Issue Essays:

Pocahontas: Cartoon Character or Historical Figure

Jennifer Lackner

Disney’s Pocahontas has understandably received a lot of flak about the historically inaccurate story that is told about the legendary Pocahontas and Captain John Smith.  There is a good reason for that.  The movie does little that can be construed as historically accurate, yet Disney claims that was never their intent.  Disney, in their previous movies, has been attacked for being racist and unsympathetic to racial minorities...


Lynn Dukette and Dani Frisbie

Disney’s first attempt to relay the Pocahontas story was filled with blatant falsities.  The producers, who claimed to eradicate politically incorrect statements found in past films with the highly anticipated 1995 Pocahontas, found themselves at the center of criticisms from many vocal activist groups.  Feminists, Native Americans, and religiously based Christian groups found the movie to completely overlook the true essence and spirit of the Powhatan Indian princess.  In an attempt to curb many of its criticisms and appease angry minorities, Disney produced a sequel.  Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World (1998) picks up on Pocahontas’ life in Jamestown and transports her to London.  Here Disney hoped to give more accuracy to the historical figure’s life and continue to teach society the lessons of tolerance and good triumphing over evil.  However, this second film does little but add even more criticisms to an already long list of complaints from interest groups...