This film is the first Disney film to be based on a real historic character, based on the known fact of the real historical story and also the folklore and legend that surround the Native American woman, Pocahontas. It features a fictionalized account of her encounter with Englishman John Smith and the English settlers that arrive from the Virginia Company in 1607. It begins with Pocahontas, who is the daughter of the Indian chief Powhatan; one day, she is out playing in the woods near the shore when she spots a strange ship filled with white men. When they notice her, she runs away in alarm and tells her father and her people all about the new arrivals. Powhatan?s tribe begins to worry; they have terrible memories of the last time the ?pale faces? arrived in their land. Some of the younger men suggest attacking the white men and sending them back to where they came from, but Powhatan feels that these new men should not have to pay for the mistakes or cruelty of others in the past. He suggests everyone stay away from them, and to not harm them in any way, but to continue living their lives within their lands until they know what the settlers are up to. Meanwhile, the newcomers, John Smith and his shipmates, believe the New World (North America) will be an exciting place, full of gold and material riches. At the same time, it will hold many dangers including ?savages? unknown to them. Despite his young age, John Smith is already widely known for his courage and his deadly skill when fighting ?savages?. Governor Ratcliffe, who leads the voyage to New England, is glad to have a man like Smith aboard; he intends to claim the New World?s unmined treasure for himself and is sure Smith will make certain that noone will spoil his plans. At the same time, Native American Pocahontas senses that soon her world will be forever changed. Though her father has recently arranged Pocahontas?s marriage to kind, brave and decent warrior Kocoum; he is just far too serious for Pocahontas?s free spirit. She instead falls in love with John Smith, all the while knowing that their blossoming relationship could lead to an all out war between the English and the Native Americans. Pocahontas risks her own life to save Smith?s, and her courage in the end brings peace to the land, even though it means parting ways with her beloved John Smith. If he is to survive, he is to return to his homeland and therefore bidding farewell to a love that began, but could never be.
Pocahontas was directed by Mike Gabriel and Eric Goldberg and was produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and was originally released to selected theaters on June 16, 1995 by Walt Disney Pictures. Being that it was a Disney film, what can say that there had to be many alterations to the true story of Pocahontas. For one, it?s a children?s movie, and the violence had to basically be kept to a minimum or almost nonexistent and the little facts that are known about the true Pocahontas would have never been acceptable to portray in this type of movie. So the directors aimed at portraying Pocahontas and John Smith?s characters as those of Prince Charming and Cinderella, much closer to the new Avatar film; falling in love with one another despite their cultural differences. Of course, this was on a much higher level, similar again to the newly released Avatar movie. Even the age and communication barrier were thrown out completely, in order to make this more believable. Pocahontas herself was shown as young woman, not a child, assertive and free-spirited, very much like the feminist ideal of today, and obviously very different from any of the ideologies of the 17th century. Pocahontas followed her dreams and submitted to no one. Brave and athletic, she scaled mountains, climbed trees, and steered a canoe better than a man. Like ?women who run with wolves,? she did what she wanted and did it well. In line with today?s quest for gender ?equity?, the deep spiritual insights come from women. As multicultural lessons tell us; patriarchy brings war and oppression; matriarchy brings wisdom and peace, especially if the female heroines are non-Western. It didn?t matter if the source of matriarchal wisdom came from humans, ancestral spirits, or nature spirits. So