image for Pocahontas

Short takes

Not suitable under 5; parental guidance to 7 (violent themes and scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Pocahontas
  • a review of Pocahontas completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 26 October 2023.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not suitable due to violent themes and scenes.
Children aged 5–7 Parental guidance recommended due to violent themes and scenes, and to give historical context.
Children aged 8 and over Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Pocahontas
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: The content is very mild in impact
Length: 81 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Virginia, 1607: Pocahontas (voiced by Irene Bedard/Judith Kuhn), daughter of Algonquin Chief Powhatan (voiced by Russell Means), has a wild and free spirit, and is confronted with a difficult situation when her father announces she is to marry fierce and sincere warrior Kokoum (voiced by James Apaumut Fall). Things become even more complicated when a ship with British colonists arrive, led by ruthless and greedy Governor Ratcliff (voiced by David Odgen Stiers) who is planning to take the land from the “Savages” in the hope of finding gold. A war between the Native Americans and the British seems inevitable but – unbeknownst to everyone – Pocahontas has met and fallen in love with one of the crew, John Smith (voiced by Mel Gibson/Jess Harnell). Together, they hope to convince both sides that there is no need to shed blood.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Disney Classic; Forbidden Love; Musical; Historical Drama; Colonisation.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, including:

  • The colonists fire guns at the Native Americans, with dire consequences:
    • One Native American is shot in the leg.
    • Kokoum is shot and dies.
    • Ratcliffe accidentally shoots John Smith and he is critically injured.
  • The Native Americans fight back with knifes and tomahawks.
  • After Kokoum is killed, the Native Americans capture John Smith and announce to execute him as revenge. Pocahontas prevents this by announcing that they would have to kill her too.
  • It is indicated on several occasions that it is okay/necessary to treat the "Savages" with violence.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Some children might get upset for the lack of a ‘true’ happy ending, when Pocahontas and John Smith have to bid farewell to each other.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

  • Nothing further noted.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

  • None noted.

In a nutshell

Pocahontas is a 1995 Disney musical adventure, very loosely based on the historical figure ‘Pocahontas’. Parents should be aware that the Disney writers have taken the liberty not to stick to historical facts too closely. Nevertheless, the film offers a great opportunity to discuss the history of colonisation and its perils. Parental guidance for young viewers is recommended due to the violent themes and scenes.

The main messages from this movie are that conflicts should be resolved through talking to one another and not through violence; and that love does not obey rules or conventions.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Love
  • Courage
  • Tolerance
  • Open-mindedness.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Greed, hostility, and ignorance, which have led to hurt, loss and unfair discrimination and oppression throughout human history.