Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Critter-ed Characters

While hunting and pecking for images of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn (for no particular reason other just to see how he's been presented I suppose) I came across this video from MGM. I have not seen it, so I can't say if it's an atrocity or not.

But I found it amusing since as a kid I used to draw Tom and Huck as cats.

It's kind of cute, although I'm not so sure I like the look of Huck here, even if I do have an affinity for foxes. Maybe it's the white hair on top. Is that perspective drawing or is he that much smaller than Tom? And maybe it's just me, but Becky seems a bit too prissy. I always thought of her as quite pretty, but a little more tomboy (ha!) at the same time.

Anyawy, it got me to thinking, naturally, what animal (if any) Peter Pan would be, besides a cat. The obvious choice is of course a bird, given his history. But then, what kind of bird? Certainly not a crow, as we cannot take that honorable position away from Solomon Caw. Or maybe he's not a bird in critter related anthropomorphic terms at all? Any ideas?


Anonymous said...

Personally I thought a cat (well, kitten) was a good idea--it suggests his cockiness well. He acts kind of like a stray cat (in my opinion).

Keeping that cockiness in mind with the bird idea is difficult, though, because most of what I can think of are adult birds: peacock, rooster, etc., and those are NOT appropriate for Peter Pan.

I don't know, that's a toughie.

Danielle Mari said...

I came across this adaptation years ago when I found myself teaching "Huck." I rejected it for my educational uses for a few reasons. Most importantly, I think cute-ifying these characters undercuts some of the more powerful themes-- especially those issues of class and racism. Like I said, rejected.

As for Pan-- don't you think making the boy who could fly into a bird that can fly would be... well... less than thrilling? Isn't the Pan god a goat? I dunno... I guess I'm for keeping him as is. (Though I still think he needs a good smack upside the head, as I've bemoaned to you many a-time.)

[serhorni... married to madame horni?]

Anonymous said...

Pan is a goat-man god, but I don't think a goat would be good for Peter Pan. Forgetting the fact that in some incarnations he rides ON a goat, a goat suggests stubbornness but not cockiness.

And while I can definitely see Peter being stubborn in ways, it's not his defining characteristic--besides, he's quick to switch sides if the fight bores him, I wouldn't call THAT stubborn.

I agree with you about the bird thing, though--there's another reason NOT to make Peter Pan an anthropomorphic bird.

Danielle Mari said...

I always love reading your comments Anon.

If we look at Pan as the goat god, though- I assume we're talking about Greek mythology. In that case, the goat doesn't so much represent stubbornness (your word, by the way, not mine) so much as sexuality or at least fertility.... even MORE reason to reject that for Pan of the Peter variety.

All in all- I think we're agreed. Keep the headstrong and arrogant little fella a fella, please.