Greedy, white people come to Virginia to get some gold, they almost fight Pocahontas and her tribes, and then they leave. Wow… what was Disney thinking when they wrote this up? I’m going to go ahead and say they probably weren’t.
It’s better than the story at least… but that’s really not saying all too much. The dialogue is pretty stiff, and while the animation does soar frequently, it feels really empty without the desperately needed character development. I recommend getting your dosage of Pocahontas by watching Colors of the Wind on YouTube instead. It’ll bring back those nostalgic feelings while allowing you to save a lot of your time on more worthwhile things.
EXTENDED: From “Number Nine” of the Disney Renaissance Top Ten List
Although the critic community has, in my mind, correctly assessed the quality of Pocahontas, I find myself almost dumbfounded by the sheer number of user-rebuttals found on IMDb. I mean, it’s not like it should have found its way into children’s hearts because it doesn’t even have the typical Disney happily ever after. The songs aren’t as catchy, although that didn’t stop me from singing Colors of the Wind as a child, and there are far fewer jokes, provided solely by its animal characters. So I don’t think it’s the nostalgia that these people must be fighting with. Rather, I think it’s because the romance worked for them. And so, here I am to rebuttal these rebuttals. The romance doesn’t work because Disney allocates time for it, and yet fails to deliver any real reasons for their attraction of one another. Why does Pocahontas like John Smith? Is it because he is exotic? Why does John Smith like Pocahontas? Is it because she is exotic? That is literally the best explanation I have. This is only compounded by the fact that Pocahontas rejects Kocoum because he’s “serious,” but is John Smith really less serious? I mean, for the audience to be sure of this, Disney had to make Pocahontas and Kocoum interact, but they never do. We are just told that he’s serious; that is the definition of bad storytelling. Moreover, the love doesn’t seem authentic because it is force-feed to us by grandmother willow. How does Pocahontas know that the compass from her dream points to this man? Is it just her gut feeling? That’s not a very reassuring piece of plot thread to base an entire romance around. I could continue, but I’m going to go ahead and say that even if you liked the romance, there are so many other things that didn’t work. You forget someone dies in this movie, which should be a big deal, and the character I would be most comfortable describing is the villain because at least he has character! The protagonists are boring, the story is boring, the romance is boring at best, and thus, this movie is boring.