Debuted as a television move in 2005. Not rated.
It's Felicity's tenth birthday, and many exciting things are happening . Her grandfather's visiting, and she meets Elizabeth Cole, a newly-arrived English immigrant with a disagreeable older sister. She also sees the most beautiful horse she's ever laid eyes on, a chestnut mare belonging to an abusive tanner, Jiggy Nye. She wishes desperately that she could rescue the horse, who she decides she'd name Penny, and talks about it the poor animal with her parents and grandfather at dinner. The conversation soon turns to how Mr. Nye was once wonderful with animals, but since the death of his wife spends most of his time drunk. Mrs. Merriman redirects the conversation to more proper topics, like the gentlewoman lessons Felicity will start in the day after tomorrow. The conversation derails again to talk of the unfair taxes the crown is placing on the colonies.
But soon it's two days later, and Felicity attends her first lesson. Like in Felicity Learns a Lesson, there's some snobbery from Annabelle, but Miss Manderly smooths everything over and the three girls have a productive lesson. Felicity takes Elizabeth to see Penny, and also visits the horse that night. She's sure she can get the horse to trust her, but she doesn't want to get on the wrong side of Mr. Nye. He may not even have a right side. Later that day, her grandfather comments that he saw her coming home in the wee hours of the morning. She explains, and he agrees to keep her secret. Felicity continues her clandestine visits, eventually getting Penny to trust her enough to ride her. Her father's apprentice Ben also finds out, and also agrees to keep the secret.
Felicity has more to worry about than just the horse, though. Tensions between the colonies and the British crown are rising, and people are taking sides. Felicity's father is a patriot and refuses to sell tea in his store, but her (maternal) grandfather is a loyalist. Ben is also a patriot. Elizabeth and her family are loyalists. Felicity isn't sure which is the right side, and her parents tell her that she must decide for herself.
That's not to say Felicity ignores Penny, of course. Like in the books, she hears Mr. Nye boast that whoever can ride the horse can have her, and she sets out to prove she's earned Penny. The same argument occurs, with the same threat that Mr. Nye will kill Penny if Felicity touches her again. And like in the books, Felicity frees Penny.
The movie then goes back to the patriot-or-loyalist plot. Ben admonishes Felicity that she shouldn't be attending tea lessons, especially with her father refusing to sell tea. Felicity counters that the lessons are about more than tea, but Ben still thinks there are many more things of greater importance than learning to be a gentlewoman. Contemplating Ben's words and the rest of what's going on her life, Felicity politely refuses her tea.
It's not long before lessons are over. Summer's arrived, and Felicity is going to spend some time at her grandfather's plantation with her mother and siblings. Her father will only be able to join them for a few days. Ben ran away, so he can't leave the store for long. Felicity's grandfather seems to be slowing up a bit, but he still makes time to go riding with Felicity, and he has a surprise for her. He's found Penny, and bought her from a horse seller to give to Felicity. One day as Felicity saddles Penny up for a ride, she gets a note from Ben, who's wounded in the woods near the plantation. She finds him and tends to his wounds, but also gives him a piece of her mind regarding the way he broke his contract with her father. She doesn't let him gloss over that, even he thinks he's justified in running away to join the militia. In the end, she convinces him to come back. Like in Felicity Saves the Day, he and Felicity's father agrees that he will stay on until he's sixteen, and then take a leave of absence to fight. Felicity's grandfather is impressed that she talked Ben into returning and while they're chatting he all of a sudden has a heart attack or something and dies, almost onscreen.
Not long after the funeral, the Merriman family returns home. Elizabeth is oddly cold to Felicity. Felicity is able to pry out of her that Elizabeth's father is in jail for being a loyalist, and Elizabeth feels she has to be careful. When Felicity and her father visit Mr. Cole, Felicity sees that Mr. Nye is there too, and gravely ill. Felicity's father is able to talk some sense into the local judicial committee and get Mr. Cole freed. Felicity wants to help Mr. Nye too, despite how cruel he's been in the past. She gives him some quality food (not always provided in colonial jail), a blanket, and perhaps most importantly, a bit of kindness.
More time passes, and soon Christmas is on its way. Felicity finds herself invited to Miss Templeton's fancy winter ball, along with Elizabeth and Annabelle Cole. Despite being nearly nine months pregnant, Mrs. Merriman starts sewing a new gown for the occasion. The very next day, Felicity's baby sister Polly is born, and Mrs. Merriman has a terrible time recovering from the birth and seems on the brink of death. Instead of preparing for Christmas, Felicity suddenly needs to take on the roles her mother had fulfilled. Her days and nights of filled with running the household and praying for her mother's recovery. On Christmas Eve, her mother's health begins to improve, and her mother praises Felicity for all the hard work she's done. She tells Felicity to get ready for the ball. Elizabeth and her mother finished the gown, and she's sure to be the most fashionable girl at the ball. No longer worried about her mother's help, Felicity is able to enjoy the ball with Elizabeth.
When Felicity returns home, Penny is in distressed labor. Felicity runs to get Mr. Nye (her father's away), now out of jail. Mr. Nye safely delivers a healthy foal, which Felicity names Patriot. Once the foal is born, Penny's health returns. Felicity's father returns just then, and in gratitude invites Mr. Nye to Christmas dinner. The Coles also attend. and together everyone has a merry Christmas.
When we were kids, my older brother told me that he thought men should ride side-saddled and girls astride, with one leg on either side of the horse (and same for bikes). He figured external genitalia would be more protected that way. He also told me that men have larger noses in cartoons because men like to sneeze, so maybe take that with a grain of salt.
Miss Manderly is a young here, rather than the grey-haired woman she is in the books.
The milk that Miss Manderly pours looks distinctly like low or non-fat milk. It's perfectly possible that colonists could have skimmed their milk so it's not inaccurate. I just noticed.
Jiggy Nye's teeth are amazingly white, especially for a colonial era drunk. Ben's are too, but his face is usually clean so they don't stand out so much.
Like in Felicity Learns a Lesson, we don't see Felicity get a chance to serve tea after she decides to be a patriot.
Ooh, Ben's wound looks bad, considering there aren't any antibiotics in Felicity's time. The actress playing Felicity does an especially good job in the scene when she finds Ben. The actress playing Nan really shines during the funeral scenes.
There wasn't really formula back in the 1770s, and the newborn is always in a different room from her mother. What was she fed? Maybe she was brought to Mrs. Merriman to nurse when she was hungry, but Mrs. Merriman might have been so ill that she wasn't producing milk. Maybe a wet nurse? Animal milk? Also Mrs. Merriman's nightclothes look decidedly inconvenient for nursing. Unless the neckline loosens somehow, she'd have to lift up the entire skirt and bodice to give the baby access. Does it show that I have a breastfed baby right now?
Unlike in Felicity's Surprise, Annabelle doesn't help finish Felicity's Christmas dress.
That's the skinniest pregnant horse I've ever seen. (when Penny's collapsed on her side)
I wonder where Jiggy Nye got his dinner clothes. Did he have an impeccable suit that just needed some dust brushed off it or something? Laundry took forever back then, not to mention the great condition his clothes are in. Maybe he borrowed some from Mr. Merriman.
Felicity Merriman - Shailene Woodley
Ben Davidson - Kevin Zegers
Grandfather - David Gardner
Mr. Merriman - John Schneider
Mrs. Merriman - Marcia Gay Harden
Mr. Cole - Bruce Beaton
Rose - Robinne Fanfair
Marcus - Rothaford Gray
Elizabeth Cole - Katie Henney
Annabelle Cole - Juliet Holland-Rose
Lady Templeton - Lynne Griffin
Jiggy Nye - Geza Kovacs
Nan Merriman - Eulala Scheel
Polly Merriman - Genevieve Harvey
Miss Manderly - Janine Theriault
Catherine - Melody Johnson
Characters not specified: Harry Crane, Peter Crockett, Jean Daigle, Craig Eldridge, Sterling Jarvis, and Simon Rice (Crane or Crockett must be William; Eldridge, Jarvis, and Rice are too old)
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