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After a treacherous sea voyage, John Smith and company have arrived on the shores of the New World (what is now part of the state of Virginia). Governor Ratcliffe dispatches Smith to scout the terrain and see if any Indians are about the area. Meanwhile, the rest of the settlers are going to start digging, wait…digging??
Yes, that’s right. Ratcliffe (the greedy lout) is convinced that Virginia, like the Spanish New World (Mexico) is full of gold and precious gems. Barely scratch the surface and they’ll all be rich as kings! Of course, Ratcliffe (David Ogden Stiers) has no intention of sharing any of this wealth; his plan (revealed in the following song) is to return to England filthy rich and be ennobled by King James, and then become the envy of the entire court.
All of this is the basis for the song “Mine, Mine, Mine!” Ratcliffe draws a beautiful picture of the treasures that could be discovered, convincing the settlers to begin a digging and mining operation on a grand scale; leveling trees and digging deep pits in search of treasures that actually don’t exist (in real life, the natives of this area primarily had metal decorations made of copper). Ratcliffe is unwittingly sending the settler’s on a fool’s errand by having them dig up the land for something they’ll never find. The song (for the most part) perfectly highlights how greedy and selfish Ratcliffe really is.
Ratcliffe thinks he’s quite the ladies man too (Ewwwwww!)
Meanwhile, John Smith is out exploring the pristine countryside (while a curious Pocahontas follows at a distance). He’s a man of adventure, and he believes he’s finally found the perfect land to explore. Smith isn’t really interested in gold or treasure of any kind, he’s in this for the glory of the adventure. This leads to the rival statements of “mine”: Smith says, “the greatest adventure is mine” while Ratcliffe boasts “all of the gold is mine!”
Two adventures have been started now: John Smith is out exploring (and soon to meet Pocahontas) while Ratcliffe supervises the settlers with their endless digging.
So here begins my return to regular posts on Disney film music, I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving 🙂 This post was relatively short but I think they’ll get longer as I get more comfortable writing again
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