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PRODUCTION:
  • In the very first draft of the script for Pochahontas, the character of “Grandmother Willow” was written as a male character who was the spirit of the river, the character was named “Old Man River”. The song “Just Around the Riverbend” was written for this character to be sung. Gregory Peck was offered the role and as much as it pained him to do it, he turned down the role because he felt the title character needed a motherly figure to turn to for advice. Soon the filmmakers agreed with him and the character was changed.
  • In their quest for authenticity, the Disney studios hired mostly Native American actors to do the voices. They also employed Native American consultants and had a session with a real shaman. Despite these efforts, prominent Native American activists issued an open letter condemning the film for its historical inaccuracies and stereotyping of the Indian people.

READ MORE )

Also, be sure to check out Bluray.com's "Making of Walt Disney's Pocahontas" article, which has plenty of interesting material in it (from concept art to producer intentions via interviews).

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People of Color in Disney

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