Based on the popular children’s book of the same name, What Katy Did is a touching story. Following the life of thirteen year old Katy Carr, this film is a beautiful and emotional drama. Katy lives with her widowed father, two brothers, and three sisters in Burnet. This small Midwestern town is full of interesting people and many adventures for Katy. Her father is a doctor who is very busy with his work, and the children are left mostly to their Aunt Izzie. She is stern and is very particular about how the children should be raised.
Katy is bright and headstrong, and has a hard time avoiding mischief at every corner. Every time she gets herself in trouble, she is extremely apologetic and remorseful, showing that she has a sweet and penitent heart. She dreams of doing something very grand with her life someday, such as painting pictures, saving the lives of those who are drowning, or leading crusades on a tall white steed. She also dreams about someday being very beautiful and very kind.
Four years earlier, when her mother died, Katy promised that she would be good and take care of the children. She promised to be a little mother to them, but has a hard time not getting cross with them occasionally. Mainly, she is the type of big sister who leads them on all sorts of adventures and teaches them bright and colorful lessons.
When Cousin Helen, an invalid, comes to visit, Katy is mesmerized by her beauty and her kindness. On the day that Helen leaves, she promises herself that she is going to model her behavior after her sweet cousin. Unfortunately, Katy wakes up in a very bad mood the next day. She quarrels with her aunt and gets so angry at her little sister that she pushes her down the stairs. After doing this, she is miserable and in a terrible temper. She decides to go try out the new swing in the woodshed, though Aunt Izzie has specifically told her not to.
Unfortunately, Aunt Izzie did not explain to Katy why she should not use the swing. She simply stated that children should unquestioningly obey their elders, which just angered Katy. The reason she is not supposed to swing is that one of the staples supporting it had cracked, therefore making it unsafe. In her anger, Katy swings feverishly and tries to go as high as possible. In doing this, one of the staples gives way, and she falls a very long way down. This accident greatly bruises her spine.
Because of her injury, Katy is bedridden and in terrible pain. Her heart is very bitter and angry that she is cooped up. Her room is dark and dreary, making her even more miserable than she already is. When her siblings try and comfort her, she drives them away. She doesn’t want to think about being lively again, and becomes very depressed in her circumstances.
Her attitude changes greatly when Cousin Helen comes once more to visit. Helen is an invalid, but still manages to have an attitude of peace and graciousness. She explains to Katy that she can either be miserable, or make the best of her situation and maintain a happy attitude. Helen tells her that she is now a student of the “School of Pain”, where she will learn many lessons of patience, cheerfulness, hopefulness, neatness, and making the best of a bad situation.
This talk with Helen greatly improves Katy’s attitude. She realizes that she is only making herself more miserable by locking herself up and wallowing in her grief and pain. She tidies her room, opens the windows, and lets light in once again. Slowly, all the children start coming to visit Katy again. They are drawn to her new personality and see the light and life reflected in her eyes. She becomes the very heart of their home, drawing people in with her cheerful and positive attitude.
Two years later, Aunt Izzie dies, leaving the household to Katy. She takes over running the family and is a very good example of a leader. Her heart is full of kindness and light, and the children are very grateful for the way she is taking care of them. Four years after her accident, she learns how to walk again.
What Katy Did is a powerful story of being content in all circumstances and learning how to make the best of a situation. Before the accident, Katy recognized that she needed to work on having a kind spirit and being a gentle person. The qualities she saw in Helen’s life were ones that she knew she wanted to try and model in her own life. However, she still struggled with her temper and getting into trouble. Katy struggled with obeying the authority placed before her.
When her spine is bruised and she is restricted, she becomes extremely depressed and bitter. How could something like this happen to her? She used to be so lively and full of energy, but now she is bedridden. However, this experience teachers her an invaluable lesson. Cousin Helen teaches her that she must make the best of all circumstances and be kind no matter what.
It takes great courage to reflect such a gracious and peaceful attitude, but Katy learns how to do such a thing. As a child, she dreamt of doing something great, such as saving others and being famous. What Katy Did may not be as glamorous, but is just as important. She passes the lesson of kindness and contentment on to others, which is inspiring and extremely hard to do. Her life becomes the model of graciousness and contentment, proving that we can change our outlook on life by changing our attitude.
What Katy Did is not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America, but is considered suitable for all audiences. It is always recommended that parents preview all content to determine what is suitable for their family.
Actors are good the story also good at the end (Posted on 11/25/15)
We always enjoy these videos and know we can now watch them when our grandchildren visit. (Posted on 10/1/13)