I never watched Pocahontas when I was a child. I don’t know why. Perhaps I was only interested in the fairy tales I was familiar with from my story books, as opposed to actual historical figures from other countries. The first time I watched Pocahontas was a few months ago with Poppet and Pixie. The only reason we’d hired it was because there was a picture of Pocahontas on Poppet’s princess dominoes and I couldn’t tell Poppet a single thing about her.
Zombies, you totally need to watch Pocahontas. Here we have a heroine who isn’t beautiful according to Hollywood norms (i.e. she doesn’t resemble Barbie. Yes, I’m looking at you, Aurora.) and we definitely need more of those. Pocahontas is dark-haired, dark-skinned, independent, strong, playful, adventurous, and the very definition of a free spirit. She is beautiful, for all those reasons.
Pocahontas respects her father. He wants her to marry one of the warriors in their tribe. Instead of throwing a hissy fit, Pocahontas seeks advice. She turns to Grandmother Willow, a spirit in a tree, and listens to the voices in the wind. Okay, I don’t want my daughters to talk to trees or hear voices, but I do want them to think before making decisions. I want them to know it’s good to ask for advice, and that they can rely on the Holy Spirit to guide them.
Pocahontas initially runs from John Smith, or John Smurf as he’s known in our house. “See,” I said, pointing at the screen, “that’s what you do when strange men try to talk to you.” (I had to clarify that ‘strange’ meant ‘stranger’ and not ‘weird’.) I want my girls to know that the first guy who seems interested might be the right one, but he might not be, so it’s wise to be cautious when opening their hearts.
Probably my favourite part of the movie is the song “Colours of the Wind”. It gives me goosebumps. Seriously. It may even be my favourite Disney song. Pocahontas is a nature girl. She swims. She canoes. She climbs trees and runs barefoot. I want Poppet and Pixie to enjoy the outdoors too, to be active and healthy.
Pocahontas doesn’t get her happily-ever-after. She chooses the path of love and finds that it leads to more hard decisions. She shows us that the right path is not necessarily the easiest path, and that ‘different’ does not mean ‘bad’. Pocahontas shows us that sacrifice requires courage and that sometimes you just have to let love go.
What do you like best about Pocahontas?