Tag Archives: Disney

Pocahontas would not be a Productive Member of Society

22 Sep

Don’t get me wrong- I adore Disney and Disney movies, but thinking back on Pocahontas,the Disney film, I can’t help but come to the conclusion that the character of Pocahontas as portrayed in the movie would be a really useless member of society.

For instance, the first time we see her in the movie, she is shirking her corn harvesting duties to frolic in the woods. In the song, “Just Around the Riverbend” she sings about how she wants to go with the flow like the river and doesn’t want to settle down into a boring life. To me, that just doesn’t seem like a very mature attitude, especially for the chief’s daughter.

Because she simply can’t stay in the village or do something helpful, the next thing you know, she’s off cavorting with John Smith, who as we know, brings nothing but trouble to the Powhatans. She refuses to marry the perfectly acceptable Kocoum, who if you recall, is the best Powhatan warrior around, because he is too serious for her. Honestly, what were you expecting Pocahontas? If you want him to to go about conversing with willow trees or rolling around in the dirt painting with the colors of the wind, I do believe your expectations are a little unreasonable. Then, because of her irresponsibleness, Kocoum ends up being killed. Are you happy now, Pocahontas?

All kinds of turmoil ensues later in the film, but Pocahontas blithely continues to behave in her usual manner (she tries to interrupt a war!). It really is troubling how not helpful she is to her friends, her tribespeople, etc.

Which brings me to my point: what if Pocahontas was around today? Would she still be a duty-shirking, immature and irresponsible person, who goes around singing at inappropriate times? Well of course she would be, since modern times allows for that even more than the early 17th century. Worse yet, what was Disney promoting for children (since the movie came out in 1995, the “children” who watched it are now in the early twenties)? Maybe Disney is to blame for my generation? I think next time I want to procrastinate, I’ll claim I’m channeling Pocahontas, walk to a park, and start singing (maybe I’ll just hum, my singing skills are minimal at best).

PS. It occurs to me that Productive Member of Society shortens to PMS. Huh.

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Reflections on Disney’s Hercules

19 Sep

I recently re-watched the Disney movie Hercules (and by the I mean I recently sung along to the entire movie), and noticed some interesting (or not- depends on your definition of “interesting”) things.

The first thing I noticed is that Baby Hercules starts the movie off as a blonde, then becomes a ginger when he becomes mortal (following Disney’s plot, Hades tries to make Hercules mortal in order to kill him and eventually take over Olympus/the world). Hercules is the only ginger in all of ancient Greece. What are you trying to tell us Disney- that gingers are gods in mortal form? Statistically speaking, its pretty unlikely that Hercules was a ginger (granted, its highly unlikely Hercules actually ever existed at all- sorry to burst any bubbles there).

Second thing: Disney very much Disneyfied the Greek gods, especially Zeus and Hera. The movie portrays them as this 1950s-esque couple with trouble having kids. Then they produce the adorable baby Hercules and all of the gods rejoice on Mount Olympus. Greek myth doesn’t exactly work that way though. A quick read of, well, basically anything involving Greek gods will let you know immediately that Zeus and Hera weren’t married or in any way monogamous. In fact, Zeus had dozens of illegitimate children running around- some with other gods, some with mortal women. He also had this weird bestiality thing going on (swans and bulls, anyone?).

For another thing, did anyone else notice the 5-lady gospel choir that sings most of the songs in the movie (including three titled, “The Gospel of Truth”)? As with ginger Hercules, you have to wonder why. Dear Disney, why is there a 5-lady gospel choir to sing us Hercules’ tale? This is Greek myth, and thus predates the Gospels by a long time- and it predates gospel choirs by even longer. Also, why is one of the singing women short and fat when the rest of them are all lithe? Judging pretty hardcore right now Disney.

Also, Megara (clever naming reference to the Greek megaron?) is by far the most sexed-up Disney character ever. Deep voice, big hair, and an almost physically-impossible hip jut, her character is designed to… distract… Hercules. She spends a lot of time in the movie simpering all over the place). Apparently her character is based on the Greek tragic heroine Alcestis, who died to save her husband. She also (very strangely) has some sort of accent- New Jersey maybe? Why Disney? Why? I don’t understand! In case you’ve forgotten (or never knew in the first place), here’s what Meg and Hercules look like in the movie:

No big deal that Hercules is wearing the tiniest man-skirt ever. Anyways, there are parts of the movie that I really do like. For instance, the temple of Zeus near the beginning, where Hercules comes to find his way. Excellent job with the temple and giant cult statue. It could have looked more chryselephantine (gold and ivory) for authenticity, though. Great job and good movie regardless. I also approve of all the pottery-type animation (red figure and black figure), which is generally reserved for the songs in the movie.