Pocahontas is the 33rd animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. It was produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and was originally released to selected theaters on June 16, 1995 by Walt Disney Pictures. It belongs to the era known as the Disney Renaissance that began in 1989 and ended in 1999.

The film is the first animated feature Disney film to be based on a real historic character, based on the known history and also the folklore and legend that surround the Native American woman Pocahontas, and features a fictionalized account of her encounter with Englishman John Smith and the settlers that arrived from the Virginia Company.

A video game based on the film was released across various platforms shortly after the film's theatrical release, and the film itself was followed by a direct-to-video sequel, Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World in 1998. At least three actors in this film have been involved in other Pocahontas-related projects. Gordon Tootoosis, who voiced Kekata the medicine man, acted as Chief Powhatan in Pocahontas: The Legend, which was released the same year as this film. Christian Bale, who voiced Thomas, would ten years later portray John Rolfe in The New World. Irene Bedard, who was the speaking voice of Pocahontas, portrayed Pocahontas' mother in a flashback sequence also in The New World.


The crew had to go to Jamestown, Virginia to study and draw the trees and landscapes. Howard Ashman was going to write songs for this movie as soon as he was finished with Aladdin, but he died during production of Aladdin, thus marking this being the first Disney movie with Alan Menken's music but without songs by Ashman.

The animals were originally supposed to talk and Pocahontas was going to have a third sidekick, a turkey named Redfeather voiced by John Candy, who supplied a lot of voicework. But when Candy died in 1994, they cut his character out and decided to drop the idea of the animals speaking. Richard White, the voice of Gaston in Beauty and the Beast was going to voice Ratcliffe, but the crew was worried he might sound too much like Gaston, so he was replaced by David Ogden Stiers. Rupert Everett, Stephen Fry and Patrick Stewart were other choices to voice Ratcliffe.


Main article: Pocahontas (soundtrack)

Release and responseEdit

The film had the largest premiere in history, on June 10. 1995, in New York's Central Park. Disney officials estimated the crowd at 100,000; police officials put the number at about 70,000 at 8 P.M. The film was a box-office success, earning $141,579,773 in the United States and $346,079,773 worldwide.[1]

Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 56% based on reviews from 50 critics and reports a rating average of 6 out of 10.[2] At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 58 based on 23 reviews.[3] The film was harshly criticized by Chief Roy Crazy Horse as historically inaccurate and offensive for glossing over more negative treatment of Pocahontas and her tribe by the English. He claims that Roy Disney refused the tribe's offers to help create a more culturally and historically accurate film.[4]

The musical score by Alan Menken, with lyrics by Stephen Schwartz received two Academy Awards, including one for the song "Colors of the Wind".[5] The film's soundtrack was also successful, reaching number-one on the Billboard 200 during the week of July 22, 1995.[6] It ended up with a triple platinum certification.[7]

A video game based on the movie with the same title, Pocahontas, was released on the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive on January 1, 1996. The Sega title was developed by Funcom on contract with Disney. It was followed by a later release for the Game Boy and PlayStation on June 10, 1996, nearly a year after the film's premiere. A Super NES version of the game was under development around the same time as the Genesis version, but was canceled due to development being too far behind to coincide with the Genesis release.[8]

In the game, the player plays as Pocahontas and Meeko, switching between the two frequently to overcome various obstacles, with the help of NPC Flit. Along the way, as Pocahontas, the player gains various new abilities from various animal spirits by helping them. The game, like most film-based games, follows the plot of the movie, but with many variations in situations and events.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Box Office Mojo
  2. Pocahontas Movie Reviews. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved on January 27, 2011.
  3. Pocahontas. Metacritic. Retrieved on January 27, 2011.
  5. The Official Academy Awards Database. AMPAS. Retrieved on 2008-09-01.
  6. Billboard profile
  7. Disney's profile of the soundtrack album
  8. Pocahontas - SNES Central

External linksEdit



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