Disney is notorious for taking liberties when reworking tales for the big screen and over the decades, borrowed stories such as that of Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Sleeping Beauty and The Little Mermaid have been unashamedly doused with a spot of magic dust.
And naturally, while we may enjoy tales of flawless princesses, adorable talking animals, magical objects and enchanting love stories, they are often a far cry from the reality of the modern day world.
When considering stories that have been greatly distorted, the true tale of Pocahontas particularly comes to mind. In this beautifully animated movie, we are presented with a sensational love story between John Smith and the Native American princess. However, do you know the real account of events behind the Disney facade?
I explored the dark history of Pocahontas's life and discovered the truth behind her tragic end, as well as the kind of person John Smith really was!
Here we go!
A brief summary of the Disney adaptation
The original Disney version of Pocahontas is set in 17th century Virginia and focuses on a daughter of a Native American chief. The beautiful girl encounters a leader of a group of English settlers, John Smith, immediately falling in love with him.
Following a series of confrontations and unfortunate events, their relationship eventually bridges a gap between the two cultures, averting a catastrophic war and forging peace between the English and the Powhatan people. All to a backdrop of colorful windstorms, talking trees and side-kick hummingbirds, forrest critters and pugs.
If you need a more visual reminder, watch the trailer for the movie below:
When the film was in production, Disney claimed that Pocahontas was indeed based on legends and folktales surrounding the real-life woman. However, even then, historians could not agree on what really happened.