1. Robin Hood and Maiden Marian
These two really capture the spirit of Disney´s 1973 animated version of Robin Hood. Extra points from the attention to detail. Everything is perfect from fox´s tails to pointy ears.
2. Kuzco - The Emperor´s New Groove
I don´t think I have ever come across The Emperor´s New Groove cosplay before. This guy really manages to capture the nature of Emperor Kuzco (before and after he became a donkey).
3. Georgette - Oliver and Company
Yes! she actually dressed up as Georgette from Oliver and Company and seems to have all the gestures of the character. What a wonderful tribute for the animated classic.
4. Peter and Wendy - Peter Pan
Peter and Wendy did not always look eye to eye especially what it came to raising the lost boys. Expressions and body language really captures these characters.
5. Centaurette - Fantasia
Fantasia from 1940 is one of my favorite Disney animations of all time. How amazing is this centaurette cosplay from the Pastoral Symphony- sequence.
6. Captain Amelia - Treasure Planet
I don´t think cosplay can get any better than this. Captain Amelia is perfect!
7. Vincenzo 'Vinny' Santorini- Atlantis
From Treasure Planet to another Disney Sci-Fi classic Atlantis! Vinnie is one of the funniest characters. He even have his dynamite and paper clip with him. Be careful with those matches!
8. Hera - Hercules
This costume is very well made. Look at that hair! It´s like the goddess Hera stepped out from the animation.
9. Honey Lemon - Big Hero 6
I love the character of Honey Lemon. This cosplay portraits Honey Lemon´s sunny nature.
What can I say...this Wall-E cosplay is just adorable.
Myths from Asia are filled with stories of magical beings that are very similar to the western concept of unicorn. Often these creatures are kind and benevolent beings with purest of hearts.
Stories about unicorns can be found from around the world. Magical deer and horse-like creatures with one horn in the middle of the forehead. In many Asian myths story of the unicorn begins with a statement that unicorn was the first creature that was created and it was the most magnificent and purest creature to wonder in this earth. Asian unicorn was told to be a gentle soul who would not even hurt a fly – quite literally. Unicorns were careful not to crush insects while walking. They did not eat fruits because of the life inside them. Their hooves barely touched the grass when they were running. This might have connections to the concept of ahimsa from Hindu, Buddhist and Jaina religions where one of the main principles is to honour life because all life is sacred.
According to Eastern legends the free and wild unicorn who was also the most gentle of all beings would hide itself into the mystical other realms until day would come when mankind would give up on it´s evil ways. Only then would unicorn appear to men and would allow itself to be tamed.
Qilin's statue in Beijing's summer palace
The Chinese Qilin
In Chinese mythology Qilin is a hybrid creature who has the body of a deer or a tiger, hooves of a horse, tail of an ox and a head of a dragon. It´s body is also covered with shiny green scales like a fish. There are descriptions which say that Qilin has wings or at least that it has ability to fly and it has clouds in it´s feet. Qilin has a single horn growing from it´s forehead but it is not a straight spiral shaped horn. Qilin´s horn curves backward. Qilin was believed to be one of the most benevolent animals who offered protection, comfort, prosperity and guidance for those who respected it. Qilin represents goodness and like other Asian unicorns it is a gentle soul who does not wish to harm any living beings. Attributes such as wisdom, harmony, purity, knowledge and gentleness are connected to Qilin. It was also told to have the gift of prophesy.
From Japanese mythology we find two types of unicorns; Kirin and Sin-You. Kirin is a kind and shy creature. Sin-You has tendency to be more judgmental. Legend tells that Sin-You has the power to detect those who lie and it possessed ability to tell the right from wrong. If Sin-You found the wrongdoer guilty it would kill them by impaling it´s horn to the person´s heart.
Unicorns in Vietnam
In Vietnamese folklore unicorns are known as qué ly or lan. First mentions of these creatures in come from 2700 years ago from the time period of Duong Dynasty where they symbolized prosperity. For Vietnamese qué ly was one of the most sacred animals and many of the temples were decorated with images of it. Qué ly or Qué lan it usually was depicted to have a dragon´s head and a horse´s body. There are more detailed imaginative descriptions which say that it also had a mouth of a crocodile, dog´s ears, nose of a lion and a horn of a deer. It also may had scales covering it´s body and mustache of a catfish. Qué ly was able to shape shift it´s appearance so it would have appeared in different forms to people. It was a symbol of good luck, happiness and longevity.
Story of Kiringul is connected to the ancient kingdom of Kogyryo. According to the legend founder of this ancient Kingdom King Tongmyong rode kiringul. In Vietnam and in Korea it was believed that Kirin and Kiringul lived inside caves and high in the mountains. These myths might have links to the past of these two countries where several of the ancient civilisations lived in caves. Some of the caves had a whole Eco-system with lakes and fountains inside them. They were idyllic places for these magical creatures to live.
Ancient Kingdom of Persia also had it´s own stories of the unicorn but unlike it´s other Asian counterparts Persian Kardakann was frightening and ferocious warrior. According to some descriptions it had six eyes and nine mouths and three hove's on each leg. Kardakann was also a shape sifter who could change it´s shape at will. Most impressive was it´s horn which was told to be pure gold. Kardakann was told to be an aggressive beast who intimidated all the other animals accept the ring dove. Stories tell that Karkakann had particular fascination to the bird´s song and that it was the only thing that could tame the wild beast. It is possible that some of the stories of the wild beastly Kardakann were inspired by Rhinos and it´s aggressive nature was simply a reflection of the Persian military power. There are also milder version of the Kardakann describing it to be a deer, stag, horse or an antelope with one-horn. This kind of Kardakann was a gentle soul and like other western unicorns it had ability to purify water simply by immersing it´s horn into a stream, lake or a pond but the consequences of this would be that all the females would immediately become pregnant.
Unicorns in India
There are lots of unicorn-like creatures in Indian folk tales and legends. Most famous of them is rsya. Creature that looks like an antelope or a water buffalo who has one singular horn rising from it´s forehead. Ancient Sanskrit epic Mahabharata even mentions human-like being called Rsyasrnga who also had a horn in his forehead.
Origins of the Legend
In all of these countries and cultures artists were found of portraying mythical creatures. Most of the time unicorns are inspired by animals who traditionally grow antlers on each side of their forehead but there are oddities in nature and sometimes one-horned deer's, antelopes and bulls are born. Depending on the specie some animals can drop their horns/antlers after mating season, coming of age or loose them in battles. Could they be the original inspirations to the legend of the unicorn? You decide.
The Natural history of Unicorns by Chris Lavers
Unicorns, the myths, legends and lore by Skye Alexander
I jumped to the band wagon and wrote some of my thoughts about the new trailer.
I like the costumes and Jo´s "suits". Jo´s hair is a bit cringy. She ain´t a blonde in the books. I love that she is running and is overall more "boyish" than previous Jo´s.
I was very exited when I heard that Meryl Streep was going to be aunt March but what´s up with aunt March not ever being married to Uncle March. That´s why she has all the money. Are they trying to turn aunt March to Josephine Barry from Anne of Green Gables? If that is the case I´ll stick with Angela Landsbury. I always thought the reason why aunt was grumpy in the books was because she missed her belated husband.
I have watched 11 adaptations so far. Each time Laurie´s proposal is romanticised. In this version proposal is an argument like it is in the books which is definitely an improvement. I can´t judge the acting yet but I do hope that Timothee can pull the prankster/funny/immature/messy Laurie as well as the sensitive, sweet and caring Laurie and his looks are a lot more closer to the way I imagined Laurie to look like in the books than in any other film adaptations that I have seen. Extra stars if the film shows Laurie´s tricky relationship with his grandfather (in my gender studies I am currently exploring Laurie´s models of masculinity).
Film is going to flesh up Amy´s character and as a massive Amy fan I really look forward seeing that. I always wished that the films would show the way Amy was experimenting her artistic skills since very young age. I don´t know if that is going to happen but based to the trailer there is fire and love for painting. They are also going to build Amy´s and Laurie´s relationship. Yey!
I am confused about this book that Jo is writing. In the books Jo writes her own version of "Little Women" sometimes between Little Men and Jo´s boys. There is also a play written by Jo, isn´t that from Jo´s boys as well and Jo is in her 50´s when that takes place. Artistic liberties must be taken what it comes to films. I hope they can make it work.
I am a feminist and I am annoyed that the trailer is pretty much shouting that "this film is feminist because it´s Little Women" yet everyone already knows that Little Women is feminist. It is not something that people need to be reminded on. Story is already powerful enough.
I am not a huge fan of trying to force bits and pieces of Louisa´s life to Jo´s life. Jo is fiction. Louisa´s own life and family relations were in many ways different than in Little Women. But that is the challenge of adapting a semi-biographic novel.
I was really exited when I heard that James Norton was going to be John Brooke but he was hardly in the trailer either. Could this film be the first where John defends Meg when the upper-class girls make fun of her because she is a governess.
I love Emma Watson as Meg.
Where is Professor Bhaer? He is on the trailer for a second.
I read interview of Greta Gerwig where she said that the film is going to handle gender fluidly with Jo and Laurie but is the film going to show the effect that Friedrich´s mixture of gender binary has on Jo?
I was just thinking the other day that in this day and age it would be wonderful if the Little Women movies would show the ways German immigrants were treated in the 19th century US. They were the lowest of the low.
What I am curious to see is how this film is going to show Friedrich´s positive effects on Jo´s writing and also is this film going to follow the Fritz and Jo - trope that is in the previous films but not in the books, where Fritz takes Jo to opera. There is a photo online of the two coming out of an official looking building. I can´t put my finger on it but this film might have the symposium (I´ll take that if I can´t get the opera). In fact I think it´s better because it is more loyal to the books.
I like that Jo struggles with her temper in this film. I´d like to see an adaptation where Marmee speaks to Jo about her own struggles with her temper like she does in the books and I would love to see an adaptation that shows how Fritz calm nature also calms Jo´s temper, same ways as Beth´s calm nature did. Fritz also becomes more impulsive / takes changes when he is with Jo. That has never been explored in films (which is why I love the musical).
Louisa May Alcott wasn´t against marriage but girls marrying too young or because of money. Is the film going to follow the book and show how Jo actually becomes a feminist?
Because Jo is not a feminist from the start. In the books when Laurie forged letters to Meg and pretended to be Mr. Brooke Jo had difficulties to identify to the pain that Meg was feeling. Her reactions showed much more masculine trajectory. She makes fun of Amy´s feminine ways as much as she makes fun of her boyish ways. I will be thrilled if this film adapts chapter "calls". Jo making fun of the aunts and putting herself above them. That is why Amy got to go to Europe. All characters have flaws and that moralistic babble that many people criticise in Little Women are the lessons that the sisters go through when they learn more about themselves and form their identity.
Jo criticises Meg for marrying and I love that little snippet with Meg saying that her dreams are different but just as important. Could this foreshadow the way Jo has completely demonised the idea of marriage like she did in the books. Jo was afraid of falling in love and part of the demonising marriage was Jo´s own refusal and fear to let go of her childhood. Just like Laurie proposed to Jo so that he wouldn´t have to grow and take responsibilities of himself. Big part of Jo wanting to be a boy as a teen was also about showing off. In the terms of Jo becoming a feminist Laurie trying to force a role upon her that is traditionally more feminine breaks Jo´s idealisation of the masculine as she has come to know it. Both Laurie and Fritz are stepping stones in the terms of Jo´s feminist awakening.
Being a caretaker for Beth and learning lessons from her sisters make Jo appreciate the feminine labour. Loosing Beth is a big part of Jo´s growth because Beth saw Jo as a full-person and celebrated her unconventional ways.
There are scenes of Jo and Beth by the seaside. The film is going to handle the relationship between the two. I know I am going to cry.
What Fritz offers is a relationship that does not demand Jo to change and most importantly he doesn´t want Jo to be traditionally feminine. He loves her as an unconventional woman (or in subtext as gender fluid) Fritz himself is thoroughly unconventional. I hope the film does not butcher them.
Edit. After writing this I spoiled myself entirely and read parts of the script online. This film has potential to become my favorite Little Women adaptation of all times.
Check out my other Little Women articles:
Little Women 1970 Amy and Laurie Romance
Little Women 1933
Little Women and tender masculinity Quest of Friedrich Bhaer (and why my inner Jo loves him)
Little Men and Tender Parenthood
Little Women Equal marriage lost in translation
Little Women symbolism of the umbrella
Thoughts on #TeamLaurie and #TeamBhaer
I am currently working on some autumn - themed art. Here are some inspirational autumn vibes for you.
I think I was about 17 when I read Little Men for the first time. It did not make that huge impression on me as Good Wives did but I still enjoyed it as I have enjoyed all Alcott´s books. It was about 10 years ago since I had read the book last time I didn´t really remembered all the things that had happened in it. This was the first time I read the book in English and either in the past the Finnish version I read was shortened a lot or maybe I have simply grown up more as a person and more easily pick nuisances from the story since I discovered so many new things from this read.
My old Finnish copy of Little Men sadly seems to be lost for the ages so in the spring I ordered an English version to myself.
Jo and Fritz are living their juggling/traffic years since their kids are small and the school is finally doing well. I love Jo in Little Men because she is such a multi-tasker. She runs the house, takes care about 20 kids and continues writing and Fritz supports his wive´s writing career and takes care of teaching. School is ran with feminist values and each child is treated as an individual. Mixture of boys and girls makes the gender roles more blurry and children's aspirations are supported.
But what if aunt March would not have left Plumfield for Jo?
I don´t think that a life where Fritz would go to work each day to teach somewhere else and Jo would stay at home writing and hanging out with Franz and Emil would have been suitable for either one of them on a long run. Jo maybe more introverted but she needed life around her and she and Fritz also shared love for academics. Jo´s nature also needed challenges and those became inspirations to her stories. Definitely Plumfield would have become reality one way or another.
Jo and Fritz would have stayed in Concord close to Jo´s family and saved money for that. Fritz would have worked as a teacher in a local school and Jo would have continued writing and if necessary she would have taken another job as well (Louisa May Alcott did work as a teacher and as a nurse at one point).
When I read Little Men for the first time my favourite character was actually Nat. It was probably because Little Men is told from perspective of three people; Jo, Fritz and Nat but now that I read the book again I still cared about him but he wasn´t my focus and I came to the realisation that the reason why I used to love Nat back in the days was the same reason why I used to like young Laurie much more when I was 12 when I read Little Women for the first time. It was some kind of mixture of pity and maternal feelings because they were both orphans who liked to play music and had had a hard life.
When I re-read Little Women some years later my take on Laurie was completely different because young Laurie can be great but he can also be very irritating. Nat was never as intrusive as Laurie was but Nat was bit like Pinocchio in Collodi´s fairy-tale. When there came times when he had to choose the right from wrong Nat would often choose the wrong even when he knew that it was wrong. Luckily the more time he spends in Plumfield he starts to see how self-harming that kind of behaviour can be.
Little Rob became my new favourite character. He is freaking adorable and I love that he is a chatterbox. Mini-Friedrich who inherited his fathers optimistic life attitude and Jo´s curious nature. Little Men also introduced the character of Dan and I found his relationship with Jo really interesting because they are very similar. Both are observers. Another reference to tender masculinity is Little Ted´s affection to Dan. Dan is more quiet, more of a grumpy teen-ager and at least in the beginning he tries very hard to hide his vulnerability and it is with his interactions with Ted when his kind nature comes out and that is the quality in him that Jo and Fritz wish to support. Dan and Nat also become very good friends and Nat is extremely sensitive. I think he might even be hsp (which is probably why I still relate myself to him) for Nat it is difficult to censor or hide his emotions. Another famous highly sensitive person in Little Women universe is of course Beth.
Daisy has not changed a bit from the way she was in Good Wives. She is very similar to her mother and Daisy is a very active character. She makes things happen. Amy´s and Laurie´s daughter Bess is as pretty as her parents but she is so young she doesn´t really have a developed personality yet but she is as graceful as her mother
During the years between Good Wives and Little Men Amy suffered multiple miscarriages, which must have had it´s effect on Laurie as well. Yet because these are children´s books there is no deeper explorations to the characters emotional world of what it is like to loose a child but if the "children book" was not the structure of the book and Louisa would have had more liberties I believe many would have different views on Amy and Laurie. Imagine how it would be like to be part of as tight-knit family as Bhaers-Brooks-Marches-Lawrences are and to see your sisters and your friends becoming mothers and fathers. If I remember right Meg and John were married about 2 years before Meg got pregnant and Jo and Fritz after the first year.
As much as I love Little Men my biggest criticism is that there isn´t enough Amy in it. I recently found out that Louisa´s sister May Alcott who was the main inspiration for Amy´s character asked Louisa not to write that much about Amy because she was constantly bombarded by both Amy lovers and Amy haters and that distracted her own artistic work. Little Men is a great book but it is unbalanced because there isn´t so much Amy yet May´s request for Louisa not to write so much about Amy was completely valid.
Good Wives is one of my favourite books of all time and Laurie is a complete mess in it and Amy is the only person who gets through him (and the only one who he listens). In this house we stand for Amy March. Especially during his party boy phase Laurie was in many ways very selfish character and largely thanks to the positive influence from Amy he starts to take responsibility from himself for the very first time. There were years that were very hard on both Laurie and Amy because of their struggles of having a child so in Little Men when Laurie does help with some of the students (mainly with Nat´s music) he has gotten into the same level as John Brooke and Friedrich, Who in the terms of Little Women were the only two male characters that were always able to look after themselves and other people. Because of the losses that he and Amy have gone through he does not take children for granted and the philanthropist work that he and Amy do gives him the feeling of purpose which is something that Laurie was lacking for the most part in his youth. I love both Amy´s and Laurie´s interactions with their daughter.
Then there is the parallels between Beth and Bess. Beth was described as an angel child and after multiple miscarriages when Amy finally gives birth to a baby girl it´s a blessing and they named her after her angelic aunt. It also parallels with Laurie´s journey the way it took forever for him to come in terms with himself and finally getting a family of his own. There is a scene in Jo´s boys where Emil gives Amy a necklace with Madonna and a child and tells how it reminded him of the time of Bess birth which highlights all of that.
If you are a fellow Amy/Laurie fan check the 1970 BBC adaptation it´s the most accurate screen adaptation of their relationship.
There was a small scene that I think speaks a great deal. After the death of John Brooke Fritz talks to Demi and the boys about John and tells how both he and Laurie looked up to him when they became parents. This an interaction that I would have loved to read more about and when I think of my uncomforts with Laurie´s character is that the Hollywood portrayal of him is 100 % inaccurate. After my least read of Jo´s boys I realised how perfectly Laurie and Amy are mirroring Nat and Daisy. Both Meg and Jo are worried that Nat because he is so very effeminate and sensitive can´t provide for Daisy but then Jo also thinks that Nat would need a strong woman like Daisy to bring him back to reality. This is exactly what happened with Jo and Laurie. Because Laurie was sensitive, very unaware of his own privileged position and constantly drifting without a direction first Jo wished that Meg would marry him, then she wished that Beth would marry him and then she thought that Laurie and Amy would make a great couple and they did since Amy was the only one who Laurie actually listened.
Laurie and Amy 2019 I am nervous and exited to see them
My Little Women marathon is still continuing and I must say I have become more critical towards Hollywood´s adaptive attractiveness. Laurie in the books is very delicate and effeminate and Jo has more "masculine" features and she has very masculine trajectory. Of course she loves Laurie as a brother but she is not attracted to him because he has such "effiminate" looks but then she is really fixated on Fritz since he has such clear "masculine" looks. I always found it cute and quite funny how obviously thirsty she is for him in New York and he is completely unaware of it. Films in many ways ignore this by hiring more masculine/handsome Lauries, feminine Jo´s and tones down Jo´s "masculinity" but it´s Hollywood and the gender fluidly has become more understood subject just more recently. This is also why it is very difficult to turn Little Women into screen like the way it is in the books.
Gender fluidly continues in the character of Nan who is a tomboy and someone who Jo sees herself in. Nan is delightful and her desire to become a nurse is supported by everyone. There are so many characters in this book I am probably forgetting some of them. I absolutely love the relationship between Jo and Franz. Franz´s brother Emil is more hot-heated but Franz is more mild-tempered like his uncle and he wants to become a teacher and I am pretty convinced that Franz was Jo´s favorite because he was so much like Fritz. Because Fritz was the one who raised his nephews he is much more than just an uncle but somewhere between an uncle and a father. When Jo and Fritz marry Jo became the boys aunt but for Franz she is more of a mother and I can´t really think of a better step-mom for Emil than Jo since Jo also knew how to be strict if needed. You don´t really see it that that much in Little Men but definitely in Jo´s boys where the Bhaers-Marches-Lawrences-Brookes all become together as a community to raise children.
The lesson that I took from this book is that Little Women is about childhood and the beginning in the terms of shaping ones identity, Good Wives is about entering to the world of adulthood and finding meaningful work and true love (and learning to love oneself as well), Little Men is largely about parenthood and like all Little Women books it constantly breaks the 19th century gender stereotypes.
I think that having children and becoming a mother did frighten Jo since she was so used to her autonomy and I think (no one can ever change my mind about this) Louisa was a genius when she gave Jo a partner who was as found of kids as Jo was but who also had experience raising them. Fritz is a very attentive parent. In Little Men he is always holding little Ted or he is playing with Rob. Jo does manage to combine love, family and career but person like Jo can only do that when she is with a partner like Fritz who tells her to slow down if she is going too fast and who believes in her and gives her confidence to be herself.
In Good Wives there is a scene where Fritz is wondering what it would be like to be in a relationship with Jo and start a family with her. Sadly it is Friedrich´s love for children what is used against him when people criticise his character and it is ignored how much Jo actually loves children in the books, boys especially. Men can dream about having a family as much as women. We should not take the scene out of it´s context. It happens when Fritz is feeling rather lonely and is missing his home country and even though he has friends in New York he is an outsider and what are the odds? he meets Jo (who has always felt herself as an outsider) and falls in love with her and she is very found of him and in the book Jo is also much more interested of the doings of Franz and Emil than her two female charges Kittie and Minny which once again shows Jo´s love and affection towards male over female and there is a scene in Little Men where Jo wants to cheer up Daisy and she is thinking to herself how in the house that is filled with boys the only girl is sometimes the most difficult to please which shows how hard it sometimes still is for Jo to understand the world of the feminine. But Jo loves Daisy and the adult Jo who has grown out from the teen age-Jo who scoffed and made fun of the more feminine girls let´s Daisy to be herself and supports her in terms of finding her own identity.
I love everything about the way Louisa describes Jo´s and Fritz´s marriage in Little Men but then again I am one of those who in general love the way Louisa writes about love and romance was it then Fritz thinking what an amazing woman Jo is and how lucky he is and Jo always feeling her neurotic all over the place nature calming down when he is there or Amy and Laurie rowing the same both together enjoying each others company or Meg and John happily getting married in the most tupsy-turvey wedding.
I might be the only person in the world who has come into this conclusion but ever since I read Little Men for the first time I´v believed that John Brooke was Friedrich´s best friend in Concord. Both Fritz and Jo are really upset when John dies since they both liked him a lot and there is a scene where Jo is comforting Fritz and it is said that they were good friends. In many ways it makes perfect sense. John was very kind and sweet man but also a bit shy and many times more introverted people enjoy the company of more extroverted people like Fritz (Jo and Fritz are also a good example of this but I see Jo more as an ambivert than an introvert) John also spoke German and in many ways he and Fritz had similar values; strong work ethics, both had worked as teachers, they were close to each others age. It is Victorian bromance and I am totally shipping it.
But my favorite part in this book is the fact that Jo and Fritz have a dog called Christopher Columbus.
Check out my other Little Women articles:
Little Women: Symbolism of the umbrella
Little Women: Equal Marriage Lost in Translation
Quest of Friedrich Bhaer, Tender Masculinity in Little Women
Little Women 1970 Amy and Laurie Romance
Little Women 1933
Thoughts on #TeamLaurie and #TeamBhaer
Little Women 2019 Trailer (Long Rant)
Pronounced as Nee-na.
Artist, illustrator, writer, watercolorist and a folklorist. Gryffinclaw. Comes from Finland. Likes cats, tea and period dramas.
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