5 ways in which Avatar is not like Pocahontas


lol I are teh clevers!

Friends and friends of friends: criticism of the film Avatar is good and true. The 2009 film made the mistake of overpromising and underdelivering, and making 3D a "thing" we've had to "endure"since. We expected more from the director of Terminator 2, True Lies and Titanic.

However, we might be wrong about SOME of it. There has been criticism of the simplest story, saying that it's nothing but Dances with Wolves, Pocahontas, and Ferngully in space. However, I think one of those is inaccurate. In truth, Avatar has more to do with The Last Samurai than it does with Disney's mid 90's Animated film.  Let me explain...

5) One's key character is female, the other one is Avatar
Do not scratch his belly.

Whereas both films present a clashing of societies, colonial exploitation, and the need to conserve resources, one of these is mostly played through the eyes of a native woman. Pocahontas, really is Pocahontas' story, as it begins in her village and shows her struggle with her force marriage and her need to be free and eventually throws John Smith and the settlers in there.

Avatar is the story of Jake Sully, who has a problem with not being able to walk and trying to do a thing his brother was doing, but better(i.e. not dying). Eventually  he enters the lives of Neytiri and the Na'Vi and kinda fucks it all up for them.

This is no mere difference of genders: one of the movies shows an outsider looking in, while the other is about the opposite. 


4) One softyifies the ugly past, the other sticks the ugly past into the future

In Avatar, evil corporation wants to evict a peace loving (but somewhat violent and reclusive) group of NaVi from their group so they can fully destroy their hometree and dig under for future-gold(because what the Unobtanium actually does is unimportant, it might as well just BE gold). At first this large, catlike beings can only cry in terror, but after  bringing aparently every Navi in the whole of Pandora,  they turn away the invaders.

Pocahontas has a less dark view of colonialism. The invading forces are mostly aloof, and do not even understand how to find what they are looking for. Roughly one of them is absolutely evil, and the rest is just a series of hilarious misunderstandings that can be surpassed if we just understand each other.
Racism is what gay, ugly, fat people do.

If the movies could be songs, Pocahontas would be You gotta care, and  Avatar would be Guerrilla Radio.


3) Avatar does not fear the War
The Climax of Pocahontas is preluded by a song called Savages, which exposits that natives and settlers disagree about each other, but agree that the matter will be settled effectively by braining the opposing group. Pocahontas races barefoot to  stop her father from executing the shit out of John Smith, and thus save both groups from a bloody conflict.

The Climax of Avatar features Jake Sully and his human friends aligning with the  Natives to essentially betray their own kind. Michelle Rodriguez dies, but I guess deep down, we knew it was gonna happen. Maybe they'll clone her here, too.

See,  violent conflict is a problem in both movies, but a solution in only one of them. Luckily those natives learned to trust the English settlers and everything went hunky dory for them!


2)The Romance is not as obvious in Avatar
"I'm afraid if I sleep here, your grandma will give me morning wood."

Both films feature starcrossed lovers from different, conflicted factions. Albeit only one of them has the outsider disguised as a native. However, the nature of the romance itself is different.

Pocahontas, perhaps because it is more geared toward the female audience, follows the legend of the Native American girl who fell in love with this foreigner, and was willing to die for him. For her, it is no mere matter of principle because there are feelings involved(also, her settlers are actually benign and the whole thing is a series of misunderstandings)

Avatar does have a romance, but it is not a movie about a romance. Jake Sully is shown the point of view of  the group, because he is pretending to be one of them until he stops pretending.

1) There is no assimilation in Pocahontas
So not only are we getting furry fetish, but foot fetish as well?

In the end of Avatar, Jake Sully has become one with the Na'Vi, and his doctor friend has litterally become one with the earth(or was it the other way? I haven't watched it lately).

On the other end of the spectrum, in Pocahontas the settlers leave(which makes them BAD settlers) despite being in the graces of the natives. John Smith leaves, too, even though he is clearly in love with the girl, making this whole damn thing a waste of time that cost a bunch of money and one life (but don't worry, he was kind of a jerk!).

In the other cited examples, the outsider with a heart of gold becomes one of the group, or doesn't do so because of tragic reasons(see, The Last Samurai). Because in the end, John Smith wasn't interested in the Colors of the Wind or becoming a Native American. In fact, he never even TRIES. All he cares is poking dat hunt ass his love for Pocahontas. But not enough to stay there.

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