With all the social injustice going on in the world, I decided to watch Disney's 1995 tale Pocahontas with a critical eye, and boy, does this movie resonate with the current state we’re living in. Not only was this film subconsciously setting me (a woman of color) up for some of the pitfalls my peers would have to endure, but it was probably — believe it or not — my introduction to a Disney character of color, who was also in an interracial relationship. Way to be progressive, Disney!
Either way, I’ve decided to do what I do best and lay out all the thoughts I never dreamed of having before into our latest Deja View — and man, this movie made me THINK.
1. So, this “Virginia Company” intro song is one hell of a lie. “The new world is like heaven and we’ll all be rich and free or so we have been told.” Yeah, tell all the slaves who were hopping on their boats to the New World. (Too soon?)
2. Look at all these British families kissing their lives away.
3. “You can’t fight Indians without John Smith.” No question whatsoever of what John Smith is good at. Killing these damn “Injuns.”
4. John Smith’s expertise on these ropes makes me wonder if he’s got, like, S&M interests. Hello, Mr. Grey Smith.
5. If the water was that strong to break off a piece of the ship and take Thomas with it, everyone on that ship should’ve died during this storm.
6. Ratcliffe out here with his own Mr. Fonzworth Bentley with Wiggins running around, holding an umbrella on the ship.
7. Yet again, we’re celebrating the killing of “Injuns.” Could these people be any more racist?
8. John’s seen “hundreds” of New Worlds, huh? So did he happen to travel to Africa or nah?
9. Thomas was so idealistic. Poor, silly, young man.
10. I swear the Indian people seemed so peaceful in this opening scene, just for these white folks to come and mess it all up.
11. Oh snap, look Pocahontas was reminding us of where lacrosse came from.
12. Pocahontas was doing THE most with that 100-foot swan dive. That minimal splash would’ve been ideal for the Olympics. Side note: All the running Pocahontas does in this film is CRAY. No wonder they drew her legs so sexy; that girl's doing ALL the cardio I could never.
13. I appreciate that Pocahontas had a tattoo. I wonder if that means she was 18.
14. The way Nakoma said Kocoum was “so handsome” makes me think she wanted him. I don’t know, I’m telling you—there was something there.
15. I love “Just Around the Riverbend.” It’s actually one of my favorite songs from this movie. Doesn’t negate the fact that Pocahontas’ dad was right and she needed to get her ish together. You can’t be tatted up and swan diving and spitting water in peoples’ faces. Girl, it’s time to grow up for your people!
16. Man, America was beautiful before all these immigrants (read: English people) came and messed it up.
17. Even in her daydreams, Pocahontas didn’t give Kocoum a chance. That’s wack. I bet you with those bear claws on his chest, he was an animal between the sheets. Yes, I went there with a cartoon.
18. I want to know what Pocahontas was smoking and/or inhaling in these winds that were swirling about, ‘cause I swear it’s what is making this woman think a tree is talking to her.
19. Why is Ratcliffe so sure there’s gold in the New World again? Who lied to him?
20. If the backstabbers at court called him a "pathetic social climber," does that mean he’s the literal and figurative definition of a “gold digger”? *Cue music* "Now, I ain’t saying he’s a gold digger, but he ain’t messing with no broke, broke...”
21. Flit was the definition of ride-or-die AND a c*ckblocker all at the same time.
22. “They prowl the earth like ravenous wolves, consuming everything in their path.” Yup, that sounds like the English at their peak conquering.
23. How come there was money in the budget for the dog to have cherries, but the menfolk are eating biscuits? And this pug was getting his toes scrubbed while I'm sure those men smelled like ass and scurvy. What kind of foolery is that?!
24. I’m confused. Ratcliffe declared the area Jamestown, but then says, “Dig up Virginia, boys” in the “Mine, Mine, Mine” number. If they knew this place was "Virginia,” didn’t they know there were Indians there before? And no gold? Obviously, Ratcliffe didn’t get car land fax.
25. John Smith loading up that gun to shoot Po Po is why this country is SO trigger-happy.
26. Here come these funny “leaves” in the wind again. I’m telling you, there’s something in those leaves. One hit and she was able to speak English? OK.
Can I get some of this ish, please?
27. Not sure why Ratcliffe thought they should just start digging in the middle of the forest and not like near rock formations. 'Cause you know, that's not like the best place you may find a precious metal...
28. Ratcliffe said “savages” and they all broke out guns. Sheesh.
29. No comment.
Actually, I will comment: I guess this is the NRA's slogan. Just sayin'.
30. Never a truer statement, Papa Powhatan.
31. I like how Pocahontas told John he had an unusual name when he said their names were weird. Damn right.
32. How are you trying to spit game to a woman, and say her home’s not “decent” and her people are “savages"? What a way to go, John.
33. “Colors of the Wind” spits so much knowledge. Still not my favorite song of the soundtrack, but it has a life, a spirit, and a name.
34. Pocahontas was brave to pick up that bear cub next to its mother. I don’t think she would’ve let them play with her babies so easily IRL. Nope. She would’ve absolutely ripped their faces off.
35. The nerve of these white folks coming to a country not theirs and building a wall. I’m surprised they didn’t ask the “Injuns” to pay for it.
36. Wiggins was the coolest, smartest person out of the bunch who really know why the Native Americans were upset.
37. Mother Willow said John Smith had a good soul, but he’s been killing "savages" everywhere he goes. I don’t think that makes his soul good, ma’am.
38. Tell me Nakoma didn’t have a thing for Kocoum. Look at how she’s looking into his eyes. There’s something there, y'all.
39. John Smith: “There is no gold.”
Ratcliffe: “There is gold. You're stating alternative facts.”
40. Ratcliffe telling Thomas he was a crappy sailor and soldier was like the pot calling the kettle white.
41. Also, I wasn’t too mad at Kocoum beating up John Smith. After all, Pocahontas was his fiancee — kissing up on the enemy.
42. Sometimes I think of Pocahontas as a demonstration of the worst thing that can happen in an interracial relationship — especially when you don’t break up with your betrothed before you start kissing the English enemy.
43. Kocoum’s death ALWAYS gets me upset. Another senseless shooting — and NO justice was done for my fallen brother. RIP Kocoum. #JusticeForKocoum
44. Even AFTER her boyfriend’s friend killed Kocoum, Po Po was still down for John. She only knew the dude for like a week! Man.
45. “Savages” is my favorite song, but they’ve since changed the lyrics. But guess what? I got the original so I know ALL the racist things they were saying. Mmhm.
46. Powhatan was nice for not killing John Smith. I would’ve smashed his brains. I’m sorry, someone has to pay for killing Kocoum.
47. And look at that, Ratcliffe shoots John and they pounce on Ratcliffe with the quickness, chain him up, and prepare him for court back in England, but nothing’s done for Kocoum. It’s great to know that nothing’s changed since 1607.
48. Even when Po Po’s tribe came with goods, these fools were ready to grab their guns.
49. Yes, I like how they both said that and kiss and stuff, but John never came back after he got well. So much for loving each other so damn much you were willing to DIE.
50. Here go these magical leaves again. I swear everyone was on this stuff.
51. Some love story. Pocahontas stays in America. John leaves and never comes back. My boy Kocoum died for NOTHING.
Welp, there's always the sequel... and I guess I'll have to do one of these on it, too.