Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pocahontas: History vs. Hollywood


After learning about the historical Pocahontas, do you think the Powhatan tribe had a right to be angry with Disney over its portrayal of her in the animated movie?  Why/Why not?  Use evidence from the text and article to support your answer!

57 comments:

  1. Yes I do think the Powhatan tribe had a right to mad at the Disney Film Productions ( Pixar ) for disguising Pocahontas for who she really is. There were many differences between the 1995 Pocahontas and the 1607 Pocahontas. In real life, she was 12 and in Disney she was 28 ( same age as John Smith ). Plus John Smith didn’t even marry Pocahontas. John Rolfe did.
    They also lied about John Smith’s injury. In real life, John Smith was included in a gunpowder explosion and in Disney he jumped in front of a bullet to save Pocahontas’s Dad. That’s why I think the Powhatan tribe have a right to be mad at Pixar for disguising Pocahontas.

    Stephen 2-3a

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  2. After learning about Pocahontas, I don't believe that the present Powhatan tribe should be angry with Disney. I think this because, the differences in the movie shouldn't be anything offensive considering they were only of who she married, how she looked, and how John Smith was injured. And also they shouldn't care how he was injured because he was considered the leader of Jamestown and was also sought as part of the Powhatan family.

    Tyler G.
    Period 2-3 A

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  4. I personally believe that disney should not have lied and turned pocahontas into a little kid and completely happy movie. Since it wasn't actually how disney portrayed it i see why the indians are mad. She was a 12 year old girl and apparently loved a like 30 year old men. Disney turning history around that wasn't really a happy thing to begin and turning it into something that is isnt really the right thing to do.

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  5. I personally believe that disney should not have lied and turned pocahontas into a little kid and completely happy movie. Since it wasn't actually how disney portrayed it i see why the indians are mad. She was a 12 year old girl and apparently loved a like 30 year old men. Disney turning history around that wasn't really a happy thing to begin and turning it into something that is isnt really the right thing to do.

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  6. In reality Pocahontas is very different than the way she appears in the Disney film. The movie is full of lies about her life and this has offended her tribe, the Powhatan Native Americans. I feel that the Powhatans have a right to be offended by Disney’s portrayal of Pocahontas because I would feel offended too if someone made a movie about one of my relatives/friends where everything was not the truth. I think the Powhatans could think that the people who created the movie were embarrassed by the actual story of Pocahontas. The filmmakers changed everything about her appearance. They made her have long, flowing black hair and perfect teeth, when in fact Pocahontas did not have any of these features; she was bald and had imperfect teeth. This could have inferred to the Powhatans that the filmmakers didn't think that Pocahontas was beautiful the way she was. It stated in the reading, that they didn’t include John Rolfe, Pocahontas’ real husband, in the movie because they didn’t want anything interfering with her and John Smith’s love story, which some historians say, there never was. Why wouldn’t the Powhatan Native Americans be offended? They could take this movie as an insult to their tribe because maybe they thought that the filmmakers didn’t approve of Pocahontas’ choices. If they were trying to make the movie “kid friendly” they should at least have told the truth about Pocahontas, and if they couldn't do that, they shouldn't have made the movie in the first place. In conclusion, Pocahontas’ ancestors could have taken the Disney movie as an insult and thought that people were embarrassed by her real life.
    Katy M.
    Period: 5-9A

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    1. I agree Katy! I watched the movie after learning about Pocahontas, and Disney left out so much important information! I understand that they had to make it more kid-friendly, but I don't understand why they made Pocahontas fall in love with John Smith instead of John Rolfe. I also agree that if Disney didn't like the history of Pocahontas, then why did they even have to make the movie in the first place? The Powhatan tribe have every right to be angry for what Disney did to their beloved ancestor.
      Nicole W. Period 5-9A

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  7. I believe that the Powhatan Indians deserve to be mad about what Disney has done. First of all the entire movie is inaccurate and is giving kids the wrong message. I know that the life story of Pocahontas is a rough and violent one,but Disney just bended the truth of what happened to Pocahontas. They say in the movie John Smith married Pocahontas,but Pocahontas married John Roalf. In the movie the stated that Pocahontas was the same age as John Smith who was 28. In real life Pocahontas was only 12. Disney completely rewritten the history books and made an entirely different story about Pocahontas, I completely understand why the Powhatan Indians are outraged by the way Disney lied to them about Pocahontas's real story.
    By:Anthony Palmeri
    Period 5-7A

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  8. I believe that the Powhatan Indians to have the right to be offended over Disney's lies and fake romance involving the young Pocahontas .Being the daughter of the chief, Pocahontas was portrayed as a "princess" in the Disney movies which is historically incorrect. To add onto this, Pocahontas was played into an older role but when John Smith was in Virginia, she was only about 12 years old. Also, that little "romance" between her and Smith was not true at all, she was married to Rolfe and even before she was married to him she was married to Kokobaum. Disney forgot to add that she was never beautiful nor pretty because she had no hair and imperfect teeth and that she danced naked for the Englishmen in her free time. Although this did ruin my childhood, I believe that now I know about this I can have a say about all of it. I do believe that the Powhatan Indians have the right to be upset with Disney's historically incorrect portrayal of the "perfect" princess Pocahontas.
    BELLA M
    5-7A

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  9. No, I don’t believe the Powhatans have any right to be offended by Disney’s portrayal of Pocahontas. They need to realize that the movie was made for kids, and most of the things that really happened wouldn’t fit into a kids movie. Also, if all the events that actually happened were put into the movie, it would be way too long, and it would be extremely confusing for again… the children. Although I do understand that it should be historically accurate so the kids can learn about Pocahontas from the film, it’s still accurate enough to learn a little about her, along with John Smith. Finally, if they didn’t put the romance between Smith and Pocahontas in the movie, the film would really have no plot, and therefore, not be good movie. In conclusion, I believe the Powhatans need to understand that if everything that actually happened in real life happened in the movie, nobody would enjoy it as much, nor would it be appropriate for younger audiences.

    Matthew G
    1-2 B

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  10. In my opinion, the Powhatan Native Americans do have a right to be offended by Disney’s portrayal of Pocahontas. Reasons for these are: She is the daughter of Powhatan, She is described very differently from the movie, and because she is significant to the history of the Powhatans. It is said in the site that she is “the apple of his eye,” ;which means that she is the favorite of Powhatan. When I saw the site, I realized how important she is for the tribe. Which really made me think what she really looks like. Perhaps one day Disney can make an even newer movie that really connects to the real life of Pocahontas.

    ~Nicole T. 4-7B

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  11. I don't think that the Powhatan Native Americans had the right to be mad at Disney's portrayal of Pocahontas. The reason I say that is because its hard for a kid/child to sit and watch a movie when it's not interesting to them. Also because the real story of Pocahontas might be too violent for the kids who actually watch the movie. Another reason why I don't feel like the Powhatan Native Americans had a right to be mad is because the real story might be to confusing. I wonder if the Powhatan Native Americans sent an angry letter about the second Pocahontas.
    Juliet G 5-9A

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    1. I don't agree with you.I believe that John Rolfe should be in the movie instead of John Smith.Besides,John Smith told lies in real life to Pocahontas and the Powhatan Indians.Also,John Rolfe was married to Pocahontas.This is why I don't agree with you.

      Zach P. P5-P9B

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  12. The Disney movie of Pocahontas portrayed her as a young adult Native American, who was the love interest of the famous John Smith. This however is not true at all. The real Pocahontas was actually way younger than Smith, in fact 16 years younger. They had no love interests, more like a father and daughter relationship. I do think Disney was wrong for making the movie this way, and I do think the people of Pocahontas’ culture should be aloud to be mad at Disney. For example, they made history totally wrong. As a young child, I would have liked to know the real story of Pocahontas, rather than a made up story from someone's imagination. Even though the way Pocahontas died was quite tragic, and some parts of her life story were a little graphic for little children’s eyes, they could’ve taken those parts out, and tweaked it so it was good for childrens eyes. For all the war and gruesome parts of Pocahontas’ life, the Disney company could’ve been removed and replaced with something totally different, something that was less harmful for children to see. Overall, I do think Disney did the wrong thing by changing the story of Pocahontas.
    Sofia T, Period 1-2 B

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  13. Do you feel the Powhatan Native Americans have a right to be offended by Disney’s portrayal of Pocahontas,well I don’t! It is a childrens movie! Do you really think,children want to know about all the bad stuff? Well guess what,they shouldn’t! Yes Disney made her completely different with long beautiful dark hair,and perfectly straight teeth,so that could have maybe upset them a little. But do you really think it would be a good idea to put like a ugly bald “princess” in a disney movie,it would not. Also in the Disney movie Pocahontas,Pocahontas fell in love with John White, when in history she fell in love with John Rolfe. So I guess the Powhatan Native Americans could get offended,but they shouldn’t. By:Serena Nerau 1-2B

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    1. I respect your opinion good job.-Serena's mom

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  14. I believe that the Powhatan Indians have a perfectly great reason to feel angry with Disney's recreation of Pocahontas. I feel this way because the princess in the Disney story is COMPLETELY different than the historical correct Pocahontas. For example, the Disney version shows a beautiful glowing woman fall in love with John Smith. When in reality she fell in love with John ROLFE and was kidnapped. Not so kid friendly is it? If the Pocahontas topic is to inappropriate for kids don't use that story.

    Gabrielle L. 1-2 B

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  15. I feel that the Powhatan Native Americans have a right to be offended by the Disney’s portrayal of Pocahontas because in the movie,it has Pocahontas at the age of twenty-one and at that time in real life,she would have been at the age of twelve.In addition,Pocahontas died at the age of twenty-one.Also,in the movie,it shows that Pocahontas falls in love with John Smith.On the other hand,in real life,Pocahontas falls in love with John Rolfe and marries him.Also,in real life,John Smith told lies to Pocahontas and the Powhatan Indians so that he will receive respect from them.In my opinion,the director of the Pocahontas movie was very disrespectful of not having John Rolfe instead of John Smith.

    Zach P. P5-P9B

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  16. I believe the Powhatan Indians have the right to be upset with Disney because they didn't get the story right of Pocahontas or the image of her right. Pocahontas was bald and her teeth were not perfect, but in the Disney film Pocahontas had perfect teeth and long black hair. For the Disney story line Pocahontas fell in love with John Smith when in real life she married John Rolfe.
    Madelynn S.
    Period 10-11B

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  17. I believe that the Powhatan should not be mad at Hollywood for the children's movie Pocahontas. I feel that it is just a movie and they should get over it. I'm Italian and movies are always mad and jokes about how all Italians are in the mob. Ad I don't complain I just get over it and move on.

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    1. I thought that the movie was just based on a historical figure and told as a Disney story. The facts didn't have to be accurate because it was based on a true story. Barbara Volpi

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    2. Thank you for replying, Mrs. Volpi! We had a great discussion in class about this topic and I really enjoy hearing the students' and parents' points of view!

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  18. I believe that the Powhatan Native Americans should cool down and not be offended about the animated film “Pocahontas” from Disney, A family-friendly company! They need to understand it was just a cartoon for kids to watch. The reason Disney cut some historical parts from the story is because it was inappropriate. For instance, Pocahontas had danced naked in front of the Englishmen. If I was a parent of my kid, and he/she was watching that, I would have had my child scared from that view! To add to that, she was known to be bald and to have uneven, crooked teeth. That could be very disturbing! To sum it up, if I was to be apart of the Powhatan Native American tribe I would be embarrassed considering that they had shown the real history about my tribe to kids. It can be improper, and upsetting to watch.
    Rachel Loining Period 1-2B

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    1. I truly respect your opinion on the decision you have made on the movie and history of Pocahontas . Good Job! I did not know that Pocahontas from Disney was not based on the real story! - Rachel's Mom

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    2. I agree with Rachel. It was made as a Children's movie not a historical movie to be aired on National Geographic or the History Channel! I would not like to watch a bald little girl with crooked teeth dancing naked in front of men! They fit the movies for kids to be able to watch and not be disturbed!
      Victoria C 5/9B

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  19. I believe the Disney movie Pocahontas was made to be age appropriate, for a younger audience. I am sure the movie was made for more entertainment purposes then factual events. I do feel as though that they could have made Pocahontas more true to her form, no one is perfect and it is probably a good time to teach children this lesson. The story could still be wonderful, interesting, and fun if they represent Pocahontas with her imperfections.
    Cheryl Spears

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    1. Thank you for posting, Mrs. Spears. I agree with you!
      Mrs. Morales

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  20. I feel the Powhatan Native Americans have a right to be offended by Disney’s portrayal of Pocahontas. I believe this because it is offending the religion and history of the Natives. It would be as if saying Columbus did nothing for this country. In Disney they said that John Smith married Pocahontas. Many Natives felt this because this was their culture and what they believed. I would be very upset with this to. Many historical facts on the movie were wrong. Just in my opinion disney is wrong to do that.


    Hunter S. Period 5-9 A

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  21. In Disney’s showing of Pocahontas, it may have been very good,but they got everything wrong. The Powhatan Indians (Pocahontas’ tribe today) complained to the the disney company how everything was incorrect. I do think it was right for them to feel offended by it because I know that I would in that case. Some of the thing that Disney got wrong was the history-John Smith and how things flowed,her looks,and talking trees and other fictitious occurrences. They got the physical look of the Powhatan Indian tribe totally wrong. That is why I think it was justified that the Powhatan indian tribe complained to the Disney Company about the Pocahontas movie.

    Lindsay O 5-9A

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  22. Yes, the Powhatan Native Americans have a right to be offended of Disney's portrayal of Pocahontas.In the movie they showed Pocahontas as a young woman hen she was only 12 when John Smith came. Also, Pocahontas married John Rolfe not John Smith. Pocahontas's relationship with John Smith was father-daughter if anything. John Smith was 28 years old when he came to Jamestown, she was 12! There was no romance! In conclusion, the Powhatans have a good reason to be angry with Disney Studios.
    Paige S. 5-9A

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  23. I think that the Powhatan's have a right to be mad because the people who wrote the movie did not research enough in the movie, pocahontas ws 28 years old and in real life she was 12 years old.in the movie it showed pocahontas marring not john smith she was going to marry john rolfe

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  24. I think the Powhatan's have a right to be mad because when Disney made the movie, they didn't do research. It would of been easy to do it but they didn't say the story right. Disney is insulting one of the Powhatan's so they have a right to be mad.

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  25. I think the Powhatan's don't really have a right to be up set with Disney, I believe this because this move was made for children to enjoy. In the real life story she does many inappropriate things that children would not be able to see For example violence and also she dances nude. Another reason is the Powhatan's should not be upset is because little girls want a beautiful role model to look up to, not a bald toothless ugly girl. Another part is because even though in the move she married the wrong person thats what people want a happy ending not boring one. In conclusion the indians should not be so angry with Disney and should chill out realizing this is for kids enjoyment.

    miranda badrick
    10/11a

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  26. I think the powhaten tribe has every right to be mad at Disney because they lied about almost everything. First they said Pocahontas had perfect teeth and long black hair. She didn't she might have actually had imperfect teeth and could have been bald. Secondly they said that Pocahontas and John Smith were the same age and got married. Well they didn't Pocahontas was actually 12 years old and John Smith was 28 and they didn't get married Pocahontas and John Rolfe got married. But those are only a few if my thought about why the Powhaten tribe should be mad at Disney.

    Catherine H 2/3 A

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  27. Of course they had every right to be mad but should they be. In my opinion no they shouldn't be mad it's just a movie and we would learn the truth later on anyway.

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  28. I think they have the right to be mad at Hollywood. The reason for this is because they totally got the whole story wrong. They said that Pocahontas married John Smith, when she actually married John Rolfe. If I was part of the Powhatans, I would argue, as they got they're whole famous story, wrong. This is one of the most famous things that happened to this tribe, why would they want to have the story told wrong.

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  29. Of course they had every right to be mad at Hollywood. The question is should they be? In my opinion no they shouldn't it is just a movie.

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  30. Ryan 2/3 A
    Of course they have the right to be mad but I don't think they should be. I mean it's just a movie.

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  31. I do think that the Powhatan tribe have a right to be angry with Disney because of the way they made Pocahontas. For example, they made Pocahontas with a full head of hair when she was bald. Also they made her marry John White not John Rolfe. They have the right to be offended just for that.

    Alex Rivera
    2/3A

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  32. I do think the Powhatans had a right to be angry at the film. This is because Pocahontas was their past and they thought it should have been represented accurately. Children are learning the incorrect facts. For example, Pocahontas didn't have that picture perfect smile and the long hair. Also she didn't marry John Smith, she married John Rolfe. Almost exactly everything in the movie was incorrect. The only correct fact was that Pocahontas saved John Smith. Her age was very much overly exaggerated. I believe that they should apologize for blinding kids of what Poxahontas really was.

    Victoria Z.

    Period 5-9A

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  33. I do not think the Powhatan’s Indians have a right to be mad. Disney was not producing this film as a historical film. This film was meant for young children especially young girls. If Disney made Pocahontas bald with imperfect teeth little girls would not want to watch this movie. That doesn’t resemble a princess. Disney was not offending the Indians or Pocahontas. They had her marry John Smith in the movie because of many reasons. One including that it was a better love story for a family movie. If they had her marry John Rolfe in the movie they would have to have kidnapping in family movie. Which would not be appropriate. They also couldn’t end the movie with a princess dying of smallpox. In Disney movies there is always a “happily ever after.” In conclusion, I think that if Disney did the movie the way the Powhatans would like it, it would have not been an appropriate Disney production. -Sarah Wilkie 10-11 A

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  34. I dont think the powhatan tribe should be mad. I think this because how is disney suppose to show the harsh side of her life to little kids.
    - Olivia D.

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  35. After learning about the historical Pocahontas I think the Powhatan tribe had a right to be angry with Disney. According to the text, “historians have stated that Pocahontas might have been bald with imperfect teeth”. This tells me that the Disney producers are twisting events in history -which can further confuse the children when they learn the truth- to meet the expectations of their young viewer’s idea of a Native-American princess. Though Disney’s perspective goes along the lines of every movie having a happy ending, they could've and should’ve picked a different event so they didn’t have to cover events like the relationship between a “young girl of 12” and John Smith who was 28. These changes leave a bigger impact on the Powhatan tribe because of the faulty image they leave on one of their ancestors. In conclusion, the Powhatan tribe had a right to be irritated by the incorrect representation of Pocahontas in the film.
    ~ Sophia Z. Period 1-2 B

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  36. I think that the Powhatan tribe had the right to be mad because the movie wasn't showing who they really were.Yes, they had to get rid of violence for the little kids but Disney didn't have to make there life a complete lie.In the movie Pocahontas had long black hair with perfect teeth but in reality she could've been bald with imperfect teeth. In the movie it also has Pocahontas married to Kocoum but she was really married to John Smith in real life.Disney shouldn't have made it a big lie so that's why i think the Powhatan tribe had the right to be mad.

    Jaclyn C
    P5-P9 B

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  37. I think the Powhatan Indians have a right to be offended by the Disney movie. This because the movie had almost nothing to do with the real Pocahontas. It is almost like an insult that the movie producers didn't find her true story good enough to be a movie. Who says no one would want to hear about a 12 year old girl who was bald and had crooked teeth? The only thing that was correct in the film was that Pocahontas jumped on top of John Smith to save his life. Why wouldn't people want to know all about Pocahontas real story? Her life was very interesting and would make a more interesting story then the Disney film.
    Maddie Ahl 10-11B

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  38. Yes I do think the tribe should be angry of Disney's portrayal of Pocahontas for many reasons. Firstly, Disney made it look like John Rolfe and Pocahontas looked the same(age wise) but really Rolfe was about 30 and Pocahontas was about 12. Secondly, Disney made it so Pocahontas married John White not John Rolfe. Finally, Disney made all of the facial features of Pocahontas wrong because in real life researchers believe Pocahontas was bald, had very few teeth and was a lot shorter. In conclusion I believe the tribe should be mad.
    Miles E.
    1-2B

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  39. Yes, I think the tribe should be angry. The movie is about a love story between John Smith and Pocahontas but she really married John Rolfe. Also, John Smith and Pocahontas were the same age when John Smith was really older.
    Jillian L
    5-9B

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  40. I do not think that the Powhaten tribe should should be mad at Disney at all. I mean yeah they made the history wrong and adjusted Pocahontas's features, but they did that because little kids watch the movie and she is supposed to be a princess! Little kids wouldn't think that a princess would be bald with no teeth! Younger children expect long, beautiful hair and perfect teeth and all that. Even though they switch the history completely and made Pocahontas marry the wrong John, one that was 16 years older than her, the did it for a good reason . They needed the story behind it to seem more dreamy and magical like any other Disney princess movie you see. Also, young kids can't be shown a princess movie where the main character dies of smallpox. Every Disney movie has to have a "Happily Ever After". Little girls (the main viewers of the film) would be horrified if they knew the truth and therefore, I think Disney made the right choice in how they portrayed Pocahontas's life.

    Karlie S 5-9B

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  41. After learning about historical Pocahontas i do not think the the Powhatan tribe had the right to be offended over Disney's portrayal of Pocahontas because in the movie both Pocahontas and John Smith were the same and when really he was 28 and she was 12,Also Pocahontas used to dance naked in front of Englishmen,these things would not be acceptable for a family movie,so you really can't blame Disney for taking these things out.Also Pocahontas most likely had bad teeth and was bald so really Disney was making her look better than she really was.They should not have been angry,Disney was just trying to make a good movie that was suitable for all ages.
    Kate W Period 5-9B

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  42. In my onpinion, I think that the Powhatans Indians have a right to be furious of the Disney production. Mostly, that whole movie was false about Pocahontas. Also, in the movie she married John Smiyh but in reality she actually married John Rolfe.Another example is that Pocahontas wasn't a stunning women in the tribe. It also says that she would dance naked through the streets. However that would be too inappropriate for kids.Finally Pocahontas was only twelve not the same age as John Rolfe.

    Jacob A.
    Period 5/9 B

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  43. I personally believe that the native Powhatan tribe does have reason to be angry at Disney for they're portrayal of Pocahontas. One of the reasons is that in the movie it showed that she as a 28 year old woman who married John Smith, however she actually married John Rolfe. The natives also could be angered about her appearance. In the movie it shows her as a perfect princess with long flowing hair, straight white teeth and beautiful. But, she probably had little hair, messed up teeth, and far from the 'beautiful' standards.

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  44. ^^Mary Claire p.1-2 B

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  45. I believe that the Powhatan tribe should be angry at Disney for they're portrayal of Pocahontas. They should be angry because they made Pocahontas perfect. But in real life, she might have been bald with no teeth. Also, in the movie, Pocahontas was dating John Smith, not John Rolfe.
    Amy W.
    Period 1/2 B

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  46. No and yes i Beleve the Powhatan tribe can be angry at Disney. Disney had to make the movie appropriate for their child audience but they used very little information. So you can agree and disagree with being and not being mad at Disney.

    Anthony C p5-p9 B

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  47. No, i don't think the Powhatan tribe should be angry. Disney made this movie for children. Who cares what Pocahontas looked like, they made her look better, not worse. This is a kid friendly movie, they shouldn't care whether they make a movie about her or not.
    Morgan Pulignano 1-2 B

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  48. I think that they have a right to be mad. I think this because she was not pretty. In fact she was very ugly. She also was very young when she met John Smith.Not his age.

    Isabella Lewald 10-11(B)

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