Alan Menken

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“Pocahontas ” is based on historical fact, recounting the story of the meeting of the English settlers in Jamestown with the Powhatan Indian tribe. The adventurous young Indian woman Pocahontas, along with her constant companions, Meeko, a raccoon, and Flit, a hummingbird, visits Grandmother Willow, a counseling tree spirit, because she is uncertain about the path her life should take. She soon meets the brave English captain John Smith, and while she opens his eyes to an understanding and respect for the world around him, the two fall in love. The other English settlers, led by Governor Ratcliffe, are intent on finding gold in the New World and become convinced the Indians are hiding the precious substance from them. Thomas, an inexperienced settler, kills the Indian brave Kocoum, but Smith lets the Indians think he is responsible, so he is condemned to death. In begging her father, Chief Powhatan, to spare Smith’s life, Pocahontas finds that her path in life is to be instrumental in establishing the early peace between the Jamestown settlers and her tribe. Smith, however, is severely wounded by an enraged Ratcliffe and must return to England. Pocahontas and Smith part, each knowing their lives are richer for the love they share.


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Alan and Stephen Schwartz holding their Golden Globes.

In June 1995," Pocahontas" has it’s premier screening in New York City’s Central Park.

"Colors Of The Wind"

Alan's Thoughts

There were so many fantastic opportunities that came from my involvement with “Pocahontas”. But, above all the others, I would say that collaborating with Stephen Schwartz was the most important one. I had no idea how having a fellow-composer writing my song lyrics would work out. To say the least, it was fantastic. Our first song together was “Colors of the Wind”. Quite a first effort! We had fun. We sparked each other’s creativity. And our writing partnership has only grown since then; as evidenced by “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “Enchanted”.