Disney Pocahontas- true or false?
Chief Powhatan and daughter, Pocahontas
Parents: Do you ever wonder if the Disney movie "Pocahontas" has any educational value? I do believe it does have some educational value, for it shows but not the big picture. It does show why the English came, but not enough about Jamestown, the 1st English settlement that did not fail.
Background of movie:
When a young Indian princess named Pocahontas, from the Powhatan tribe, tells about dreams of strange clouds, one day she finds the strange clouds are actually sails of an English ship filled with men to create a new town, Jamestown. Among these men is a guy named John Smith, an explorer from England. As charming as he was, they became good friends for life.
John Rolfe (left) and Captain John Smith (right)
I have 3 main reasons of why this movie should be shown to the young kids: (a) It shows why the English came to America, (b) It shows the Powhatan tribe before the English came, and (c.) It shows the more important things that kids should know.
The first reason is (why the English came to the New World) is explained coarsely in the first and opening song “The Virginia Company”. It said that they came for gold, god, and glory, or the gold, the spreading of their religion, and the glory of having the first successful settling colony. For gold, they mined for gold (never found any; for there was none in the first 13 colonies). The English also kept an eye out for Indians, to make sure that they did not have the gold that they thought was there(never was) and to make sure the Indians were not to make a sneak attack while working.
My second reason (how the Indians lived before the English came) is stated in the second song “Steady as a beating drum” where it talks about planting and harvesting of the 3 sisters: corn, squash, and beans. The only gold the Indians had was corn, for it is a happy kind of yellow. They fished and hunted.The Powhatan tribe was the only tribe to conquer other tribes, so they mostly were out making their government much bigger. The women made clothes, cooked and made pottery for their food, as they taught their daughters to do the same. The men hunted and fished while teaching their sons to also do the same.
The last reason is what you should know before buying this for your young children. First you should know that the relationship between Pocahontas and John Smith is not 100% true, for later she actually marries this guy named John Rolfe and they have a son named Tomas, and on the ship back to England, Pocahontas becomes sick and dies, creating war between the English and the Powhatan. The only relationship between the 2 was they kept the the two places at peace. The true part is that they learned from one another, and began the trade. The part that should be in the movie is that the English captured Pocahontas for they thought the Indians would give the English the gold (THERE WAS NO GOLD) and they could take her to England to show her as a product of the New World. Since the idea failed, war fell upon the two places. And no. Pocahontas and John smith did not get married. She married John Rolfe, a tabaco planter.
Works citedDisney Pocahontas
This was made by Desiree Rannow for socail studies; Hope you liked it! Share with others too! :)