Critic Consensus: Pocahontas means well, and has moments of startling beauty, but it's largely a bland, uninspired effort, with uneven plotting and an unfortunate lack of fun.
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Critic Reviews for Pocahontas
The film may take you by surprise with its quick ending, running only 76 minutes before the credits roll. I wanted more both times I saw it.
Just about everything in this lavish, animated feature is for the pigtail set.
[A] handsome, deeply felt, even more deeply reverent animated musical.
All Disney has really done in its disappointing 33rd animated feature is revive the stereotype of the Noble Savage.
Audience Reviews for Pocahontas
I do not share the negative criticism that this well-intentioned (yet naive) animation is racist and offensive to American Indians, and it is actually a lot more serious in theme and mood than the average Disney film, with also gorgeous visuals and a beautiful Oscar-winning song.
For the past two years, I've had a hankering to rewatch "Pocahontas" to see if my childhood love for it still stands, and despite its glaring historical inaccuracies with Pocahontas's and John Smith's love plot, boy does it truly hold up in terms of animation, score, and message. People are all praising millennial Disney princesses for not wanting to get married (Merida, Elsa, Anna), but they forget that 90s Disney heroines could be strong while still having love interests too. Mulan didn't want to get married at first; after fighting and winning the war, she sensibly invites Shang over for dinner. Pocahontas didn't want to get married at first; she falls in love with a perceived enemy but ultimately chooses to stay with her tribe. The bold hues and watercolor effects are still captivating; "Just Around the River Bend" and "Colors of the Wind" are still sweeping and mature orchestral masterpieces; and the themes of interpersonal peace, ecological sustainability, and cultural understanding are still relevant and moving. So freakin' good!
One of the most powerful films in the Disney collection, Pocahontas suffers from a weak villain and some throw-away characters, but features raw emotions and tension, a haunting, beautiful score, and some of the best songs ever written for film.
|Powhatan:||When I see you wear that necklace, you look just like your mother.|
|Pocahontas:||I miss her.|
|Powhatan:||But she is still with us. Whenever the wind blows through the trees, I feel her presence. Our people looked to her for wisdom and strength. Someday, they will look to you as well.|
|Pocahontas [Singing]:||Should I choose the smoothest course? Steady as the beating drum. Should I marry Kocoum? Is all my dreaming at an end? Or do you still wait for me, dream giver, just around the riverbend?|
|Pocahontas:||the tree is talking to me...|
|Pocahontas:||The tree is talking to me...|
|John Smith:||The tree is talking to me...|
|Pocahontas:||It would have been better if we never met, none of this would have happened.|
|John Smith:||I'd rather die tomorrow than live a hundred years without knowing you|