Disney

100 Facts About Pocahontas

Aloha my wonderful merfolk!

Another week, another renaissance era movie and another personal favourite. I find this movie gets seriously over looked. It has some of my favourite songs in and favourite scenes. Pocahontas deserves so much more credit than it actually receives!

So, to show this to you, here are 100 facts about the movie!

28. Pocahontas

  1. Pocahontas was released on June 23rd 1995
  2. This marked the 400th anniversary of the real Pocahontas’ birth.
  3. It had an estimated budget of $55 million.
  4. It is the 33rd film in the Disney Animated Canon.
  5. The film was distributed by Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.
  6. Pocahontas was the first Disney film to be based on a real historic character.
  7. It was the first Disney animated movie to have an interracial romance.
  8. Pocahontas was the first film to feature Mel Gibson singing.
  9. Animators working on the film regarded it as being one of the hardest films ever produced by the studio.
  10. The film was in production for five years.
  11. Colours of the Wind was the first song written for the production and helped defined the tone and direction of the film.
  12. Disney hired mostly Native American actors to perform the voices for the movie in order to gain authenticity.
  13. They also employed Native American consultants and had a session with a real shaman.
  14. Native American activists issued an open letter condemning the film for it’s historical inaccuracies and stereotyping of the Indian people.
  15. If I Never Knew You was cut from the film after children in test audiences found it boring
  16. Adults in the test audiences found it too depressing.
  17. It does however overlay the end credits
  18. At the time of the test audiences, the song was almost fully animated, all except for colour.
  19. For the 10th Anniversary DVD release, the animation was completed and the song inserted back into the film.
  20. In the very first draft of the script, Grandmother willow was written as a male character called Old Man River.
  21. The song Just Around the Riverbend was written for the character to sing. Gregory Peck was offered the role but reluctantly turned it down as he felt Pocahontas needed a motherly figure to turn to for advice.
  22. Disney executives had all the secondary characters such as Meeko and Flit lose their dialogue in order to make the film a bit more serious.
  23. Irene Bedard and Mel Gibson were the physical models for rotoscoping their characters
  24. Pocahontas is one of only two Disney Princesses to be born in America.
  25. John Candy had provided a large amount of voice work into the character of a Turkey called RedFeather.
  26. After Candy died in 1994, the concept was scrapped.
  27. Pocahontas is one of only two Disney Princesses to have a visible tattoo.
  28. The world premiere of the movie was staged at Central Park in New York City.
  29. The premier was held on June 10th
  30. 70mm prints were projected on three enormous screens and the sound was offset by twelve frames to accommodate the vast seating area.
  31. With over 100,000 people attending, it holds the record for the largest movie premiere.
  32. Richard White was originally going to voice Governor Ratcliffe however filmmakers thought his voice was too distinctive as that of Gaston.
  33. He was replaced by David Ogden Stiers.
  34. He also voiced Wiggins, Ratcliffes manservant.
  35. Many at Disney had high hopes for the movie upon initial release.
  36. Howard Ashman was going to write lyrics for the film once he completed Aladdin.
  37. He did not survive to complete his song writing for Aladdin and so, never wrote any of the music for Pocahontas.
  38. Pocahontas was put into production at the same time as The Lion King.
  39. Pocahontas is one of the few cartoon characters to be granted a proper photo spread in Harpers Bazaar.
  40. Sean Bean was considered to voice John Smith however it was seen that someone who was well known in America was needed instead.
  41. Whilst recording the lines for the part of Thomas, Christian Bale was sketched by animators so they could base Thomas’ movements on his.
  42. Pocahontas gives John Smith some willow bark to help with his pain; willow bark contains salicyclic acid which is the basis of aspirin.
  43. John Pomeroy watched a number of Errol Flynn movies as reference for the movements of John Smith.
  44. Fourteen other animators were brought in to bring the finalized design of John Smith to life.
  45. The opening song indicates the English are sailing to American ‘for Glory, Gold and gold’.
  46. The guns the Europeans use are matchlock muskets.
  47. Brian Cox, Rupert Everett, Stephen Fry and Patrick Stewart were considered for the role of Governor Ratcliffe.
  48. Pocahotas and Nakoma are both barefoot for the entire movie.
  49. The first animated Disney film to have a Native American protagonist.
  50. There are some early copies of the films 1996 VHS that have the Walt Disney Classics logo at the start instead of the Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection logo.
  51. Pocahontas’ design was based on Glen Keane’s true drawing style.
  52. Glen Keane was supervising animator for Pocahontas.
  53. He was also a story artist on the film.
  54. Hildegard Knef provides the voice for Grandmother Willow on the German soundtrack version.
  55. She can be heard on both the German-language CD and DVD editions.
  56. The animation cast include three Oscar winners; Mel Gibson, Linda Hunt and Christian Bale.
  57. This is the first Disney film to be censored before going to the theatres.
  58. A few lines in the song Savages were changed due to originally containing racial slurs.
  59. “What can you expect, from filthy little heathens? Here’s what you get when the races are diverse!” was originally “What can you expect, from filthy little heathens? Their whole disgusting race is like a curse!”.
  60. “Let’s go get a few men!” was originally “Let’s go kill a few, men!”
  61. “Dirty shrieking devils, now we sound the drums of war!” was originally “Dirty redskin devils, now we sound the drums of war!”
  62. It is obvious in the film that the animators did not have time to match the mouth movements with the new lyrics.
  63. The earlier lyrics can still be heard on the original motion picture soundtrack.
  64. Pocahontas was ten years old at the time she saved John Smith while the film portrays her around her early 20s.
  65. Pocahontas was the fifth and last Disney film of the Renaissance Era to win the Academy Award for both Best Original score and Best Original Song.
  66. The United Kingdom flag used in the film is historically incorrect as the film is set in 1607 but the flag design would not be created until 1801.
  67. Gordon TooToosis portrayed Chief Powhatan in the movie.
  68. Pocahontas is the only Renaissance movie to have a ‘rotten’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
  69. Pocahontas had a preview on the 1995 video release of The Santa Clause.
  70. The animation is flatter and has a more geometric appearance.
  71. Pocahontas is one of the few animated Disney features that does not have any of its characters in the Kingdom Heart series.
  72. The message of Pocahontas is that the colour of your skin doesn’t matter, it’s what’s in the inside that counts.
  73. Mel Gibson was cast as John Smith so that he could make something that was suitable for his children to watch.
  74. Pocahontas was directed by Mike Gabriel and Eric Goldberg.
  75. One early idea was for Pocahontas’ mother to be embodied in a certain star in the sky.
  76. By the end of the film, she would help Pocahontas find her path to John Smith.
  77. Lion King had a similar premise with elders giving wisdom from the stars so the idea was scrapped.
  78. Pocahontas’ mother would become the swirling wind that occurs throughout the film.
  79. John Ratcliffe was based on real British Captains such as John Martin, Christopher Newport and Edward Maria Winfield.
  80. At one point, Pocahontas was to be captured by Ratcliffe although this did not fit with the story so the idea was scrapped.
  81. Percy was originally going to be voiced before Richard E. Grant before the character became mute.
  82. Percy was based on the royalty of the time who often carried small pug wherever they went.
  83. Grandmother Willows character was conceived as a Tree of Life whose seasonal changed would frame the story.
  84. Burny Mattinson was given tree puns for Grandmother Willow in order to make the character funnier and less ordinary.
  85. Throughout most of the production, the cast members performed their dialogue in separate recording sessions.
  86. Shirley Little Dove and Devi White Dove, descendants of Pocahontas, met with Glen Keane so he could get inspiration for how Pocahontas was to look.
  87. Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Christy Turlington were also inspirations.
  88. Alan Menken teamed up with Stephen Schwarz to compose and write the lyrics for the music.
  89. This would be the first film where Menken has not collaborated with Howard Ashman on the music for a Disney animated classic.
  90. In 2005, Disney released the tenth anniversary edition of Pocahontas which has If I Never Knew You integrated into the film.
  91. This was an optional feature and you could watch the original theatrical version instead.
  92. A behind the scenes documentary called The Making of Pocahontas: A Legend Comes to Life was aired June 20th
  93. The film grossed $2.7 million during the weekend of June 16-18.
  94. Chief Roy Crazy Horse criticized the film and stated that Roy Disney refused to have his tribe help create a more culturally and historically accurate film.
  95. By January 1996, Pocahontas had grossed $141.5 million in the United States.
  96. Foreign box office grosses eventually amounted to $204.5 million.
  97. Pocahontas has a 56% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
  98. The premiere was followed by a live performance by Vanessa Williams.
  99. February 3rd 1995 marked the start of the Pocahontas promotional marketing campaign.
  100. This was an 18 week tour of twenty five cities across America.

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