Virginia, 1607: Pocahontas (voiced by Irene Bedard/Judith Kuhn), daughter of Algonquin Chief Powhatan (voiced by Russell Means), has a wild and free spirit.
Pocahontas is confronted with a difficult situation when her father announces that she is to marry fierce and sincere warrior Kokoum (voiced by James Apaumut Fall). Things become even more complicated when a ship with British colonists arrives, led by ruthless and greedy Governor Ratcliff (voiced by David Odgen Stiers), who plans to take Native American land in the hope of finding gold.
A war between the Native Americans and the British seems inevitable. But Pocahontas has met and fallen in love with one of the crew, John Smith (voiced by Mel Gibson/Jess Harnell). Together, they hope to convince both sides that there’s no need to shed blood.
Disney classic; forbidden love; musical; historical drama; colonisation
Pocahontas has some violence. For example:
- The colonists shoot at the Native Americans with dire consequences. One Native American is shot in the leg. Kokoum is shot and dies. Ratcliffe accidentally shoots John Smith, who’s critically injured.
- The Native Americans fight back with knifes and tomahawks.
- After Kokoum is killed, the Native Americans capture John Smith and announce that they plan to execute him as revenge. Pocahontas prevents this by saying that they’ll have to kill her too.
- The British colonists refer to the Native Americans as ‘savages’, and some seem to believe that violence towards Native Americans in acceptable.
There are no sexual references in Pocahontas.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
There’s no use of substances in Pocahontas.
Nudity and sexual activity
There’s no nudity and sexual activity in Pocahontas.
There’s no product placement in Pocahontas.
There’s no coarse language in Pocahontas.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Pocahontas is a 1995 Disney musical adventure, very loosely based on the historical figure of Pocahontas. The movie doesn’t stick very closely to the historical record, but it does offer a great opportunity to discuss the harmful history of colonisation in North America.
We recommend parental guidance for young viewers because of the movie’s violent themes and scenes.
These are the main messages from Pocahontas:
- It’s best to resolve conflicts through talking to one another and not through violence.
- Love doesn’t obey rules or conventions.
Values in Pocahontas that you could reinforce with your children include love, courage, tolerance and open-mindedness.
Pocahontas could also give you the chance to talk with your children about the real-life consequences of colonial greed, hostility and ignorance. You could talk about how these attitudes have led to hurt, loss, discrimination and oppression throughout history.