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]

Alexander Skarsgård Could Have Played Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Larry Busacca, Getty Images
Larry Busacca, Getty Images

Marvel fans may have trouble imagining Thor played by anyone other than Chris Hemsworth, but apparently, Alexander Skarsgård was pretty darn close to getting the role. How close, you ask? He tried on the costume, held the hammer, and even filmed an audition in the garb.

In 2009—just a year after True Blood premiered—the actor told MTV that he met with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and Thor director Kenneth Branagh about the part. “Yeah, I met with Kevin [Feige] a few times and the director,” he said. “There was definitely some truth in that, yeah.”

When the MTV interviewer said he thought the actor had the perfect look to bring Thor to life, Skarsgård simply replied, “So did I.”

But before you start to feel too sorry for Skarsgård, let's not forget the number of impressive roles the True Blood alum has landed. At the moment, he’s playing Perry Wright in HBO’s Big Little Lies, for which he won both an Emmy and a Golden Globe.

As for the Thor role, Hemsworth went on to play the God of Thunder in multiple films, and although his future in the MCU is not certain after Avengers: Endgame, the Australian actor confirmed he’d love to keep playing the character.

Watch the Stranger Things Cast Recap the First Two Seasons in 15 Minutes

Priah Ferguson stars in Stranger Things.
Priah Ferguson stars in Stranger Things.
Netflix

While we can't wait for the third season of Stranger Things to premiere next month, many of us have also probably forgotten what happened in the series' first two seasons—especially the tiniest of details, which might prove to be significant in the upcoming episodes. Coming up with fan theories can get difficult when we can’t remember everything, but watching all 17 episodes before July 4 isn't feasible for everyone. That's why this new video, in which the cast of the Netflix hit provides the ultimate recap, is a lifesaver.

The video features Sadie Sink (Max Mayfield), Noah Schnapp (Will Byers), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), and Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler) recalling all the key moments of seasons 1 and 2, in just over 15 minutes.

The actors first go through the main characters of the series, explaining how each of them are intertwined, such as Hawkins's sheriff Jim Hopper, and Nancy's then-boyfriend Steve Harrington. They introduce the Upside Down, which Will was trapped in during the majority of the first season, resulting in his mom Joyce relying on a few nontraditional strategies to get him back. The cast also explains who Eleven is and how she's able to help get Will back.

The recap pinpoints all the major moments of the first season, and then goes into the second season, where everything in Hawkins appears to be normal again. The latest season, as the cast recalls, explores Eleven's backstory and introduces new characters like Max Mayfield, Billy Hargrove, Bob Newby, and sadly, the baby Demogorgon named D'Artagnan. The video concludes with the school Snowball dance, but things don't exactly end on a happy note, as the season's final moments show a monster is still very present in Hawkins.

As action-packed as Stranger Things is, a recap like this is truly a must. We'll rewatch it a few times before season 3 debuts on July 4.

[h/t Highsnobiety]

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