Oh, Pocahontas. Really not one of my favourite Disney films, but it posed an interesting challenge. Note that this is the Disney character, not the historical figure, so while I tried to make the outfit accurate to 17th century Powhatan clothing (yes, one-shouldered dresses and split skirts existed, YE GADS) she is, most definitely, not a 12-year-old. It's my happy middle ground when drawing a historical version of an inaccurate portrayal of a historical person. That's a mouthful.
My one big cheat on this was her necklace- the shell necklace should in theory be a deep purple (turquoise is a much more Southwestern commodity), but you lose so much of the Pocahontas visual identity without the splash of teal around her neck.
...And not the belabor the point, but she learns English by way of MAGIC? Come on, Disney, even Tarzan had the sense to do a heavy-handed language montage.
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I honestly feel like Frozen gets way too much credit for being "progressive," and the word abusive seems to be bandied about more readily than I would like. By those same standards the Sultan is abusive, King Triton is abusive, so on and so forth- parents who mis-parent their children are hardly anything new in Disney films, and I don't think Frozen does a particularly good job of actually calling that stuff out and addressing it.
My dad was not an animator, no! He was actually the VP of Animation Technology, so he helped usher the films into the digital era with new techniques and integration of early 3D set pieces and props- the chariot race in Prince of Egypt, that sort of thing. He started at Dreamworks at the very beginning (he was the 36th employee, if I'm not mistaken), and he left during El Dorado to go to Warner Bros. It was very cool, and I was very spoiled to grow up in that environment paging through model sheets.
I do agree it would be interesting to see girls that are non-disney, but I understand completely that this series is just for fun on your part.
Pertaining to disney movies as a whole, I find that while they nail some parts correctly, they generally fail to address other issues sufficiently, leading to other criticisms. So while their progress is admirable in more recent movies, (abusive parenting? that's really out of the normal realm of children's movies. and good looking bad guys? that's an issue that's gone too long unadressed), it still leaves other criticisms that the average person might not be able to pick up on, leading to a nostalgic rose-colored haze that colors so many childhood movies.
On the subject of your father & Dreamworks - what exactly was his role while working on The Road to El Dorado? (It's kind of curious when I hear that someone's the child of an animator(?) who worked with a major studio and it's just like, "dude, i want to know what it was like!" I just never hear that someone's parent is affiliated with some sort of animation studio, so I hope you understand the intrigue.) Did your father work on more films after El Dorado, and did he continue working with Dreamworks, or are animators hired on a film-to-film basis?
I am so glad you created this series, and I think you did very well in creating believable characters in the time frame that you chose for them.
(I really hope you don't mind the questions and sorry for the messy commentary.)
1 - is that meant to be a musket, or a rifle?
2 - Did you do any research into weapons of the period or did you just free-style it since is a superfluous prop?
That said, I love Disney films anyway, just not for their realism
I will source if you so desire, I just can't remember where I learned this right this moment...
So Hades holds the crown for single most decent Greek God.
^ By sexualize, I mean they highly exaggerated every physical feature that our society collectively finds attractive to the point of it being... kind of a caricature of modern conventional beauty. People like long hair? Let's make it VERY long and VERY straight. People like high cheek bones, white teeth, big lips? Let's make them VERY high, VERY white, and VERY full. Big boobs? HUGE BOOBS! Slim waist and long legs? Let's make it VERY slim, her bottom VERY flat, and her legs VERY long and thin. And her feet very small.
To be honest, I sometimes feel like Pocahontas is an ethnic Jessica Rabbit. At least the writers and animators of Who Framed Roger Rabbit knew that Jessica was supposed to be a highly exaggerated example of female beauty for irony, story, and character reasons. Disney gave Pocahontas similar proportions and exaggerated beauty... but it doesn't really play a part in the story or her personality. Like I said, legs that thin, hair that long and perfectly straight, a bust that big, a dress that tight, etc. doesn't make sense for a wild child that spends all her time running, rafting, and seeking adventure in the woods.
I just love the accuracy and practicality of this design so much!
Honestly love this portrait. Not just for the accurate outfit or the pretty lady, but I just love the attitude and the pose of her body.
I love the way the loose fabric and the beads hang off her body, compared to the muscled and toned figure. It's just so... masculine, athletic, and careless. She has an air of nonchalance, and yet assertion of power and control at the same time. She LOOKS like she does a lot of running here (as opposed to the match-stick legs and flat bottom) and that she takes control of whatever situation she's in.
Fun Fact: Pocahontas was originally supposed to look like Disney's Tiger Lily, but they decided to make her grown up and add a love story down the like. I can see why, since a love story between an adult settler and a 12-year-old would be awkward, but I often couldn't shake the feeling that they made Pocahontas an adult JUST to sexualize her... I love how this is a much more practical, as well as more accurate for the lifestyle she is supposed to have lived (running, chasing, jumping, swimming, rafting, etc.). Just more accurate and practical on every front.