August 03, 2005

Gratuitous Domestic Posting (TM)

Thumbing through Bill Bennett's The Moral Compass for suitable Llama-ette bedtime reading last evening, I settled on the story of Pocahontas. I forget now who the adapter was, but I was pleased to see that there was no flinching away from the clash of cultures between the Indians and the English settlers in Virginia. Rather, it was explained in reasonable, clear and non-judgemental terms.

The story also laid out what might be called the un-Disneyfied version of the facts: that Pocahontas was ten or twelve when she saved Captain Smith, that by the time she had grown he was gone away, that she married John Rolfe instead and had a son with him, and that her last few years were spent in England, ending rather sadly.

The gels, despite being exhausted from an afternoon of swimming, were agog. At the end, though, they asked a lot of inevitable questions about why things were different in the movie. I said, "Well, sometimes Disney likes to change stories to make them seem happier."

The Seven Year Old's response: "Boy, those people at Disney are a bunch of idiots."

That's my girl!

Posted by Robert at August 3, 2005 08:55 AM | TrackBack

Oh man, she is a movie curmudgeon!

Pessimism about historical butchery on film is well and good, but if it spreads to nitpicking of adaptations of fiction, I'd say she may have a problem.

Posted by: Bill from INDC at August 3, 2005 09:02 AM

Thanks for including author and name of book. I will pick it up for my son as I myself stear clear of the glossy, varnished, sugary, disney-esque interpretation of history or fantasy. That way my son will grow up being exposed to some truth in the world.

P. S. I agree w/your daughter!

Posted by: michele at August 3, 2005 09:08 AM

Such moral clarity! At such an age!

Actually, I suspect kids can develop a sense of morals pretty easily - it takes real effort to turn them into soulless patchouli-scented automatons.

Posted by: Russ at August 3, 2005 09:55 AM

After watching Pocahontas on DVD, I had a long talk with my GF's daughter (who was also seven at the time)about the difference between Pocahontas-the-actual-person and Pocahontas-the-toon. When we were done, she said, "That story sounds a lot more interesting. Why didn't they tell that one?"

Posted by: utron at August 3, 2005 11:46 AM
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