Parallels between two summer hits -- Commonalities abound with ''The Bridges of Madison County'' and ''Pocahontas''

By Cindy Pearlman
July 14, 1995 at 04:00 AM EDT

Wonder of wonders, it turns out that two of the most highly an ticipated films of the summer — that old folks’ weepie The Bridges of Madison County and the sobering cartoon history Pocahontas — are really the same movie! Not possible, you say? Just check out these amaizing parallels.

Bridges: Gorgeous gal Francesca Johnson (Meryl Streep), a dark-haired Iowa matron, is married to a boring guy and has a family that doesn’t appreciate her.
Pocahontas: Gorgeous gal Pocahontas (voiced by Irene Bedard), a dark-haired Indian maiden, is betrothed to a boring guy and has a tribe that doesn’t appreciate her.

Bridges: Along comes hunky Robert Kincaid (Clint Eastwood), a traveler from faraway Washington State who lands in parts unknown (Iowa).
Pocahontas: Along comes hunky John Smith (voiced by Mel Gibson), a traveler from faraway England who lands in parts unknown (Virginia).

Bridges: Robert and Francesca fall in love while frolicking in nature.
Pocahontas: John and Pocahontas fall in love while frolicking in nature.

Bridges: They drink each other in — along with some beer.
Pocahontas: They drink each other in — along with some river water.

Bridges: Francesca has a plump neighbor, Madge.
P: Pocahontas has a plump raccoon, Meeko.

Bridges: The animals don’t speak.
Pocahontas: The animals don’t speak.

Bridges: There’s a necklace with sentimental value.
Pocahontas: There’s a necklace with sentimental value.

Bridges: Robert asks Francesca to go away with him, but she says she can’t because her family needs her.
Pocahontas: John asks Pocahontas to go away with him, but she says she can’t because ”I am needed here.”

Bridges: In the end, they never see each other again, and it bums everyone out.
Pocahontas: In the end, they never see each other again, and it bums everyone out.

Bridges: Based on a novel whose literary merit is in doubt.
Pocahontas: Based on a legend whose historical facts are in doubt.

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