Disney’s animated Pocahontas is a romanticized version of the love story between an Indian woman, Pocahontas, and an English settler, Captain John Smith, in Seventeenth-Century Virginia.  The movie manages to combine the tensions that existed between the settlers and the Native Americans, the attitudes that each group saw the other as “savages,” and the white man’s obsession with the search for gold.  The story also includes the favorite “text-book tale” of how Pocahontas pleads with her father, Chief Powhatan, and saves the life of John Smith.  This made-for-children, but also loved by adults, version is jam-packed with cute animals, a talking “Grandmother Willow” tree, and a happy ending in which the two groups have learned to get along, and the “bad guy,” Governor Ratcliffe, is taken away in handcuffs.

Copyright (c) 1999 by Jennifer Lori Lackner, Undergraduate at Lehigh University.

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