by Jack Nilan            EMail :

Squanto: A Warrior's Tale (1994)

Jack   C-

IMDB    6.1

Tribe(s) : Patuxet

Language : English / Patuxet



   A well intentioned, well meaning movie, but its historical inaccuracies do more damage then good. Squanto was a real historical figure who was kidnapped by Spanish explorers and later taught bu Spanish friars. Squanto later was brought to England and also learned that language. He was later brought back to North America to help in establishing trade with the natives. Squanto learned that disease had wiped out his village and he did help the Pilgrims survive the first winter.

   In the movie, Squanto is kidnapped and taken to England, along with a sachem from another tribe. Squanto and his friend were treated like animals and made to engage in fights, including one with a bear, for the entertainment of the English audience. Squanto escapes and is educated by some monks. Squanto also later makes an escape, which is totally unbelievable.

It's a shame that Disney felt the need to fictionalize such a great story. They could have had a story with a great message with great educational value if they had just presented the story the way it actually happened. Would the narrative have really been that much less interesting?

Roger Ebert sums it up pretty well in his review "Squanto is the kind of superficial, tidied-up, idealized history that might appeal to younger viewers. No thoughtful person will be able to take it seriously. For an incomparably more accurate and evocative portrayal of the earliest contacts between Native Americans and Europeans, see Bruce Beresford's Black Robe (1991), which is to "Squanto" as Geronimo is to Tonto."