As I was planning my potential Disney Christmas Vacation, I found myself accidently typing the phrase Downtown Disney as Downton Disney. And, lo, a blogpost was formed. There have been multiple parodies of Downton Abbey, including but not limited to Downton Arby’s, Dogton Abbey and of course SNL’s Spike TV spoof, and it’s very possible that someone has already made a list of Disney Character Downton Abbey parallels. But, as it were, I’m trying to avoid some graduate school work at the moment and thought I’d take a spin at it. So, here, in all its glory, my version of Downton Disney (WARNING: Contains slight spoilers. But you probably should have watched it already. It’s a cultural phenomenon!)
Lord and Lady Grantham: Mickey and Minnie—Despite beginning their marriage on different terms, the Granthams have a solid and loving relationship, just like the top mice. Without Mickey and Minnie/Lord and Lady Grantham, the entire foundation of their respective worlds would crumble. It is their respect and love that keeps the entire dynasty going. Plus, we all know that Lady Grantham/Minnie are the ones who really wear the pants in their relationships.
The Dowager: This was the trickiest character. Forget the fact that the majority of older women in Disney movies are either evil or doting, And honestly, I don’t know that the Dowager can be compared to anyone. She doesn’t know what a weekend or a swivel chair is, and she doesn’t care who knows it. Therefore she doesn’t just get one Disney comparison she gets an equation. The Dowager=Duchess the cat’s pedigree+Tinkerbell’s sassiness+Maleficent’s sense of style and ability to make an entrance.
Lady Mary: Jasmine—Jasmine and Lady Mary both face similarly male-dominated worlds. Neither can inherit what is rightfully theirs and must marry if they are to have any of their family’s wealth. Both are headstrong and beautiful with a seemingly never-ending line of suitors. And frankly, given Agrabah’s geographical proximity to Turkey, who am I to say that a Turkish man never ended up in a compromising position in Jasmine’s bedroom before Aladdin took her on that magic carpet ride?
Matthew Crawley: Aladdin—Although Matthew Crawley wasn’t exactly a Street Rat, in Victorian England, he might as well have been for all the distance there was between upper middle class and the residents of Downton. Although both eventually bring their credentials up to snuff, love comes slowly for Jasmine/Lady Mary, no matter how many elephants or attempts to break the entail the men present to their lady loves.
Lady Edith: Alice—Poor Edith. She’s just the worst. Constantly in the shadow of her more accomplished older sister, similar to Alice, and she is constantly poking her nose where it doesn’t belong, also just like Miss Alice. Every time she opens her mouth I just want to be like, “Ugh, Edith, we get it you have an inferiority complex.” Actually, the only reason I didn’t make Lady Edith Iago is because she slightly redeems herself in Season 2 by helping out with the war effort.
Lady Sybil: Belle—Lady Sybil doesn’t fit in with her upper class family, just like Belle didn’t fit in with her simple town. Both dream of being more than what society has in store for them; Belle shows her rebellion by reading books, and Sybill shows hers by wearing strange genie pants and becoming a nurse. Both fall in love with men that their families don’t exactly approve of, but both have the inner strength to follow their heart and eventually find happiness.
Tom Branson: The Beast—Even though Branson is adorable and not a hideous beast, he might as well have been for all the Crawley Clan thought of Sybil marrying him. The Beast and Branson both participate in activities society frowns upon (promoting revolutionary antics and mackin’ on the Lord’s daughter; destroying perfectly nice furniture and locking helpless old men in dungeons), but underneath their rough exteriors lies a heart of gold and a penchant for brown-haired beauties.
Anna Smith: Ariel—Now, Anna might not be as feisty as Ariel, but once she decides she loves Mr. Bates she portrays the same ferocious adoration for him that Ariel displays for Eric. Sure, they both face obstacles to their love; one has to leave behind her family and original limbs and the other learns that her beloved is married and a potential murderer, but neither one cares—it’s true love!
Mr. Bates: Eeyore—Poor Mr. Bates. He just can’t seem to catch a break! First everyone makes fun of him because he walks funny, and then his psycho ex-wife tries to ruin his life! However, just like Eeyore, who has Pooh, Piglet and the rest of the gang to help him rebuild his house and find his tale, Mr. Bates has a great support system in the form of Anna and Lord Grantham.
Mr. Carson: Cogsworth—If Cogsworth and Mr. Bates ever met, I feel it would be a bromance at first sight. They could commiserate about how the other servants don’t uphold the honor of their great houses, and what the best way to polish silver is.
Thomas: Gaston—Noooooo onnnnneeee sneaks around like Thomas bums a smoke like Thomas, likes to fake a war injury to avoid combat like Thomas! Gaston and Thomas are not only physically similar, but share a single-mindedness toward their ambitions in life: Thomas wants to be a Valet/Black market Businessman; Gaston wants to marry Belle. Unfortunately for them (but luckily for us) their reckless ambitions lead them into some pretty tragic territory, though Thomas has avoided plunging into a stormy abyss…for now.
*Thank you to Marina Jacobe for finding these picture for me after I asked her to read this.