Color can be everything in the world of animation. The most engaging story can be quite literally dulled by the absence of vibrant hues. Few colors have quite the emotional impact of red so it should not be surprising that redheaded characters pop up on movie screens in animated form on regular occasions. The trend toward redheads acting impulsively and with impassioned spirit makes them perfect choices for comedic situations of all types. The heroine of Pixar's "Brave" has lush red hair properly befitting her Irish ancestry, but Merida is just one of many characters sporting fiery manes who have staked out their claim to fame in the world of animated comedy projected on the silver screen.
"The Little Mermaid" may be a little too willing to give up her special gift for the love of a guy who hasn't done much to prove he deserves her, but she still manages to exhibit the spunky quality associated with redheads. She's quite defiant toward her dad and has a streak of independence that makes her willingness to go conventional in the end all the more disappointing. Ariel's red hair often plays a prominent role in the animation choices and, of course, who can forget her charming mistaken impression of the use of a fork?
If it's true that redheads are more passionate and quick-tempered than blonds and brunettes, then Yosemite Sam represents the ultimate animated personification of that character trait. This is one redheaded cartoon character whom you don't want to cross. The combination of quick temper and quick draw could mean you end up six feet under. One trait inscribed upon Yosemite Sam that is not necessarily one associated with redheads is gullibility. Dangerous Sam may be, but he is easily bamboozled.
If Ariel is the ultimate object of innocence beneath a man of luxurious red hair, then Jessica Rabbit is the exact opposite. Gullibility may not be a common attribute associated with redheads, but those in the movies especially have a history of extreme sensuality. In "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" it only takes Jessica about a minute or two to establish herself as the animated equivalent to the most iconic of all live action movie redheads, Rita Hayworth.
Okay, it really is better described as orange hair, but let's not split them. People tend to forget that "Peter Pan" is a redhead in the Walt Disney animated feature. Maybe it's that distinctive headgear that he wear or maybe it is just that Peter isn't that memorable. Even Walt Disney himself considered Peter to be a rather cold figure who was not as easy to embrace as his other lead characters. Peter may have red hair, but he never really seems to inhabit the psychological portrait of the redhead.
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