And Zoidberg: Because of her being in Braids, Beads and Buckskins, she sort of has a hard time blending in well with the other princesses with their pimped out dresses. As such she is almost always the one who gets cut out of merchandise. The sequel does give her a reasonably pimped out dress when she first arrives in England.
In real life, the English did view her as princess and presented her to King James I as one. Of course, they were translating her position into the European terms they were familiar with, but the point is she was viewed as a princess during her lifetime, even if it wasn't by her own people.
Inexplicably Awesome: Her shamanic powers go unnoticed for most of the characters, but she actually accomplishes quite the feats with them; she talks to trees, summons up spirits, leaps over ravines through neigh levitating, survives crashing down in the water from a cliff, and learns English within three seconds.
Tempting Fate: "Should I choose the smoothest course?" She should not.
Took a Level in Badass: Under the guidance of Grandmother Willow, she goes from whining about her problems and sitting around, to taking action and defying her (very!) authorative father.
Tragic Keepsake: Her deceased mother's necklace. Even more so after Kocoum destroys it while falling to his death.
Wise Beyond Their Years: The only person in the movie, besides Grandmother Willow, to understand that war is not a plausible option, as it will leave both sides devastated and farther away from a peaceful resolve. Her father comes close to saying this trope word for word describing her. "My daughter speaks with wisdom beyond her years."
Unexpected Successor: It's implied that she is taking Kocoum's place as her father's successor, especially in the closing scene.
Younger than She Looks: Many fans indicate her age as 25 years old, enabling her romance with Smith (close to his thirties in this adaptation) furthermore. In actuality, the fact that she was still unmarried makes her 18 years old at best. Ironically, the real life figure she was based on was 9-11 years old at the time this story (allegedly) took place.
Bold Explorer: Smith's explorations of the new Virginia Territory are how he met Pocahontas in the first place. During the song "Mine, Mine, Mine", he sings of how he's never seen a wilder, more challenging land than Virginia and how he doesn't plan to miss any of its dangers.
Break the Haughty: It's not done negatively, but he is forced to see the negative implications of his original behavior.
Character Development: Goes from pointing his gun at Pocahontas to trying his hardest not to kill Kocoum, a very strong warrior, who attacked him.
Closer to Earth: Especially next to Ratcliffe, he is a far more competent, wise and benevolent leader. He pales in comparison to Pocahontas, however, who tries very hard to put him off his self-righteous attitude. It works.
Heel-Face Turn: Somewhat. While not a bad guy at heart, his intentions to steal the Virginian land and "civilize" the "savages" are midly villainous at worst and thorougly short-sighted and inconsiderate at best. Pocahontas turns him around to make him realize the natives are fine on their own, and the land is not, in fact, under British ownership.
Historical Hero Upgrade: To the point where critics agree this is the version of John Smith the actual Smith would have wanted history to see him as. In reality, John Smith was much more of a Jerkass, with one of his well-documented actions being taking a Native leader captive so that the leader's tribe would provide him with plentiful resources.
Nice Guy: It takes some time to come to the surface, but at heart he is quite understanding, friendly and interested in other cultures. Grandmother Willow cunningly remarks that he has a good soul.
Official Couple: With oh guess who. Due to this, it is deemed very unsafe to mention the sequel, where Pocahontas is paired with John Rolfe to Pocahontas fans. Thankfully, Disney itself affirms the Official Couple status of Pocahontas and John Smith on their merchandise and other media.
Historical Hero Upgrade: The real-life Powhatan was nothing short of a genuine Jerkass - despite naming Pocahontas his favorite daughter, he did not try to save her once she was kidnapped by the English. As John Rolfe, she berated him greatly for this decision and it made her decide to stay with the British. note Alternatively this could be an inaccurate representation of history - one could argue Powhatan had his reasons not to attack the British camp for just one of his seventy children when there was a war at hand. But then again, this is up for historical debate.
Meddling Parents: Did he really give Pocahontas a choice on marrying Kocoum? Russell Means cited this as being against the Native American tradition of always listening to your children, but stated the film redeemed itself in the scene where Pocahontas talks her father down, saying it was very realistic that a Native American dad would drop everything and seriously consider their children's words.
Easily Forgiven: Sending Kocoum after Pocahontas, who was seeing John Smith, was a very inconsiderate move she knew was dangerous to all parties. But Pocahontas seems to have graciously excused her, along with Powhatan.
Butt Monkey: Thomas throughout 3/4 of the movie—he nearly drowns (mere minutes into the movie), is clumsy, can't shoot and is manipulated by Ratcliffe. Even when he thinks he's doing right by shooting Kocoum to save John's life, he only manages to make things worse.
Cool Big Bro: In the opening sequence, he can be seen saying goodbye to his parents and his younger sister.
Bavarian Fire Drill: Waging war against the natives. Sure, Smith was in very real mortal peril (although there was no way Pocahontas was going to let him die) but Ratcliffe actually didn't give a rat's ass about Smith's life. In fact, he wanted to rid himself of Smith. Also, he ordered for anyone who wouldn't shoot a native at sight to be hanged for treason. So by his own laws, Smith would have to be considered a bloody traitor.
Big Bad: But because of his weak showing in terms of villainy, he is overshadowed by the themes of hate and xenophobia, which become the overlapping Bigger Bad.
Evil Counterpart: To Powhatan. Both are commanders of a group of warriors and both have someone prone to overshadowing them (Smith for Ratcliffe, Kocoum for Powhatan). What really sets Ratcliffe apart from Powhatan is his motivation; greed and expansion as opposed to preservation and protection.
Implausible Deniability: Denies to himself that there is no gold, just to reassure himself he won't have to return to England having failed his last assignment.
Ironic Echo: "And he came so highly recommended." Ratcliffe says it of Wiggins after perceiving the latter to be inept; Wiggins utters the very same line tearfully after seeing Ratcliffe being taken away for his crimes.
It's All About Me: "This is MY land! I make the rules here!" He did absolutely nothing besides shooting Nanutek.
Moral Event Horizon: Crosses it by trying to shoot Chief Powhatan, in-universe. For the audience, he could have crossed the line way earlier for his disregard of other cultures and their significance, but to be fair, every single British person in the movie thought like that.
Villain with Good Publicity: Doubles for a 0% Approval Rating. While his men and underlings greatly trust and admire him at least at first, everyone in the palace, as Wiggins denotes, thinks of him as a pathetic social climber, whose last chance of glory is a semi-prestitious journey they actually deem doomed to fail. Ratcliffe even fantasizes about proving those "royal backstabbers" wrong by returning with eons of gold.
The Un Favourite: Of all Disney Renaissaince villains. It doesn't help that he's squeezed between two of the most evil villains Disney has ever created.
Unwitting Instigator of Doom: By means of making a joke, he inadvertedly inspires Ratcliffe's theory of the Natives harboring the gold for themselves.
What Could Have Been: The deleted scenes from the Blu-Ray reveal that he was originally a lot more villainous, a lot less ditzy and eons more arrogant than the character we see today. He had a very condescending attitude toward the other settlers and displayed the personality of an overexcited, childish rich boy, dressing in full armor and grabbing guns from everywhere over the mere excitement of getting to shoot Indians.
Chekhov's Gunman: Steals John Smith's compass early in the movie. When he returns it to Pocahontas, she is left to realize that it is the spinning arrow from her dream and thus pointing her toward her destiny of saving John Smith.
Butt Monkey: Despite his caution and practical edge, is often comically abused by Meeko. Almost drowns within a minute of being introduced. John Smith later catches him in a cookie, which was virtually inescapable for him.
Jaw Drop: Alongside Meeko when Pocahontas learns English.
Butt Monkey: It would seem that pretty much the entire universe started to completely hate him as soon as he landed in America. He's quite frequently tripping, falling from high heights, or smashing into things, all because he happens to be the villain's dog at least before he switches owners. However, no one likes torturing him more than Meeko the raccoon. Whenever Percy has the chance to eat something, Meeko is always there to snatch it away from him. On one occasion, after he hordes a pile of bones intended for the two of them to share, Meeko offers a single bone to Percy. Then he breaks it and offers him a smaller piece, before finally eating it just as Percy was about to grab it. What a bastard.