Directed by Mike Gabriel, Eric Goldberg Produced by James Pentecost Written by Carl Binder, Susannah Grant, Philip LaZebnik Starring Mel Gibson, Irene Bedard, David Ogden Stiers, John Kassir, Russell Means, Billy Connolly, Frank Welker, Christian Bale, Linda Hunt Music by Alan Menken, Stephen Schwartz Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, Buena Vista Distribution Release date(s) June 16, 1995 (selected cities), June 23, 1995 (general) Running time Theatrical: 81 Minutes, Special Edition: 84 Minutes Language English Budget $55,000,000 (estimated) Gross revenue $346,079,773
Info & Plot
In 1607, a ship carrying British settlers from the Virginia Company sails for North America in search of gold and other material riches. On board are Captain John Smith and Governor John Ratcliffe. A storm erupts, and Smith saves the life of an inexperienced young settler named Thomas when he falls overboard, befriending him in the process.
In the “New World”, Pocahontas, Chief Powhatan’s beautiful daughter, learns that her father wants her to marry Kocoum, one of his finest warriors, but a stern and serious man. Pocahontas does not want this marriage, and asks the advice from a talking tree spirit named Grandmother Willow. Grandmother Willow tells Pocahontas to listen to her heart.
The British settlers land in Virginia and dig for gold under Ratcliffe’s orders. John Smith explores the territory and encounters Pocahontas. The two spend time together, with Pocahontas teaching John to look at the world in a different way, and to not think of her people as “savages”. Back at the settlement, the Powhatan warriors and Englishmen have a skirmish, and one of the warriors is injured. The warriors retreat, and Powhatan declares that the white men are dangerous and that no one should go near them.
A few days later, John and Pocahontas meet again, during which John learns that there is no gold in the land. They agree to meet at Grandmother Willow’s glade again that night. When Pocahontas returns to her village, she finds that warriors from neighboring tribes have arrived to help Powhatan fight the white settlers. Back at the English fort, John tells Ratcliffe there is no gold in the land, which Ratcliffe does not believe, thinking that the natives have hidden the gold for themselves.
That night, Pocahontas’ best friend Nakoma catches her sneaking off and informs Kocoum that she has gone. Meanwhile, John sneaks out of the fort, and Ratcliffe orders Thomas to follow him. Pocahontas and John meet in the glade, where Grandmother Willow convinces John to try talking to Chief Powhatan. Pocahontas insists that John meet her father. When he agrees, Pocahontas is so delighted that she puts her arms around John’s neck. Both Kocoum and Thomas watch from the shadows as John and Pocahontas kiss. Kocoum, full of jealousy, attacks and tries to kill John, but Thomas intervenes and kills Kocoum. Hearing voices approaching, John tells Thomas to run. A group of natives take John prisoner thinking he is the murderer, and Powhatan announces that he will be executed at dawn before the war with the settlers begins.
Thomas returns to the fort and announces John’s capture. Ratcliffe sees this as an opportunity to attack and rescue John at the same time, and they arrive just as John is about to be executed. Before Powhatan can strike, Pocahontas throws herself over John, telling him that she loves John and that Powhatan must see where the path of hate has brought them, and asking him to choose. Powhatan lowers his club and orders John freed. Ratcliffe orders the settlers to fire anyway, but they refuse. Ratcliffe fires at Chief Powhatan himself, but John pushes the chief aside and is shot instead. The settlers turn on Ratcliffe, capturing him and sending him back to England to await punishment for high treason.
John is only wounded, but he must return to England for medical treatment if he is to survive. Pocahontas and her people arrive to see them off, and John and Pocahontas bid their goodbyes.