Pocahontas

Evan Williamson, Courier Staff

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A lot of classic Disney animated films have been getting live-action makeovers and even more are set to release in the coming years. But one classic is noticeably missing from the planned releases and that film is “Pocahontas.” This is not that surprising but still, it is easily one of the top 10 Disney movies of all time. There are many reasons why Disney wouldn’t remake this film, almost all of which revolves around our shameful history. Some will fear the depictions of colonialism because despite the fact that every civilization and every country was found on the oppression of others (a sad human trait), America seems to get more pushback for its ills than others and we don’t like to celebrate that part of our history.

It’s also not historically accurate as it depicts Pocahontas as being older and in love with John Smith and includes many Native American stereotypes. Despite all this, I think that it would be beneficial to portray the characters in this light, that way it could start a conversation and encourage others to look up the true history of Pocahontas. A live-action remake would also give an opportunity for actors of Native American descent to make a name for themselves or even break into the business. The movie has all the visuals and music to make a great movie. One song from the movie that would most likely not make it into a live-action remake is the controversial “Savages.” This song by definition is the most racist song in Disney history, but that was the point. The whole song is showing you how ignorant both sides are. The entire song has the colonists dehumanizing the natives and vice versa. Now you can make an argument that some of the lyrics on the colonist side were a little more vicious, but the main villain in the film was singing the majority of these. One lyric that is sang in a duet by both sides “Destroy their evil race until there’s not a trace left. We will sound the drums of war.” This is when it really hits home that both of them are wrong in the movie. The history of the world and the reason for war all in one song. I think it is a very important song to leave in because it teaches a lesson, but there is no way they would put that in a film in this day and age. Hopefully, they would do something that would relay the same message.

Based on all the Disney movies that are being made into live-action films, I think “Pocahontas” would be one of the easier ones to make and would be well received by fans of the original. It will definitely get a lot of push-back from some, but I truly believe there is a way to make it have the spirit of the original, while honoring Native Americans and getting people interested in learning more about the real history of our world.

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