Mouse on the Mayflower is a good movie for teaching the classic Thanksgiving story—the kind that’s as much story as history. As the title suggests, it’s a mouse’s eye view of the experience, from leaving England to the first Thanksgiving. The movie focuses more on education than entertainment, so students will learn plenty about details like how the pilgrims repaired the Mayflower en route while still enjoying cartoonish fun.
Songs by Tennessee Ernie Ford are sprinkled throughout the movie. On the whole, they are very good, but watch your kids snicker during the love song! You might wonder why the pilgrims were singing love songs when the Puritans objected to such frivolity. Oh, well.
The movie is definitely pro-pilgrim, which makes sense because William the mouse did sail across the Atlantic with them. Conflict with the Native Americans (Indians in this movie) is presented with the view that there are buffoonish instigators on both sides. The mice help to bring everyone together, of course.
Enjoy this for what it is—a nice 50 minute movie that effectively dramatizes the Thanksgiving story. Your students will like it!
Note: this movie is currently not available on DVD, but you can buy it cheap as a used VHS.