Accents in the New Series

Talk about any aspect of the films.

Moderators: daughter of the King, The Rose-Tree Dryad

Accents in the New Series

Postby Col Klink » Oct 29, 2018 10:05 am

How do people feel about giving the different creatures and different nationalities in Narnia their own accents? They did a little of this in the Walden series with the Telmarines and I know some people found it cheesy. I believe the actor who played the White Witch's dwarf kept his own accent which I thought worked well for the character.

Of course, giving the Calormenes a specific accent runs the risk of offending people. It might seem like they're demonizing whatever nationality speaks with whatever accent is closest to it. I feel that creating various accents for the different kinds of characters would be a good idea though. It would show that the crew put thought and effort into creating the world of Narnia.
For better or worse-for who knows what may unfold from a chrysalis?-hope was left behind.
-The God Beneath the Sea by Leon Garfield & Edward Blishen
Col Klink
NarniaWeb Regular
 
Posts: 73
Joined: Aug 10, 2018
Gender: Male

Re: Accents in the New Series

Postby fantasia_kitty » Oct 29, 2018 10:18 am

They did a little of this in the Walden series with the Telmarines and I know some people found it cheesy.
I had no problem with the idea, but my issue was that the accents were very inconsistent. They had Spanish, Italian, Mexican, and Inigo Montoyan.

I personally would like all of the children from Earth and the native Narnians to maintain a British accent only because that's the nationality of the author. But the Telmarines, the Calormenes, the baddies like the White Witch, I'm certainly open to different accents in order to set the races apart. :) I do hope that for the Telmarines they'll go Norse/Viking this time.
User avatar
fantasia_kitty
Site Admin
The Watchful Admin
 
Posts: 18447
Joined: Feb 06, 2004
Location: Kansas
Gender: Female

Re: Accents in the New Series

Postby Col Klink » Oct 29, 2018 10:30 am

I had no problem with the idea, but my issue was that the accents were very inconsistent. They had Spanish, Italian, Mexican, and Inigo Montoyan.


I should have made it clear some people found the accent itself cheesy, not the idea. ;)

I personally would like all of the children from Earth and the native Narnians to maintain a British accent only because that's the nationality of the author.


I feel that way too but I think it might be a good, or at least not bad, idea to give the dwarfs and the fauns specific accents. Nikabrik and Griffle see their people as being an oppressed minority. A unique accent (for Narnians) could add to the dwarfs having their own subculture.
For better or worse-for who knows what may unfold from a chrysalis?-hope was left behind.
-The God Beneath the Sea by Leon Garfield & Edward Blishen
Col Klink
NarniaWeb Regular
 
Posts: 73
Joined: Aug 10, 2018
Gender: Male

Re: Accents in the New Series

Postby Cleander » Oct 29, 2018 1:25 pm

I do hope that for the Telmarines they'll go Norse/Viking this time.[/quote]

I'm okay with a gruff, Germanic/Scandinavian accent for the Telmarines, because Miraz especially has a gruff sound to him in the book. Just don't make them too barbaric- we're talking about a somewhat overly civilized people (with castles and cities and schools and private tutors) here. They should be a sort of Western counterpart to the Calormens.
" Return and sit with me in my ravings..."
User avatar
Cleander
NarniaWeb Regular
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Oct 25, 2018
Location: The Dungeons of Cair Paravel
Gender: Male

Re: Accents in the New Series

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Oct 29, 2018 2:29 pm

Col Klink wrote:I feel that way too but I think it might be a good, or at least not bad, idea to give the dwarfs and the fauns specific accents. Nikabrik and Griffle see their people as being an oppressed minority. A unique accent (for Narnians) could add to the dwarfs having their own subculture.


I rather like the idea of having a really international cast for Narnia... yes, the Pevensies should definitely be British, but I think it could be interesting to cast people from many different countries in smaller roles — and the more unique the accent, the better, so people won't get pulled out of Narnia by hearing something very familiar to our world. A certain accent for fauns, another for dryads, another for centaurs, another for dwarfs — that could do a lot for reinforcing the idea that Narnia is a multicultural land.

Although honestly, even just drawing from the plethora of different British accents and sorting them accordingly could do a lot to show the rich tapestry of different peoples found in Narnia.

I love the idea of Norse/Viking-inspired Telmarines, fantasia!

Cleander wrote:I'm okay with a gruff, Germanic/Scandinavian accent for the Telmarines, because Miraz especially has a gruff sound to him in the book. Just don't make them too barbaric- we're talking about a somewhat overly civilized people (with castles and cities and schools and private tutors) here. They should be a sort of Western counterpart to the Calormens.


Oooh, you've got me thinking... I would love it if they drew some inspiration from the Prussians. Some of the stereotypes you'll see about German culture today are rooted in the Prussian virtues of efficiency, austerity and discipline. Prussia was also one of the first countries in the world to instate compulsory education, and during the liberation of Narnia, we see Aslan cause quite an uproar (pun intended?) at a couple of Telmarine schools. So I think a blend of Norse/Viking and Prussian culture could work well.

Sorry, wandering a bit off-topic as that has more to do with culture in general than accents, but yes, I'd definitely like to see Nordic and Germanic-inspired accents for the Telmarines this time around. (As long as they're done well and aren't distracting; Ben Barnes' accent in PC is a bit much for me at times.)
Image
Twitter: Rose_the_Dryad
User avatar
The Rose-Tree Dryad
Moderator
 
Posts: 3966
Joined: Aug 21, 2010
Location: A secret garden
Gender: Female

Re: Accents in the New Series

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Oct 29, 2018 3:40 pm

Col Klink wrote:How do people feel about giving the different creatures and different nationalities in Narnia their own accents? They did a little of this in the Walden series with the Telmarines and I know some people found it cheesy. I believe the actor who played the White Witch's dwarf kept his own accent which I thought worked well for the character.


It is a bit of an iffy question, really. The problem of using accents is how well will the audience hear all of what is said, which is important, especially for people who are losing their hearing to some extent. It also matters for people whose command of English often depends on how well they hear English spoken. Sometimes I have trouble understanding some movies set in USA where the actors seem to have quite unintelligible accents. Especially if the characters appear to be swearing violently, like Mauser in the old Police Academy series. ;) On the other hand, in Walden's VDT, an Australian accent was used for the sailors, which wasn't surprising since some of the actors who were cast were actually Australian. They included the actors who played Lord Rhoop (Kim Gyngell), Ramandu's Daughter, and Lord Drinian (Gary Sweet). On the whole, being Australian, myself, I hardly noticed. :ymblushing:

On the other hand, I've always seen LOTGK as having a Scottish accent.
User avatar
waggawerewolf27
NarniaWeb Zealot
 
Posts: 7650
Joined: Sep 25, 2009
Location: Oz
Gender: Female

Re: Accents in the New Series

Postby coracle » Oct 29, 2018 3:45 pm

fantasia_kitty wrote:I personally would like all of the children from Earth and the native Narnians to maintain a British accent only because that's the nationality of the author.


There is a lot more to it than that.

I think you mean you want Received Pronunciation, what is often called Oxford Voice or BBC accent. It is the "posh" or upper class accent of people in England, and many actors in the past had to learn to speak that way instead of their own natural dialect.

Ironically, Lewis's nationality was Anglo-Irish, having been born in Northern Ireland (which is still part of the United Kingdom). He also had a Welsh heritage.
A significant part of Wales, Scotland and England, as well as Northern Ireland does not naturally speak Received Pronunciation. Wikipedia tells me there are 30 different regional dialects, and I know there are many local variations (a workmate has told me of the variations within Liverpool alone).

This creates problems and opportunities - the chance to use assorted voices for different national groups or Narnian beasts, and the difficulty in keeping some unity.
User avatar
coracle
Moderator
NarniaWeb's Auntie
 
Posts: 19517
Joined: Feb 10, 2004
Location: England
Gender: Female

Re: Accents in the New Series

Postby King_Erlian » Oct 30, 2018 2:06 am

My big problem with the Hispanic-ish accents in Prince Caspian was that I found it very difficult to understand what was being said a lot of the time. Whatever accents are used, the words should be clear.

As for British accents, the Pevensies in the books are upper-middle-class, given that they all go to boarding school where they would be taught to speak "properly". Eustace and Jill are not so clearly defined in terms of class; I think Lewis messed up a little when he described Experiment House as he still thought of it as a boarding school but the nature of the institution was much more like a state school (a public school in the US). But I tend to think of Eustace and especially Jill as a little further down the social ladder from the Pevensies. I'd particularly like to hear Jill with a Manchester accent!

Digory, not having grown up in London (he told Polly he had been sent to live with his aunt and uncle) could have a more rural, south-western English accent, while Polly would definitely be London, but middle-class London, not Cockney.

The one story where they could really use accents to show class differences is The Horse And His Boy, where Shasta should have a very working-class accent (preferably not Cockney, as that conjures up images in my mind of a chorus of loveable Cockney urchins singing "Consider Yourself" from "Oliver!") - maybe Liverpudlian? Aravis, on the other hand, would be very refined. I'd like to hear Bree done as a British army colonel type (can I do the voice? Please? Please?) and Hwin as a refined English lady. I've always thought of Calormen as being a multi-cultural empire, not just one ethnic group, as Calormen has a policy of gobbling up little kingdoms; so there should be a wide variety of Calormene accents. As for the Archenlanders - I'm torn between having them speak Received Pronunciation, as King Lune and Prince Cor are royals and the other Archenlanders we meet are members of Lune's court, and making them Scottish.
User avatar
King_Erlian
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 1503
Joined: Feb 03, 2012
Location: Northern England
Gender: Male

Re: Accents in the New Series

Postby Cleander » Nov 19, 2018 7:19 pm

Just a random thought- I've been reading the Silver Chair lately and I was wondering what Puddleglum would sound like with a North English/ Yorkshire accent? It has almost a Scottish sound to it ( which I know some people were suggesting for the L of the GK a while ago) and might possibly have a gloomy ring as well... I don't know. What do some of you Brits think? ( Sorry if I inadvertently called anybody gloomy-sounding :-s )
" Return and sit with me in my ravings..."
User avatar
Cleander
NarniaWeb Regular
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Oct 25, 2018
Location: The Dungeons of Cair Paravel
Gender: Male

Re: Accents in the New Series

Postby coracle » Nov 20, 2018 9:15 am

You might get away with a mild Yorkshire (or Lancashire) accent, but any further north and you'd have to use subtitles.
Remember the movie Billy Elliott? (set in Newcastle, between Yorkshire and Scotland) I saw it with American friends, and I was the only one who understood it.
User avatar
coracle
Moderator
NarniaWeb's Auntie
 
Posts: 19517
Joined: Feb 10, 2004
Location: England
Gender: Female

Re: Accents in the New Series

Postby fantasia_kitty » Nov 20, 2018 10:27 am

I've been obsessively watching The Great British Bake-Off and while I don't have the knowledge to distinguish which accent is which, I can certainly tell the difference. So far there's only been one lady on there that I had a hard time understanding, but that's what subtitles are for.
User avatar
fantasia_kitty
Site Admin
The Watchful Admin
 
Posts: 18447
Joined: Feb 06, 2004
Location: Kansas
Gender: Female

Re: Accents in the New Series

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Nov 20, 2018 2:45 pm

coracle wrote:You might get away with a mild Yorkshire (or Lancashire) accent, but any further north and you'd have to use subtitles.
Remember the movie Billy Elliott? (set in Newcastle, between Yorkshire and Scotland) I saw it with American friends, and I was the only one who understood it.


=)) =))

When I first met my Scottish-born husband, in Sydney, I couldn't even really believe his native language was English, and could only understand one word in three that he said. However, he understood me. To understand a Scottish accent one has to read a lot of Rabbie Burns poetry, and sing songs like "Ye Banks and Braes o' Bonnie Doon, Hae can ye bloom sae fresh and fair? :-o
User avatar
waggawerewolf27
NarniaWeb Zealot
 
Posts: 7650
Joined: Sep 25, 2009
Location: Oz
Gender: Female

Re: Accents in the New Series

Postby Cleander » Nov 20, 2018 4:52 pm

The best example of what I suggested before is probably found in the BBC film version of Elizabeth Gaskell's "North and South." It takes place in a Northumbrian town, but the accents are, while unique and interesting, totally understandable. It might be better to get someone who doesn't have the accent and then have them coached. ;) That way the actor will probably be more understandable. I hope. :D
" Return and sit with me in my ravings..."
User avatar
Cleander
NarniaWeb Regular
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Oct 25, 2018
Location: The Dungeons of Cair Paravel
Gender: Male


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests