Pocahontas Information

This was grabbed from rec.arts.disney on May 8, 1995. The author was not mentioned. From its style, I assume it's from some Disney press release. One or two tiny spelling mistakes suggest professional scanning from paper.

The Story

The year is 1607 and a new age of exploration has begun. A group of British adventurers that includes the greedy governor of the Virginia Company, John Ratcliffe, and a handsome sea captain named John Smith, have set sail for the New World aboard The Susan Constant, seeking gold and other treasures.

Meanwhile, in Virginia, a beautiful young Native American girl named Pocahontas, the daughter of Chief Powhatan, ponders her path in life and dreams what lies "just around the river bend". Should she marry Kocoum, the stern warrior her father has selected for her, or does destiny have something else planned for her? Searching for answers, Pocahontas visits the Enchanted Forest where Grandmother Willow, a 400-year-old mystical spirit residing in an ancient tree, provides advice and comfort. She also receives support from her two forest friends--a mischievous raccoon named Meeko and a feisty hummingbird named Flit.

Upon their arrival, the British settlers follow Ratcliffe's orders to dig for gold, creating havoc and devastation in their wake. Charged with protecting the colony, John Smith scouts the area and meets Pocahontas. Despite their initial apprehensions and conflicts, they are attracted to one another and she introduces him to a world unlike any he has ever known before. Pocahontas teaches him that every rock, tree and creature has a living spirit and explains how to "paint with all the colors of the wind".

Contrary to the friendship between Smith and Pocahontas, relations between the British and the Native Americans have reached a crisis point with fear and hatred mounting daily. When Smith is captured by Powhatan and set to be executed, Pocahontas bravely places her own life on the line by declaring that he must kill her first. Smith reciprocates the sacrifice by saving Powhatan's life from a British bullet, but is wounded in the process. In a powerful and moving finale, he and Pocahontas must part, knowing that their spirits will be joined forever on a path that never ends.

The Facts

The Music

Pocahontas brings together the musical genius of Academy Award-winning composer Alan Menken and the lyrical magic of renowned Broadway veteran Stephen Schwartz (Pippin, Godspell, The Magic Show, The Baker's Wife. Here, in their first major collaboration, the songwriting duo have created an integrated song score which musicalizes many of the film's most important dramatic and emotional moments while providing a classic theatrical element of entertainment.

Menken has received six Academy Awards for his contributions to The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin and (with his late partner, lyricist Howard Ashman) is credited with bringing new excitement to the film musical. Menken and Schwartz are following up this assignment by collaborating on Disney's next animated feature -- The Hunchback of Notre Dame -- which is currently in production for a 1996 release.

The seven songs featured in the film run the gamut from the buoyant Just Around the River Bend, in which Pocahontas expresses her dreams for the future, to the captivating ballad, Colors of the Wind, which stands out as one of the high points of the film as the beautiful heroine offers her new acquaintance, John Smith, a musical lesson on the Native American philosophy towards life. Other musical moments in the film include: The Virginia Company, Steady as a Beating Drum, Listen with your Heart, Mine, Mine, Mine and Savages.

The Cast of Characters

Frank Pilhofer <fp -AT- fpx.de> Back to the Homepage
Last modified: Mon May 8 18:57:37 1995