Pocahontas and John Smith were never romantically involved. I tend to agree with her on this. 

 

On April 17, 2017 at 1:53 PM, TBD said:

It's okay to enjoyed the movie Pocahontas but just to be sure to research the actual story of Pocahontas...it is not like the movie. 

 

10 minutes ago, Dreambiscuit said:

I'm not a fan of the movie. I don't like Disney's politically skewed version of historical events beating me over the head

 

Do you guys really care about a fictional adaptation of a real life historical event having some "creative liberties"? :o

Sure, as a history lesson Pocahontas fails, but that wasn't really the point of the movie(as far as I am aware). It was an animated film with plenty of fantasy elements meant to entertain the viewer; historical accuracy =/= entertainment quality

Edited by K.Rool Addict

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