Pocahontas

Released on June 23rd, 1995 is loosely based on the story of Pocahontas. Set in 1607, Captain John Smith (Mel Gibson ), Governor Ratcliff (David Ogden ) sail a crew of English settlers on the Susan Constant to the New World. On the way, they are caught in a storm. Smith saves a young crewman named Thomas (Christian Bale ) and the men speak of adventures, fighting the “injuns,” settling in the New World and finding gold.

Meanwhile in the Powhatan tribe, Pocahontas (Irene Becard ) is told by her father Chief Powhatan (Russell Means ) that the bravest warrior Kocoum ( James Apaumut Fall) has asked for her hand in marriage. Chief Powhatan gifts Pocahontas with her mother’s necklace. Pocahontas her companions Flit (Frank Welker ) a hummingbird and a raccoon named Meeko ( John Kassir). Pocahontas tells Grandmother Willow of a re-occurring dream of a spinning arrow, confused on what path she should take in life. Grandmother Willow tells Pocahontas to follow her heart and then alerts her to the new comers. Pocahontas climbs the tree to see the “strange new clouds” arriving. Curious, Pocahontas gets closer to watch the new settlers but hides to protect herself.

Back with the settlers, Governor Ratcliff declares the new settlement to be Jamestown then orders his men to dig for gold. John Smith however leaves for the woods to explore, encountering Pocahontas. Sharing their worlds, John Smith and Pocahontas fall in love but Powhatan finds out and warns her to stay away after their warriors engaged in a fight with the settlers.

Pocahontas and John Smith meet again and come up with Ob to unite the Powhatan tribe and the English settlers. Not knowing that both Kocoum and Thomas are watching, Pocahontas and John Smith, upon seeing Thomas kills Kocoum to protect John Smith. John Smith tells Thomas to leave just before he’s captured by the tribesmen. Powhatan sets John Smith’s execution to sunrise and declares war on the Englishman. Pocahontas pleads with her father but furious of her disobeying him, she’s ordered to stay in the village.

Meanwhile Thomas gets back to Jamestown safety and tells other men about Smith’s capture. Governor Ratcliff rallies the men for battle as does Chief Powhatan. The following morning the two sides meet at a cliff side as Powhatan prepares to kill John smith. Pocahontas stops him, saving John Smith but an angry Ratliff shoots, injuring Smith instead of his intended target, Chief Powhatan.

Ratliff is arrested by his crewmen. John Smith must return home to get medical treatment but he asks Pocahontas to come with. Pocahontas declines and Chief Powhatan gives John Smith his blessing to return in the future.

As a kid I loved this film. I felt such a good connection to Pocahontas, her spirit and connection to nature. As an adult though, I can see how problematic it is. It still has very true and relevant lines. While Pocahontas and her tribe weren’t accurately depicted, the colonists were. Plus the easter eggs you can find, and lets not forget how adorable and funny Meeko is.

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