A Giant Metal Man: The Iron Giant (1995)

irongiant

You’re not gonna believe this, but it was a giant… metal… man.

I love this movie!

love it

It was one of my favorites as a kid and I used to watch it a LOT.

watch movie over and over

I got it for Christmas one year and was so happy, as it has been one of the best presents I’ve ever received.

Double double yay

It was rereleased in theaters this year to mark it’s 20th anniversary and I bought tickets immediately, taking my two nieces.

ShutUpTake MY Money

As I not only saw it recently in theaters, two weeks ago, but as this is it’s anniversary year, what better time then review it? Is this really a horror film, you might ask? Well yes, as it has aliens and a giant robot, it can definitely be considered a horror film. It also covers my yearly animated film feature review.

DeanSupernaturalLetsGetStarted

So our film is based on a book and is a historical fiction film, being set in 1957. Yes, we have the Cold War, threat of the atomic bomb, fear of aliens invading; all that good stuff.

So the film starts out with a ship trying to find shore in the a huge storm. They can’t find the lighthouse, then they do…BUT it is not a lighthouse! It’s a giant metal man!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Back at the town, where the ship was headed we are introduced to our hero, Hogarth Hughes. His father was an air jet fighter who died during the war, (I’m assuming Korean War as his death seems more recent than WWII). Hogarth lives with his mom on their farmhouse, and she works as a waitress in the local diner. Hogarth is very smart, having been moved up to the 5th grade, but by skipping a grade he doesn’t fit in being bullied a lot.

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So he is very lonely.

buffyvampireslayerTedLonliness

So Hogarth looks for companionship from animals, animals that his mother does not share a love for.

“Hogarth Hughes: Hey, mom! You won’t believe our good luck. Guess what I found?

Annie Hughes: Hogarth, we’ve been through this before. No pets.

Hogarth Hughes: But he’s not a pet, mom. He’s a friend.

Annie Hughes: Hogarth, we’ve got to rent a room this year if we’re gonna make ends meet, and no one wants to live in a place with shredded upholstery.

Hogarth Hughes: You’ll never know he’s there. I’ll keep him in a cage…

Annie Hughes: …until you feel sorry for him and set him free in the house. You remember the raccoon, Hogarth? [ShuddersOooooh! I remember the raccoon.

Annie asks to see the squirrel, but it has escaped Hogarth’s makeshift cage. He starts looking for it, when he becomes distracted by Dean McCoppin and the sailor, Earl, who saw the robot earlier.

Let’s stop for a minute and talk about Dean. He is one if the coolest, and hottest, animated men. Junker as his day job, but really an artist, beatnik, and he drives a motorcycle. How much cooler can you get.

irongiantreallyhmmokayyeahright

Sorry…so Dean and Earl are discussing what he saw.

Earl Stutz: I’m telling the truth, dang it! It came from outer space. I saw it! And it was headed toward land. I called the government in Washington. Maybe it was a sputnik, or… or an invader from Mars. That’s what it is, an invader from Mars! It was a spaceship of some kind. An unidentified flying object…

Man: Unidentified? Knowing you, Earl, I’d say it was either whiskey or beer. [Others join in laughing]

Dean McCoppin: Hey! I saw it too.

Man: I rest my case. [Others join in laughing]

Hogarth Hughes: I believe you. What if it is Sputnik, or a flying saucer from Mars? I bet we could find it.

Dean McCoppin: Sorry, kid. I didn’t really see anything. But if we don’t stick up for the kooks, who will?

While they are talking, Hogarth’s squirrel climbs into Dean’s pants. I wonder if that is where Disney got the idea for Phineas and Ferb?

Anyways, Annie gets in trouble and has to stay late, leaving Hogarth to his own devices. And we all know what that means for a young kid home alone: junk food and scary films.

cookies

Hogarth is watching a B Horror film about a scientist and evil brain, when the cable goes out.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Hogarth goes to investigate and sees that someone or something took a huge bite out of the TV antennae.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

He gears up, and decides to head out in search for whatever did this. He starts walking around, and ends up near the power plant finding a GIANT ROBOT!!!!!

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

He sees it stuck in power cables and getting hurt by it, so Hogarth runs over and turns the plant off. Saving him. He then runs home as his mom is calling him. He decides the next day to go out looking for the Giant.

The next day, Hogarth brings some metal and his camera, hoping to capture a picture of the Giant. However, he falls asleep…and when he wakes up…

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The two quickly become friends.

Meanwhile, ugh Kent Mansley has arrived in town. He’s the government man brought in to investigate this “metal man”.

Marv Loach: What department is that again?

Kent Mansley: Frankly, I’m not at liberty to divulge the particulars of the agency I work for, and all that that implies.

Marv Loach: You mean, national security?

Kent Mansley: Let me put it this way. Every so often things happen that can’t be rationalized in a conventional way. People wanna know their government has a response. I am that response.

It grows late in the day and Hogarth is unsure what to do with the robot. He decides to head home and come back tomorrow to hang out with the robot, but the robot won’t stop following.

“Hogarth Hughes: Well, goodbye. [Hogarth starts walking away, the Giant follows himNo, no. Me go, you stay. No following. Good. [Hogarth walks, the Giant still follows him] I told you! I’ll come back tomorrow! Now, stay! [Hogarth leaves, the Giant follows himNo, no, no! Bad robot!”

On the way, the Giant gets hungry and starts chewing on a railroad. Hogarth stops him and tells him to fix them. They manage to get everything together, but the Giant gets smacked and destroyed, flung apart. Hogarth is shocked to see him in massive pieces, but then…

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

He starts putting himself back together.

keanu Whoa

The race quickly to Hogarth’s barn where he can hide the GIant while he is being pieced together, and Hogarth can go in for dinner. What both don’t realize, is that a piece of the Giant has slipped away.

So yes, there’s that pesky Kent again. In fact he realizes that a broken BB gun he found at the power plant matches part of Hogarth’s name. This gets him very interested in the Hughes family.

suspicious Hmm

Hogarth goes with the Iron Giant and brings him some comic books to read.

Hogarth Hughes: I thought you might like, you know, a bedtime story. I have some really cool ones. Mad Magazine – very funny. The Spirit – very cool. Boy’s Life – eh. Oh, here. This is Superman. He’s a lot like you. Crash-landed on Earth, didn’t know what he was doing… but he only uses his powers for good, never for evil. Remember that.

[Giant looks at a comic with a robot like himself on the cover]

Hogarth Hughes: Oh, that’s Atomo, the metal menace. He’s not a hero, he’s a villain. But you’re not like him. You’re a good guy, like Superman.

The Iron Giant: Super… man.

But the Giant is hungry. They go out looking for food and spot Dean trucking an old car to the junkyard.

As there is no way Dean will sleep through that, Hogarth has to show himself. Dean is fine with that and invites him in for coffee, espresso.

mr knightley drinks tea

There Hogarth gets jacked up and talks Dean’s ear off, but eventually Dean hears the Giant and goes after it to protect Hogarth. Hogarth calms everyone down, and after a lot of whining, convinces Dean to house the Giant for a bit.

Hogarth goes home, but after all that needling it is time to get up.

WakeUpNoThankYou

So while Dean is trying to corrall the Giant into not eating his sculptures and helping him out, Hogarth has to deal with Kent.

Say What

Yes Kent has decided to rent the room Annie is offering, and follow Hogarth around trying to get info out of him.

Eventually Hogarth grows tired of it and does one of the funniest things in the movie.

Even though this is technically illegal, giving some laxatives without their knowledge, as it could kill him if too much is give, I just love how that enables him to get far away from Kent.

So the Giant, Hogarth, and Dean all have a lot of fun. The three are bonding, the Giant and Hogarth being the best of friends.

The Iron Giant: You die?

Hogarth Hughes: Well, yes, someday.

The Iron Giant: I die?

Hogarth Hughes: I don’t know. You’re made of metal, but you have feelings, and you think about things, and that means you have a soul. And souls don’t die.

The Iron Giant: Soul?

Hogarth Hughes: Mom says it’s something inside of all good things, and that it goes on forever and ever. [Hogarth leaves. The Iron Giant lays back to look at the stars]

The Iron Giant: Souls don’t die.

However, this is too good to last as Kent has been searching and found Hogarth’s camera. Even more so, he got a picture of Hogarth and the Giant.

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That night when Hogarth comes home, Kent kidnaps him.

Say What

Yes! I know!!! What a psycho creep!

Certified Creepo Ribbon

He questions Hogarth about the Giant, threatening his mom!

Say What

I know! Kent is one of the worst villians. HOw could you do that to a child??? A child!!!

you're evil

Kent Mansley: Your mom’s working late tonight, Hogarth, so it’s just us guys, and we’re gonna have a little chat. Sit down! [shoves Hogarth onto a chair and shines a bright light on him] How’s that? A little too bright? Good. Forgive me, Hogarth. I wanted you to learn something.

Hogarth Hughes: What can I learn from you?

Kent Mansley: You can learn this, Hogarth. That I can do anything I want, whenever I want if I feel it’s in the people’s best interest. The giant metal man. Where is it?

Hogarth Hughes: I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Kent Mansley: You don’t? Does this ring a bell? [lays down the picture Hogarth took of the aluminum siding he used to lure the Giant No? How about this? [lays down the photo Hogarth accidentally took of himself – with the Giant behind him]

Kent Mansley: You’ve been careless, Hogarth.

Hogarth Hughes: It doesn’t prove anything.

Kent Mansley: It’s enough to get the army here with one phone call.

Hogarth Hughes: Then what’s stopping you?

Kent Mansley: [angry] Where’s the giant? [Grabs Hogarth by the jaw] You can’t protect him, Hogarth, anymore than you can… protect your mother.

Hogarth Hughes: My mom?

Kent Mansley: It’s difficult to raise a boy all alone. We can make it more difficult. In fact, we can make it so difficult that it would be irresponsible for us to leave you in her care, and all that that implies. You’ll be taken away from her, Hogarth.

Hogarth Hughes: You can’t do that!

Kent Mansley: Oh, we can, and we will.

Hogarth Hughes: He’s at the junkyard. McCoppin’s Scrap off Culver Road.

Kent Mansley: The junkyard, of course! Food for the metal eater. I wouldn’t worry about this, Hogarth. This isn’t really happening. It’s only… a bad dream. [puts a chloroform rag on Hogarth’s mouth, leaving him unconscious]

After this, there is a great scene where Kent is watching Hogarth to make sure he doesn’t let Dean know that the army is coming in. However, Hogarth manages to outsmart him and warn Dean.

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So instead of seeing a space giant, they see an art piece.

artirongiant

Kent Mansley is chewed out and taken away with the rest of the army. Everything seems fine and good until Hogarth and the Giant start playing Atomo. When Hogarth points his fake gun at the Giant, it awaken some defense code and he attacks.

Dean McCoppin: Get back! I said get back! I mean it!

The Iron Giant: No. Stop. Wait.

Hogarth Hughes: It was an accident. He’s our friend.

Dean McCoppin: He’s a piece of hardware, Hogarth. Why did you think the army was here? He’s a weapon, a big… big gun that walks.

The Iron Giant: I… I not gun.

Dean McCoppin: Yeah? Then what’s that? [Points at huge hole the Giant’s ray left on a bus]

Dean McCoppin: You almost did that to Hogarth!

The Iron Giant: No! [Runs away]

Hogarth Hughes: Wait! [Runs after the Giant]

Dean realizes it was because of the toy gun, so he goes after Hogarth to help him find the Giant.

Meanwhile, the army sees the Iron Giant and go after him, even though he just saved two boys. Just like Mighty Joe Young, giant dudes just catch a break.

So Hogarth catches up, and the Giant picks him up and flys with him. The army sends missels after him, knocking them both to the ground, and Hogarth out cold. The Giant thinks Hogarth is dead and becomes angry, trying to take out the whole military.

iron_giant_by_vadeg-d4ivzfy

If you look at his weaponry, you’ll notice the trio of weapons is created to resemble the aliens in The War of the Worlds (1953). This make it concrete that it is not from the Soviet Union, North Korea, China, etc; but definitely from outer space.

As no human weapons can stop him, the general agrees to listen to Kent and get the Nautilus ready with the bomb. However, as they are fighting, Hogarth awakens and escapes from his mom and Dean to save the GIant. He reminds the iIant:

Hogarth Hughes: [to the Giant, in battle mode] It’s bad to kill. Guns kill. And you don’t have to be a gun. You are what you choose to be. You choose. Choose.

Everything has calmed down, except for Mansley. He steals the radio, and tells them to launch the missile, something that will kill them all.

General Rogard: That missile is targeted to the giant’s current position! WHERE’S THE GIANT, MANSLEY?

Kent Mansley: Oooh… We can duck and cover! There’s a fallout shelter not far from…

General Rogard: There’s no way to survive this thing, you idiot!

Kent Mansley: You mean we’re all going to…

General Rogard: To die, Mansley. For our country.

Kent Mansley: Screw our country! I WANT TO LIVE!

The Giant stops him though. Everyone is sad at the fact they will explode, but the Giant decides it is time for him to take care of those he loves.

The Iron Giant: [as a nuclear missile is headed for Rockwell] I fix.

Hogarth Hughes: Giant?

The Iron Giant: Hogarth. I go. You stay. [lifts Hogarth’s chin with a finger and waves his other finger at himNo following.

Hogarth Hughes: I love you.

[the Giant takes off to intercept the rocket]

Awwwwww, it is soooooo sad!!!

Noo!

Noo!

The town is saved!

Double double yay

Afterwards, Dean and Annie have gotten together; Dean has made a statue in honor of the Giant; and Hogarth is now the most popular boy in town. But while everything is great, Hogarth is still sad. He misses the Giant.

He is given a package from the General, the only piece they have found of the giant, his mouth screw. Hogarth accepts it.

One night, the piece stats beeping, wanting out of the room. That means only one thing, the GIANT IS ALIVE!!! The pieces are coming together to rebuild him. 🙂

Double double yay

Such a truly great film. I don’t know why it isn’t more popular as it is truly amazing.

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iron-giantm

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To start Horrorfest IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It Has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

For the previous post, go to What Have You Done to Him?: Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

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For more on robots, go to She’s Been Totally Different…Like Stepford: Ted, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)

For more films with aliens, go to The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend: Alien Vs. Predator (2004)

For more films based on books, go to She Cries in the Night: The Screaming Skull (1958)

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That Girl is Poison

So if you have been following me for a while, you are quite aware of the fact that I am a huge Batman fan. For any superhero fan you have got to have a favorite villain. And mine is Poison Ivy.

poisonivy DC comics

I’ve always loved how she is this super stong feminist, girl-power; yet at the same time isn’t above using seduction and feminine wiles to get what she wants. Plus, I don’t know, she always seemed so cool. So back in April my friends and I were discussing Halloween costume ideas and that’s when I decided I was going to be Poison Ivy.

Go here to see who you are.

Go here to see who you are.

But then I ran into a few problems with the putting of the costume together. You see her original outfit is like a green sweetheart leotard, tights, and boots. Not a lot there and October is cold. I wasn’t going to do a leotard and tights. That’s crazy!

No thank you

So I decided to reimagine her outfit. Instead of the tights and leotard I decided a corset top, shrug with a high villaness collar, green leggings, and my yellow 5 inch platform shoes.

hot pretty sexy

But things didn’t quite turn out as I planned.

nightmare before christmas nothing turn out like it should

The corset and shrug looked awesome, it was the leggings that ran into some issues. You see I have a large butt.

curvy

And I do like it, but it can cause some problems. One of which being that leggings don’t always cover its ampleness like they should.

Stupid, stupid

So then we had to change plans. I was going to go with a skirt and tights, although it wasn’t what I really wanted. I wanted pants because if I was an evil villian that is what I would wear. I would want to be able to kick somebody. Luckily my sister heard of my dilemma and told me she could make me some pants.

Double double yay

Everything was going according to plan. The only thing left to do was my hair. And we know how that usually goes.

Hair humidity lion king

But it went better than I thought it would. You see I had thought about using a wig, but they are so itchy I decided to dye it instead (temporarily). I went to the beauty store and was warned my hair was too dark of a color the red wouldn’t show. I told the workers I understood that, but I didn’t want bright Ariel hair, I was hoping for a more auburn-y color.

Game of thrones jon Snow kit harrington I know how

So I ask my sister to help me as she has died her hair multiple times. She went to work and the results were…well let me start that by saying my hair is unusual.

DisneyJHair

Yeah, it doesn’t do what most people’s hair does. Even my hairdresser has remarked on this. When you want it to be wet, it dries instantly. When you want it dry, it is resistant to the hairdryer. When you want it parted on one side, it flips to the other. When you want it pushed back, it wants to go forward.

hair no control

So she was trying to slick my hair back to put the dye in, but it kept going forward. Luckily, I had read online that when you dye your hair you should put vaseline along the hairline to protect the dye from staining your skin. It was a good thing I had read that, or else I would have come out looking weird.

Queen of outer space

When my sister was done putting the dye in. She showed me her gloves and it looked like we had just murdered someone, the way the dye had gotten everywhere. It was like a Dexter episode.

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Ayways, after I sat the most time allowed, we washed my hair. Sadly it looked like all the dye was running out into the tub and that my hair was the same color.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

But I figured, oh well. If nothing happens, then at least I have a great story to blog.

Yeah-Dean-dean-winchester-33251540-500-300

Well, I was wrong. Not all  the die did wash out. It still looked red!

hair dying

I really liked how it came out. You see my hair is a golden brown with blond and copper natural highlights. The whole mane ranges in lights and darks. The dye came out really cool, witth some areas being a really dark brown, auburn, red. While others were much, much brighter. I actually really like it and am considering dying it permenantly. I could totally pull it off as I have the two thinngs needed to be a sucessful redhead. 1) I have light eyes-green. 2) I do not tan at all, but remain white year round. The only issue I face is money!

So here’s the pic of my costume and hair. My sis and friend went as Catwoman and Harley Quinn, making us the three tantilizing women of Gotham.

PoisonIvyHalloweenDC costumes copslay

Yep you should join the dark side.

Star Wars Dark side power Darth vader

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For more on Batman, go to I’m Batman!

For more strong, independent women; go to How to Catch a  Man

For more quizzes, go to You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

For more on Star Wars, go to Part IX: Adventures in Movie Lines

The Right Path is Not the Easiest One

Pocahontas

Day 9) A Film you like but everyone hates

Now lots of people hate this movie and I don’t really understand why. Now I know there are all kinds of things about the age and differences in the historical content, but this is just an interpretation of an event. I mean Mulan does similar things but you don’t see people crapping all over that movie. (And they shouldn’t because it is awesome)

So this Disney film is an interpretation of the life of Pocahontas based on legend and stories surrounding her from letters and writings of John Smith and John Rolfe (her husband). The controversy comes over the fact that other people’s account of the time do not confirm that Smith’s story of being saved by Pocahontas, as they say that the tribe was very friendly, something Smith had written himself many times.  There is also the fact that Smith had some mistrust surrounding him, as better depicted in the film A New World.  Plus when Smith and Pocahontas meet in England she refused to talk to him, no one knowing why, which lead people to wonder what went down between them to make her dislike him. Also when the alleged incident happened Pocahontas was much younger, like 12, so there was no romance between her and John Smith.

But the point of the fact that this is a Disney animated film that contains musical numbers means that it isn’t going to be a biopic. Watch New World if you want that, although I do NOT recommend it, it was one of the MOST BORING films I have ever seen.

EW!

 I mean you think a film with Colin Farrell and Christian Bale in it would be good, but it wasn’t. [Side Note: Christian Bale is also in Disney’s Pocahontas, he’s the character of Thomas.]

Anyways to get back to the business of the film and today’s post.

So the film starts off with a ship heading off from England to America as the English are eager to get in with the gold that Spain has found mountains of. On the ship is Thomas (played by Christian Bale [I know isn’t it funny that he was in two depictions of the story of Pocahontas?]), a newbie and John Smith (Mel Gibson [pre-crazy]). The other crew members are looking to kill Natives, etc; while John Smith on the other hand wants adventure. He helps Thomas learn the ins and out in sailing.

Meanwhile in what would become Virginia, Pocahontas is the chieftain’s daughter and is reaching of marriageable age. Her father has her whole life planned out for her, but Pocahontas isn’t sure whether or not that is what she really wants. She seeks guidance from a tree spirit, Grandmother Willow, and discovers the settler’s ship.

The crew have picked out a spot to erect their fort and have also decimated the area in digging for gold. Smith, being one for adventure, has been scouting out the area and comes upon Pocahontas. Intrigued by her, he pursues her and the two begin talking, creating a friendship that develops into something else. 😉

All is not going smoothly between the Natives and the Conquerers. They had a battle and both fear the other is determined to kill them. This causes trouble between Smith and Pocahontas, as Pocahontas’ possible fiancé, Kocoum, is killed by Thomas. Smith takes the fall for him, and is taken to be punished. The leader of the settlers, Governor Ratcliffe, uses the fear and unrest as a way to completely decimte the Natives, convincing everyone that they must kill them for Smith.

Smith is taken out to be killed, but before he can be injured, Pocahontas arrives just in time and throws herself on his body, blocking her father’s weapon and laying down her life for him. Her father admires her courage and sees that maybe peace can be achieved between the two, that killing won’t bring the people he lost back, and steps down. Ratcliffe doesn’t like the idea of allowing the Native Americans to roam freely (its their land!) tries to kill the Chief, but is thwarted by Smith who takes the bullet. The settlers leave for England, taking the injured Smith with them.

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Why Pocahontas (1995) is Awesome

1) Pocahontas

twistedprincess_pocahontas

Pocahontas is awesome. She is the chieftan’s daugter but doesn’t see herself as higher than anyone else in the tribe, working alongside and helping prepare the harvest. When her father tries to get her to conform to his vision of the future, she respectfully declines as she needs to live her own life; rejecting the marriage to Kokoum. She also is bold, strong, smart, wise, and awesome. When she comes upon John Smith she bravely faces him down, causing him to put away his gun as he is so intrigued by her. When Smith calls her people ignorant and savage, she challenges his thinking showing him that what he sees may be different from what he is used to but is not less, stupid, or barbaric; teaching him the importance of learning more about things we find “strange” and viewing them from the eye of the person, as otherwise we  may miss something. This is truly important message to teach children, just because someone isn’t like you or does things differently; it doesn’t make them stupid or strange; it just means that everyone does things differently and there are other ways to view the same thing. She also is incredibly brave as she stands down her father and whole tribe, trying to show them that violence is wrong. Many say this:

Frozen

But I think they are sorely wrong. Pocahontas does that way sooner as she is the one to save her whole tribe from being massacred and her love, John Smith. Also unlike Frozen, Pocahontas doesn’t even end up with the guy, she ends standing on her own two feet; taking on the world and continuing on her uncharted path.

pocahontas_on_the_cliff_by_reginaac57-d6l5111blue-swirl-banner-background-82684222) John Smith

John_Smith_17 Pocahontas

Now John Smith is one of the sexiest of Disney’s cartoon heros. First of all he is a strong, tough, manly, brave, smart, kind guy. I mean he is the greatest on the ship, the other guys can mess up, but never him. He is a crackshot and never misses his mark. I mean the crew tell all kind of stories about him and his adventures, he’s pretty cool. And so brave and tough, handling the terrain on his own, climbing mountains, crossing streams, etc.; all the while there being all kinds of dangers out there, but he doesn’t care, he’s a man’s man. He also is so kind! He helps Thomas every chance he gets by mentoring him and even taking the blame for him, laying his life down for his friends. He also is so sweet with Pocahontas, as when she blames herself for his upcoming execution, he tells her it isn’t her fault and tries to make her feel better; telling her everything was worth it as he meet her.

So romantic!

So romantic!

But the really awesome thing about John Smith is his willingness to see other’s point of view and to admit he is wrong about things. Similar to Phoebus in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, at the beginning of the film he has a clear view of us and them. We are the smart, improved, evolved people with our cities, technology, ideas; and they are stupid, barbaric, and doing nothing with the land given to them. However, when Pocahontas starts showing him that there are many different views on things, he let’s go of his stereotypes and objectively listens to her arguments, seeing that she is right. What he thought was backwards was actual a very forward and advanced society. Therefore changing his view and trying to help build a relationshipIn between the two groups.

Pocahontas

blue-swirl-banner-background-82684223) Interracial Romance

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I don’t care what anyone says, this is HUGE! Even in 2014, very rarely will you have a film that will show an interracial romance as most audiences don’t like it. They prefer like with like, which usually is white with white or black with black. The only other Disney films I can think of that do this are The Hunchback of Notre Dame which came out a year later and has French Phoebus with the racially unknown, but not white, Esmeralda; High School Musical which has white Troy and Latino Gabriella pair up, along with African-American Zeke and white Sharpay; and The Wizards of Waverly Place Movie which has a white and Latino family. Yep, only four films (comment below if you can think of another one) of which Pocahontas was the first. Now for me I grew up in a biracial family and hated how I never could find any books or films that dealt with that issue, and when I was a kid I don’t think I realized it, but as I’m older that is one thing I really appreciate about this film. You don’t have to get with the ethnically same, but can fall in love with whoever.

blue-swirl-banner-background-82684224) Positive Minority Character

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This film comes out during a period called “revisionist history”, that is historians were looking back and checking voices not previously heard, such as minorities and women, challenging previous depictions and notions about these groups. As this film comes after Dances With Wolves and The Last of the Mohicans, films had already begun to depict Native Americans as being more than villians or mistreated people. Instead it tried to break previous stereotypes and just show them as people. In Pocahontas, while they do follow some stereotypes, such as talking to trees, animals, etc.; they also show them as being real people who care about each other. In one of the earlier scenes we see a group of warriors returning, saying good-bye to their allies and being  greeted by their families; showing that they have positive home lives. The Cheiftan, while wanting to get rid of the settlers, isn’t doing it because he is evil or cruel, but because he is worried for his people. Pocahontas is a wise soul, but instead of having the “Native American wisdom as she is just sooo connected to the planet”, like other films do she is just an observant and smart person, and her personality is not tied to her ethnicity but just who she is; something radically different from earlier depictions of any minority. Even the killing scene is better here than in other films. As with earlier depictions of Native Amerians killing people, you have something like Duel at Diablo,  where the guy is on a wheel and roasted/tortured in many different ways. Then you have Lonesome Dove, where Blue Duck, rapes and tortures his victims. At least in this film it was a slightly more humane way than roasting them or having a prolonged death.

blue-swirl-banner-background-82684225) The songs

So Pocahontas has some of the best songs out of all the disney films.

A) The Virginia Company

Short but a great intro as we not only get a history lesson (you’re children will never forget colonial involvement because of this film) but an understanding into our settler characters.

We get the three reasons why any would sail and take on a hard life (1. Gold, 2. Glory, 3. God [and not really about him at all]

For glory, God, and gold

And how they fanty believed America was going to be like this fairyland or treasure trove or something.


For the New World is like heaven
And we’ll all be rich and free

Yeah. Well most of you will die or be indentured servants. Yeah, not much fun. Click her to listen/watch

B) Steady as the Beating Drum

This song I am particularly fond of as in sixth grade my music class had to learn it on the recorder, and participate in a recital with the older kids. I love this as an intro for the Native Americans, as with Virgina Company it helps give us a view into their life and what they are feeling/doing before the settler’s arrive. Very different from any other film that deicts Native American and white relations as almost all center on when/after the whites arrive not before.

O great spirit, hear our song
Help us keep the ancient ways
Keep the sacred fire strong
Walk in balance all our days

It focuses on the connection with the land and their dependence on it for survival, but it also has a little sad foreshadowing. As these traditional ways, will no longer be kept in the same manner as with the colonists arrival, they bring change.

C) Just Around the River Bend

I love this song as it can connect to everyone. At some point in every one’s life you have a time when you have to make a decision. Often you will have conflicting views of what others want you to do (marry Kokoum) and what you want [something different, i.e. John Smith ;)] Sometimes the thing you want isn’t the most stable thing, sometimes you can’t be cautious but have to take a risk.


Should I choose the smoothest curve
Steady as the beating drum?
Should I marry Kocoum?
Is all my dreaming at an end?
Or do you still wait for me, Dream Giver
Just around the riverbend?

It always made me think of Something’s Coming from West Side Story, there are more things out there than one can see, more choices, paths, rivers. It’s an amazing song!

Pocahontas

D) Mine, Mine, Mine

One of the best evil villian songs as it shows how selfish and unscrupulous Ratcliffe is and how he would do just about anything to get what he wants.


And the gold
Is …
Mine!
Mine!
Mine!
Mine!

The duality of using the word mine for mine as in mining, and mine as in it belongs to me. Plus sneaky Disney also gives us another mini history lesson as it talks about European conquest. But really what you see here is how Ratcliffe just uses and ravages things; working his men crazily, destroying the forest, tearing up the land, etc. It makes you just hate him more.

We also get a view into John Smith and how he differs from Ratcliffe, clearly distinguishing Smith’s “heroic role”.

All of my life, I have searched for a land
Like this one
A wilder, more challenging country
I couldn’t design
Hundreds of dangers await
And I don’t plan to miss one
In a land I can claim
A land I can tame
The greatest adventure is mine!

He wants the land not to own or dig or find riches, but finds riches in the land itself; exploration, creating a home, farming, etc. We also see here how he wants to claim and tame the land, not having a connection like the Native Americans who love the land and see it as its own entity. This helps with John Smith’s chracter development, as after being with Poahontas and listening to her point of view, he changes his mind and rids himself of his previous stereotypes.

Click here to listen/watch

E) Colors of the Wind

This song is so freakin’ awesome. It’s all about how we can assume so much about a person, but you never really know someone until you get a glimpse of what their world is like.

You think the only people who are people
Are the people who look and think like you
But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger
You’ll learn things you never knew you never knew

And Disney always subtlety throwing things in and trying to brainwash our children (but in a good way)

For whether we are white or copper skinned
We need to sing with all the voices of the mountains
We need to paint with all the colors of the wind

Color doesn’t matter, we all need to work together, all are important. This is why this is such a great movie to show your children, as it tells them that prejudice and racism is bad. Very bad!

And look how beautiful this scene is!

pocahontas

F) Savages

Now this is my favorite song in Pocahontas. I just love the lyrics and the imagery used in this. It actually pulls a lot from West Side Story. West Side Story does this great number Tonight in which the two rival gangs, Sharks and Jets, are going to fight (one group is white and the other is Puerto Rican). While they sing about the upcoming battle, you have Maria and Tony sing about how tonight the fight will be over and they can be together (which doesn’t quite work out). In this you have the two groups, Native Americans and Whites, preparing to fight and it is just an awesome song. I mean this whole song is about how racism is stupid, as these two groups who are going to kill each other are not quite different at all, in what they are (human) and what they think (things different bad, we must fight those diffrent from us, etc) I mean look at the lyrics.

Ratcliffe:                       Powhatan: 

What can you expect                   This is what we feared
From filthy little heathens?          The paleface is a demon 
Their whole disgusting race is like a curse        The only thing they feel at all is greed
Their skin’s a hellish red                 Beneath that milky hide 
They’re only good when dead           There’s emptiness inside 
They’re vermin, as I said                         I wonder if they even bleed 

[English Settlers]                            [Native Americans] 
They’re savages! Savages!                       They’re savages! Savages! 
Barely even human                        Barely even human 

See not much difference between the two, which is the whole reason they are fighting.

pocahontas savages

I also love how they made both groups look evil in this song, making it clear that both sides are bing violent and are both at fault, there is no one villian. As historically both groups did horrible, horrible things to their own people and each other; showing that all people have faults.

Then we have Pocahontas who has finally discoverd her destiny and is trying to run and save everyone from war. And the tension mounts as you are unsure if she will make it in time and then what will happen next.

[Pocahontas] 
Is the death of all I love 
Carried in the drumming of war?

It’s a horrible situation as if the Native Americans win, John Smith dies and they are villianified and going to kill/die when future settler’s comeIf the settlers win, than all the Native Americans will be wiped out, the only thing that can solve this dilemma is if Pocahontas can bring peace between them.

 

G) If I Never Knew You

I love this song so much, it is my favorite Disney love song so I will actually be saving that for a later post. Sorry!

For more on Pocahontas, go to a Disney Lesson

For more on Disney Princesses, go to A Hidden Wonder

For more on Frozen, go to Frozen Solid

For more on Mulan, go to A Horse’s Tale

For more of my favorite songs, go to The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind

For more on Disney Heroines, go to Belle of the Ball

For more on Disney Heroes, go to  Prince of a Man

For more on Disney, go to That Would Make Me Happy