John Smith is an explorer who is shown already be a legend at when he first appears, as Thomas mentions that there are "amazing stories about him." He is well known for his exploits as an explorer, not to mention his success at fighting savages. At the beginning of the film, he initially assumes that the voyage to the New World will be the same as the other voyages he has taken. By the end of the film, though, many of his views about the natives have changed, thanks to Pocahontas.
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Original Production Drawing
John Smith Profile Character Poster Original Production Concept Art by John Alvin