Moviefan12: Hello & welcome back to Power of The Princesses and I have to be honest and say that the next two ladies in the line-up leave me scratching my head as I don’t recall them being princesses in their respective films. Today, I’ll be taking a look a Pocahontas and will be joined by T-kun, making her first appearance on A Look at Disney. Welcome. Now per usual, this’ll be broken down into Original Voice Actress, First Appearance, Personality, Favorite Moment, Later Appearances (the first one that does not include a Kingdom Hearts appearance), and finally Is Pocahontas A Good Character.
T-kun: Sweet! Let’s get this show on the road than!
Original Voice Actress
Moviefan12: Irene Bedard to me has to be one of the more forgettable presences, when it comes to Disney voice actresses. It’s not that she’s bad but nothing about her work as Pocahontas really stood out for me. You did get the sense of that she was trying to portray her character as being strong-willed and as a free spirit but I don’t know at points, Pocahontas felt monotone. Now like Jasmine before her, Pocahontas’ singing voice was provided by a different voice actress as her singing voice was provided by Judy Kuhn. And I think that Kuhn brought more life to the character of Pocahontas through her singing than Irene Bedard did voicing the same character.
Yeah, you are going to notice that I’m not going to be overly positive in this article. It’s not that I hate this character like I do Aurora but rather, this film, when I re-watched it was just so boring and while I thought Pocahontas was a good character before this, but now I’m not so sure but she is perhaps the only interesting character in the film.
T-kun: Irene Bedard, I would say does okay, as someone who is part Native America, there are times where emotions could not get the best of us when speaking of higher power or that of the unknown, sign of weakness if you will. It may be monotone in some ways, but in a spirit lighting, protecting the soul is another matter of it’s own.
Moving onto her singer’s voice. It’s wonderful and breath taking. Right amount to pull you into the world of spirit world, the language of the rivers and forest. If I saw the singer at a bond fire for a awaken of spirits, I would say good blessing for crops to bountifully.
But that’s just me.
Moviefan12: Pocahontas was first seen in the 1995 film of the same name
And this film is often considered the downfall of the Disney Renaissance but it had one thing working against it, that it came out directly after The Lion King and the hype for The Lion King was still pretty big, when this film hit theaters and I’m not saying that hurt the film’s chances but it certainly didn’t help and that is akin to what is going on with Frozen right now and has many people are anxious about Big Hero 6 and that film is going to be the next Pocahontas. Another thing, I find fascinating is that according to the documentary, Waking Sleeping Beauty, which is about the Renaissance, everyone at the animation studio thought Pocahontas was going to be Disney’s next big hit while The Lion King would just be another Disney film, clearly that’s not what happened. And it’s not to hard see why people don’t look back fondly on this film as while it’s okay, it doesn’t seem like much effort was put into it
T-kun: Well that is true, if there wasn’t that always comparing of what is good and what’s not. Pocahontas would have a fair chance, but what I think really failed it, was that of what the movie was loosely based on, and had a lot of true history lovers on the mean and green side. It might have not have been the greatest movie of all time, but there are there moments, that Disney was falling and getting back on it’s feet, again though, it just took time to do so
I find Pocahontas was more of testing the waters, again for Disney.
Moviefan12: I don’t know if this should bug me as much as it does but I find the fact that Disney played fast and loose with the story of a real person, troubling. Now, this is not the first time, they did so as the short, The Brave Engineer, which was about Casey Jones had him survive, when that wasn’t what happened at all.
But even in my review of that short, I pointed out that I didn’t like that they didn’t go for the truth and with Pocahontas, I have the same issue. It’s hard for me to look at her as just a Disney character, when she is based on a real American historical figure and from what I’ve read, her personality in the Disney film does not reflect who she truly was and so much of her story was twisted around to fit to the style of a Disney film. As for the Disney version of Pocahontas, she is presented, a brave, noble and a free spirit. That’s another thing I noticed with Pocahontas, it felt like they were trying to make her an amalgamation of the princesses that had come before her and even some of the non-princess character and completely missed the point of what made those characters work and again, choosing not reflect who the real Pocahontas was. I would argue that Disney wouldn’t give us female characters that broke the mold of what we expected until the following year with Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame and again in 1997 with Meg in Hercules.
T-kun: I will agree that Disney came nowhere close to what the story was based on. But looking at some other stories that they did, change it and made them work. It’s a 50/50 on her.
But I will say there were small moments where she was true to what she was and to who she was to in others eyes, though coming in small doses.
Taking the point as she was brave into helping saving a life, she bearly knew, and was from a world unlike hers, but took time to see that John was more friend than foe, in seeing that the unknown may not the most welcome feeling, does not mean on doing inertly what is right.
In the last moment in saving a life, in a split moment of losing her own, it shows to at least the viewer that all should been seen as equal and giving a chance. No being or spirit different from another, they make a sign of life of difference.
To me, at least in this scene of the movie is where I see it . . .
Human or spirit on what lies on the unknown lies within the choice. To step side and understand the change or let the fear infest on one forever, never knowing what could have been.
Other matters of what is only skin deep, is none and void.
Moviefan12: Now to look at our favorite moments and for me, it has to be If I Never Knew You.
Am I cheating by including something that wasn’t a part of the movie until 2005 and is technically a cut song,? Yeah, I am but I can back this up. It’s the best song from this movie and this is one of the only two times, I ever felt anything for Pocahontas and captures the relationship of Pocahontas and John Smith, but this romance is made a little weird, when you find out that real Pocahontas was only 9, when the settlers came to the new world but looking on it as it’s own song, this song perfectly shows the relationship between these two characters.
T-kun: Huh? I thought you were going to say credits, but this works just as well. And I agree when re seeing this, it’s a wonderful piece to the film, and has every right to be know for it.
But when coming down to it, as one my favorite moment(s), would have to be near the ending and no it’s not the credits.
There are certain reasons I love the ending overall. And I’ll try my best to break down why that is.
1) It was the (First? I am not fully sure of it) princess that stayed behind to help her people, than going after love.
2) How the spirit of her mother within winds sends calming messages that all she did was in the right, even sending a moment for John, that in someway soon, they could meet again.
3) The still moment of it before it ends within a picture frame is breathe taking, with the warmth colors of sadness, joy, and promising new starts.
4) The subtle tones of music that ends the scene is so peaceful to ears.
Oh yes there are other parts in the film that come close it, such as your choice Moviefan, the color of the wind song, the talks with her willow tree mother, and the brink of war scene, but that still moment near the end, is what gets me and has me looking forward through the whole film.
Moviefan12: Now, we’ve got a few appearances to get through but not too many. Pocahontas did appear in a sequel, Pocahontas II: Journey To a New World, where she fell in love with John Rolfe, who she ended up marrying in real life.
I guess in that regard, they were trying to rectify some of the historical fallacies from the first film. Pocahontas also did make a few appearances on House of Mouse and later, this season, will appear on Sofia The First. No images have been released for that yet. (The Sofia appearance has not been confirmed).
And in Aladdin and The King of Thieves, Genie at one point turns into her.
Pocahontas can be seen all over the parks, why my very first trip to Disney World, when I was about six years old included a character breakfast featuring the characters of Pocahontas and Song of The South. Looking back on it, that’s odd pairing. She can be found in the Disney World version of Fantasminc .
You can also find for meet and greets at the various parks, though she’s usually found in Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom.
And from 1998 – 2008, Animal Kingdom had a show titled Pocahontas and Her Forest Friends, which was about various forest animals and respecting nature.
Now, I never actually saw this show and I can live with that. In Hong Kong Disney, you can find her on It’s A Small World
On the Disney Cruise line, her and John Smith can be seen in The Golden Mickey’s.
And there’s one last thing, I need to talk about, back when the movie was released, there was a game for it on the Sega Genesis and I only remember this game because I think it was the VHS tape for this film or The Lion King included an ad for the game. I’ve never played it but I remember that ad vividly. And thankfully, I found that ad on YouTube. Here it be. Edit: Turns out it was on the VHS for A Goofy Movie and this game was also on the SNES but for some reason, I remember the Sega version more.
Do you have anything to add, T-kun before we move on to the final part?
T-kun: Oh, how the world has turn for this princess. As I didn’t know much after most of this, besides the bad, bad, evil, turning in your grave sequel, and very glad I didn’t. So, please carry on.
Moviefan12: Alright, it’s now time to answer the question, Is Pocahontas A Good Character?
Is Pocahontas A Good Character?
Moviefan12: I have a very hard time answering this question. I don’t hate Pocahontas but I don’t believe that she is one of the stronger characters. There is truly nothing memorable about her. Again, not a character I hate but she’s at best forgettable.
T-kun: On thinking of it, it is a hard way of saying if she is a strong character or not. I wouldn’t call her a forgettable one though, for mostly that if she wasn’t made, would we get any of the others movies after her? She shows a few gems, but it can’t save her.
On a scale? She’s a 3/10. Needs a lot of work, but there are moments, though rare, that she’s in the right mind set.