Disney's Whitewashing of Pocahontas Essay

Disney's Whitewashing of Pocahontas Essay

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In 1995, Disney produced a romanticized version of relationships between early Native
Americans and Europeans in the film, Pocahontas. It is controversial whether this movie was
intended to enlighten children about the beginning of America in a story-like manner, or a way to
conceal a dark past and brainwash future generations with this illusion of a happy beginning to
the United States of America. In order to make the Pocahontas and John Smith love myth
suitable for children, it is understandable that Disney needed to alter the story. However,
Disney's version of the Pocahontas myth is not only altered for the sake of violence, racial
content, and ethnic content, it is also altered to be more appealing to Americans and to agree with
their beliefs and culture. The film's purpose is controversial because there is a strong support for
the European settlers and a lack of Native American culture shown. In addition, the little Native
American culture that is shown, is not shown accurately. As a result, children across the nation
are learning a distorted early American history through Pocahontas and sugar-coated songs
taught in grammar school that share the same message.

The most significant factor that a historical movie for children should have as opposed to
an entertaining movie, is historical accuracy. This way, the film will be educational and will not
give the audience false information to soak in. If the purpose of Pocahontas is in fact to educate,
the film can be misconstrued as a brainwashing mechanism to hide the violence between two
cultures because it gives a false interpretation of the Europeans and Native Americans's
relationship. The reason for leaving the physical violence out of the...

... middle of paper ...

... whether European and Native
American, went through in order to gain a civil interaction with one another. By preparing
American youth with the United States history that does not have gaps, they will be better
prepared to comprehend when these topics are discussed more thoroughly in their higher levels
of education.

Works Cited

Borthaiser, Nóra (2008). A Whole New World [Electronic Version]. Americana: E-journal of
American Studies in Hungary, 4, 5-5.

Dundes, Lauren (2001). Disney's Modern Heroine Pocahontas: Revealing Age-Old Gender
Stereotypes and Role Discontinuity Under a Facade of Liberation [Electronic Version].

Giamo, Michael. Pocahontas. Disney, 1995. Film.

Smith, John. From The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles. The
Bedford Anthology of American Literature. Bedford: Boston, 2008: P. 110-119.

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