Pocahontas is the 33rd animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. It was produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and was originally released to selected theaters on June 16, 1995 by Walt Disney Pictures. It belongs to the era known as the Disney Renaissance that began in 1989 and ended in 1999. The film is the first animated feature Disney film to be based on a real historic character, based on the known history and also the folklore and legend that surround the Native American woman Pocahontas, and features a fictionalized account of her encounter with Englishman John Smith and the settlers that arrived from the Virginia Company. A video game based on the film was released across various platforms shortly after the film's theatrical release, and the film itself was followed by a direct-to-video sequel, Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World in 1998.
In 1607, a ship of British settlers of the Virginia Company sets sale to the "New World". Onboard the ship are Captain John Smith, and the voyage's leader Governor Ratcliffe, who believes the local Native Americans are hiding a vast collection of gold and seeks to gain it for his own. The ship gets caught in a storm, and Smith saves a young, inexperienced man named Thomas from drowning, Smith later admitting his lack of interest about the "New World". In the local tribe in the New World, Pocahontas, daughter of Chief Powhatan, dreads being possibly wed to Kocoum, a brave warrior who she sees as too "serious" when conflicting with her spirited personality. Chief Powhatan gives Pocahonatas her mother' necklace as a present. Pocahontas, along with her friends, the gluttonous raccoon Meeko, and hummingbird Flit, visit Grandmother Willow, a spiritual talking willow tree who alerts her to the presence of the Englishmen. Governor Ratcliffe has a fortress built in a wooded clearing, naming it James Town, and quickly has the crewmen begin digging for gold. Smith departs to explore the wilderness, and eventually encounter Pocahontas, the two quickly bonding, fascinated by each other's worlds. The two end up falling in love, contradicting with Chief Powhatan's orders to keep away from the men, after Kocoum and other warriors engage the men in a fight. Meanwhile, Meeko meets Percy, Ratcliffe's spoilt dog, and becomes the bane of his existence. Pocahontas introduces Smith to Grandmother Willow, and avoids two other crewmen. However, Pocahontas' friend Nakoma discovers her relationship with Smith and warns Kocoum. Thomas also follows Smith, and both he and Kocoum witness the two kissing. In a jealous rage, Kocoum attacks and tries to kill Smith but is himself killed by Thomas. An enraged Chief Powhatan declares war on the crewmen, and Smith is to be executed at sunrise. Thomas warns the crewmen of Smith's capture, Ratcliffe rallying the men to go to battle as an excuse to remove the tribe and find their non-existent gold. Pocahontas goes to Grandmother Willow, but Meeko hands her a compass which points her in the direction of Smith, leading to her destiny. She successfully stops Smith's execution, but Ratcliffe tries to shoot Chief Powhatan in anger, Smith taking the bullet. Ratcliffe is captured and arrested by the crewman. In the end, Smith is forced to return home to get treatment, with Pocahontas and Chief Powhatan's blessing to return in the future.