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Chia-hao Chianglin

Professor Michael Cheng

Writing and Reading (II)

28 December 2010

Bibliography of Comparison-Contrast Essay


Title of the article: ‘Avatar’ versus ‘Pocahontas’;

Reference: Wiles, A. (2010 January 15). ‘Avatar’ versus ‘Pocahontas’;. Retrieved from http://www.nineronline.com/a-e/avatar-versus-pocahontas-1.2136620

The Director as well as the writer of the movie Avatar, James Cameron, had spent more than a decade to create it. As a matter of fact, there were some problems then with finding a studio to work with because of a huge amount of special effects that Cameron required in the movie with an estimated budget of $400 million. An enormous cost of over $280 million makes Avatar one of the most expensive movies which have ever made. On account of its significant scenery and special effects, Avatar has become “the fastest film in history to reach one billion in ticket sales…in just seventeen days.”

However, the originality of its movie plot is questioned and looked upon as a very close likening to Disney’s 1995 production Pocahontas. Therefore, with a good number of the similarities, Avatar has been named as “‘The Futuristic Pocahontas’ and ‘Pocahontas 3000.’” For instance, the messages conveyed in each film are quite similar—“destruction through colonialism and the accumulation of wealth.” In addition, the settlers looked for gold in some aboriginal land in South America in Pocahontas, whereas a corporation in Avatar exploited the mineral unobtanium from a planet called Pandora.

“Although Avatar can be described as a ‘Futuristic Pocahontas,’ despite the similarities, violence and war is no match for the strength and willpower of a society that loves their land and home.”

Justification: The website is from a college media network.
Explanation why this article is useful: This article provides statistics of Avatar, and some background information about it. Moreover, it briefly points out some similarities between Pocahontas and Avatar and states that what matters is not about the similarities but the message it portrays.


Reference: Mancini, V. (2010 January 5). JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR = DISNEY’S POCAHONTAS. Retrieved from http://filmdrunk.uproxx.com/2010/01/james-camerons-avatar-disneys-pocahontas

Avatar looks amazing, though its story line is kind of cliché. There was a guy on a social news website, Reddit, naming himself “Matt Bateman” rewriting an article about Disney’s Pocahontas by replacing some key words with the counterparts of Avatar. However, the author also says that he cannot confirm whether those similar plot points are correct yet.
Justification: The article is from a popular website frequently used.
Explanation why this article is useful: This article not only shows the rewrite which can be found in many websites, but also indicates the creator’s name. I believe that would be more evidential this way.

Title of the article: Avatar: Pocahontas meets internet-age sci fi

Reference: VandeBerg, J. (2009 December 21). Avatar: Pocahontas meets internet-age sci fi. Retrieved from http://www.dailyillini.com/blogs/on-the-town/2009/12/21/avatar-pocahontas-meets-internet-age-sci-fi

The author indicates the “new James Cameron movie” Avatar has changed the way people think a movie is made. He or she then admits that many of the scenes in the film are certainly beautiful with special effects. While knowing its magical techniques enough, a focus on the story line becomes more effective. Avatar talked about environmental issues and “wrongs in modern society.” And there are many people comparing Avatar to Dance with Wolves, which the author thinks valid. Afterwards, he/she goes with Pocahontas, and finds out that a lot of plot similarities between the two films, saying "Wait a second! This isn't about the environment at all! This is just the colonization of America with better technology!" The author continues to raise a question: Do we have a choice about who we want to be? He/she wants the reader to think about whether we are going to be able to control another body if we consider it to be more worthwhile. At last, the author again give some questions, saying that it would be more interesting if some important parts of the movie plot are totally opposite?

Justification: The website is a independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois.
Explanation why this article is useful: There are some interesting descriptions which can be good supporting examples. Furthermore, the author has some new ideas about Avatar’s story plot in the article. Perhaps these ideas can be different ways for us to think about the film.

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