Some Defend Controversial ‘Pocahontas’ Amid Calls for Its Destruction

in Disney, Movies

Pocahontas holds John Smith's hand as he lays down.

Credit: Walt Disney Animation Studios

As fans call for a Pocahontas (1995) ban for its inaccurate depiction of history, some Disney Princess fans defend the controversial film.

Pocahontas (1995)

Pocahontas tells a fictional story based on a Native American woman. The real Pocahontas tragically died in the United Kingdom, where she lived with her real-life husband, John Rolfe, at just 22. Though English accounts say their relationship was consensual, colonists kidnapped and imprisoned the then-teenager before she “converted” to Christianity and moved to Europe.

Pocahontas looks into the distance in front of a blue-green sky.
Credit: Walt Disney Animation Studios

“Pocahontas — along with her playful pals Meeko and Flit — relies on the guidance of her loving and wise Grandmother Willow when English settlers arrive on the shores of their village,” the official Disney movie description reads. “Her chance meeting with the courageous Captain John Smith leads to a beautiful friendship that bridges the gap between two cultures, and changes history.”

Disney Princess Defenders

On Reddit this week, fans discussed the fictional relationship between Pocahontas and John Smith. Some slammed Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World (1998), which attempted to correct the historical inaccuracies of the first movie.

“Absolutely adore these two together,” u/MarilynMonroeWannabe said. “They had such great chemistry, they both risked their lives for each other, and let’s simply pretend that Pocahontas 2 never existed. 👍🏻 For me, they will ALWAYS be ‘it.’”

Pocahontas stands on a rock in front of a purple-blue sky
Credit: Disney

“I’ve always loved the movies and the songs… I feel you,” u/Jasminary2 replied. “I wish Disney had not been dumb enough to name this movie as they did. I also refuse to acknowledge the sequel. Whoever pitched it was an idiot… Why destroy the romance you spent a whole movie building lmao Especially to make the movies even more controversial.”

“I separate the real history with this movie,” u/sunshinedaisies9-34. “This movie I view as history fanfiction, just because of how in accurate is was to real life.”

But many modern Disney fans don’t stand by the inaccurate film.

A little girl with Pocahontas during a Make-a-Wish event.
Credit: Make-A-Wish

“Why Disney couldn’t have done an ‘inspired by story’ with no literal connections to the problematic history behind it was a big mistake,” u/Goldar85 wrote. “John Smith was 27 years old when he met a 9-10 year old Pocahontas. There are no records there was a sexual relationship thank god. But poor Pocahontas was eventually kidnapped by the English and ‘converted’ to Christianity so the whole message of the cartoon was bullsh*t.”

“Pocahontas was a real person, she was barely 14 and raped by colonisers before being married off to another,” u/AmphibianNo8598 said in another thread. “Colonisation is horrible and trying to make it a fairytale just isn’t right, you don’t have to be American to understand that.”

Should The Walt Disney Company ban Pocahontas? Share your thoughts with Inside the Magic in the comments. 

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