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Fridge Brilliance

  • In the song "Mine, Mine, Mine", the word "mine" is a pun on "mine" (as in, "this is mine") and "mine" (as in, mining for gold). Pay attention to the lyrics. Ratcliffe is very smoothly transitioning from each meaning of the word as he moves through the camp, depending on whether he is talking to himself or the settlers.
  • "Colors of the Wind":
    • Very broadly, the song is essentially a poetic description of an actual type of religion many Native Americans practiced, Animism.
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    • One might be initially forced into a negative impression of the song, thinking that it was all a bunch of new age treehugger hoo-ha, but listening to the song again and one will realize it was brilliant. Remember the lyrics "How high does the sycamore grow?/If you cut it down, then you'll never know"? She wasn't singing about deforestation! That sycamore is the native Americans, whose people and cultures were "cut down" by European settlers. Now we can never know what they might have become if we hadn't oppressed them.
  • During Kekata's prophecy, after the images of the settlers transform into wolves, one of them circles Kokoum and is later stopped by Powhatan. In terms of story, the wolf represents John and the events that happen when he is near the two warriors. First Kokoum dies in a skirmsh with John at the hands of Thomas, and then John took the bullet meant for Powhatan.
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  • Thomas says that the Indians "headed North" when they took John Smith away, and Pocahontas later finds John's compass. Where does the arrow on a compass point to? The compass was pointing her to the place the execution was being held.
  • Coupled with Alternate Character Interpretation. Ratcliffe says that this trip is his last chance for glory in the English court, which explains why he's so desperate to find gold. And leading the battle on the tribe...perhaps he felt that he could get away with not bringing gold home if he could brag about slaughtering a tribe. Or was he hoping to die 'heroically' in battle rather than go back to England empty handed and be disgraced?
    • The look on his face when he sees that John is about to be executed is a mixture of shock and outrage, despite wanting to be rid of John and at the head of his men where he didn't need to fake an emotional display on his face.
  • Pocahontas suddenly being able to understand English, and the language barrier being apparently forgotten. Only Pocahontas is ever shown speaking and understanding English. When she speaks to John in front of Nakoma, it's never stated if Nakoma can understand what they're saying. However her reaction could be either a) the tone Pocahontas is using - she's speaking casually to one of the white men, or b) the fact that Pocahontas is speaking another language. Pocahontas gives no indication that she also understands Thomas at the end, but she can tell he's trying to be sympathetic. The English also don't claim to have understood what Powhatan said at the execution - they know he called it off because he undid John's bonds and he and Pocahontas just hugged. In fact, Ratcliffe's paranoia that it's a trick might stem from the fact that he didn't understand what Powhatan said. John also gives no indication that he understood Powhatan at the end.
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  • Pocahontas appears to be the only one who gets guidance from Grandmother Willow. Grandmother Willow teaches Aesops about doing the right thing and seeing the other person's point of view. This is why Pocahontas is the only one to attempt to reason with the settlers.
  • The first impressions the different Powhatans have to the settlers are what shape their viewpoints. Kocoum and his men's first impression was the settlers digging up their land and then attacking them with guns. Pocahontas', meanwhile, was John choosing to play with Meeko instead of attacking him. That's why she was willing to get to know the settlers before judging them.
  • Why does Thomas not intervene when he sees Pocahontas kissing John like Kocoum does? Because John had said he'd met one of the Indians, so him kissing her wasn't a complete shock as it was to Kocoum.
  • Raccoons and hummingbirds are native to North America, while pug dogs were bred in China. Meeko and Flit represent animals the Europeans would never have seen before, and Percy represents an animal that the Native Americans would never have seen before.
  • In the beginning of the "Savages" song, amerindians are called "red-skinned devils" by the english, and the english themselves are called "pale-faced demons" by the amerindians. If you take attention during the song, you can notice an interesting contrast: all english people have red outlines or have their traits and skin colored bright red, lightened by the surrounding fires, whereas the amerindians are colored blue under the dim moonlight, making them look rather pale, and this despite the big campfire in the middle of the village. Through images, it is shown that despite calling eachother names based on the color of their skins, they are not so different: they all belong to the same race and, depending on perception, are the very same demons and devils they claim the other to be.

Fridge Horror

  • Before the sequel came out, it went something like this. At the end of the film, Ratcliffe is taken back to England to await punishment for high treason. The punishment for high treason at the time in England was hanging, drawing and quartering.
    • The sequel actually makes things worse, as it's revealed that the King believed Ratcliffe's version of events. John Smith is subsequently accused of treason, so presumably the other settlers were too. That's why we don't see any of them in the sequel - Ratcliffe had them all hanged, just like he said he would!
    • Actually, a good few of them stayed behind. Notice how Thomas and the other guy say "God speed, lad" as John is rowed out onto the ship. The majority stayed behind to populate Jamestown, while those who went back only did so to transport Ratcliffe and John.
  • It's not enough that the movie totally didn't do the research on the real story in a LOT of areas, but the fact remains that Pocahontas died a rather miserable death by smallpox at a rather young age, far away from home after the events of Pocahontas II, and also that the situation of the indigenous Americans didn't get any better.
    • It gets worse once you realize that life for the settlers in Jamestown was awful. Jamestown sat on an island that had been abandoned by the indigenous population because it was so bad. The hunting was bad, the soil marshy, and there was a shortage of clean drinking water. The settlers arrived too late in the year to plant anything. Many died quickly from disease and starvation; the winter of 1609-1610 was known as "Starving Time" that left only 60 of the original 500 settlers alive. The whole situation for the first colonists got as bad as it did because they almost acted greedier than this movie's villain. It took some rather inflexible leadership afterwards to keep Jamestown from becoming a historical footnote. Even then, Jamestown was gradually abandoned after the capital of Virginia was moved to Williamsburg in 1699. Jamestown fell into disrepair, and the site was further damaged during The American Civil War. Today, the site exists as a living history museum and archaeological site.
  • Pocahontas tells John Smith every tree has a life, spirit and name and even proves the theory by introducing him to Grandmother Willow - after the settlers just cut down a huge chunk of the Powhatan forest and used the trees to build a fort.
    • In their defense, the Powhatan (and other Amerindians) did this too, though usually for different reasons and with less waste. Necessarily Evil, perhaps?
    • Most Indigenous People thanked plants cut down and animals killed for their service to the tribe, and they used as much as possible as a way to show respect.
  • Earlier in the film when the settlers were boarding the Susan Constant, a rat sneaks aboard. Rats carry the plague, which would have wiped some natives out.
  • Why must John be torn away from the love of his life and taken on a four-month voyage across the Atlantic in a rickety wooden ship? To be put into the hands of 17th century medicine, which thought disease was caused by hormonal imbalances and leeches were the cure to everything.
    • It must have not been so bad, since John's still alive in the sequel.
  • Look at where Pocahontas was when Kocoum got shot. She was trying to pull him off John. It's a good thing John helped Thomas improve his aim; he could have shot Pocahontas instead by mistake! Imagine how much worse things would have gone if he'd accidentally murdered the chief's daughter.