Things only adults notice in Pocahontas

Disney has been enchanting us with tales of princesses since the 1930s when the original Disney princess movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, debuted. In 1995, Pocahontas, featuring the first Native American Disney princess, left its mark on pop culture.

There's a lot to love about both the character and the film. But how does this childhood favorite measure up when you watch it as an adult? Keep reading to find out!

Why does John Smith have an American accent?

Mel Gibson's voice suits John Smith well, except for one thing: it's American, and John Smith was English. There's also the fact that there wasn't such a thing as an American accent yet. 

Historical accuracy aside (it is a Disney movie, after all) his accent sticks out from the voices of his companions. It might be easier to ignore if the other men of the Virginia Company didn't sound so clearly English, but as it is, John Smith's American tones sound jarring. 

Pocahontas looks way too old for her age

The Pocahontas most of us are familiar with is likely based upon her portrayal in the Disney film, but that Pocahontas is far from historically accurate. In real life, Pocahontas wouldn't have been more than 11 or 12 years old when the English arrived. This makes her sexualized appearance in the film more than a little disturbing. 

Disney knew what they were doing, too. "We're doing a mature love story here, and we've got to draw her as such. She has to be sexy," the supervising animator for the movie, Glen Keane, said at the tie of the film's release (via Entertainment Weekly). 

That's right, they deliberately set out to make Pocahontas look sexy, clearly forgetting that this was supposed to be a children's movie. 

John Smith is kind of a jerk

Between Pocahontas' two prospective suitors in the movie, John Smith and Kocoum, Kocoum is the obvious winner. He's handsome, dependable, and, while Pocahontas views him as boring, at least he isn't someone who views her people as '"savages" and plans to steal their gold. 

Sure, Smith eventually begins to treat Pocahontas with basic human decency, but you still get the feeling that there's a tiny part of him that will always look down on her people. Ladies and gentlemen, take note. Someone who sings about killing your people and calls them savages does not deserve your love.

Why is Pocahontas always barefoot?

Throughout the film, it looks like Pocahontas and many of the other members of her tribe are perpetually barefoot. While it makes sense that the free-spirited Pocahontas would want to kick off her moccasins, there's no way she could be barefoot as much as she is without hurting her feet. 

It's not like she's taking leisurely strolls through soft grass, either. We're talking about a girl who, as she tells us in "Colors of the Wind," likes to "run the hidden pine trails of the forest." Anyone who has ever held a pine cone knows how prickly they can be. They're definitely not something you would want to step on barefoot.

John Smith's surprise at Pocahontas' language skills

Aside from the fact that John Smith's clearly a racist, he is also lacking a healthy dose of skepticism, which means he is either not very bright or is just clueless to the world around him. When he first meets Pocahontas, he at first seems to be surprised that she doesn't know English. Never mind the fact that, considering how far away from England they are, there is absolutely no reason that she should speak the language.

It gets even weirder from there. When Pocahontas, by listening to her heart, learns how to communicate with John Smith, Smith just takes her newfound language skills in stride. Isn't he the least bit curious at how she learned an entire language in the span of 30 seconds? Nope. He just goes with it. Even Meeko and Flit express more awe at their friend's new skill.

John Smith doesn't freak out enough when he meets a literal talking tree

Either John Smith has the world's best poker face, or he has absolutely no sense of self preservation. You'd think that, upon meeting Mother Willow, he would think he was going crazy or that there was some serious witchcraft going on. Sure, he seems a little hesitant at first, but once again he shows a remarkable ability to go with the flow, and seems bizarrely okay with the situation. 

Does he just think that talking trees are the norm in the New World? For a guy who spent the beginning of the film singing about murdering Indians, he now appears to be strangely open minded. Childlike, if you will, which is perhaps why kids don't question it.

What's the deal with Meeko and Flit?

Pocahontas lives a pretty wild lifestyle, jumping off of cliffs and running all over the forest. Maybe that's why she can't find any human companions to accompany her on her adventures. For kids, Pocahontas' animal companions Meek and Flit seem totally rational. After all, her tribe is all about nature!

As an adult, however, it's easy to notice that there's a lack of animals following around her father and other members of the tribe, which means an entourage of pets isn't the norm. It could be that Meeko and Flit are just one more way of showing how Pocahontas doesn't quite fit in with everyone else, but it's not something kids read into very much.

How many lives does a hummingbird have?

Speaking of Pocahontas' companions, Flit seems to get into a lot of situations that would kill a normal bird, which leads me to wonder if he has more lives than a cat. 

His survival could be chalked up to this being a happy, family-friendly Disney film, but considering that Disney doesn't actually shy away from the violence in Pocahontas, adults can only assume that Flit has some serious powers of longevity.

Pocahontas isn't the aspiration for adults — Percy is

As kids, we all want to be Pocahontas. Not only was she brave and beautiful, but she was also a princess. What else could a girl want? Watching it as an adult, however, the character I most want to be is Percy.

This dog has got it made. He has a servant to bathe him, and probably more treats than he can handle. He's basically living in a spa, 24/7. I can't even remember the last time I had time to take a nap, let alone relax in a luxurious bubble bath. Percy brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "lucky dog."

Why does John Smith have to go back to England?

John Smith is severely wounded towards the end of the film, and is told that his only chance of survival is to return to England. This might make a little more sense in modern times, when he could fly across the ocean, but in the 17th century, crossing the Atlantic by sailboat could take several weeks. 

During that time, even healthy people sometimes got sick and died on the long journey, so it seems like staying put in the New World would probably be a better choice than spending weeks on a boat, being thrown around by waves. Is there seriously no one in the New World who could nurse him back to health?