Review: Disney’s Pocahontas

I’m going to do two blogs today mostly because I missed last week’s deadline. Here’s the first one.

A few weeks ago, I decided to take another look at a Disney movie that doesn’t have the best reputation. I ended up liking the movie a lot more than I remembered liking it before. As such, I decided to do the same thing this week. Pocahontas is infamous as being one of the worst movies of the Disney Renaissance. People call it boring and extremely inaccurate to history. Still, it’s Disney. Would they really shill out a product that wasn’t at the very least entertaining to watch? I decided to find out if this movie was worth its weight in gold or if it deserves a savage beating. Let’s look at Pocahontas.

The movie follows two groups. The first we see is a group of sailors/explorers who leave England and head to “the new world” in order to find gold. On this ship are two people of note: a seasoned explorer named John Smith and the voyage’s captain named Ratcliff. Meanwhile, the natives of “the new world” are just trying to live their lives. The Chief’s daughter, Pocahontas, is a free spirit who wants to experience life’s many thrills. To make a long story short, Pocahontas and John meet up and start a relationship against the wishes of their respective people. It’s a Romeo and Juliet story to bore everyone to tears.

This story is trash. It takes forever to get moving. It starts off slow and just gets slower as you keep watching. If you don’t know, this movie is technically just 1 hour and 15 minutes long. It felt like much, much longer than that. The majority of the time, I was just waiting for something remotely interesting to happen. Someone with an intriguing motivation or backstory. None came. The story meanders. The love story part is incredibly unbelievable, and I’m not talking about the shitty “magic makes me speak English” thing they had Pocahontas do.

The characters are also boring. I feel like there’s just nothing TO John and Pocahontas. They’re just… explorers. We don’t get a true sense of their wants and needs. They just want each other. They TRY to give Pocahontas depth by talking about how spirited she is and showing some of her “wacky antics.” But I still don’t feel like she’s fleshed out enough. The same goes for John. We are told a lot that he has experience with exploring but we don’t really see that in action. And I’m not even gonna start talking about the shallow as hell Ratcliffe as the villain.

I didn’t even think the animation was all that great here. It felt like it didn’t have enough focus. Some of the people are trying to look really stylistic. The Native Americans all feel like their own cartoon.. Others just feel generically cartoony, like the English settlers. Then there’s the action and music sequences that feel like they’ve been animated by completely different teams. It all just adds up to an animated movie that feels spotty with its animation.

That’s all I’ve got to say. I really didn’t like this one. I was just bored for the entire run time. I didn’t even like the music. Bland characters, bland story, bland movie. I’m done talking about this. See you next time.

PS Jim Cummings does a few singing voices here and I think it speaks volumes about his lack of caring for this project that I could immediately tell it was him.


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