Famous Cartoon Redheads
After I finally got around to posting my "Famous Redheads Throughout History" article, I got to thinking. I knew that there was something missing. But what was it? I wasn't sure at the time.
Several people made suggestions, and left great comments, concerning people who had been left out, but still, it felt like something still needed to be done. I was at a loss. You ever get that feeling? You are getting ready to do something, and you know that you forgot something. You leave the house with a feeling like you forgot about something important. The feeling is a little like that. I really hate that feeling, and it will nag at me until I have figured it out.
Then, last night, as I watched hour after hour of Family Guy, it hit me! Cartoons!! Cartoon redheads!! I was leaving out a very important group of redheads that have been a part of my life since childhood! So, naturally, that leads me here. The many ginger-ific cartoon characters and a couple of fictional non-cartoons. You will see what I mean.
*After originally publishing this article, I have received numerous comments. Most of them suggesting additions. It seems as if I have forgotten so many characters. I am sorry for that. They are being added, and an additional article is in the works to cover the overwhelming number of responses I have received.
Classic Cartoons Love Redheads!
We all remember those classic cartoons. The ones like The Flintstones and The Jetsons, that have been around forever. I admit, I watched a lot of classic cartoons when I was a kid. I sometimes still do. I don't see anything wrong with that. I have even managed to share some of them with my own daughters.
Having said that, let's take a look at some of them.
The Flintstones gave us not one, but two, beautiful, cartoon redheads. The smart and patient, Wilma Flintstone, who often had her hands full with her bumbling, not-so-bright husband, Fred. She also had Pebbles, another redhead, to tend to. Pebbles was an adorable, bubbly little girl, who already had Bam-Bam fawning over her.
The Jetsons gave us Jane Jetson, futuristic and classy. She too, had a lot to deal with. A fumbling husband who often got himself into trouble, a teenage daughter and a very bright son. Not to mention Astro, the family's beloved dog. At least Jane had the good luck to have a robot maid to help her out. I'm still waiting on my robot maid. I thought they would have had those by now. Unfortunately, all we have are weird, little robot vacuums.
Let's not forget a classic comic strip of iconic status. I am talking about The Peanuts cartoon here. Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the gang. I can't count the number of times I have watched all the Charlie Brown holiday specials. The Christmas one is my favorite. But, do you remember the girl Charlie pined over year after year? She didn't even have a name, and she was rarely seen. "The little red haired girl"; that's all she was ever called, if memory serves me. Such mystery.
As far as classics go, this is a popular favorite even today. Besides a variety of television shows and animated movies, there have also been two live action movies involving this character. Who am I talking about? Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo, of course! Daphne, and the rest of the Scooby Gang, have been solving mysteries and chasing ghosts for many, many years. She has held up surprisingly well.
Raggedy Ann and Andy
A few classic cartoon redheads I seem to have forgotten are Raggedy Ann and Andy. That adorable little rag doll brother and sister team. They are so cute!! I don't know how I forgot about them. I'm pretty sure I had a Raggedy Ann doll when I was little.
Josie and The Pussycats
Also left off the original list is Josie, from Josie and The Pussycats. Kind of a take off Scooby-Doo, with a trio of girl rockers getting into all sorts of interesting situations. It was another fun cartoon that was also made into a live-action movie several years ago. Warner Brothers also brought us the untamed excitement of one Yosemite Sam. He always made me laugh as a small child.
I do admit. I watch a lot of kids' shows. I have a young daughter, and another not-so-young daughter, and they both love cartoons. I get to see a wide range of children's television thanks to them. Some of it by choice, most of it... not so much. One of them is just breaking into the pre-school aged shows, and the other has moved onto other things.
Darby from Winnie the Pooh
She used to be a huge fan of Playhouse Disney, on the Disney Channel. She was always asking me if she could watch one show or another. She is a big fan of Winnie the Pooh, and there was a new incarnation of that show on The Disney Channel when my oldest was little. With the help of a little girl named, Darby, Pooh and Tigger solve mysteries. Darby is a cute little cartoon redhead, and the show was decent. I just miss the classic Winnie the Pooh that I remember.
Same thing goes for Strawberry Shortcake. She has completely changed from when I was a kid. Her hair isn't even red anymore. For some reason, it's now pink. She wears pink, not red, and she looks nothing like the Strawberry Shortcake from my childhood. It makes me sad in a way, but I guess in time, all things change. LOL!
Chuckie from Rugrats
Rugrats is another show that has been around for a while. My sister used to watch Rugrats when she was younger, and it's still on today, in re-runs, though the kids have grown up some. Chuckie is the scared best friend of Tommy on the show. With his glasses and spiky red hair, he fits the classic mold of redheaded children as goofy, nerdy or strange. Still, he is likeable and sweet.
As my daughter has gotten older, she has moved on to other cartoon shows, aimed at a slightly older audience. Like the crime fighting, Kim Possible, who saves the world, and goes to cheer-leading practice all in the same day. I actually liked Kim Possible; it was kind of cute and funny, and it sends a positive message to kids.
Dexter's Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls
Other shows I have come across, thanks to her, are Dexter's Laboratory, with little, redheaded genius, Dexter, who is constantly at odds with his sister, Dee-Dee, hiding in his lab, creating various strange inventions.
The Powerpuff Girls
Or The Powerpuff Girls, with spunky Blossom, leading the group of super-powered little girls, in an effort to stop the plots of villains of many different sorts.
It seems that I have forgotten more in this category than in any other. Where to start? I could double the size of this section alone!
Phineas and Ferb
Let's start with Phineas and Ferb. My daughter loves this show, and I just became aware of it a couple years ago, when she asked to watch it. She now has a Candace doll, and we watch the show together. Not only is Phineas a redhead, so are his sister, Candace, and their mother. The show is sweet and funny, and really sparks the imagination. Even my husband will watch it with me.
Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends
Another imaginative show with a redheaded character is Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. The character, Frankie helps out at the home, taking care of all sorts of strange and wonderful imaginary friends that have been abandoned or left behind by their children. Sadly, this show is a lot harder to find than it used to be. The few seasons that they made of the show can be found on Netflix, though.
Drawn to the Movies
Movies...I love movies. I will watch just about anything. I have seen terrible movies, incredible movies, and some of the silliest movies ever made. Not too often have there been movies involving cartoon redheads. Yes, there have been live action movies that were based on cartoons, that had redheaded characters. That's not what I mean.
There are a couple of exceptions. One is the sexy, Jessica Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Long, flowing red hair, curves everywhere, and a sexy, smokey voice; she had more than just Roger's cartoon heart thumping in that movie. Even flesh and blood characters were not immune to her...charms.
Another notable example is the sassy and tough Princess Fiona, from the Shrek movies. Whether she is a human princess or a big, green ogre, she comes across as strong and confident; not the normal damsel in distress that is characteristic of most fairy tales.
Of course, my favorite is the adorable, Ariel from The Little Mermaid. I still wish I could be her. I loved that movie growing up, and I often watch the cartoon show on the Disney Channel with my daughter. She loves Ariel, as well, and has several dolls and various toys to prove it. She will always be my favorite cartoon redhead.
Another beloved redhead character from the movies was Anastasia. I loved this movie! Even though I was a bit older when it came out, my mom still bought me an Anastasia doll. It was partly as a joke, because my name is short for Anastasia. I recently introduced my daughter to the movie, and she loves it as much as I do.
Comics and Magazines
I don't read comic books, and I honestly know very little about them, so this took some work. I apologize if I leave any comic book redheads out of my list. Please feel free to make suggestions as to redheads I can add to this section or others.
Let's start with Batman. No, Batman is not a redhead. I know that. I am talking about the sexy villain, Poison Ivy, with her wild, flaming red hair and a great affinity for plant life. She manages to seduce every warm-blooded man she can in an attempt to get what she wants.
Now, let's make the leap from Batman to Spiderman. Peter Parker, better known as Spiderman, was in love with a redhead. Of course he was! With red hair, and the name Mary Jane, Spiderman was helpless to resist. Mary Jane shows the sweeter, more innocent side of comic book redheads.
Not so sweet and innocent, but still on the side of good, is Jean Grey, from the X-Men. With her amazing mutant powers, she fights evil, and defends other mutants like herself. She is a strong, independent character, fully capable of taking care of herself.
There have also been male comic characters with red hair. The most notable example is Archie from the Archie comics. Endlessly torn between the adorable and sweet, blonde, Betty and the difficult, but alluring, brunette, Veronica, Archie was engaged in an ongoing struggle that plagues most men.
Alfred E. Newman
The only non-comic book addition to this section is the one, the only, Alfred E. Newman. That name may sound familiar to some of you, but where he comes from, should sound familiar to most of you. He was the goofy looking, gap-toothed, cover boy of Mad Magazine.
Added due to suggestions are Brenda Starr, from the comic strip, and Little Orphan Annie.
I was not aware of Brenda Starr, but I knew of Little Orphan Annie, but not that there was a comic strip. I was only aware of the movie musical, and broadway play. Sorry about those. They have been faithfully added now.
A More Mature Cartoon Redhead
While most cartoons are seen as kid's stuff, cartoons are quickly becoming socially acceptable forms of entertainment for the adults of the world. From baby boomers to Gen X-er's, cartoons remind us of our youth, but these cartoons are nothing like the Saturday morning cartoons we faithfully watched every day. These tackle more adult topics, full of adult language, violence and sexuality.
Despite what the opening song says, Family Guy is full of violence and sexual jokes. That doesn't mean it isn't a great show. And where would Family Guy be without the sexy and smart mom, Lois Griffin??
The cartoon MILF, as she is often referred to, not only gets Peter's blood pumping. She is also on the receiving end of unrequited love from the talking family dog, Brian, and the stalker-like behavior of everyone's favorite pervert, Quagmire. She definitely deserves the attention!
One of my favorite shows, now quite absent from the television programing, only to return again, and is now leaving again, is Futurama. It's from the same people who created The Simpsons, but never took off the same way. It does have a faithful, cult following, though. T
he show centers around a man by the name of Fry, who after a pizza delivery gone wrong, ended up in the future. Fry is what you expect from a male redheaded character. He's not too bright, he is socially awkward, and like most of the youth of my time, spends a lot of time watching TV and playing video games. Yet, somehow, he is still endearing.
Of course, I seem to have forgotten one of my favorite redheads! Partly to blame is the fact that more often than not, he is wearing his trademark hat. Of course I am talking about Kyle from South Park.
I love South Park. They make fun of everything that people take so seriously. While it may be disturbing and vulgar at times, ok, most of the time, it is a good reminder to not take life so seriously, and we should all be able to laugh at ourselves sometimes.
The last redhead in this category comes from a lesser known show that used to be on Comedy Central. That show is Drawn Together, and the character is Princess Clara. Draw Together is an animated parody of reality shows like Survivor and Big Brother.
Princess Clara closely resembles a princess out of a Walt Disney movie, and sounds that way, as well. With her super conservative views, and various other interesting characteristics, she often butts heads with the other characters.
The second installment of this article can be found here, More Famous Cartoon Redheads.
© 2008 Anna Marie Bowman