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PocahontasPocahontas is the thirty-third animated feature in the Disney animated features canon. It was produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and was originally released to theaters on June 16, 1995 by Buena Vista Pictures. The film is based loosely on the encounter between the colonists of Jamestown, Virginia and the native Powhatan tribe, and in particular presents a highly emotionally charged and dramatic account of the meeting between Pocahontas and John Smith. A musical with music by composer Alan Menken and lyricist Stephen Schwartz, the film's anthem, Colors of the Wind won the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Song. It was followed by a direct-to-video sequel, Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World in 1998.
PlotIn the early 1600's, a ship carrying a group of English settlers sails to America. Also on board is handsome Captain John Smith (voice of Mel Gibson), and greedy Governor Ratcliffe. They are going to America in search of gold (which Ratcliffe wants all to himself), and, quite possibly, to fight indians.
When we are introduced to the Powhatan tribe, they are in a celebratory mood, and with good reason. The Powhatan tribe have just defeated a rival tribe. We next see the chief's beautiful daughter, Pocahontas, who is standing on a cliff, the wind blowing leaves around her until her best friend, Nakoma calls her from a canoe below, and Pocahontas, accompanied by her animal friends, Meeko, a racoon, and Flit, a hummingbird, leaps off the cliff, into the river where she overturns the canoe, and has a splashing fight with Nakoma before they turn the boat over, and row back to the village.
Upon reaching the village, Pocahontas and Nakoma see Kekata, the medicine man paint a couple of bear paw prints on the chest of a handsome warrior named Kocoum, who Powhatan says fought much bravely than the other warriors. Later, in Powhatan's hut, Pocahontas learns that Kocoum has asked for her hand in marriage, and her father gives her a necklace her mother wore to their wedding. Confused, Pocahontas gets in her canoe with Flit and Meeko, and travels to an enchanted glade that only she knows about. We are then introduced to a talking tree called Grandmother Willow, who instantly recognizes the necklace Pocahontas is wearing, and Pocahontas tells her about her father wanting her to marry Kocoum. She proceeds to tell Grandmother Willow about this dream she's been having for some time about a spinning arrow that just goes faster and faster until it stops. When Pocahontas suddenly hears the wind, and does not understand what it is telling her, Grandmother Willow begins to sing a little song, and tells her to listen with her heart. Pocahontas climbs to the top of a tree, and sees strange clouds.
The "strange clouds" that Pocahontas has seen are the sails of the settlers ship, on which we see Ratcliffe in his cabin with his assistant, Wiggins, and his spoilt pug dog, Percy. Once ashore, John Smith climbs up some rocks to get a better look at the island. Hiding in the bushes, Pocahontas seems fascinated by what she sees. Meeko sneaks out, and catches Smiths attention. Smith gives him a biscuit. When he goes to the bush where Pocahontas is, Flit attacks, and Smith drops many more biscuits which Meeko scoffs.
The tribe are aware of the new arrivals, and Kekata throws some powder onto a fire. The smoke takes on many frightening shapes and sounds, and Powhatan tells Kocoum to take some warriors to spy on the strangers.
The settlers start digging, and John Smith walks the land, unaware that he is being followed. Smith comes to a stream. He cups water in his hand, and sees a reflection in the water. Regardless, he washes his face, then hides behind a waterfall. When he sees a figure approach, he leaps out, armed, but lowers his weapon. Pocahontas runs off, but Smith catches up with her. When Smith asks her who she is, the wind swirls around Pocahontas, and she hears Grandmother Willow telling her again to listen with her heart, and she tells Smith her name is Pocahontas.
In the meantime, the warriors are watching the settlers digging. However, when Percy spots one of them, a panic ensues. In the ensuing guns and bullets versus bows and arrows battle, one warrior, Namontak is shot and wounded by Radcliffe. The indians retreat, and Powhatan declares, "These white men are dangerous! No one is to go near them!". Meanwhile, John Smith and Pocahontas are getting to know each other. Meeko mistakes John's compass, for a biscuit, and steals it. Pocahontas then sings one of the films most popular songs "Colours of the Wind". However, their time together is abruptly cut short when Pocahontas hears a distant drumming sound, and runs away.
A few days go by, and John can't seem to get Pocahontas out of his head, and decides to track her down. Radcliffe sees Smith is gone, and sends two other settlers (one of whom is voiced by Billy Connolly) to find him. Smith locates Pocahontas, who is picking corn with Nakoma. Pocahontas tells her not to tell anyone, and she and John sneak off. They head to the enchanted glade where John learns that his friends won't find any gold, so they came all this way for nothing. Pocahontas introduces John to Grandmother Willow. John hears the voices of the two settlers Radcliffe has sent, and he and Pocahontas hide. As the settlers pass the tree, Grandmother Willow lifts her root, and trips them, and the settlers are sure they see the tree lower it's root. Grandmother Willow then snaps her vines, hitting their bottoms, and they run away. John and Pocahontas agree to meet again that night.
When Pocahontas returns to the village, some brothers of the Powhatan tribe have arrived to help them destroy the white men. Pocahontas tries to convince her father to try and talk the men out of fighting. Her plea falls on deaf ears. Smith arrives back at the settlers fort, and tries to convince Radcliffe that their is no gold, because a savage told them. Radcliffe sees this as a lie, and warns Smith that their is a severe penalty for treason; hanging.
That night, Nakoma catches Pocahontas sneaking off again, and tries to convince her not to go out there again, but Pocahontas tells her best friend she has to do this, and runs off through the cornfield. Nakoma finds Kocoum sitting on a rock, sharpening his knife, and tells him that she thinks Pocahontas is in trouble. Meanwhile, a young settler named Thomas (voice of Christian Bale) sees Smith sneaking off. Radcliffe tells him to follow him, and gives him a rifle to use on any indians.
John and Pocahontas meet in the enchanted glade, Smith tells her what his men are planning to do. A mysterious creature, which turns out to be Percy stuck in an old bit of tree appears and chases after Meeko, who has become quite a thorn in his side. But, upon seeing the face of Grandmother Willow, Percy faints. When Pocahontas and John start kissing, a deafening war cry rings out, and Kocoum attacks John. Pocahontas tries to pull Kocoum off him, only to be tossed aside. John is saved when Thomas appears, and shoots the indian, who pulls the necklace from Pocahontas' neck as he falls to the ground dead. As voices approach, John tells Thomas to run. Having heard the gunshot, a group of indians arrive, and John is taken prisoner. Percy trembles at this sight, and he follows Meeko and Flit as the follow Pocahontas back to the village. Back at the village, Powhatan announces that Smith will be killed at sunrise, and out of anger, he blames his own daughter's foolishness for Kocoum's death.
Thomas runs back to the fort and breaks the news of John's capture. Radcliffe sees this as a perfect opportunity to get his greedy hands on the gold, and announces that they will attack at dawn. Meanwhile, Pocahontas returns to the enchanted glade, and tells Grandmother Willow what's happened. Meeko gives Pocahontas John's compass, and as she stares at it, the needle, which looks like an arrow starts to spin, and Pocahontas recognizes it as the arrow from her dream. As Pocahontas stands up, the sun starts to rise. The needle then stops. It is pointing in the direction of the sun, and Pocahontas races back to the village.
The settlers arrive at the village just as Smith is about to be killed. Pocahontas arrives just in time, and tells her father that if he kills John, he'll have to kill her, too. After proclaiming her love for John, she shows her father that this is where the path of hatred has brought them. Powhatan declares: "From this day forward, if there is to be any more killing, it will not start with me". Smith is freed. Radcliffe orders the settlers to fire, but they refuse. Angry, Radcliffe snatches a rifle, and aims at Powhatan. John pushes the chief aside, and he gets hit instead. The settlers now see Radcliffe for what he really is, and they gang up on him. Thomas grabs the rifle from Radcliffe, and orders the settlers to put him and chains and gag him.
John is only wounded, but must return to England if he is to survive. Pocahontas and her people arrive, carrying baskets of corn. Percy is now dressed like an indian, indicating that he has decided to remain in America. The animals return Pocahontas' mother's necklace, and Pocahontas promises John, "No matter what happens, I will always be with you. Forever".
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