Disney

10+ Mistakes Fans Didn't Notice In 'Pocahontas'

The film Pocahontas helped break new ground for Disney. For the first time, fans were seeing a strong female character. One who didn't need rescuing from any man.

As monumental a film as it was when it first came out, it has its fill of errors.

Have a look and check out these 10+ mistakes fans didn't notice in Pocahontas!

1. Actually, that's not how you say hello in the 1600s.

Disney

When John Smith first meets Pocahontas, he attempts to shake her hand. He goes on to say that it's "how we say hello" - except this wasn't the case at the time.

The modern use of a handshake as a form of greeting really didn't catch on until the early 19th century.

2. Where is John Smith's helmet?

It's a fairly inconsistent piece of armor, to say the least! At various times throughout the film, John is shown both with and without his helmet.

He seems to be able to conjure it at will, with little or no explanation.

3. How does the flag manage to repair itself?

Disney

At the very beginning of the film, John Smith and his fellow band of sailors are hit by a nasty storm.

The wind and rain are so violent that it literally tears the Union Flag from the mast.

But in the very next scene as we watch John Smith ascend to the crow's nest, the flag looks good as new?

Disney

It doesn't even have so much as a scratch on it!

A pretty impressive feat considering it was literally in tatters not two minutes prior.

4. Grandmother Willow shouldn't exist.

Disney

Aside from obvious reasons, of course. Grandmother Willow is a weeping willow tree. This subspecies wasn't introduced to North America until the year 1730.

Pocahontas takes place more than a century earlier, in the year 1607.

5. There's something not quite right about Pocahontas' shadow.

Disney

Keep in mind that she's following the compass north, while the sun is also rising. If you notice her shadow, it's on her left.

Granted, it's been some time since my days in the scouts, but even I know that her shadow would have to be on her right.

6. Indigenous Americans didn't plant corn in rows.

Disney

Planting corn in rows is a European custom. The way that Indigenous Americans used to plant their crops was in blocks.

Corn is wind-pollinated, so this method helped to ensure a good crop.

7. Matchlock guns don't fire when wet.

Disney

When John Smith first encounters Pocahontas, he jumps through the waterfall and aims his musket at her.

Back then, matchlock guns like John's required a lit match to ignite the gunpowder. Getting it wet would have ruined it.

8. You never feed a dog cherries.

Disney

There's a scene where we see Ratcliffe's dog Percy indulging himself with an assortment of cherries. In reality, this is one of the worst things that you can give a dog.

Cherry pits contain trace amounts of cyanide, which is lethal to dogs. This sadly would've killed Percy.

9. Why aren't their shadows holding hands?

Disney

As Pocahontas and Nakoma approach the tent in order to visit John Smith, you can clearly see them holding hands.

A quick look at their shadows on the ground tells an entirely different story. Not only are they not holding hands, but their hands are at the side!

10. John Smith sure doesn't sound like he's English.

That's probably because he's being voiced by Aussie-born actor, Mel Gibson.

Not only does Mel do a pretty poor job at attempting to sound English, but the accent also wanes in and out throughout the film.

11. Pocahontas' hair really does have a mind all its own.

Disney

One of the most enigmatic things about Pocahontas is the way her long black hair danced in the wind. But if you pay attention to the background details in the scene, you'll notice that nothing else moves.

If it's so windy as to make her hair whip, other aspects of the scene should also be affected.

12. There aren't any moose anywhere in coastal Virginia.

Disney

This is a huge oversight because moose aren't indigenous to the region whatsoever!

You'd have to go very north of the border before you'd even have a chance of running into one.

13. The Union Flag of Great Britain and Ireland didn't exist.

Disney

There are some huge inconsistencies with the flags shown throughout the film. For the most part, the Union Jack displayed is the current version of the flag.

However, the first time the flag was flown was in 1801!

14. Where did Pocahontas' tattoo go?

Disney

Right after she and John Smith stop kissing, take a look at her right arm. Normally, Pocahontas is shown with a henna-style armband wrapped around her bicep.

But you'll notice in this scene, it's nowhere to be found.