- "If you kill him, you'll have to kill me too."
- ―Pocahontas to her father before he strikes John Smith.
Princess Pocahontas is the main protagonist from the 1995 film of the same name and its sequel. She is the seventh official Disney Princess. Her speaking voice was provided by Irene Bedard while her singing voice was provided by Judy Kuhn.
Pocahontas is a member of the Powhatan Indian tribe that makes their home in Virginia. She is the 18 year old daughter of Chief Powhatan. It is stated that Pocahontas' mother died, and that Pocahontas has her spirit. She is the only member of her tribe that is not xenophobic towards the white settlers, instead forming a relationship with John Smith. By the time of the second film, she is respected enough that she is sent as an ambassador to England on behalf of her people.
Pocahontas' name means "Little Mischief". She is based on the real historical figure, and was born into a highly sophisticated Native American culture that had some knowledge of Europeans. Her design was modeled after her voice actress, the Native American actress Irene Bedard.
It is important to note that Jean Jacques Rousseau's notion of the "noble savage" was an important inspiration for this fictionalized story of the important historical persona that is Pocahontas. For as can be seen in other information given below, the story presented in the animated film is not an accurate telling of her life. Rather, it is an examination of the above notion.
Pocahontas is an extremely beautiful young woman with exotic good looks, long raven-black hair, copper skin and twinkling dark brown eyes. She has a tall, slender, statuesque figure and goes around barefoot in the first film, whereas in the second film, she wears flat shoes. The animation of Pocahontas is different from other Disney princesses.
Pocahontas is displayed as a noble, free-spirited and highly spiritual young woman. She expresses wisdom beyond her years and offers kindness and guidance to those around her. She loves adventure and nature. In the film, she appears to have shamanic powers since she was able to commune with nature, talk to spirits, empathize with animals and understand unknown languages.
In the sequel, Pocahontas seems to have grown after hearing of John Smith's assumed death. She keeps her independent spirit and playfulness, but is much more mature and self-assured than she was in the first film. During her stay in England, she nearly loses herself in the hustle and bustle of this new world and is turned into someone she's not. But in the end she bravely intends to sacrifice herself for her people's safety and returns to her homeland, finding herself, and love, once again.
Pocahontas is first seen atop a waterfall, when she is summoned by her friend Nakoma. It is revealed that Pocahontas has been having a series of unusual dreams, and she does not understand what they mean. Nakoma counsels Pocahontas to speak with her father, Chief Powhatan, who has recently returned from war. At the village, Pocahontas meets with her father, and learns that Kocoum, one of her dad's finest warriors, has asked to marry her. As a gift, Powhatan gives Pocahontas her mother's necklace, which her mother had worn at their wedding. Pocahontas doesn't feel that this is the right path for her, but Powhatan feels that Kocoum would be a fine husband for Pocahontas, as Kocoum is steady and serious, as well as brave, loyal, strong and protective.
Pocahontas travels to Grandmother Willow in order to gain some advice. After telling Grandmother Willow about her dream and her father's plans for her arranged marriage, Grandmother Willow tells Pocahontas that her dream is pointing her down her path. When Pocahontas asks how to find her path, Grandmother Willow teaches Pocahontas to listen to the spirits of the earth. Pocahontas does so, and after hearing the wind, is able to spot the ship carrying the Europeans, though she mistakes the ship's sails for clouds.
Pocahontas later encounters one of the settlers, John Smith. Over time, the two get to know each other, asking all sorts of questions about each other's people, lives, and different worlds. However, the conversation goes sour when John Smith unintentionally reveals his prejudices towards Native Americans. Pocahontas explains to him the beauty and importance of nature and respecting the earth through the song, Colors of the Wind. This causes John to see the ill of his thoughts and change his ways, and the two begin to strongly fall romantically in love with each other. However, after hearing drums, Pocahontas is forced to return to the village.
Later, while picking corn with Nakoma, Pocahontas meets John Smith again. After swearing Nakoma to secrecy, Pocahontas takes John Smith out to the woods. Pocahontas takes John to meet Grandmother Willow. When John reveals that the settlers had come looking for gold, Pocahontas reveals that there is none in the area. When other settlers come into the area looking for Smith, Smith is forced to leave, but the two agree to meet that night at Grandmother Willow's glade. After Smith leaves, Pocahontas worries about her actions. Grandmother Willow reminds Pocahontas of her dreams, and Pocahontas begins to suspect that her dream is pointing her towards John.
Upon returning to the village, Pocahontas discovers that warriors from neighboring villages have arrived and are planning to fight the settlers. That night, despite Nakoma's protests, Pocahontas sneaks off to meet John. Both reveal that their respective people are planning for war. Pocahontas asks John to come to her village and speak with Powhatan, in an attempt to avoid fighting. John is reluctant at first, but agrees after some advice from Grandmother Willow. When Kocoum, who had been warned about Pocahontas by Nakoma, suddenly stumbles upon Pocahontas and John Smith kissing. Kocoum becomes enraged and attacks him. Before Pocahontas can break them up, Thomas, who had been sent to find John, shoots and kills Kocoum. Enraged, Pocahontas charges at Thomas, but John Smith stops her, saying it won't help. John Smith takes the blame, is taken prisoner by the Powhatan men, and sentenced to die at sunrise.
Pocahontas realizes that she must stop the execution that will lead to war between the Native Americans and the settlers. She runs to where it will take place, calling out to the forces of nature to help her reach them in time. Pocahontas reaches John Smith just in time to throw herself over him and save him from being killed by her father, Chief Powhatan who then comes to his senses and releases John Smith. When the enraged Governor Ratcliffe shoots at the chief, John Smith pushes Powhatan out of the way, and takes the bullet.Soon after, a wounded John Smith asks her to come with him to England, but she explains that her place is in Virginia, with her people. To comfort him, she tells him that no matter what happens, I'll always be with you, forever. They passionately kiss, and the men carry him onto the ship. As it is leaving, Pocahontas runs as fast as she can to a cliff overlooking the ocean. John waves goodbye in the Powhatan fashion, and Pocahontas waves back in the Powhatan fashion, like she showed him to earlier when the two first met, as the ship sails away.
In Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World, Pocahontas goes to London as a diplomat to stop a potential attack upon her people being ordered by King James in a plot by Ratcliffe. There, she is accompanied by John Rolfe and slowly develops a strong and close blossoming romance with him. In the end, she is reunited with John Smith, but explains to him that they are no longer following the same path that they went on years ago, and parts ways with him. Successfully exposing Ratcliffe, who is then arrested by order of the King, Pocahontas and John Rolfe get on a ship going back to Virginia together, and embrace and kiss passionately as the ship sails off into the sunset.
She makes cameo appearances in numerous episodes. In "The Stolen Cartoons", Pocahontas' food was being stolen by Meeko as she was applauding Mickey's introduction. In "Big Bad Wolf Daddy", the Big Bad Wolf (as Big Bad Wolf Daddy) blows Pocahontas, her table, Meeko and several other characters out of the nightclub with his trumpet. In "Suddenly Hades", Pocahontas was seen with her hair blowing in the air-conditioned wind. In "Ask Von Drake" she was seen in a canoe with Meeko, Flit and Roy E. Disney during the headcount of all the Disney character guests. In "House of Turkey", she was seen waking into the club with John Smith and the colors of the wind.
Songs Preformed by Pocahontas:
- Just Around The Riverbend
- Colors of the Wind
- Where Do I Go From Here (and reprise)
- Savages (Part 2 only)
- In the Middle of the River
- If I Never Knew You
- Between Two Worlds
- What a Day in London
- If You Can Dream
Pocahontas appears regularly at the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, especially at Walt Disney World, for meet-and-greets. She is the most common Pocahontas character, next to Meeko.
She is most prominently featured in the Disney's Hollywood Studios incarnation of the show.
She and John Smith appear in the Disney Cruise Line stage show The Golden Mickeys. She's also known to come out for meet-and-greets on the ships. Pocahontas is also a "magic maker" in the show Believe.
She had her own show entitled "Pocahontas and her Forest Friends" at Disney's Animal Kingdom, which ran from 1998 to 2008. In this show, Pocahontas and Grandmother Willow taught park guests about the forest life and how to protect them, with assistance from a new young tree character named Sprig and multiple live animals.
Pocahontas serves as the guests' guide in Frontierland and Liberty Square. Ratcliffe is freed from prison by Hades (in the guise of Lord Indigo of the East Underworld Trading Company) and makes a deal to gain control over Pocahontas' land in exchange for the crystal of the Magic Kingdom. Ratcliffe agrees, but soon enough, Ratcliffe begins to panic as the crystal is nowhere in sight, but being that Pocahontas knows the land, he kidnaps Meeko in an attempt to force her into helping him find it. Fortunately, the guests defeat Ratcliffe by blasting him with magic, making him fall off of his ship.
Pocahontas also has her own spell card known as "Pocahontas's Colors of the Wind".
In 2012, Disney released images portraying the various official princesses in glamourized formal wear, which has become known (erroneously) as a "redesign".
Pocahontas received multiple changes in her late 2012 redesign.
Feather earrings with leather cords and turquoise beads at the end frame her face and her dress is more elaborate with the addition of feathers and turquoise stones.
Her mother's necklace is now gold and studded with turquoise stones instead of being a solid blue, while the pendant at the end is a blue stone instead of silver.
Notably, the traditionally barefoot princess now wears knee-high soft suede boots.
- Even though many European settlers commonly describe Pocahontas as an "Indian Princess", most Native American tribe never had royalty, and most chieftains were elected (like the President of the United States, for instance) rather than inherited. Also, calling the daughter of a tribal chieftain a "princess" is now often considered derogatory.
- Pocahontas is the first and currently only Disney Princess to have two love interests. However, most media, including the Disney Princess franchise, keep John Smith and Pocahontas as an official couple, completely ignoring John Rolfe.
- According to legend, Pocahontas changed her name to Rebecca. However, this doesn't occur in any of the Disney films.
- The real name of Pocahontas is Matoaka, while Pocahontas is her nickname. However, this isn't mentioned in any of the Disney films.
- Pocahontas is the second Disney Princess to be played by two actresses, after Jasmine and before Mulan. Irene Bedard provided her speaking voice, and Judy Kuhn provided her singing voice.
- Pocahontas is the first Disney Princess to be clearly located in America, before Tiana in 2009.
- Pocahontas is the first and currently only Disney Princess to be of Native American descent.
- She is also the first Disney protagonist to be of Native American descent, with the second being Kuzco and the third being Kenai.
- Pocahontas is the first and only Disney Princess to be based on an actual historical figure instead of the traditional fairy tale or folktale.
- Pocahontas is the first Disney Princess to be denied a traditional "happy ending" with her true love. At the film's climax, Pocahontas is forced to part with her true love John Smith in order for him to return to England and have his injuries treated.
- Pocahontas is the only Disney Princess to have a visible tattoo.
- Pocahontas is the first Disney Princess to wear an ethnic dress, followed by Mulan who wears a Cheongsam (traditional Chinese dress) when the Matchmaker tries to make her appealing to men.
- Pocahontas is the first Disney Princess to have a human best friend, second being Tiana.
- Pocahontas is the first Disney princess to be shown leaping from a high rocky ledge, with Rapunzel being the second.
- Pocahontas is the second of the three Disney Princesses to be barefoot, the other two are Rapunzel and Princess Aurora.
- Pocahontas is the second Disney princess to be completely submerged underwater. Ariel is the first, Mulan is the third, Tiana is the fourth and Rapunzel is the fifth. Belle nearly drowned in Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas but not in the main feature film.
- Pocahontas is the fourth Disney Princess in which she has to deal with an unwanted marriage as a major or minor source of conflict. Aurora is the first (in which she did not know the boy she met was Prince Philip), Belle is the second (as she has to deal with Gaston's intent to marry her solely out of vanity and to fulfill societal norms), and Jasmine is the third (in that her father is trying to marry her off before her next birthday). Hers is because she is to become the village's next queen, but she has doubts about her husband-to-be solely because she feels he is too serious for her.
- Pocahontas is the only Disney Heroine who deals with imperialism as a major source of conflict.
- Pocahontas is the first Disney Heroine who deals with racism as a source of major conflict, Esmeralda being the second.
- According to legend, Pocahontas and John Rolfe had a son named Thomas.
- According to legend Pocahontas was married to Kocoum, but was kidnapped.
- Pre-production of Pocahontas in a Disney magazine promoting the movie showed there was a title card that featured an early version of the Disney heroine who looked a lot like Tiger Lily from Peter Pan. It showed her head held up high, eyes closed, arms folded and surrounded by a few forest animals. Therefore, it seemed it's actually this same Tiger Lily and not just someone who resembled her, but under a different name.
- Pocahontas is the only Disney Princess not shown getting married in either of her movies or in stories. In the Step Into Reading book "Beautiful Brides", it shows Belle's, Snow White's and Aurora's weddings, though they are only short stories. Cinderella, Ariel, Tiana and Rapunzel marry in their first movies, Jasmine in her third and Mulan in her second.
- Pocahontas is the third Disney Princess not seen sleeping or taking a nap in her movies, the first being Belle and the second being Jasmine.
- Pocahontas appears to be the least popular princess in the official lineup. She is barely ever marketed with any merchandise and/or media (there were several Mattel dolls of her during the late 1990s, most of her dolls from 2000 onwards are Disney Store-exclusive) and most of her appearances are often restricted to group shots.
- She is also the only Princess that doesn't appear in the Disney On Ice shows (except 100 Years of Magic, Forever Love and The Spirit of Pocahontas).
- Pocahontas is the third Disney Princess to sing a duet with her love interest, the first being Cinderella and the second being Jasmine.
- The real Pocahontas was actually a young child when she first met and saved John Smith.
- Pocahontas is the only Disney Princess that isn't depicted wearing a tiara, either in the film or franchise.
For more pictures and screenshots of Pocahontas, click here.
- Pocahontas (Disney) on Wikipedia
| Snow White | Cinderella | Aurora | Ariel | Belle | Jasmine | Pocahontas | Mulan | Tiana | Rapunzel | Merida
Expected Future Princesses: Anna