Thanks to my friend Rose’s Disney related posts, I have decided to catch up with a few productions I didn’t get to see until now. The latest to the list is Pocahontas, and you can expect further Disney movie reviews this week! Rose stated a lot of interesting points in her post The Princess, The Fat Lady, and the Followup Post #2: Pocohontas, so I will try to focus on other aspects, especially as I agree with her opinion.
I overall liked the movie, though I admit that if Pocahontas wasn’t in the scene, I couldn’t get myself to care. I don’t have previous knowledge of the legend it was based on, save for bits and pieces I read in some of the movie analysis. Pocahontas is a great character and thinking that the movie is almost twenty year old, I definitely think that she participated to the evolution of the princesses. I liked that she didn’t go with John Smith to England, despite their respective feelings, because she is needed by her people. The same way I liked that she went to rescue him at the end, when he was sentenced to death, ready to be killed by her own father. Speaking of her father, I liked their bond and how he respects her, despite her own ways. It could have been easy that he pushed her much harder to marry her suitor, and I liked that it wasn’t the case.
The way she rushes to the cliff to watch the ship leave at the end, reminding of a very early scene when her friend, Nakoma, comes to find her. Pocahontas on the cliff makes me think of a later movie: Brave, when we see the protagonist, Merida, a very much independent female character, in a similar location (despite the stories taking place in different countries).
A further note on Nakoma: I found it very engaging that beyond Pocahontas’s animal friends, we saw her friendship with Nakoma. Seeing a female friendship as such was very interesting as we don’t see these that often in the Disney movies. There are lots of friendship but “chosen sisterhood” as such, isn’t that common. I found it a great touch.
I also had a soft spot for Grandmother Willow. There are many great elderly ladies in the Disney movies and this one was one of the best for me. I like how caring and witty she was. I enjoyed seeing her interact with not only Pocahontas but also John Smith and the animals. Having been watching My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic lately, I couldn’t help but think that Granny Smith and Grandmother Willow would be great (and mischievous) friends.
I really liked Meeko and Flit! They reminded of Sebastian and Flounder in The Little Mermaid. They were great additions and their presence along with some of the scenes in the forest (including the kiss between Pocahontas and John Smith) reminded me of this other Disney movie too, as well as Sleeping Beauty.