Collective Memory And Disney 's Romanization Of Pocahontas Essay

1252 Words Sep 15th, 2015 6 Pages
Collective Memory and Disney’s Romanization of Pocahontas
Disney has a penchant for taking old stories, which were typically unsuitable for children, and turning them into movies with beautiful animation and songs which are generally regarded as “timeless classics.” As a result, the original awful tales are forgotten by the children who watch these movies and the shiny, new Disney retellings are passed down through generations and held in our collective memories. The same thing has happened with Disney’s adaptation of Pocahontas, only now it has changed how a generation of children viewed Native Americans. The interactions of the colonists and Natives and the goals of the colonists were accurately portrayed and made more understandable for children through the use of songs. However, Disney took liberties with a story that is completely fictional, appropriated Native American culture, and invalidated Native Americans’ constant struggle throughout American history.
The first song, “The Virginia Company,” is played as the colonists are leaving England for the “New World,” and the lyrics are a painfully accurate depiction of the feelings of the colonists as they left England. One line says, “…On the beaches of Virginie, there 's diamonds like debris, there 's silver rivers flow and gold you pick right off a tree!” The myth of gold and riches being abundant in the “New World” was perpetuated by the Spanish, and the English who were seeking nobility believed this as well. The…

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