If anyone followed me on Fanpop, you would know about the series of articles that I wrote 6 months ago. Since they belong to me, I am publishing it here as well. For anyone who doesn’t follow me there, I decided to start a series of analyzing the DP Couples in depth (and later, the other Disney Couples), so here is how it is going to go. I will first explain my overall statement about the couples in a paragraph, and then I will analyze each scene to look at the inner and outer feelings of the characters individually an the couple itself.
First thoughts right after watching the Movie
Right after watching Pocahontas, I do not believe that Pocahontas and John Smith were in love. I know this is Disney (so every couple are in “love”, but it is not really developed enough to call it that, and this is for two reasons. One is that they never talk about each other as individuals with their past, experiences, personalities, interests, etc. and this is because they are talking about their worlds, cultures, and people. Another is that the way their relationship is executed is extremely lustful. They longingly look at one another and caress each other. I think they are a passionate couple that are INTERESTED in each other, but are not there yet as a couple to really call it anything else by infatuation-lust.
While Pocahontas is talking to Grandmother Willow, she sees these “mysterious clouds”, and goes to see what they are. What she thought were clouds was actually a boat, and immediately sees John Smith on the rowboat, and is immediately smitten. She continues to follow him when he abandons his crew members to wander around the land, and she has this mischievous and flirty look that she is impressed with what she is seeing. It is the way she looks specifically at him that gives off this longing, lustful feeling to it, as she knew nothing about him, and was so taken away with his looks, that she dropped everything to follow him for hours.
I think that she is also fascinated with the fact that she has never seen anyone like him in colour, and personality. She sees him climbing up large rocks, swinging on vines, and hopping on a tree stem that goes across the waterfall. Who knows how long she was following him for, just looking and gazing at him. When he is at the tree and she is hiding behind the bushes, she is already mesmerize by him, but smirks when she sees the way he treated Meeko. At this point, John Smith is completely unaware that he is being followed, and is on his way. At this point, John Smith is aware that someone is following him, and because of him being defensive, he sets up to shoot the thing.
I think at this point, she was a little scared of him, as earlier, his first instinct was to pull of a knife when Meeko bumped into him, and tries to attack her. I think she also senses this danger factor to him, as he is different from her and is extremely defensive. He chases after her and tells her not to go. It seems like he NEEDS to be near her with the way he talked to her and ran after her. But there is a language barrier…..which is solved when Pocahontas “listens with heart”.
They are clearly interested in one another (since thy are different from one another), so they start to talk about small things in their worlds. He teaches her what a helmet is, and she tells him about the name of the river they are near at. He then shows her that his people say hello with a handshake (I never knew they had handshakes in 1607, but alright…), and she shows him how to say hello and goodbye in her culture, but as soon as she starts to show him how to say goodbye, he interrupts her by putting his hand on here and saying “I like hello better”. This is one of the examples that I meant of him NEEDING to be with her, as it shows his feelings about her in a small subtle action. When they are talking, you could feel the infatuation between these two (it is rubbed in so much, but I think the chemistry is supposed to). Here is where they learned more about one another personally. After John Smith unintentionally insults her homes and people, she finds him arrogant and entitled, while after her being so defensive and offended, he found out that she is very passionate and opinionated. Now, she starts to tell him about the Colors of the Wind.
Now Colors of the Wind is practically the montage of her and John bonding, having fun, and him seeing the bigger picture in life and stepping into someone else’s shoes. In the beginning of the song, John did no look too interested or invested in the native lifestyle of nature and so forth, and his first reaction to seeing a bear was to shoot it, but Pocahontas pointed his gun away. As the song goes on, in could see both enjoy being around one another, and John enjoys rolling on the riches that are around him, and is enjoying being with Pocahontas. He is being seen friendlier with animals, and appears to me more mellow than he was prior to the song. Pocahontas enjoys spending time running with him and laying beside him. They were just having a good time, and maybe that is why they like one another; because they listen to one another, and have fun with each other. At the end of the song, Pocahontas and John Smith are slowly and unintentionally moving closer to one another, and are looking into each others eyes with passion. The emergency drums means that Pocahontas has to go, and John grabs her wondering when to see her again, and then when they look into one another’s eyes, they almost kiss but she says that she has to go, and he looks not sad, but wishes that their time could have been longer.
So, it has been a few days since they last saw one another, and both are gloomy and sad. Here is when it becomes more infatuation then lust because before, the were mesmerized by one another, and the looks was a big part of it, but no, they cannot stop thinking about one another (which is one of the biggest signs of infatuation. John and Pocahontas did cot, or possibly could not talk to their friends about the other person, and this also shows that their friends do not understand them, even if their friends do like them. John Smith sneaks off from his crew again to find Pocahontas, since he needed to see her again, and when Nakoma sees him, Pocahontas tells her to cover for her and they leave almost immediately.
After walking around for a while (or at least it is implied) John says that Virgina is fantastic, so they did not automatically go to Grandmother Willow from the corn fields. He says that the settlers will be disappointed when they find out that there is no gold there after Pocahontas pulled out a corn (which she thought was their terminology of gold), and that they might leave. She gets sad by the mention of this, and asks if he would leave. He says that eh never really had a home to begin with (which somewhat explains his need to travel, and why he is by himself), and she responds saying that she could belong here, meaning that she wants him to be with her. Now here is where Grandmother Willow makes an appearance, and freaks out John. She says that he has a good soul, and is handsome, implying that Pocahontas has made a good choice with him. He is flattered by Willow’s compliment, and Pocahontas cuddles against him saying that she knew he would. After John’s two older friends show up to look for him and eventually leaves, he says that he should go before the entire camp goes looking for him, and tells her to meet him here again tonight while caressing her cheek.
Later that night, both rush to their meeting spot to tell one another that their people are planning for a war. Pocahontas asks John if he could speak to her father to reason with him, and he agrees. They hug each other, and suddenly kiss passionately.
Neither knew that they were being followed, and an enraged Kocuom attacks John Smith and tries to kill him. Pocahontas tries to pull him off, but easily is shoved to the ground. Smith is only trying to get Kocuom off him, and Thomas kills Kocuom with a gun, after seeing his friend being attacked. I don’t think Thomas would have done anything if Kocuom had not attacked John. After Thomas fled, John is captured by the other Powathans to be killed in the morning. After being scolded by her father and Nakoma told her that she sent Kocuom, the first thing that comes into Pocahontas’ mind is that she will never see John Smith again (even though she yelled at Thomas for killing Kocuom). Nakoma takes Pocahontas to the tent that John is at, and here is where their feelings for one another are heard. They both say in this song that they would have no inkling of how precious life can be.
At the end of “Savages”, Pocahontas leaps over John Smith,m and tells her father that if he kills him, he will have to kill her too. Pocahontas tells Chief Powathan that she will not step back, and that the path of hatred is an ugly place. She tells him that she loves John Smith, and convinces her father to free him. Him and the other tribe members untie John Smith, and he hugs Pocahontas in a big hug for thanking her for saving his life, and thinking that they could be together. Of course, Governor Ratcliffe doe snot want this, and aims to shoot at Chief Powathan, but John Smith sees this, and jumps in to take the shot instead, saddening everyone.
In the final scene, the settlers are about to put John Smith on the boat, but he stops them, telling that she said that she would be there to say goodbye. Pocahontas shows up with her people. He asks her to come to London with her, and she turns to her father, but he says that she must choose her own path. A tear comes off her face, and says that she is needed at Virginia. He then says that he will stay there, and she says that he must go back. They have one passionate goodbye kiss, and the he is boarded on the boat. Her dad is holding her shoulder, and after seeing the boat take sail, she runs off to the cliff in desperation, and both say goodbye in her native culture.
After analyzing it, it is clear that they do care for one another and enjoy talking to one another, and being in their presence, but their relationship does not scream love to me. I think a part of why they thought so is because of the passion in their relationship, the sneaking around aspect, and the fact that they could talk to one another and have some common interests. I think if the movie showed them getting to know one another as individuals, and talk about themselves and their interests, pasts, hopes, etc. it would be more believable that they were in love. The lust that automatically comes off of these two do not help either, but maybe their relationship was supposed to be like this. Them blinded by their lust, and talking about their people instead of themselves, and if that was the goal, then that was done well.