Have you ever heard of Calico Critters?
My kids are really into them, even my sons – and they enjoy letting their imagination run wild with these cute little woodland creatures.
Not that long ago, I wrote a guest post for Always Austen where I listed what the different characters of Pride & Prejudice would be if they were birds (to be published in Feburary 2024). I also saw a hilarious meme about P&P being done as a Muppets movie.
Which then got me thinking…. what if P&P characters were animals…. and they were acted out as Calico Critter dolls?
The purpose of this post is to introduce you to each character, their animal doppelganger, and explain why both their animal and the outfit fits their personality.
I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!
Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy – lion
- Darcy is a lion – a member of the arrogant cat family and leader of the pride.
- I did a poll in one of the Pride & Prejudice groups I belong to, and when people think of Mr. Darcy, they think of his green coat worn by Colin Firth in the 1995 BBC version.
Elizabeth Bennet – cat
- Elizabeth’s tendency to judge others quickly based on first impressions makes her a bit of a personality snob, which is very cat-like of her.
- The flowers on her dress represent her love of being outdoors. The apron reflects her need to keep her dresses clean so they don’t end up six inches deep in mud. The darker flowers reminded me of the dress she wears while playing the piano at Pemberley in the 1995 version.
Mr. Bingley – golden retriever
- Bingley’s friendly, affable nature makes him often be referred to as a “puppy” in so many variations. This specific animal even has a golden-red hue, like many of the actors who portray him.
- And what would Bingley be wearing if not his blue coat?
Jane Bennet – deer
- Dear, sweet Jane is a gentle deer. Everything about her – even the heart inside her ears – demonstrates her love for others.
- As eldest, she wears pearls that, in those days, were traditionally passed down from mothers to their eldest daughters. The light pink dress and flower on her hair once again reflect her mild, pleasant nature.
Mr. Bennet – goat
- For some reason, I often think of Mr. Bennet in the same category as Dr. Dillamond in the musical Wicked, which is why I chose a goat. Goats are also symbolic of lazy animals that eat anything, and Mr. Bennet is often joked as being indolent and wanting to just sit and read while enjoying his port.
- His outfit is in the same hues that he wears in both the 1995 and 2005 movies. The glasses are similar to the 1995 version, and they reflect his intellectual and somewhat indolent nature.
Mrs. Bennet – chipumunk
- Chipmunks are often anthropomorphised as chattering away anxiously about nothing at all, which definitely describes Mrs. Bennet.
- Along with a white cap that is typical of married women of that time, Mrs. Bennet is wearing lace on her collar, a lacy apron, and colors that compliment her husband’s choice of attire.
Mary Bennet – beaver
- Poor Mary’s teeth and glasses reflect the fact that she is often lamented as being the least handsome of her sisters, as well as the most studious and devoted to her tomes.
- The lace, bow, and color of her dress show she does wish to be thought of as a well-bred young lady.
Kitty Bennet – sheep/lamb
- Just as a sheep/lamb is led to the slaughter, Kitty is led willingly to ruin by her younger sister, Lydia.
- The decorations on the bottom of Kitty’s dress match the neckline of Lydia’s. Most likely, the neckline was once part of Kitty’s as well, but Lydia wanted it for herself.
Lydia Bennet – monkey
- Monkeys are known for their wild, uncontrollable behavior, which is exactly what Lydia Bennet is known for. The term “apeing” can be applied to Lydia as she blindly follows her mother’s every direction in the best way to catch a husband.
Miss Bingley – persian cat
- Persian cats are known for their snobbish behavior, which fits Miss Bingley to a “T.” She is adorned with jewels (as I could not find a feather small enough to fit!).
- Miss Bingley’s dress is made of silk and lace, and it is much finer than anything you will see on the people from Meryton.
Mrs. Hurst – persian cat
- Like two peas in a pod, Mrs. Hurst is nearly indistinguishable from her sister, other than the colors of her ears.
- Always at the height of fashion, Mrs. Hurst’s lace cap indicating her marital status is made of lace (as opposed to Mrs. Bennet’s plain cotton headcovering).
Mr. Hurst – bulldog
- Mr. Hurst is a bulldog: slobbery, lazy, and enjoys good food and lounging about.
- Being true to his character as a man of fashion, his coat matches his wife’s, and his pants are of the finest silk quality.
Mr. Wickham – fox
- With a face and eyes that look pure and innocent, George Wickham’s charming and handsome features hide a heart that is a sly as a fox’s.
- Wickham is, of course, wearing his red coat to show his rank as lieutenant in the militia.
Mr. Collins – skunk
- Poor Mr. Collins is – aside from Mr. Darcy – the last man any of the Bennet sisters would wish to marry (save, perhaps, Mary). As a skunk, he repels the very people he wishes to attract. Many JAFFs also focus on his lack of hygeine as well.
- While the cross was not typically worn by the clergy of his position, Mr. Collins’s entire outfit demonstrates his calling and makes it easy to identify him. It also reflects in a tangible way his pompous and sanctimonious behavior.
Mary King – dalmation
- Mary King is described by Lydia as a “nasty, freckled little thing” – a dog with spots is the perfect animal for her!
- Her simple outfit shows that she originally didn’t have much money. The red color reminds me of the fact that she had red hair in the 1995 version.
Mr. Phillips – penguin
- Mr. Phillips is an attorney, and for some reason, I always imagine attorneys to be extremely well-dressed (i/e: in “penguin suits”).
- His clothes match his wife’s dress!
Mrs. Phillips – penguin
- Mrs. Phillips is also a penguin; I imagine her waddling around after her sister, spreading gossip and bobbing her head in agreement at everything her sister says.
Mr. Gardiner – koala
- The koala spends most of its time in the same tree to eat and sleep, just as Mr. Gardiner lives on Gracechurch Street to be near his warehouses.
- Mr. Gardiner is fashionably dressed in an outfit very similar to Mr. Darcy’s.
Mrs. Gardiner – koala
- The female Calico Critter koala originally came wearing a baby on her back, and Mrs. Gardiner is the mother of four children.
- Known as a person of fashion, Mrs. Gardiner wears the same lace cap on her head as Mrs. Hurst.
Sir William Lucas – hedgehog
- The hedgehog’s untamed “hair” represents the fact that the Lucas family were innkeepers and in trade before Sir William was elevated to knighthood.
- Sir William’s bright outfit is a testament to his gregarious personality.
Lady Lucas – hedgehog
- Lady Lucas’s dress matches the colors of her husband’s outfit, and the style resembles that of Mrs. Bennet’s in order to demonstrate the similarities of their personalities.
Charlotte Lucas (Collins) – hedgehog
- Charlotte’s plain gown and ill-fitting jacket illustrate the fact that she is considered an old maid and on the shelf, and she is therefore not worth the expense of outfitting properly.
Maria Lucas – hedgehog
- Maria’s outfit, with its girlish colors, lace, and pearls, are a stark contrast to her elder sister’s in order to emphasize her youth and eligibility.
Georgiana Darcy – giraffe
- Miss Georgiana Darcy is awkward and shy, much like a baby giraffe takings its first steps. She is described as tall and well-formed, however, which further makes this animal a perfect fit.
- Wearing a simple dress and shawl, Miss Darcy is not yet considered “out” in society, even though she is about a year older than Lydia.
Colonel Fitzwilliam – rabbit
- Rabbits are known for their speed, and Colonel Fitzwilliam is a member of the military who as seen and survived battle.
- In the early 1800s, mustaches (and facial hair in general) were at the beginning of a transition that started with military men and the Napoleonic wars, who had been mocked by other cultures (espeically Indian cultures) for their “girly” clean-shaven faces.
Lady Catherine de Bourgh – cow
- Let’s face it: Lady Catherine is a cow. Can you think of another way of describing her? That old cow! But aside from that, in the book she is described as a tall, large woman with strong features.
- Her expensive silk dress combined with her old-fashioned cap like Mrs. Bennet’s shows her consistently contradictory nature.
Anne de Bourgh – mouse
- Is there anyone more mousey and quiet than poor Anne de Bourgh? She is described by Elizabeth with adjectives such as pale, sickly, cross, quiet, insignificant.
- In many JAFFs, we read about how Anne is given little control over her life – her mother even chooses her clothes. This is reflected in the fact thatt her dress, while made of expensive materials, is too large for her. She sometimes wears a shawl (not pictured).
Mrs. Reynolds and Mrs. Hill (aka, Hill) are both upper level servants in their respective households. They are huskies, reflecting their intense loyalty but also the independent natures required for their positions. Mrs. Reynolds’ dress is blue like her master’s (Mr. Darcy), and Hill’s dress is pink like her mistress’s (Mrs. Bennet).
So…. what do you think??? Let me know in the comments!