Pocahontas is a 1995 American animated musical romance-drama film and the thirty-third full-length animated feature film in the Disney animated features canon. The film is the first animated feature Disney film to be based on a real historic character, the known history, and the folklore and legend that surrounds the Native American woman Pocahontas, and and features a fictionalized account of her encounter with Englishman John Smith and the settlers that arrived from the Virginia Company.
The film was directed by Mike Gabriel and Eric Goldberg and produced by James Pentecost and produced during a period known as the Disney Renaissance.
John Smith and a crew of colonists meet a group of Natives, one of whom is the beautiful, daring Pocahontas.
In 1607 England, a ship carrying British settlers sails for North America on behalf of the Virginia Company in search of gold and other material riches, and a settlement. Among those on board are Captain John Smith (Mel Gibson) and Governor Ratcliffe (David Ogen Stiers). A storm erupts, and Smith saves the life of an inexperienced young settler named Thomas when he falls overboard, befriending him in the process.
In the "New World", Pocahontas is on top of the waterfall where she can dive into the lake to swim and then get on to Nakoma's canoe. She learns to her dismay that her father thinks she should marry Kocoum, one of his finest warriors. But though he is handsome and a fine warrior, Pocahontas does not love him, feeling he is far too serious. This is emphasized by a scene showing several children trying to play with him, while he stalwartly ignores them. She asks the advice from the talking tree spirit named Grandmother Willow. Grandmother Willow tells Pocahontas to listen to her heart and she may understand.
The British settlers land in what will become Virginia and dig for gold under Ratcliffe's orders. Less concerned with gold, John Smith explores the territory, finding the new world to be a place full of adventure. All the time he is followed by the curious Pocahontas, and comes to encounter her. The two spend time together, with Pocahontas teaching John to look at the world in a different way, and to not think of people who are different as 'savages'. Back at the settlement, Powhatan has sent some scouts to learn more about the new arrivals, but they are spotted. Governor Ratcliffe assumes that it is an ambush, and one of the warriors is shot. The warriors retreat, and Powhatan declares that the white men are dangerous and that no one should go near them.
A few days later, John and Pocahontas meet again, during which John learns that there is no gold in the land. They agree to meet at Grandmother Willow's glade again that night.
When Pocahontas returns to her village, she finds that warriors from neighboring tribes have arrived to help Powhatan fight the settlers. Back at the English fort, John tells Ratcliffe there is no gold in the land, which Ratcliffe does not believe. Thinking that the natives have hidden the gold for themselves, he declares that they will eliminate them all.
That night, Pocahontas' best friend Nakoma catches her sneaking off and informs Kocoum that she has gone. Meanwhile, John sneaks out of the fort, and Ratcliffe orders Thomas to follow him. Pocahontas and John meet in the glade, where both Pocahontas and Grandmother Willow convince John to try talking to Chief Powhatan to resolve the conflict. Both Kocoum and Thomas watch from the shadows as John and Pocahontas kiss. Kocoum, overwhelmed by jealously, attacks and tries to kill John, but even as he is successfully being pushed off, Thomas intervenes and kills Kocoum. Hearing voices approaching, John tells Thomas to run. A group of natives take John prisoner, thinking he is the murderer, and Powhatan announces that he will be executed at dawn before the war with the settlers begin.
Thomas returns to the fort and announces John's capture. Ratcliffe sees this as an opportunity to attack and rescue John at the same time, and they arrive just as John is about to be executed. Before Powhatan can strike, Pocahontas throws herself over John, telling him that she loves John and that Powhatan must see where the path of hatred has brought them, asking him to choose his own path. Powhatan thinks about his daughter's words and realizes that Kocoum wouldn't have wanted them to have a war. He lowers his club and orders John to be set free. Ratcliffe orders the settlers to fire anyway, but they too refuse. Ratcliffe fires at Chief Powhatan himself, but John pushes the chief aside and is shot instead. The settlers turn on Ratcliffe, capturing him and sending him back to England to await punishment for high treason.
John survived the gunshot, but he must return to England for medical treatment if he is to survive. Pocahontas and her people arrive to see them off, and John and Pocahontas bid their goodbyes. Pocahontas promises John that she'll always be in his heart, as he would in hers.
- Pocahontas (Irene Bedard)
- John Smith (Mel Gibson)
- Governor Ratcliffe/Wiggins (David Ogden Stiers)
- Meeko (John Kassir)
- Chief Powhatan (Russell Means)
- Thomas (Christian Bale)
- Grandmother Willow (Linda Hunt)
- Percy (Danny Mann)
- Ben (Billy Connolly)
- Lon (Joe Baker)
- Flit (Frank Welker)
- Nakoma (Michelle St. John)
- Kocoum (James Apaumut Fall)
- Kekata (Gordon Tootoosis)
- The Virginia Company
- The Virginia Company (Reprise)
- Steady As the Beating Drum
- Steady As the Beating Drum (Reprise)
- Just Around the Riverbend
- Listen With Your Heart
- Mine, Mine, Mine
- Colors of the Wind
- If I Never Knew You
- If I Never Knew You (Reprise)
For a full transcript of Pocahontas (film), click here.
- This is the first Disney Animated Feature Production to be based off of a true story.
- Gordon Tootoosis later portrayed Powhatan in another Pocahontas movie called "Pocahontas: the Legend".
- Russell Means (who portrayed Chief Powhatan in this movie) and Gordon Tootoosis (who played the role in the live-action 1999 film and played Kekata here) both died in 2012.
- Pocahontas is the only Disney Renaissance movie to have a "Rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.