Sunday, October 13, 2013

The wrong Jolly Roger

Whatever I may say about the accuracy of character portrayals on "Once Upon a Time," I applaud the show regularly for getting Captain Hook's ship right.

You may also recognize the Lady Washington as the Interceptor from Pirates of the Caribbean.

The producers are using the Lady Washington as their Jolly Roger (some of the filming has been done on the actual ship, the rest on a full-sized replica). And the Lady is a brig, as is the Jolly Roger, according to J.M. Barrie. You will note she has two masts. I know right away when artists haven't done their research, or have chosen to dispatch with Barrie's vision, the moment I see three masts. 

A brig has two masts, square-rigged.

I call Disney as the original instigator of this travesty.

Yes, maybe I'd like to have one of these models, but that does not mean I think this is accurate.

James Coleman, "Moonrise Over Pirate Bay," current fine art for Disney by one of its animated film landscape artists. Beautiful! But not a brig.

I suppose Disney's version has become the popular default.

Nadir Quinto, 1982

But it's hardly just Disney.

Model for the ship in the 2003 film of Peter Pan. Looks to me like a clipper, maybe, not a brig

I don't know why it's hard to get this one right. It's easy enough to do the research, and a brig is a lovely ship--it's not as though it weren't just as pretty as a clipper or a frigate, even if less imposing.

A brig! Robert Ingpen, 2004

Of course, it's not as if I'm not also confronted regularly with the placement of the Captain's hook on the incorrect hand. I just realized even one of my favorite Peter Pan artists' renditions has that issue.

Gwynedd M. Hudson,  1931. It is almost impossible to find biographical information about her online, and I was sorry to discover this may be because she died at the age of 26.  Hudson studied at the Brighton School of Art, and is also remembered for her illustrations for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

At least I know artists have used the play as their inspiration at least as much as the book as regards the hook, which is an element that has changed from one production (and actor) to the next. I don't think they have as good an excuse for ship inaccuracies.

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