One of the many complaints about James Cameron's blockbuster film, "Avatar," is that its "derivative" plot ploddingly parallels that of 1995's Disney animated tale "Pocahontas." Though the similarities haven't dimmed "Avatar"'s box office — on track to beat Cameron's "Titanic," says BBC.com — they’ve provoked grassroots critics to "mash up" footage and audio from the two films to expose what they consider a shameless ripoff. Consider exhibits 1 through 4:
1. "Avatar" meets Disney: This spoof marries audio from 1995's "Pocahontas" with "Avatar" clips to make the case that the respective heros and heroines are interchangeable. By the time Vanessa Williams starts singing about blue moons and the irrelevancy of skin color (in "Colors of the Wind," the "Pocahontas" theme song) at 00:45, the two films seem to blur into one.
2. "Pocahontas" meets James Cameron: This mashup uses the reverses strategy — ambitiously syncing the "Avatar" trailer's audio with "Pocahontas" footage. Savvy viewers may notice that, at 1:28, Pocahontas begins "spouting" Sigourney Weaver's cynical "Avatar" dialogue, giving the effect that the sensitive Indian Maiden considers her lover an empty-headed himbo.
3. The alternative "Colors of the Wind" music video: Here, Vanessa William's Disney theme song becomes a musical backdrop to an "Avatar" dream date. Two large-nosed blue beings flirt, swoon, and soar about on the backs of pterodactyl-like creatures until it becomes clear that, of all the windy colors with which one can paint, blue is the most romantic.
4. "Pocahontas" recut as an "Avatar" action film: Similar to number 2 (above) but with a faster-paced, "Terminator" edge. In this version, the relatively chipper Disney tale turns menacing with help from James Horner's pounding "Avatar" soundtrack and Sigourney Weaver's voice ("let your mind go blank...") emerges not from Pocahontas, but from a sinister, anthromophized tree.
SEE THE WEEK'S LATEST COVERAGE OF "AVATAR"
• Conservatives vs. "Avatar"
• "Avatar"'s ugly message
• Video: James Cameron talks "Avatar" on "60 Minutes"
• Video: Hitler hates the "Avatar" trailer
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 5 legitimate scientific controversies
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How liberals are unwittingly paving the way for the legalization of adult incest
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Libertarianism's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea
- Why I got married — without a wedding
- Why the Rubio-Lee tax plan is great politics — and great policy
- 10 things you need to know today: October 2, 2014
- How to improve your workplace culture
- Ted Cruz is the new Sarah Palin
Subscribe to the Week