In America, the general audience is used to seeing many things portrayed on the silver screen, but many times what they see is not always necessarily all there is to the story. In Gary Edgerton and Kathy Merlock Jackson's essay "Redesigning Pocahontas," the famous Native American figure is redesigned by the Walt Disney Company to meet the expectations of critics and audiences around the country, but leave out much of the truth behind Pocahontas' story in the process. Walt Disney's version of this renowned story has been changed to a commercialized rendition that only feeds on what America recognizes as the "Hollywood Indian," but doesn't that go against what Disney was trying to do with the movie in the first place? Although the film company's intention was to accurately depict the life of a famous Native American, the Walt Disney Company knowingly changed the image of Pocahontas and her story in the hopes that Americans could associate more with her character and of having a better chance at increasing their profits from movie sales and other merchandise. .
The authors begin by going into detail about why it is that the Walt Disney Company decided to make this movie in the first place, and why they felt the need to make Pocahontas "more presentable" for typical movie-goers. The idea for the film spawned off from co-director Mike Gabriel's desire to "initiate a new project after finishing The Rescuers Down Under" (97). His ideas, along with the help of Disney executive Peter Schneider, led to the conception of Pocahontas, a story that could meet the expectations that general audiences had of all Disney productions. While Disney executives' intentions were to shine a light on the history of Pocahontas while still giving her story a somewhat romanticized twist, the end result was a film that changed most of the historical facts regarding Pocahontas and portrayed the heroine in the form of the typical "Hollywood Indian.