The Reason Ariel's Red Hair Was a Problem for The Little Mermaid

Walt Disney Studios
Walt Disney Studios

It’s hard to imagine the iconography surrounding Disney’s 1989 film The Little Mermaid being complete without the flowing red locks of Ariel, the titular woman-fish hybrid. The movie was a gigantic success, revitalizing Disney’s languishing animation division, and Ariel quickly joined the brand’s lineup of beloved princesses. Who could complain?

Toymakers, apparently. In an interview with CinemaBlend, The Little Mermaid co-director Ron Clements revealed that executives at Tyco, the toy company that had obtained the license to make dolls and other merchandise based on the film, were horrified to learn the main character was a redhead. The reason? They were convinced that redheaded dolls didn’t sell.

“They said, ‘All of our research … shows that redheaded dolls have never sold,’” Clements said. “And we said, ‘Well, I’m sorry, but she’s going to be a redhead.’”

Tyco was apparently so concerned over the hair color issue that early Ariel dolls were produced with strawberry-blonde hair. It’s not clear whether any made it to stores, but if some did, they’re likely collector’s items now.

Ariel was far from the first doll to sport red hair—some of the earliest Barbies in the 1960s had locks that could change color from black to red when kids applied a special solution—but the success of The Little Mermaid merchandise likely helped licensees relax when it came to market research. Since then, a number of redheads have risen to prominence in popular culture, including Chucky, Conan O’Brien, and Disney’s own version of Quasimodo.

[h/t CinemaBlend]

Netflix's Stranger Things Season 3 Video Is Full of Easter Eggs You Might Have Missed

Joe Keery, Maya Hawke, Priah Ferguson, and Gaten Matarazzo in Stranger Things.
Joe Keery, Maya Hawke, Priah Ferguson, and Gaten Matarazzo in Stranger Things.
Netflix

Stranger Things's third season was full of many surprising twists and turns, not to mention some awkward teen romances. While the gruesome Mind Flayer and the evil Russians were no doubt terrifying, the show kept its sweet touch of nostalgia due mainly to the fact that the Hawkins gang is now smack-dab in the middle of the 1980s.

It doesn’t take a keen eye to see many of the series's '80s references, particularly in the latest season. With scenes taking place at the new mall, references from the decade—including Hot Dog on a Stick, Sam Goody, and Back to the Future—are all part of the setting. However, creators Ross and Matt Duffer wanted to pay true homage to the decade, and thus left Easter eggs throughout the season that you likely missed.

Luckily for us, as BGR reports, Netflix has just released a video explaining the hidden references (with the New Coke debate, Mrs. Wheeler’s erotica novel, and Hopper’s Tom Selleck-inspired Hawaiian shirt among some of our favorites).

Check out the full video above and see what you missed!

[h/t BGR]

Disney's Lady and the Tramp Remake Will Star a Mixed-Breed Rescue Dog Named Monte

Disney
Disney

Following the success of The Lion King, Lady and the Tramp will be the next classic Disney movie to be revamped in 2019. And while most of Disney's live-action remakes boast star-studded casts, the lead in this upcoming film is totally unknown. That's because Monte, a mixed-breed dog from Phoenix, Arizona, spent his pre-Hollywood days living in animal shelters.

As AZ Central reports, Monte will make his film debut as Tramp when Lady and the Tramp releases alongside the launch of Disney+, the company's upcoming streaming service, on November 12. In the original 1955 animated movie, Tramp was portrayed as a mutt who lived on the streets, so instead of looking for a purebred dog to portray the character, producers stayed faithful to the source material.

Monte lived in a New Mexico animal shelter before transferring to HALO Animal Rescue in Phoenix. When the filmmakers went there in search of a star for their movie, he instantly won them over. Like Tramp, Monte is a mixed-breed dog, but the shelter doesn't know exactly what his background is, other than being part terrier. Despite his scrappy appearance, Monte is very well-behaved. He knows how to sit, walk on a leash, and he's friendly with everyone he meets, according to the shelter.

The Lady and the Tramp crew adopted Monte in April 2018, and earlier this month, Disney released the first promotional image of him for the film. It features Monte snuggling up with his co-star, Rose, who plays Lady. True to the original, Lady is portrayed by a purebred cocker spaniel. Though you likely don't recognize the dogs on the poster, you may have heard of the voice actors who will bring them to life: Justin Theroux is playing Tramp and Tessa Thompson is Lady.

[h/t AZ Central]

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