Squanto: A Warrior's Tale
"Squanto: A Warrior's Tale" (PG), the new Disney action adventure, is a wonderful film for adolescents and most children. There are some scenes which may be quite frightening for children under 7 years-old.
"Squanto: A Warrior's Tale" begins as the young handsome Squanto (Adam Beach) marries beautiful Nakooma. Their happiness is destroyed when cruel English traders kidnap Squanto and take him to England where he is put on display as a "savage" from the New World. Squanto escapes and is befriended by Brother Daniel (Mandy Patinkin) and his fellow monks. They teach him the English language and culture and eventually help him make a daring escape back to his home in the New World.
Although some of the film is fictionalized, there once was a real Squanto. As many children have read in their history books, he lived in the 1600s and helped the Pilgrims learn to survive in the New World. This film tells the story from the point of view of a Native American. He is portrayed as being an intelligent and kind man who is victimized by the English. This is certainly a more humanitarian picture of Native Americans than used to be shown at the movies.
The peace treaty that Squanto helped develop lasted for more than forty years. "Squanto: A Warrior's Tale" conveys the message that cruelty can be forgiven and peace established. In this age of gang warfare, this film gives children hope that they too can be part of a peaceful solution.
Some of the scenes are too intense for young children. Squanto's kidnapping and subsequent cruel treatment might scare some young children. In one scene, Squanto is put into an arena and forced to fight a large bear. In another scene, Squanto is tied up in a cellar with rats crawling over him. Although Squanto escapes injury, seeing an animal attack a human can be very frightening to children under 7 years of age.
I recommend "Squanto: A Warrior's Tale" for older children and adolescents. It shows compassion toward Native Americans and optimism regarding peace. It's a slice of history that kids can relate to--especially at Thanksgiving.
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