Avatar vs. Pocahontas

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Difference between Avatar and Pocahontas

If you have had the opportunity to watch James Cameron's blockbuster movie Avatar which came out not too long ago, you might be able to see the resemblance it has to one of Walt Disney's most popular animated films: Pocahontas. A lot of discussions about the striking resemblance of the plots of both movies have dominated the Internet, with people suddenly becoming critics and observers. Interesting? Most definitely! Avatar-the tale of humanity's weaknesses, and a humanoid race's battle for survival and distinction, and Pocahontas-the story about a strong and determined Native American woman, a story which, by the way, is inspired by real events: how do the two movies resemble one another? If you feel you have been left in the dark about this entertaining trivia, then reading this article might help.



Walt Disney Animated Pictures released the movie Pocahontas in 1995. It is known to be the very first of Disney's animated films to be based on an actual character, Pocahontas, a princess from a Native American tribe who eventually embraced Christianity. It has over $141 million in gross revenue, and was directed by film animators Mike Gabriel and Erik Goldberg.

Avatar was released in 2009 and is now known to be the top grossing film of the United States, stealing the title from Titanic.  Directed by Titanic man James Cameron, the budget of the movie is estimated to have been around $237 million. This blockbuster took several years to make.


Although Pocahontas was based on a person who existed in real life, the events in the film were actually all fictionalized. In a nutshell, it tells the story of an explorer named John Smith who, along with a fleet of Englishmen headed by John Ratcliffe, searches for gold in the land governed by a Native American tribe where Pocahontas belongs. Pocahontas-whose father, the Chief, wants to marry off to a warrior-runs into John Smith and they fall in love. However, it is a love that will never be actualized as the Englishmen settlers clash violently with Pocahontas' tribe, in the former's greedy but unfruitful search for gold. In the end, John Smith and Pocahontas part ways.

Avatar takes place on a moon called Pandora, where a humanoid race called Na'vi live harmoniously. Humans are sent to the alien moon on a mission, and one of them, Jake, falls in love with the humanoid Neytiri. In the end, he turns his back on the mission and pledges to be faithful to Neytiri and her race, by helping save them from the mission.


Both stories contain the element of invasion. It also is similar in the sense that two individuals from entirely different worlds fall in love with one another. The main heroine in both stories are also initially betrothed to men they do not love. In the end, what are highlighted are the differences of two cultures that initially clash against each other but eventually come to a resolution.

Similarities and Differences

  • Pocahontas is an animated film with children as their target market, while Avatar is a science fiction film for youth and adults.
  • Both are stories of different cultures that attempt to resolve conflicts.
  • Both stories contain the element of invasion.

Video Comparison of Avatar and Pocahontas Side by Side

Pocahontas Mashup with Avatar

Which movie made a stonger environmental statement?
  • Avatar
  • Pocahontas

Discuss It: comments 1

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  • Julie wrote on April 2010

And people judge Cameron for being the way he is…lol.. Why wouldnt be after all? He’s got an army of heters to fight with, and obviously is not a knight’s fight…

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