OTHER SCIENCE FICTION SERIES

Is Avatar just Pocahontas in CG?

POSTED BY: MANGOLO
UPDATED: Monday, February 22, 2010 16:18
SHORT URL:
VIEWED: 11340
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Thursday, August 20, 2009 1:25 PM

MANGOLO


As the story of Avatar emerges I can't help but start to see the striking similarities between the two movies.

John Smith (J.S.) volunteers to lead a rag-tag band to the New World to plunder its riches for England. Meanwhile, in this "New World," Chief Powhatan has pledged his daughter,the Indian Princess Pocahontas, to be married to the village's greatest warrior. Pocahontas, however, has other ideas. J.S. falls in love with the Princess and then J.S. and the Princess have a difficult time preventing all-out war, and saving their love for each other.


In the future, a small group of humans encroach on Pandora in search of valuable minerals. A Marine named Jake Sully (J.S.) volunteers to exist as an Avatar on Pandora. J.S. falls in love with a Na'vi Princess and then J.S. and the Princess have a difficult time preventing all-out war, and saving their love for each other.




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Thursday, August 20, 2009 1:28 PM

AURAPTOR

America loves a winner!



No, no, no! This is as different, as.... as different as.... cavemen and astronauts!





The T.Rex they call JANE!


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Thursday, August 20, 2009 1:58 PM

MANGOLO


BTW James Cameron wrote the treatment for Avatar 14 years ago. ( http://showhype.com/story/james_cameron_s_3_d_avatar_wows_comic_con/)

Pocahontas came out in 1995.

Different era....no...wait.....let me do the math:
2009
-14= 1995.



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Thursday, August 20, 2009 2:15 PM

CYBERSNARK


Not just that, it's also Dances With Wolves (the title character), Black Robe (the priest), The Last Samurai (Tom Cruise's character), The Road to El Dorado (the spanish rogues), Lion King 2 (Kovu), Heart of Darkness (Kurtz), a few episodes of Beast Wars (Tigatron on Earth, Dinobot among the Maximals), Stargate SG-1 (Teal'c among the Tau'ri), Star Trek Voyager (Seven), Deep Space Nine (Odo), Enterprise (T'Pol), Firefly (Simon), and about half the "stranger in a strange land" movies ever made.

Congratulations, you just identified a trope.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GoingNative

-----
We applied the cortical electrodes but were unable to get a neural reaction from either patient.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009 4:43 PM

TUJIAOZUO


The one that everyone is comparing it too (that I compare it to) is Dances With Wolves. Its even going to be 3 hours long (Dances was).

I didn't even see the Pocahontas similarities until now, but whoa.... yeah it's Pocahontas/Dances With Wolves in space.

It will still be pretty awesome.

Your Indian Pirate Lord,
Ash

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Friday, August 21, 2009 2:00 PM

TRAVELER


I looked this film up on Wikipedia and the creator does acknowledge Pocahontas for some inspiration. The scenes, in the trailer, did not give me enough to judge the film. If any of my friends want to see it, then I will probably go along.


http://www.imdb.com/mymovies/list?l=28764731
Traveler

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Friday, August 21, 2009 3:57 PM

BIGRICHARD


Well, considering the Pocahontas story has been around for ages Mangolo, I'm sure that it was some sort of inspiration. Avatar is a 'discovering a new world' film, and so drawing inspiration from Pocahontas isn't a bad thing. This isn't going to be exactly the same as the Disney film, or the hundreds of other versions there have been.

People have also been comparing this film to Delgo, which it does look similar to, and yet who cares, the films are going to be extremely different, I'd think.

Sure, parts of the film are similar to parts of other films, that could be said about all films, but the sum of these parts looks to be something new, so how about we wait until the film comes out before we judge it. Or at least wait for a trailer that isn't a teaser trailer.

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Friday, August 21, 2009 5:49 PM

MANGOLO


Please, as I've written before, no singing Ewoks.

The general consensus is that there are no new stories. I do agree with that, but there are so many ways of telling a story. Personally, I like a story that undermines my expectations- that;s why I loved and still love Firefly.

You're right about the similarities to Delgo, but it seems even more similar to Battle for Terra, but I wanted to highlight its relation to a story that is well known.

BTW The Pocahontas story that has been around for ages is one of a tobacco farmer John Rolfe (not John Smith nor Jake Sully) among other tobacco farmers (not people looking for the El Dorado or gold or mineral wealth). Natives and Colonists trading frequently and amicably for a few years. Pocahontas actually did marry a Powhatan warrior in 1610. It was actually the kidnapping of Pocahontas by the Colonists while John Rolfe was back in England that led to an actual battle (not averted by any love). Eventually the Powhatans and colonists mended ways. Joh Rolfe played no part in the peace except for maybe his converting Pocahontas and some other Powhatans to Christianity. Within a couple years after this they were married.

Disney is actually the first incarnation of this story where the love of this native girl for this white dude averts the war. They inserted the story structure and moral elements of Romeo and Juliet without the mortal consequences.





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Tuesday, September 8, 2009 2:01 AM

JAYNEZTOWN


its as different as cowboys and spacemen...oh wait

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009 7:13 AM

STORYMARK


Pocahontas, Dances with Wolves, The Last Samurai.....

As Shakespeare said, there are only so many stories - just variations on them.

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009 9:24 PM

TRAVELER


And Hollywood is out to prove it.

A lot of samurai films made in Japan have been remade as westerns in the United States and Italy as spaghetti westerns.

Clint Eastwood's "Pale Rider" is "Shane" with very little done to disguise the plot.

So Skakespeare may be right. After all are not all these TV series about space travelers who get lost and are trying to find their way back home just copies of Homer's Odyessy.






http://www.imdb.com/mymovies/list?l=28764731
Traveler

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Thursday, December 17, 2009 10:45 AM

JAYNEZTOWN


hitting the nail on the head

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Thursday, December 17, 2009 10:57 AM

STORYMARK


And the reviews coming in all say pretty much the same thing. You have seen this basic story before. But you've not seen it told LIKE this.

The reviews are, generally speaking, very good bordering on ecstatic.

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."

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Thursday, December 17, 2009 4:51 PM

SAVEWASH

Now I am learning about scary.


Quote:

Originally posted by Storymark:

The reviews are, generally speaking, very good bordering on ecstatic.



And they may be right, but the trailer I've seen on TV did not inspire confidence. As soon as I heard, "We're not in Kansas anymore," I groaned and gave up any hope of liking the movie. Not because I am for or against Kansas, but because people who use that line anymore are just lazy, IMO.


"We need to keep our heads so we can ... keep our heads."

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Friday, December 18, 2009 1:00 AM

CITIZEN


I've not seen it, and I will at some point, but I find the whole concept to be really trite. Doesn't mean it'll be terrible, but it does mean that it'll have to be very good to make up for the lousy premise IMHO.

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Friday, December 18, 2009 2:52 AM

CHAPTERANDVERSE


A familiar story told with a dash of originality, in charater or execution, can be very satisfying,

I loved Ursula LeGuin's A Wizard of Earthsea (young boy goes to a school to become a magician), and the fact that J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter, Lev Grossman's The Magicians, and Patrick Rothfuss's The Name of the Wind all had a similar theme did not undermine my enjoyment of those books. They all told the story in a different way, with different characters, and different styles.

Hopefully, Cameron has taken a familiar tale and put a new spin on it with characterization and ground-breaking visuals.

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Saturday, January 2, 2010 3:37 AM

JAYNEZTOWN


Quote:

Originally posted by Storymark:
The Last Samurai.....





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Saturday, January 2, 2010 4:24 AM

THESOMNAMBULIST


Originally posted by SAVEWASH:

Quote:


And they may be right, but the trailer I've seen on TV did not inspire confidence. As soon as I heard, "We're not in Kansas anymore," I groaned and gave up any hope of liking the movie. Not because I am for or against Kansas, but because people who use that line anymore are just lazy, IMO.



Yes it is a James Cameron film after all and dialogue is not his strongest point. However rest assured, that line is part of characterisation, there is a purpose to it and by whom it is delivered.

I really urge people to see this film and to see it in 3D. I realise it is maybe not the Shakespearean experiance that for some reason everyone hopes for when going to the cinema (even though we have the theatre for that) but it really is a landmark film. Years from now it could very well be the film that changed the direction of cinema. When I was watching this I kept wondering what Ridley Scott's Alien would look like with this new technology, or Jaws or some BBC wildlife documentaries. It just needs someone's genius to ignite it. This comes close.

It really was fascinating - visually anyway.



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Monday, January 4, 2010 11:38 PM

CLJOHNSTON108


Cameron said he rather enjoyed Jimmy Kimmel's version...


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Tuesday, January 5, 2010 5:40 AM

BYTEMITE


It could also be Ferngully.

The story of Avatar isn't original, but then no story is.

I made up a species of blue skinned aliens for the Star Wars tabletop RPG three years ago called the Nanba with a mindboggling similarity to the Na'vi.

Pic! Angelfire probably doesn't work with auto-imbed and hotlinks, so add .jpg to the end of this in your url if you want to see it. http://www.angelfire.com/ok5/bytemite/Nanba

The story behind them was that they were once humans, crash landed on a world that atmospherically was unsuitable for human habitation. Through technology they managed to absorb the DNA of some native species, thus changing their appearance, adapting to survive their environment, and gaining some unusual control over the natural world around them...

Yeah.

Coincidences are funny sometimes. Oftentimes we draw without knowing it on previous ideas, stories, or jungian archetypes, which can result in some BIZARRE similarities in stories. I have no idea where my Nanba came from, James Cameron might be able to tell you what inspired his, but likely we both were coming from the same source.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010 6:15 AM

STORYMARK


Quote:

Originally posted by Bytemite:

I made up a species of blue skinned aliens for the Star Wars tabletop RPG three years ago called the Nanba with a mindboggling similarity to the Na'vi.



Last year, the first season of Clone Wars had a blue-skinned, yellow-eyed alien race from the Moon of Pantora....

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010 6:45 AM

BYTEMITE


Hmm, that sounds like a leak from the Avatar set to me, or someone in the know giving a wink and a nod.

Now that I think of it, my race was based on the night elves from World of Warcraft, only I wanted them to look more alien, and I didn't really like any of the existing Star Wars cat races, so... There you go. Then I added in nanotech to make them scifi.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010 9:15 AM

MANGOLO


Quote:

Originally posted by Storymark:


Last year, the first season of Clone Wars had a blue-skinned, yellow-eyed alien race from the Moon of Pantora....



Since LucasFilm worked on some of the animation on Avatar I can only assume they were giving a nod.



http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=86085840444

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010 9:35 AM

STORYMARK


I'd call it more of a coincidence. ILM only worked on the last scene in Avatar, and came in late at that.

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010 9:39 AM

MANGOLO


But I think LucasFilm has been involve for the past couple of years. I saw them working on it when I went last January and they had been there a few months at that point.



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Tuesday, January 5, 2010 9:57 AM

STORYMARK


Perhaps, but they CW series had completed the first season before airing, so that'd put it back a while too.

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010 10:03 AM

MANGOLO

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010 10:28 AM

STORYMARK


I was JUST about to post that. Well done.

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010 12:10 PM

OUT2THEBLACK


Quote:

Originally posted by JaynezTown:
its as different as cowboys and spacemen...oh wait



http://www.imdb.com/news/ni1372717/

'...News regarding the adaptation of Fred Van Lente and Andrew Foley's "Cowboys and Aliens" has put fans of the sci-fi western source material on something of a seesaw...

According to The Daily Beast, however, there's a few details fans can count on: Favreau is on board to direct and the Dreamworks film begins shooting this July.

Of course, there's still a bit of room for speculation, with Tdb wondering if the more than $1 billion to-date box office success of James Cameron's "Avatar" might entice filmmakers to render "Cowboys and Aliens" in 3-D.'

http://splashpage.mtv.com/2010/01/05/cowboys-and-aliens-to-begin-shoot
ing-this-july-possibly-in-3-d
/










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Saturday, February 13, 2010 1:29 PM

CHRISISALL


Just saw it- the 3D was okay, but I liked it better as a movie than a gimmick. Given a choice, I think I'd buy the 2D version on DVD. But it might have both.
Anyway, excellent Pocahontas remake, just visually stunning (3D aside).

Only change I would have like to have seen:

Select to view spoiler:


I wanted to see the lead character's tube smashed while he was still jacked into his alien body; I think that would have been a more believable way of sticking him in it without the magical-roots mumbo.


But that just may be me.


The laughing Chrisisall

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Saturday, February 13, 2010 5:19 PM

ISROUSRO


Yes and no. And here is the reasoning.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monomyth

passoniatetly indifferent

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Saturday, February 13, 2010 5:21 PM

CHRISISALL


Cool.


The laughing Chrisisall

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Saturday, February 13, 2010 6:07 PM

CHRISISALL


So, what's your review here, Cit?


The laughing Chrisisall

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Saturday, February 13, 2010 7:29 PM

MANGOLO



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Sunday, February 14, 2010 4:01 AM

CHRISISALL


BIG LOL!


The laughing Chrisisall

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Sunday, February 14, 2010 8:25 AM

SUASOR


That so rocks. Busted, Jimmy Boy.

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Monday, February 15, 2010 3:46 AM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


While watching it, the greatest sense of similarity I had was for The Matrix. I didn't know about the storyline beforehand, and the mental-substitution to physical world gimmick seemed the big comparison. A quest of gaining more knowledge and understanding than the world you're leaving behind, and Neo and Jake are fulfilling a long-held prophecy.

Of course, Matrix may have copied Avatar, being 5 years later.

I'm tempted to include Galaxy Quest into the going native genre (Tony Shaloub), but maybe just because it's a fave of mine.

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Monday, February 15, 2010 10:01 PM

OUT2THEBLACK


Interesting analysis at this blogsite :
http://www.independent.org/blog/?p=5036

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Monday, February 22, 2010 10:51 AM

AURAPTOR

America loves a winner!



This got me thinking, on the heels of the alleged reports of folks getting depressed because they don't live on Endor...err... I mean Pandora.....sure, it's JUST a movie, but how much science must we suspend to believe in this stuff ?

In the future, we have the technology to replicate a fully functioning biological 'avatar', yet we can't clone or engineer a few nerve cells that could allow for say....soldiers to walk again ?

( Hell, all we had to do was elect John Kerry and John Edwards, and Christopher Reeves would still be alive today! An WALKING ! ) - sorry

And you mean to say, that a few hundred years in the future, we don't have the mining technology to burrow UNDERground to get a the neat-o space ore ? We HAVE to obliterate a 500 ft tall tree first, and THEN rip up the entire land?

I'm thinking we have ways of doing it today, instead of resorting to a massive open pit.... oh well.

Still, it was a pretty movie.



Bones: "Don't 'rawr' her!"
Booth: "What? she'rawred' me first.

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Monday, February 22, 2010 12:02 PM

STEGASAURUS


Actually, they stated in the movie that the surgery to repair the spinal injury existed. It was just very expensive to have done.

I think it was a way for Cameron to show us the heavy-handed ness of the corporations/government. In reality it probably wasn't all the expensive to do, but those that could do it charge an excessive amount of money to do so.

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Monday, February 22, 2010 12:13 PM

STORYMARK


Quote:

Originally posted by AURaptor:

This got me thinking, on the heels of the alleged reports of folks getting depressed because they don't live on Endor...err... I mean Pandora.....sure, it's JUST a movie, but how much science must we suspend to believe in this stuff ?

In the future, we have the technology to replicate a fully functioning biological 'avatar', yet we can't clone or engineer a few nerve cells that could allow for say....soldiers to walk again ?



Actually, that was covered - it was possible. But his health care plan didn't cover it, and he couldn't afford it.

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."

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Monday, February 22, 2010 4:18 PM

AURAPTOR

America loves a winner!


So, routine nerve cell regeneration for a soldier injured in the line of duty = too pricey.

Complete bio genetic growth of an alien life form which will then be used to pair w/ the specific DNA of a 'driver' = worth while expense.

Hmmm



Bones: "Don't 'rawr' her!"
Booth: "What? she'rawred' me first.

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