Pocahontas (1995) Movie Review

By: Alex Phuong (Two Beers) –

This Disney film is simultaneously a cinematic triumph and one of the most controversial films in the Disney canon. The famed “Disney Renaissance” began with the success of The Little Mermaid in 1989, but there are obvious bumps on the road to success that is in many ways a universal fact of life. Nevertheless, Disney’s Pocahontas (1995) is still one of the most beautiful Disney films ever produced in spite of the controversial subject matter.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114148/mediaviewer/rm3436254208

A Toast

This Disney film is both a visual marvel and a joy to human ears. The animation of the primarily human cast in this fictionalized version of a pivotal time in American history is very well-realized. Some of the most beautifully animated sequences ever drawn for a motion picture are in this film. In fact, the Oscar-winning song “The Colors of the Wind” remains one of the most beloved and popular songs of all time (period… and not just within the Disney cinematic universe). Alan Menken once again composed a gorgeous musical score that is simply a joy to listen to. Some critics have argued that Pocahontas really is the most beautiful film ever to come out of that studio just because it is THAT sumptuous.

Beer Two

Then again, the plot has been heavily criticized. Some people are “anti-Disney” because of the notorious fact that Disney films are oftentimes unrealistic and might place wrong ideas into its viewers, especially young children. Critics have had a lot of arguments when it comes to the actual content within this film, including the historical inaccuracies, the visual design of the characters that depart from reality, and even the possibly racist undertones against both white people and Native Americans. Disney films usually, and unfortunately, do depart from reality, but some people might also say that such depictions are actually intentional just because Disney has its own trademarks that define the entire filmography of that (in)famous studio.

Verdict

This film is obviously not perfect, but most of the time the real world is not even perfect anyways. Some people might love this movie, and others might not, but hey, that is just the way of the world. The final question is, “Can you (at least) paint with all the colors of the wind?” because the powerful ending of that beloved song is, “You can own the Earth and still all you’ll own is Earth until you can paint…with all the colors…of…the…wind!”

Pocahontas (1995) Drinking Game

Take a Drink: every time Pocahontas’s hair flows in the wind

Take a Drink: every time the English settlers pursue gold because of their insatiable greed (especially since Governor Ratcliffe forces them to do so)

Drink a Shot: every time the word “savages” is spoken and/or sung

And Cheers: for the gorgeous animation that might take your breath away, including the famous colored leaves that blow beautifully in the wind

About Alex Phuong

Alex Andy Phuong earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University-Los Angeles in 2015. His love affair with cinema began after discovering Turner Classic Movies in the summer of 2004. His favorite film director is Woody Allen, and his favorite movie star is Kate Winslet.

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