Reviews: Pocahontas

A great film, no matter what people say

So, Pocahontas. My favorite Disney movie. And I'm a very critical watcher. People always act astonished when I admit this is my favorite. They're like: "Wait, you? You actually have good taste!" And I spend three hours trying to make them see what I see in this movie. Truthfully, it is not without its flaws, and several of them have the potential to bring the movie down. But let me just try to sum up what makes it one of Disney's greatest to me.

- Pocahontas is an interesting, mature heroine who goes through Character Development and growth. Everything her lover John Smith lacks, she makes up for, even if her voice actress is somewhat stale in English. Her relationship with other characters is intriguing - her love with Smith feels palpable and poignant, her relationship with her father strained as well as loving, her friendship with Nakoma honest - I could go on and on. As a main character, I find her a great heroine.

- The story is powerful in its message, even if it does follow Politically Correct History, it still teaches valuable aesops and makes you rethink your choices. Sure, the villainous Britishmen might be far too cartoonish to effectively exist in this otherwise realistic-ish fairytale Virginia, but the effect of their anger and choice to go to war is not affected by it.

- Music and animation are on an astoundingly high level. Alan Menken delivers one of his absolute best soundtracks ever, including one of Disney's best songs - "Colors of the Wind", of course, though "Just Around the Riverbend" is amazing all the same. As for the animation, you're not like to find a 2D-animated film of such fluidity and realistic movements. Colors are perfect and every background looks as if it belongs in an art book.

- Not to spoil too much, but a Bittersweet Ending, in a Disney movie, handled with care and love, and done graciously.. what more could you ask for. It never fails to bring tears to my eyes.

In conclusion, go see this. If the characters and story don't do much for you, at least you'll revel at the animation and music. I guarantee it.

Mediocre movie, great music

Pocahontas, as a whole, is not a very good movie. The plot and characters are pretty generic, and the writing isn't good enough to make up for that. Even ignoring the historical and geographical inaccuracies, I found this movie to be just boring. It's a really cliche plot: guy goes to new world, meets (hot) native, learns their ways and decides said ways are better. The characters are also pretty cliche: guy who just wants to explore new places, girl who wants to do new things and not get married to the guy everyone wants her to. They have to go against a generic villain, but hey, at least he has a motivation other than For The Evil. I know a lot of other Disney movies have characters like that, but in those movies, they're generally fleshed out more. Here, that's about it, there's no further character development. There are also a couple random little things to question, like: How does "listening with your heart" help break language barriers? Why do Pocahontas and John pick up a baby bear while the mother is standing RIGHT THERE? (okay, perhaps I shouldn't question stuff they do in the musical numbers) And the biggest one is in the end, where John is injured and thus "can't stay" in the new world. It makes no sense, seeing as how the boat trip back to Europe would take months, and even initially healthy people had a high chance of dying while on such trips.

I will, however, commend the animation and the music. Being Disney, of course the animation is good. It's quite visually appealing. While the dialogue in the movie is pretty dull, the music and lyrics are great. It's one of the few Disney movies where I like nearly every song in it. (and by "like", I mean I can't help but catch the tune and want to sing along) When I watch this movie, I'm watching it ONLY for the music.