So I had to take a break from finishing my review of Modesto Jane Con, as we had Valentine’s Day posts and some other things, but now I am ready to finish reviewing Modesto Jane Con.
So if you have been following me on social media, you know I have been super excited about Modesto Jane Con. The past eight years I have seen pictures from different Jane Cons and festivals and wished I could go-but they were not possible for me to attend as it always came down to a problem of time, money, work, etc. Instead I had to be content with seeing pictures on social media.
But then Modesto Jane Con was created!
From January 10th-12th there were all kinds of workshops, activities, movies, an opera, and even a fashion show!
Your $30 ticket allowed you to attend the workshops (BOTH DAYS) and see one showing of Mansfield Park Opera (your choice of Saturday or Sunday).
That was it, I was going! And I convinced my book club + my sister to join me. I scrounged around for a costume (I’ll post on that later) and made sure to bring a notebook to take copious notes on the workshop and opera to-of course post on them later (as I am now).
So after Dressing the Regency Lady, we had about an hour and fifteen mins before the Mansfield Park Opera pre-show talk by Hillari DeSchane. We checked out a few things and had lunch, and then headed to the Opera.
The building was really cool as it was a classic theater showing old, foreign, & independent films that also hosts concerts & events. It has a snack bar that serves popcorn, wine, soft drinks, and espresso. I really wanted tea, but it didn’t serve any. Oh, well…
So quick review of the book, for those of you who might not have read it. Mansfield Park is the story of Fanny Price, a sweet kind girl-niece to the Bertram family, who was sent to stay with the Bertrams. Instead of being treated as family, she is seen as “lesser” because of the “bad blood” inherited from her father who her mother “married down” to.
She is particularly mistreated by her evil aunt, Mrs. Norris, and two cousins; all of which take pride in bossing her around and being as cruel as can be. Fanny is the essence of sweetness, taking this injustice in stride and trying to remain optimistic in a bad situation.
The life of the Bertrams are interrupted when a Mr. Henry Crawford and Miss Mary Crawford come to visit their half-sister Mrs. Grant. Mary is set on winning the eldest Bertram, but finds her interest captured by the younger brother, Edmund,-even though he is intent on being a minister and Mary finds religion hypocritical. Fanny has loved Edmund since she was young, but he has never thought of her in such a way and he is now completely captivated by Mary. Henry Crawford’s sole interest is to upset the apple cart by going after the Bertram sisters for sport, having no intent of being serious or facing any consequences. Will the Bertrams and Fanny survive this?
That is not good,
The Mansfield Park Opera was a part of the Story into Song Literacy Initiative and worked with a lot of literacy advocacy organizations, (such as the Becoming Jane Austen Book Club, Modesto Library, Modesto Friends of the Library, and more) and half of the cast are making their solo professional debuts. Pretty amazing!
HillariDeSchane is a JASNA life member and a board member of Opera Modesto. Her pre-show opera talks have become audience favorites. DeSchane’s first Regency pet cozy: A Christmas Tail: A Regency Holiday Mystery received a Certificate of Merit from the Cat Writers Association hillarideschane.com
So the program gave a copy of the full talk, but I’m not going to write it word for word. I’ll just write my notes and paraphrase a bit.
So taking a book as long and complex as Mansfield Park and cutting it down to a two-hour opera is no easy feat. Mansfield Park is a “tapestry of human emotion and psychology.” (Deschane).
In the opera they strip the book down to the central theme and a small number of characters. The story is told as a chamber opera, more intimate-like a theater in the round. The opera itself is group centered, with no arias or being solo based.
The opera also focus on the theme of “The Fall of Man” and the “Expulsion from Eden.” Mansfield Park is Eden, a paradise, and each character is tempted by their own personal snakes, with many falling victim to their pleasures and “biting the apple”.
As seen with the recent TV show Sandition, there are many who think Austen needs to be sexier and steamier but truth is-they just need to remake Mansfield Park as it has it all: gambling, drinking, seduction, adultery-just full of thse vices without modern additions.
We really see the focus of this motiff in Scene 5: Chapter Five. In the Wilderness. Here they explore Mr. Rushworth’s home in Sotherton, where they walk a “serpentine path”. Henry offers to explore with Maria Bertram while her fiance is gone, tempting her with the two being alone together, even singing “how tempting those pathways that lie hidden-how much sweeter are the joys we are forbidden.” Edmund is given the choice to wait with Fanny while she rests from the walk, or to go off with Mary alone-and he walks off with Mary forgetting all about Fanny on her own.
The ending was changed to be more happily ever after for all, (in the novel people have to face the consequences of their actions), but I didn’t mind too much.
So the ten characters we have are:
Fanny Price (Alexandra Jernic)
Edmund Bertram (Andrew Pardini)
Mary Crawford (Angela Yam)- Professional Opera debut
Henry Crawford (Emmanuel Mercado)
Maria Bertram (Darby Schmidt)-Professional Opera debut
Julia Bertram (Brylan Finley)- Professional Opera debut
Mr. Rushworth (Luca Mitchell)- Professional Opera debut
Aunt Norris (Alison Collins)
Lady Bertram (Anakira Gabriella-Graça)
Sir Thomas Bertram (Brad Reed)- Professional Opera debut
From The Modesto Bee. Left to Right: Lady Bertram, Sir Thomas Bertram, Fanny Price, Henry Crawford, Mary Crawford, and Edmund Bertram.
There is no Tom, although he is mentioned, and sadly no William Price who I love. Oh, well.
So the opera was AMAZING! As I mentioned in an earlier post the group of us who came varied in our knowledge of Mansfield Park. One book club member had never read or seen a film version of Mansfield Park (or any Jane Austen beside The Darcy Monologues), one book club member had seen the 2007 film version, my sister had seen the 2007 version and the 1999 version years ago, and I had read the book and seen the 1999 film, 2007 film, & the 1983 miniseries. However, all were able to follow the storyline and completely comprehend and bcome fully involved in the story.
We all loved the music and found everyone to be entertaining, talented, amazing, and that they completely captured the characters they were portraying.
Fanny was perfect! She had an amazing voice; along with perfect facial expressions. I’m not a big opera fan (as in I don’t watch them all the time), and this was my first time attending one, but one thing I have noticed when I’ve seen the films or clips of Operas is that they don’t always focus on the acting-more on the singing. Alexandra Jernic was spot on. The way she looked at Edward when singing, as if they were the only ones in the room. The incredible sorrow when seeing Edward and Mary together and knowing his preference for Mary over Fanny. Or the ball scene when all are happy and excited for what the night will bring, but Fanny who all this is supposed to be for her, but she is sad and alone as her love is excited to dance with another.
Mrs. Norris was just as perfect. You hated her as immediately-every time she sang and the way she acted toward Fanny, I don’t know if there has been a better one.
Mr. Rushworth was wonderful. He was kind caring, goofy, hilarious. It amazed me that he was only 18 when he was so talented.
Another thing I really enjoyed about the performance is that each character had their own distinctive music, tone, and speed. For instance Mr. Rushworth’s was fast and quick, just like how his character spoke in the book and sang-while Henry’s music was slower, softer, more seductive.
We also loved seeing the costumes and how they looked on the performers, as in an earlier workshop we saw the swatches. We also kept an eye out for Kristine Doiel’s favorite dress of the production, the gray number that Mary Crawford wears in Scene 5: Chapter Five. In the Wilderness. It was originally worn by Anne de Bourgh in the Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley. I tried to get a good picture, but this was all I got:
But the one who stole the show for me was Angela Yam, Mary Crawford.
Every time she entered the stage all my attention went to her. She had an amazing voice and was equally amazing in her acting. One of the best scenes was when she and Edward first see each other, the way she doesn’t sing anything other than hello, but her whole body language is changed. The rest of the scene continues in the way she acts and looks. It was fantastic. That continued throughout the whole Opera as she was able to convey sooo much in her tone, a look, a motion. I was surprised this was her debut as she just blew me away. I stopped taking notes as I just wanted to enjoy her performance.
We had to leave after the opera and head home, but we did all the way humming, singing, and talking about how much we enjoyed it.
It was a wonderful experience and I am so happy to have been able to watch it. If I could have, I would have stayed the next day and watched it again.
So one day I was thinking about Disney and thinking of Jane Austen, when it hit me. If the Austen characters were Disney characters who would they be?
So I thought and thought and thought some more. And below is my list of the perfect Disney/Austen crossover.
A Prideful Beauty & the Prejudiced Beast
(Beauty & the Beast meets Pride & Prejudice: scenario one)
So Beauty and the Beast was the natural choice for the Darcy/Elizabeth storyline. In Pride & Prejudice Elizabeth becomes angry at Darcy, hurt by his comments on her looks, therefore fueling her dislike of him. Darcy, on the other hand, realizes he was wrong and falls for Elizabeth, slowly having to show her he is a good man, despite his bad first impression.
Just like in Pride & Prejudice, Belle has to work through her own misgivings of the Beast, his looks and her anger at him imprisoning her father. The Beast, first rude to her, realizes his mistakes and works on showing her his true heart and soul under the ugly exterior. Just like in P&P Darcy is seen as “a beast”, rude and cruel; but by the end of the book, and Disney film, we are loving both men.
Elizabeth Bennet = Belle
Both Belle and Elizabeth Bennet are avid readers, close to their fathers, and not afraid to speak their minds. They both come from middle class family, as they have land (and farm but not for necessity). The Bennets have the estate of Longbourn, and Belle’s father Maurice have their country land. Maurice must have some money from his family as his inventions don’t work very well enough to bring money in.
As mentioned before, both characters create judgements on Mr. Darcy and the Beast based on their initial view of looks (Darcy’s scowl & Beast’s beastiel form) along with their behavior. However, over time this opinion is changed as their heroes save them (Elizabeth’s family saved when Wickham marries Lydia, and Belle is saved from wolves); along with both realizing there is much more to the man than their prickly personality.
Mr. Darcy = The Beast/Prince Adam
Like Beast, Darcy is the only son raised in a wealthy family with a lot of power and expectations of him. Darcy also has a temper, but it is more controlled than the Beast’s. Both have to learn a lesson on character, the Beast’s inability to see more than the outer shell of a person, while Darcy’s is more of getting past a preconceived notion.
While they initially are prickly characters they change themselves in order to win the woman they love. Both also are willing to do things for the woman they love with no expectations. For Darcy he saves Elizabeth’s family for Elizabeth, and while he still cares for her, he doesn’t use that as a bargaining chip for marriage, allowing her to act on her own feelings. The Beast lets Belle out of the deal they made and allows her to leave, even though it breaks his heart. He doesn’t try to use their contract or the fact that he saved her life to try and manipulate her to stay.
Mr. Wickham = Gaston
Although in the Disney film Gaston doesn’t play as much a love interest to Belle as Wickham was to Elizabeth; he is instrumental in painting an ugly picture of the Beast and getting the town riled up to destroy him. Yep, just like Wickham does. In fact I think this is one of the best Disney pairings. Both men are arrogant, care only about their outside appearance and women who will provide something for them. For Wickham he uses Elizabeth to spread lies about Darcy, and then tries to go after the very wealthy Miss King to have a poke at her money. For Gaston, he wants Belle to gain the ultimate trophy and to have children as good looking as him. Both care only for themselves, and use others achieve whatever they want.
(Pride & Prejudice meets The Little Mermaid: scenario two)
Now you may wonder why I included this as another avenue for Pride & Prejudice. While I don’t see Jane as much of a main character in the novel, her role is important and I felt that Beauty and the Beast didn’t capture the whole of Pride & Prejudice, specifically her part.
So both The Little Mermaid and Pride & Prejudice address people of two different worlds falling for each other and others trying to keep them apart.
Jane Bennet = Ariel
Out of all the Disney characters I see Jane as Ariel. Both are kind, naive, the prettiest of the family, and don’t always understand other’s views of them. For instance Grimsby heavily disapproves of Eric spending so much time with this unknown girl, of which Ariel blindly does not see. She also can’t tell that Ursula is EVIL. Mr. Bingley’s sisters despise Jane’s family and are rather cruel to her, but Jane too cannot see this, instead always giving them the benefit of the doubt. Both Jane and Ariel fall for a man out of their league: in Ariel’s case a human, while for Jane a much wealthier man; however that doesn’t stop them as they go after what their heart desires. Both also have issues with a parent: Ariel her controlling father and Jane her controlling mother. But in the end they are able to get win their man and happiness.
Charles Bingley = Prince Eric
Prince Eric is a sweet, kind character, who follows his own ideas but is still susceptible to what others advise; just like Bingley. While Eric cares for Ariel and is set on making the girl who saved him his wife, he still listens to Grimsby’s cautions and of course is completely controlled by the Sea Witch’s hypnosis. Bingley tolerates all the negative things his sisters have to say, planning on persuing Jane, but he finally gives way to Darcy’s powerful persuasion. But both men when they realize they have made the wrong choice, go back and do all they can to win the woman of their dreams. Both marry girls that are below them (Jane financially, Ariel literally as in under the sea), but yet their equal (Jane and Bingley same personalities, Eric and Ariel are both royalty).
Caroline Bingley = Grimsby
Caroline and Grimsby are very similar. As a sister to Charles, Caroline is constantly giving her opinion on matters. She is the one that criticizes Jane (and her family), along with pointing out what is improper. Grimsby is an advisor to Prince Eric, doing the same thing. Both aren’t listened to, as Charles and Eric ignore their rules and suggestions to follow their heart and own ideas.
Both Grimsby and Caroline also disapprove in the matters of the heart. Caroline sees Jane as too far below their family, along with carrying the extra baggage of her mother and embarrassing sisters. Grimsby also doesn’t approve of Ariel as they know nothing about her, and she can’t talk. Grimsby wants Eric to settle down, but with a more suitable person, liking Vanessa (secretly Ursula), just as Caroline wants someone better than Jane for her brother, Georgina Darcy. In aligning the two, she hopes that she and Darcy will grow much closer.
Mr. Darcy = Ursula
I know, I know you are probably thinking what? Yes in this scenario of Jane Austen/Disney, Darcy doesn’t get a favorable character. Then again it is fitting that he is paired up with the villianess as if we were to look at Pride & Prejudice from Jane’s view, he is kinda the villain of the story.
Now the two aren’t exactly similar, Darcy has his best friend’s interest at heart while Ursula is after global domination. However, both are similar in the fact that they don’t want the romantic leads together. Darcy feels that Jane has a lot of baggage (mother + sisters) but that she also doesn’t really seem to care strongly for Charles. In The Little Mermaid, Ursula wants Ariel to fail to get Eric’s kiss and heart so that she can have her as a slave and exchange her life for Ariel’s father’s powers.
Now here is where the real similarity comes into play. These two are the only ones capable of true persuasion. In Pride & Prejudice, Caroline and Bingley’s other sister have done everything they can to point out why marrying Jane would be a bad idea. They constantly criticize, point out every faux pas, etc; but Charles will not listen. He’s in love. That is until Darcy advises him. Charles clearly relies more heavily on Darcy than his own intuition, and leaves Netherfield for London. In The Little Mermaid, Eric isn’t set on marrying Ariel, but he definitely starts thinking about her as more than a friend. He won’t listen to Grimsby, who keeps saying that it is a bad idea to get involved with a girl you know nothing about. The only thing that steers him away from Ariel, is Ursula’s transformation into Vanessa.
So I am pretty sure you saw this one coming, after all how many Disney films have two very close sisters (in relationship and age)? I couldn’t think of that many. Both Frozen and Sense & Sensibility revolve around sisters, one who’s feelings are heavily regulated (sense) while the other is more out and sharing whatever comes to mind (sensibility). A parent’s death strongly affects the family and shifts everything about them. One sister falls for a horrible guy, but luckily for her the real deal is waiting nearby. There also is a real comedy about a couple trying to match two off.
Elinor = Elsa
Other than the ice powers, Elinor and Elsa are very similar. Both are the eldest in their families and trying to keep everything together in their home after a parental death (Elinor her father, Elsa both parents). While their younger sister is allowed to be more freewheeling, Elinor and Elsa do not share the same luxury. They control their emotions because if they didn’t either the family would fall apart (as in Elinor’s case she is the one taking control of everything) or there could be a lot of destruction (Elsa’s ice). Both experience moments of total release that shock all closest to them, Elinor when she reveals the pain she has experienced of her love for Edward, and Elsa’s finally “letting go”. In the end both stop keeping such a harsh rein on their emotions and allow themselves to open up and love.
Both also care deeply about their sisters, especially in the love department. Elinor is the only one who doesn’t trust the relationship with Willoughby, as she thinks Marianne is moving way too fast with a boy she just met. Elsa is the same way, refusing her blessing on Anna marrying a guy she just met and only knows a few things about. Besides that, both girls care deeply for their sisters.
And let’s not forget a similarity in names. (Just saying!)
Marianne = Ana
Both are romantics who don’t believe in reigning in their feelings but expressing everything. As feelings guide them, they tend to rush into things not clearly thinking them through and acting on their heart. Marianne gets involved with a man she hardly knows anything about, and later when brokenhearted tries to go to after him in a storm, nearly killing herself. Anna also gets involved with a man she hardly knows anything about, along with trekking after her sister in a storm, whilst wearing summer clothing.
While both have bond with their sister they also are very distanced. Marianne doesn’t understand Elinor’s sense and feels she cannot express all her thoughts with her. She also knows her sister would disapprove of much she does. Ana has a more physical separation, as her sister avoids her, but also shares that sense of not understanding Elsa’s actions, along with being afraid of what she might think of her (check out that awkward ballroom scene where they run into each other).
Now let’s move back to their love interests. At first Marianne falls for a handsome, romantic hero guy she has just met, only to find out that he is only interested in one thing: money. As Marianne doesn’t have it, he leaves her. At first she is broken hearted, but she later realizes that she is better off without him and instead ends up with the guy who started out as just a friend, but turned out to be the grand prize. Ana follows a similar route as her “first love” turns to be false as he is only after her kingdom, dumping her when realizes he can get it another way. She too is hurt initially, but quickly realizes that her friend who liked her all along, is the real deal and perfect for her
They too share similar names. I’m sensing a theme here Disney.
Willoughby = Hans
First of all sideburns. Seriously did Disney decide that Austen made better source material than the original fairy tale Hans Christian Anderson wrote?
Moving past that, both are men who are after a good time and searching for the women who will net their fortune. For Willoughby, he loves Marianne, but he loves his money much more. After spending all his time with her and making her believe he loved her (which some argue he did have strong feelings for her, his love of money just overpowered it) he ends up leaving her, trading her in for a model that could support his expensive habits. He also proves to be a true scoundrel, sleeping with other women and abandoning them with a ruined reputation and no hope of marriage or a happy future.
For Hans he too is lacking the wealth, being the 13th son, and is setting his eyes on a woman who will provide the lifestyle he wishes. While originally planning on marrying Ana, when an opportunity comes where he can have everything without her, he quickly dumps her for his second plan. His character is darker than Willoughby’s though, as he actually plans to murder both sisters to achieve his means.
Colonel Brandon = Kristoff
While they may different financially (Colonel Brandon with his manor house and wealth while Kristoff is an ice cutter) everything else about them is very similar.
Both share sad backstories: Colonel Brandon losing the girl he loved, and after her death caring for her child from another man; and Kristoff being orphaned and on his own with a reindeer (although later adopted by trolls).
Both men are rugged outdoorsmen: Colonel Brandon does fencing, horseback riding, a falconer, a soldier, etc. Kristoff is an ice cutter, sledder, etc. They match brain with brawn, a winning combination. Both are also loyal, intelligent, appreciative of beauty and fine craftsmanship.
Unfortunately for them, they also are surrounded by well-meaning people that actual harm their chances rather than help them. For Colonel Brandon, he and Marianne were becoming friends and getting along very well…that is until Sir John and Lady Middleton try to push them together; upsetting Marianne and making her not want to consider Colonel Brandon out of spite. For Kristoff, the trolls don’t damage his chances as much, but they certainly do not win him any consideration from Ana in the moment they attempt to wed them off.
But how they are the most similar is the way in which they love so whole-heartedly that they are willing to do anything to ensure that the woman they love has her happiness. For Colonel Brandon, he loves Marianne but when he realizes that she cares for Willoughby he steps aside. He knows tons of damaging things about him, has enough money to pay him off, could do countless things to get rid of him; but if he makes Marianne happy that is all he cares about. He later does challenge Willoughby to a duel when he breaks Marianne’s heart, and of course does all he can to help her; never pushing or manipulating, but allowing her to make the decision of whether to pursue a relationship or not. With Kristoff he loves Ana, but as he knows she is engaged does nothing to truly hinder the relationship. He helps her get to Hans, as he wants only her happiness. But just like Colonel Brandon, when his lady is in trouble he is there to help her, coming to her rescue.
Both characters also have a scene where they are carrying the women they love through a storm as she grows sicker and sicker. Wow these are some serious parallels.
Sir John and Lady Middleton = Trolls
These guys are like carbon copies of each other I swear! Sir John and Lady Middleton are sweet people, who heavily assist the downtrodden and financially insecure Dashwoods. They provide the family with a place to live, food they cannot afford, trips they would be unable to take etc. The only downside? They are busybodies and enjoy actively taking a role into marrying Marianne off, something that backfires as their involvement makes her lose any desire to even be friends with Colonel Brandon.
The trolls also take in some downtrodden, lost souls: Kristoff and Sven; adopting them and giving them a family, food, and a place to live. They also like to meddle, trying to marry Ana and Kristoff off, backfiring as their weirdness makes Ana say no way.
So Cinderella is a story we all have heard of. A sweet kind girl is forced to slave away for her family. Those that bring her particular pain are her evil stepmother and two evil stepsisters. She manages to escape her dreary life for a ball, where she meets the man of her dreams. But unfortunately there are others with a darker intentions making the same play for him.
Mansfield Park may be a story you have never heard of before, but it make shock you with the similarities it has. A sweet kind girl is forced to slave away for her richer family. Those that bring her particular pain are her evil aunt and two evil cousins. She falls in love with the man of her dreams, but unfortunately there is another with a darker heart making the same play.
Fanny = Cinderella
This is the most obvious choice for this novel. Fanny Price is the niece to the Betram family, and was sent to stay with them. Instead of being treated as family, she takes on the duties of a servant because of her “bad blood” inherited from the low class, wastral father her mother married down to. She is particularly mistreated by her evil aunt and two cousins; all of which take pride in bossing her around and being as cruel as can be. Cinderella is the stepdaughter, and technically rightful heir, but instead of being treated as a part of the family, she too is treated like a servant to her evil stepmother and two stepsisters. Like Fanny, Cinderella is the essence of swetness, taking this injustice in stride and trying to remain optimistic in a bad situation. Both know that any kind of rebellion could spell disaster for them; with Fanny being sent back to the hovel she escaped and Cinderella being sold, institutionalized, or worse.
Both have absentee fathers: Fanny’s father is a drunkard while Cinderella’s is dead; who’s decisions ultimately caused their predicament. With Fanny her father being one of so low behavior and drinking all his money away; causes her family to have to send her somewhere else as they cannot care for her. This behavior causes those in the “richer” family to believe they have the right to treat her like garbage. For Cinderella, her father married evil incarnate who makes her life horrible.
Both fall in love with a man out of their league: Fanny with her cousin Edmund and Cinderella with the Prince. While initially their love interest is waylaid by other women; for Edmund the enigmatic and manipulative Mary Crawford, and the Prince with the other woman who claim to be the girl he fell for; those turn out to be false and the girls get their dream guy. And in true poetic justice, those that tried to hurt them end up getting their just desserts for their evil ways and bad decisions.
Mrs. Norris = Lady Tremaine
In Mansfield Park Mrs. Norris is Fanny’s aunt and a horribly cruel woman. She loves her nieces Maria and Julia, treating them far better than Fanny; along with encouraging and rewarding their cruel ways, especially those aimed at Fanny. Lady Tremaine also encourages her daughter’s cruelty: from horrible nicknames, cruel jokes, and even assault. Watch that scene where they rip Cinderella’s dress, that was pretty psychologically and physically damaging.
Mrs. Norris enjoys bossing Fanny around and often asks her to do more than then her frail system can take. Lady Tremaine is the same way, asking impossible tasks as she takes true delight in seeing Cinderella suffer.
Both also are trying to ensure that their girls marry well, have a good fortune, and anything else that pleases them. Mrs. Norris encourages Maria’s choice in the wealthy, but dim, Mr. Rushworth and later her infidelity with Henry Crawford. Lady Tremaine is intent on marrying her daughters off to a prince, stooping to locking Cinderella up, breaking the glass slipper, and almost destroying her daughters feet.
Drizzella = Maria Bertram
It was difficult to determine which evil cousin went with which evil stepsister, but I think I found the match that worked best.
Both Julia and Drizzella are favored by their aunt and mother. Both also are intense in going after what they want; Maria a rich husband and later a hot lover; Drizzella having no qualms about stuffing her foot into a strange shoe and pretending to be a women she isn’t in order to bag a prince.
Both are especially cruel to the heroine, being the bigger bully between them and their sister. Both also have restrained relationships with their sister, always in competition with them and trying to prove they are prettier, better, etc.
In the end, both lead unhappy lives, having to deal with the decisions they made. Maria losing her lover and husband, sent away to live in exile; while Drizzella has to live with her mother and probably has to take on chores as Cinderella leaves them behind with her prince.
Anastasia = Julia Bertram
Julia and Anastasia are always being compared to their older sister and feeling they are lacking. Both try to compensate by trying their hardest to outshine their sibling, or at certain times out cruel them. Both are also not the favorite and have more insecurities about who they are and how they look.
Now one of the reasons why I felt these two were a good fit, is that both fall for someone their parents strongly disapprove of. For Julia, she runs off with her brother’s actor friend, eloping in Ireland. Her parents hate this, disowning her and wondering where they could have gone wrong. In Cinderella II: Dreams Come True, Anastasia falls for the baker, a man her mother strongly disapproves of. She doesn’t run off and marry him; but does go behind her mother’s back to get a makeover and go to a ball with him.
Edmund = Prince Charming
Edmund is my least favorite of the Austen heroes and Prince Charming my least favorite Disney prince. It is only right that they are the two that match up.
While my dislike for Prince Charming comes more from a lack of character, my dislike for Edmund comes from his stupidity, easy manipulated spirit, and love of a fantasy that doesn’t exist. When the girl has told you time and time again that she could never marry a minister and wants someone with money, don’t think that “your love” can “change” her. Forget her and move on.
Sorry this was supposed to be a comparison. Both Edmund and Prince Charming were born into wealthy families with controlling fathers. For Edmund, his father does not want him to be a minister but chose the vocation he had picked out, and for Prince Charming his father wants him married and making grandchildren. Both men want to live the lives they have desired, with Edmund choosing to go into the church and the Prince waiting, and later choosing an unconventional bride.
Both men are stubborn, tenacious, and when they set their mind to something they will not be persuaded out of it. For Edmund it is the church, and later wooing Mary Crawford. For the Prince, he wants the women who fits the slipper even if they have to search every corner and crevice of the kingdom for her.
Both marry women that are kind, sweet, and of not completely low standing, but not quite on par with them. And both marriages turn out great for them, much better than their siblings’ (Edmund’s & Cinderllas’s).
I know that this pairing isn’t perfect but it is the only one I could find that correlated well together. None of the other Disney characters were even remotely like Emma or had the close relationship she had with her father.
Emma is a wealthy woman and the apple of her father’s eye. She often does as she pleases, believing that her ways and knowledge are right. She sets her mind to tasks at hand and does all she can to achieve them, not always thinking things through or realizing that she cannot control every person’s actions.
Jane isn’t as wealthy but does come from a well to do family. She is also the apple of her father’s eye as they too share a great bond. When they are searching for the gorillas, she too exhibits some of the I’ll do what I think is best and doesn’t always make the best decisions. With Emma it was pairing up two people, with Jane threatening a baby baboon.
Both of these girls try to remold someone into what is the highest level of society, but it doesn’t quite go according to plan.
They also try to prove that they now better with their planning and scheming, but end up being proved wrong by someone who knows better; for Emma it is Mr. Knightley, and for Jane Tarzan.
Both girls have these amazing guys in love with them, but at first don’t realize and then secondly don’t really want it. Emma doesn’t realize for the longest time that Mr. Knightley is head over heels for her; and when she does she is at first ecstatic, but then doesn’t want it as she is worried about what her poor father will do without her. Knightley of course comes up with the perfect solution and the two live happily ever after. Jane also takes a long time to realize how much Tarzan cares for her and is then worried about how it will work out. Can he really handle English society? Could she survive in Africa? What about her father? In the end all works out.
Like I said not a perfect match, but the closest I could get.
Mr. Woodhouse = Professor Archimedes Q. Porter
Both Mr. Woodhouse and Prof. Porter are single dad’s, having lost their wives to an illness. While this made Mr. Woodhouse shrink from fear and Prof. Porter live more dangerously; one thing is the same with both. It made them concentrate and rely more heavily on their daughter.
For Mr. Woodhouse he would have died from depression, if not for his two girls; particularly Emma. She remains by his side constantly, tending to his ever fear and worry; enveloping him with love and care.
For Prof. Porter, why do you think he has Jane as an assistant and not a man? Sure he could have done it because she was intelligent enough to handle it, but I think it goes deeper than that. I believe that like Mr. Woodhouse, he became so concentrated on his daughter after the death of his wife that he wanted her always with him. Training her in his field (whether society approved or not) and having her always journey with him. In fact that is why he decides to give up the modern world and remain with his daughter. He couldn’t stand being apart from her.
Mr. Knightly = Tarzan
Some of you are thinking maybe Tarzan should be Harriet as both Emma and Jane take on pet projects in improving someone, but I think the Mr. Knightley/Tarzan comparison works too.
So both men are from wealthy English families, the ones to inherit all the land, manors, and titles. (Read Tarzan the book.)
Both sometimes give the appearance they don’t know what is going on; Mr. Knightley being older and as Emma believes uneducated in matters of the heart; while Tarzan seems too “stupid” by the animals to be a true ape and too “beastlike” by the humans to ever master English society. However they have a whole more going on that the other characters expect. First Knightley is spot on about everybody; Emma, Jane & Frank, Harriet & Robert, Mr. Elton; proving to Emma time and time again that he knows what’a what.
Tarzan too proves to everyone that not only is he capable of being King of the jungle, but mastering every aspect of human society (except sarcasm and lying). Jane may believe at first that she knows more, but quickly realizes the knowledge that Tarzan has is something much deeper than what she knows.
Both fall for the girls, Knightley for Emma and Tarzan for Jane; of which the women take forever to realize. Both men do their best to cultivate the relationship, but not push too hard that they may lose them. In the end all works out with them both gaining a father-in-law as well.
Frank Churchill= Clayton
So while Clayton is much more evil being a poacher; both men are liars, betrayers of trust, manipulators, only care about themselves and what they need, etc. Ugh horrible men.
Frank Churchill is the son of Mr. Weston but was sent to live with his mother’s family after she died and adopted by them. He never cares to come see his father or spend anytime, being far too busy with his own things. The only reason he does come visit his father is that he is secretly engaged to a member of the community. But instead of letting people know of his involvements, he pretends to court another girl, Emma, playing with her heart and stabbing a knife through his “beloved’s”. He not only lies about that that his actions, but manipulates the whole community, just to protect his secret. What a jerk!
With Clayton he too comes along on the expedition to “help” the Porters and “protect” them from any attacks; but in reality that is all a lie. He too has a secret engagement, and engagement to trap as many gorillas as possible. Not only is he playing the Porters, but also tries to manipulate Tarzan to achieve his means; not caring what happens to anyone else. What a jerk!
So as I was thinking about what Disney films the characters of Austen matched up to, one of the firsts that popped up in my head was Northanger Abbey and Sleeping Beauty. I believe I might have mentioned some of their similarities in the past, but here we go with a full on comparison.
Catherine = Aurora
Catherine Morland is a dreamer. While she spent her earlier years as a tomboy, participating in games with her brothers, running all around; as she grew she began to devour literature and began dreaming of the perfect man and adventure.
Aurora or Briar Rose, is the same. While her early days are more dramatic with a bethrol, curse, and having to be sent away; she grew up in the forest and don’t tell me she wasn’t a tomboy playing with the animals; running, climbing trees; etc. because I am 100% sure she was. As she grew older, she also began to dream; dream more than just the cottage hideaway and dream of her perfect match.
Catherine and Aurora are also kind, sweet, and adorable people. The type you love to have in your life.
Both Catherine and Aurora have “storybook” romances, as Catherine meets this tall, handsome stranger, with a great personality (Mr. Tilney) that no one really knows that much about but something about him seems to pull at her. For Aurora she meets a tall, handsome stranger in the forest, who has a great personality, (Prince Phillip) and is at first a little unsure as she doesn’t know him but something about him seems to pull at her heart.
Of course the road to love is never easy as John Thorpe has his eyes on Catherine, and Mr. Tilney’s father doesn’t approve of her as he thinks she isn’t wealthy enough for his son. For Aurora she has Maleficent who is trying to kill her and Prince Phillip’s father who thinks she is just some peasant girl.
Of course true love conquers all and all is set right in the end.
Mr. Tilney = Prince Phillip
Mr. Tilney is Prince Phillip, no if, ands, or buts.
Both are sons to controlling fathers who want to dictate their lives to how they want it. General Tilney wants his son to not be a minister but to marry a very wealthy woman who will increase the family fortune. Prince Phillip’s father the King is set on Phillip marrying King Stefan’s daughter as it will not only unite the kingdom, but increase land and wealth. However, both of these sons have their own ideas. They don’t directly oppose their father in the beginning; as Mr. Tilney agrees to find a woman with wealth, and Philip does go through the betrothal ceremony; but when they find something they love and want they say good-bye dad.
In fact both of these men are willing to go to the end for who they care about. For Mr. Tilney, when his father discovers that Catherine isn’t as rich as he thought she was he sent her packing back home (she was visiting Miss Tilney). When Mr. Tilney returns from out of town he lets his father know that he is in love with Catherine, and that he will say good-bye to all his family money as he is in love and will marry her. Prince Phillip is the same way, willing to give up the throne for his lady love.
John Thorpe = Malificent
While John Thorpe is a man with an agenda. He sees Catherine and assumes she is wealthier than she is, doing everything he can (and aided by his sister) to try and bag her. He is manipulative, a liar, and causes her pain in order to get what he wants. One of his most underhanded ways was to first get his sister to “become friends” with Catherine, gaining an inn; and second to try and make sure she made no other connections with anyone.
Malifcent also has her own agenda. She wants to hurt the royal family and curses a little baby to death. When it appears the fairies may have outsmarted her with sleep instead of death, she manipulates the game by pretending to be Aurora and capturing Prince Phillip, to keep him from freeing Aurora.
General Tilney = King Hubert
General Tilney married for money rather than love and he has made that top priority for his own children. He wants them to increase the family coffers or else they get nothing! When he finds out that Catherine isn’t an heiress, he tosses her out of the house.
The King isn’t as cruel, but he too has definite ideas about matrimony. Marriage is a business deal and he wants his daughter-in-law to be Aurora who will bring peace, land, and money. He is most unhappy when his son wants to marry a peasant girl instead, but unlike Colonel Tilney he agrees to his son’s wishes. In fact he was planning on breaking the engagement, but the fairies sleeping spell took over before he could tell King Stefan.
So this one is probably something you never saw coming, but it just seemed to fit so right I had to include it as well.
Catherine = Aladdin
Catherine is a girl from an okay family, but dreams of something more, some adventure. She is kind, sweet, and real gem. She is given the trip of a lifetime, when wealthy family friends include her on their trip to bath. There people assume she is richer than she is and she manages to catch the eye of the wealthier Mr. Tilney.
Aladdin is not as well off as Catherine, being an orphan living on the streets. He too wishes of better things; living in the palace, food, etc. Like Catherine he sort of is blessed with wealth, when he becomes master to a Genie. For both of these characters the wealth is only temporary; Catherine her trip and Aladdin his three wishes. With this new “life” Aladdin is able to recapture the eye of the princess.
Both have someone plotting against them and their happiness (for Catherine she has throne who is trying to get her for himself, while Aladdin has Jafar trying to remove him so that he can get the throne.)
Both have things turn sour when the real truth is revealed about them; although in Catherine’s defense she never lied about anything. Others lied about her. Anyways, that doesn’t stop General Tilney from removing her from the family homestead. In Aladdin’s case; his lies are revealed and when all find out he isn’t a prince, he too is sent packing by Jafar.
In the end they are able to overcome those trying to stop them and win the person of their dreams. Both fathers later relenting from their harsh stands.
Mr. Allen = Genie
While Mr. Allan doesn’t play as large a role in the story as the Genie; both are instrumental in the changes they bring about in the main characters lives.
Mr. Allan not only finances the trip to Bath, but he and his wife also purchase some things for Catherine. He is the one who brings her into the world she would have been unable to visit; catching the attention of good and bad.
For the Genie he is more than a window dresser, he becomes Aladdin’s best bud. But like Mr. Allan he is the one changes the appearance and introduces the character to the world he had only previously dreamed of.
Mr. Tilney = Jasmine
Both Mr. Tilney and Jasmine are headstrong people. Both have father’s who have a plan for their lives, but they are still allowed some wiggle room. For Mr. Tilney he must marry wealthy, but gets to choose whom. For Jasmine she has the stipulation that her man must be a prince, but her father has allowed her to pick which prince she wants to marry.
When both are faced with the challenge of falling in love with someone who does not fit the parameters set out by their fathers, they choose to ignore it. With Mr. Tilney, he risks disinheritance; while Jasmine chooses Aladdin anyway, causing her father to repeal his law.
General Tilney = Sultan
As stated previously, both are men who are used to being in control. General Tilney first and foremost of his troops, and also his family having parameters they must follow. The Sultan has a whole country, along with his daughter.
Both desire their children to marry wealthy and titled, and are less then pleased when they pick someone below that. Both get very upset and threaten; but in the end change their minds. General Tilney allows Mr. Tilney to keep his inheritance after his marriage and the Sultan changes the law so that Jasmine can marry whomever she wishes.
Mr. Thorpe = Jafar
This is probably one of the best comparisons as these men are very similar. Both are ambitious and want things out of their reach. For Thorpe he wants to marry way up, to a women who will take care of him with her inheritance; and Jafar wishes to be Sultan.
To get their ways both men do every underhanded thing they can think of. Mr. Thorpe talks Mr. Tilney down, saying how his family is strange, keeps Catherine away from the Tilneys, uses his sister to promote him; etc. Jafar also uses manipulation, hypnotism, thievery, and even plans to marry Jasmine (and then kill her) to achieve his means.
Both only care about themselves and achieving their own interests.
These have similar parts of the story. Both involve sweethearts being unable to marry because of a war. Both have a story about a reversal of fortune after the war, changing their lives dramatically. Both also invove dim relations, and a power play with marriages.
Anne = Maid Marion
Ann and Maid Marian are very similar. Both feel in love at an early age, but forgo marrying because a war was separating them. Even though they were apart from their sweetheart, they never stopped loving him or dreaming that he would come back.
Both are related to not the brightest or smartest of men. With Anne her father Walter is a horrible manager of money and only cares about his looks, for Maid Marian her cousin Prince John is the same.
They both find their relations trying to manuever marriages and relationships they do not desire. Sir Walter thinks that Mr. Elliot would be a good match, Anne however only has eyes for one man. For Maid Marian, Prince John pushes her at the Sheriff, but he cuts rather a lackluster picture next to Robin Hood.
Frederick Wentworth = Robin Hood
These two’s characters don’t exactly match up perfectly, but are pretty close. While Fredrick starts off poor, but comes back from the war wealthy; Robin Hood is the opposite, being wealthy and coming home from the crusades with his home having been given away.
However, both has childhood sweethearts they wanted to marry, Frederick & Anne and Robin Hood & Maid Marian. They leave for war which prevents them from getting married and when they return they consider starting the relationship up again, but have some obstacles. For Fredrick, he has his pride and hurt over being rejected; for Robin he is now an outlaw which is no life for a Lady. Even with these issues, both continue to love from afar and once again, proving that in their case, absence allows the heart to grow fonder.
Mr. Elliot = Sheriff of Nottingham
Mr. Elliot is the long estranged cousin and next in line for Sir Walter’s title, unless Sir Walter remarries and has a son. Mr. Elliot is all about himself and how he can advance, romancing three women to ensure his future. The Sheriff is another man that cares about titles and advancement. He commits some horrible acts in order to keep the job of Sheriff and stay on the good side of Prince John, where the money is currently coming from. Like Mr. Elliot, he isn’t below some bad acts; such as taking money from an injured man, hanging a priest, and cheating at a tournament.
Both characters also try to be a love interest to the main character, Mr. Elliot with Anne and the Sheriff with Maid Marian. They do this because of the advancements that it could bring them, for Mr. Elliot, Sir Walter may not care about siring a son, allowing his daughter to gain her mother’s title and Mr. Elliot Sir Walter’s title. And for Sheriff Nottingham, marrying the cousin of the King and Prince, that will only raise him up.
Sir Walter Elliot = Prince John
So Sir Walter and Prince John are very, very similar. Both are pompous jerks that think they are more special than they are. And both have an affection for mirrors and their apperance. All Sir Elliot can do is look at himself, spending tons of money on mirrors and lotions. Prince John cares only about he how he looks as well, physically and with the public.
Both also have a bad sense of money, burning through it rapidly. Sir Walter loses so much money he has to move to Bath and rent out the family home. Prince John runs through so much money, he taxes the stuffing out of his people.
Both men also don’t care very much about their family, Sir Walter trying to keep all his children away, except his eldest who has taken on the “Lady’s” household duties; and Prince John who wants his brother to continue to be captured as he wants to stay in command.
So today’s Christmas Carol is one that I love and one has been around for quite some time, Oh Come All Ye Faithful.
This song was written in the 17th century, actual author unknown. Three claim to have written it: King John IV of Portugal, John Reading, and John Francis Wade. It was originally written in Latin and then later translated into English.
It is a great song, uplifting and serene. I really enjoy the version by Celtic Woman.
On the 10th Day ’til Christmas my blogger gave to me
A Jane Austen Birthday Wish!
For those of you who don’t know, today is Jane Austen’s birthday. If she was alive today, she would be 237 years old. I know it’s not a Christmas-y movie, but what kind of Austenite would I be if I completely ignored the fact that it is her birthday on my blog?
Jane Austen was an amazing woman who faced all kinds of adversary. Her father was a minister, and while well off to begin with, they ended up losing most of their money living in poverty. She fell in love with a high class man, and wanted to marry him; but his family intervened and sent him away. She was given another opportunity to marry a wealthy man that would have saved her and her family from destitution, but she couldn’t marry him. She continued to wait for her true love; although he never walked back into her life. Her first book she ever wrote, Northanger Abbey (then called Lady Susan) was published post-mortem. Her second novel and the most famous, Pride and Prejudice, was turned down several times before being published. In fact, it was published after she wrote her third novel, Sense and Sensibility.
Austen wrote not only great stories that have stood the test of time, but wrote about real issues and her more radical thoughts/philosophies, that wouldn’t be as easily accepted if spoken in person. In Northanger Abbey, we are all delighted as the main character is someone we can easily connect to. We all feel like Catherine at times in our lives, hoping that we will have an adventure and meet a dashing hero.
This idea of a girl wanting the life of a novel, and ending up living one is later used and recycled in films such as Romancing the Stone. Austen also pokes fun at all the social graces and little customs one must abide by, even though they are silly. It is a satire on societal rules and the gothic novel itself. However, it is a great book and one of Austen’s favorites.
Pride and Prejudice has so many things that are amazing to it. First of all parts of it are taken from her own life-a middle class woman falling for a high class man. Unfortunately she didn’t get the same ending. But Pride and Prejudice has such wit and wonderful lines; there is a reason why it is referenced in everything, has had a ton of movies and TV shows, spinoffs, vlogs, blogs, etc. I love it because the characters are so real. Elizabeth and Darcy are everywhere in the world. I’m a Darcy myself; every time I read it I always feel for him. But more on our shared traits later. I’m also an Elizabeth, they way she treats Darcy and others, when reading that its like looking into a mirror.
Emma, well I already stated that she and I have a lot alike. Sister’s amor hating you, a guy who won’t stop following you around. In my case 3), a friend who has a trifecta of boys rejecting her, deciding to become a spinster, and has meddled in friend’s love lives…need I go on? There are probably many of you out there who have had similar experiences. Not only that, but Jane Austen was able to share her own ideas of spinsterhood and how being a spinster who could care for one self (like Jane was able to in her writing) was nothing to look down on or pity. Austen said she was going to make a character that only she would love, but Emma has become beloved by all. Just like her modern counterpart, Cher from Clueless, there is something about that girl that is just lovable.
Mansfield Park, while it isn’t my favorite is still a great read. We see a woman, although she is meek and timid through most of the novel, isn’t afraid to say no to a “a good thing”. *Spoiler Alert stop reading now if you haven’t read the book* When Henry Crawford asks her to marry him, even though he is rich and could save her family from destitution, she says no. She holds out for her number one, even when threatened to be kicked out of the Bertram house. Very Austonian there. She even continues to be kind and nice to all around her, even though they constantly use and abuse her. She is a true heroine, very Uncle Tom, never turning to hate or anger.
I know I could never do that; Aunt Norris would have been punched in the eye already.
But Fanny continues to be good, and when everyone else’s lives fall apart; she is there to help all pick up the pieces. The whole guy being blinded by the wrong girl, is also very real, I’ve had two friends like that.
Sense and Sensibility, deals with the line between expression. I liked how there is the question of whether too much of either is bad and how much does one need? We have Marianne full of sensibilities, wearing her heart on her sleeve; but we see this gets her into trouble as she expresses too much, before anything is promised to her.
Elinor, expresses nothing, being purely intellectual and sensible; but this causes her to almost lose the man she loves.
While both sisters are the best of friends; their extremes cause the other to never fully know their sister. Marianne can never see what Elinor is feeling and makes all these assumptions about a “frozen” heart. Elinor on the other hand, never imagines that Marianne has any sense as she assumes she is solely governed by feelings. I liked how the sisters were never privy to each others complete secrets as I feel this is realistic. I can see myself and my sister in these.
Persuasion, is one of the saddest novels that Austen wrote, because even though it ends happily it was pure wish fulfillment. *Spoiler Alert stop reading now if you haven’t read the book* Anne is persuaded by her friend to not marry her love. He ends up leaving but returns, and after a series of misunderstandings the two are reunited. Austen always hoped that her love would return just like Captain Wentworth, but he never did.
She also uses a strong irony in this as Anne was rich when she turned down poor Wentworth, but when he returns Anne is poor and Wentworth rich. I simply love this book because it seems so real, how the characters react and treat each other are the emotions they actually would. Austen also does a great line about women being portrayed as a “femme fatale” so often as men are the writers of these novels; therefore the view is biased. Great book to check out.
Austen lived only 42 years, but changed the history of the novel with her great works. She has changed my life and I hope you give her a chance to influence yours. Happy Birthday Jane!
Now to tie this into Christmas:
“The very first day that [James] Morland came to us last Christmas–the very first moment I beheld him–my heart was irrecoverably gone.”
-Northanger Abbey, pg 142
“I sincerely hope your Christmas in Hertfordshire may abound in the gaieties which the season generally brings…”
-Pride and Prejudice, pg 122
“I remember last Christmas…he danced from eight o’clock to four, without once sitting down.”
Sense and Sensibility, pg 30
“If they were at home to grace the ball, a ball you would have this very Christmas.”
-Mansfield Park, pg 262
“At Christmas every body invites their friends and thinks little of even the worst weather.”
-Emma, pg 97
“On one side was a table occupied by chattering girls, cutting up silk and gold paper; and on the other were tressels and trays, bending under the weight of brawn and cold pies, where riotous boys were holding high revel; the whole completed by a roaring Christmas fire…”