Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose: Superbowl 50

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Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

Now I know that some of you may not be football fans, but I love the sport. I don’t normally post something for it, celebrating it, but I felt that this was Super Bowl 50 I just had to.

I decided that I would approach it in a way I’m not sure anyone has done before, if Austen heroes were real, alive today, and fans of American football (or in some ways at least semi-interested). Here are my pairings of teams with the characters.

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Edward Ferrars & the New Orleans Saints

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So Edward Ferrars doesn’t strike me as a real sportsy guy, so I think he would be a Saints fan just because of the name.

Their theme song is of course, The Saints Go Marching in, another point with Ferrars.

Super Bowl Trivia: Went to the Super Bowl in 2009 and won. 1 of 3 teams to win the year they went. 

For more on Edward Ferrars, go to God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

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Colonel Brandon & the Buffalo Bills

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So unlike Edward, Colonel Brandon is a sporty guy. I almost went with the panthers as it would be a connection to his time in India, but settled on the Buffalo Bills. The Buffalo Bills are reminiscent to the cowboy and Native American age, along with the mighty Buffalo. I thought this fits perfectly with Colonel Brandon’s bravery, expedition, and love of the exotic.

As the team has never won a Super Bowl, and are underdogs; they also appeal to Colonel Brandon. After all the sadness he has encountered, and how he has a soft spot for those who have obstacles thrown in their dreams, he would be a faithful fan until the end.

Their theme song is Shout, and while I don’t see him as someone who would dance or get into it; he’d be a secret hummer or singer.

Super Bowl Trivia: They are the only team to go to four consecutive Super Bowls.

For more on Colonel Brandon, go to A Man of Great Worth and Respectability

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Elinor Dashwood & the Tennessee Titans

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Elinor is quiet, reserved, not one to show her emotions or be picked out of the crowd. That’s why I chose the Tennessee Titans as I have never heard of them.

Originally the Houston Oilers, changed to the Tennessee Oilers, and then ultimately the Tennessee Titans

Super Bowl Trivia: After the changed their name to the Tennessee Titans they went to the Super Bowl.

For more on Elinor Dashwood, go to The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries

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Marianne Dashwood & the Oakland Raiders

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Marianne has a lot of emotions, likes to share her feelings and thoughts, is impulsive, at times brash, and doesn’t care what others think of her. That makes her perfect for being a fan of the Raiders. All Raiders fans, myself included, intensely feel for their team and even though others may make fun of us we are fans until the end.

The Raiders used to be in Los Angeles, but were returned to Oakland; that move from a big city to a smaller one is something Marianne can also relate to as she was forced to move when her father died (entailment sucks).

Super Bowl Trivia: Against all odds, the Raiders beat the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XV.

For more on Marianne Dashwood, go to It Doesn’t Exist

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Mr. Darcy & the Chicago Bears

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A man like Mr. Darcy is someone of old money and societal standing. Therefore I think he would pick a team that is well established. As the Chicago Bears are one of the oldest teams in the league. Originally created in 1919 in Decatur, Illinois as the Decatur Stanleys; they moved to Chicago in 1921 and in 1922 changed to the Bears.

The Bears have won nine NFL Championships and one Super Bowl and hold the NFL record for the most enshrines in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the most retired jersey numbers. The Bears have also recorded more regular season and overall victories than any other NFL franchise.

Super Bowl Trivia: For the 1985 Super Bowl recorded a rap song, the Super Bowl Shuffle.

For more on Mr. Darcy, go to The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy

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Elizabeth Bennet & the Seattle Seahawks

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I’m not quite sure why Elizabeth would be a fan of the Seahawks, it just seemed right. Maybe it’s because they aren’t as established, having been formed in 1971, yet not the newest team on the block. It might also be because they are a Western team, and anything established in the West is seen as a lesser pedigree as the East.

Super Bowl Trivia:They are the first and only, post-merger expansion team in NFL history to play in consecutive Super Bowls.

For more on Elizabeth Bennet, go to The After Partyheading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

Edmund Bertram & the Cleveland Browns

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Edmund is all about believing he can change the people he loves, such as Mary Crawford. That is why the Cleveland Browns are perfect. They have never won a super bowl, but that won’t stop a fan like Edmund who will never stop believing.

Super Bowl Trivia:They have never gone to the super bowl.

For more on Edmund Bertram, go to On the 10th Day ‘Til Christmas: Merry Christmas from the Austen Novels

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Fanny Price & the Green Bay Packers

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Fanny is from a humble home, moving to her rich relatives; and later showing that her heart and character surpasses everyone else. I thought her perfect match was the Green Bay Packers. Started as a “small town team”, named after the meat packers, and have become one of the best teams in the league (although the color scheme is horrible).

Super Bowl Trivia: The Packers won the first two super bowls, the trophy being named after Vince Lombardi the Packers head coach of the same name, who guided them to their first two Super Bowls.

For more on Fanny Price, go to Opening With…

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Mr. Knightley & the New York Giants

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The New York Giants were established in 1925, the only team created then that is still in existence. With it’s pedigree and being ranked third, it seemed like Knightley’s top pick.

Super Bowl Trivia: The Giants have featured 28 Hall of Fame players, including NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP) award winners Mel Hein, Frank Gifford, Y. A. Tittle, and Lawrence Taylor.

For more on Mr. Knightley, go to Mr. Knightley’s Diary

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Emma & the Arizona Cardinals

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Emma doesn’t strike me as a football team, but if she had to root for one I think it would be the Arizona Cardinals. They have a huge pedigree as they were established in 1898 in Chicago, moving in the ’90s to Arizona.

Super Bowl Trivia: Their 2008 super bowl was the first time the franchise ever played in the Super Bowl

For more on Emma, go to We Wish You a Merry Christmas

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Mr. Tilney & the New York Jets

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The New York Jets are one the first teams established as part of the American Football League (AHL). That pedigree matches with Mr. Tilney as he too comes from an old, established family. I also think he would have fun singing lyrics from West Side Story;

“When When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way
From your first cigarette to your last dyin’ day.
When you’re a Jet, let them do what they can,
You got brothers around, you’re a family man!
You’re never alone, you’re never disconnected!
You’re home with your own– when company’s expected,
You’re well protected!
Then you are set with a capital J,
Which you’ll never forget till they cart you away.
When you’re a Jet,
You stay a Jet!”

They kind of plays in with his jokey moods.

Super Bowl Trivia: In Super Bowl III they beat the Baltimore Colts and solidified the AFL in professional football. 

For more on Mr. Tilney, go to The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen

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Catherine Morland & the Baltimore Ravens

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First of all, out of all the Austen female characters, Catherine would be the most likely as a football fan. Grew up as a tomboy, probably loves the sport. So there is only one reason why I picked this team, as Catherine is a huge fan of Gothic Romance and fiction; she would love a team that is based of the Gothic writer, Edgar Allen Poe.

Super Bowl Trivia: They are currently the only team in the NFL to hold a perfect record in multiple Super Bowl appearances

For more on Catherine Morland, go to Storybook Ending: Northanger Abbey (2007)

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Captain Wentworth & the New England Patriots

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As a current member of the military, it is clear that he would choose the New England Patriots, although he wouldn’t agree with all their dirty tricks.

Super Bowl Trivia: They have eight super bowl appearances, tying with three other teams for the most appearances of all time.

For more on Captain Wentworth, go to A Fredrick Wentworth Sighting

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Anne Elliot & the Saint Louis Rams/Los Angeles Rams

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The Rams didn’t start out in Los Angeles, but if you meet any diehard Rams fans that is all they talk about, and how they need to come back. They are waiting and hoping for that decision. That type of perseverance of hope and patience made me think of none other than Anne Elliot, the woman who waited and waited for her love to return.

And just like Anne was rewarded by receiving the man of her dreams again, so will the Rams fans as they are coming back to LA.

Super Bowl Trivia: The St. Louis Rams won Super Bowl XXXIV in a thrilling 23-16 last-second victory over the Tennessee Titans.

For more on Anne Elliot, go to Fall for You

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For more Austen Mashups, go to Waiter, There’s Some Disney in My Jane Austen

For more on Sense and Sensibility, go to To Edward or Not to Edward?

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Darcy’s Story: Pride and Prejudice Told from a Whole New Perspective

For more on Mansfield Park, go to Let’s Hear it For the Boys

For more on Emma, go to Unsung Austen Men: Mr. Weston

For more on Northanger Abbey, go to It’s All Jane Austen’s Fault

For more on Persuasion, go to A Bit Pottery About Jane Austen

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Happy 50th Everyone!

Coach Eric Taylor Friday Night Lights clear-eyes-full-hearts-cant-lose

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For more Friday Night Lights, go to What a Fanatic!

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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

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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

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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