You know what is extra awesome about Pixar's latest animated epic "Brave"? Our adorable and endearing protagonist is a feisty, fiery ginger. Now because I am a proud carrier of a mutated MC1R protein (I'm a redhead), I'm only slightly inclined to prefer red haired leading characters to those of the blonde or brunette variety. And while "Brave" leading lady Merida is entirely likable for plenty of other reasons, she's reminded me of several other equally memorable animated redheads. Here are a few of my favorites, in no particular order:
Ariel, "The Little Mermaid"
Who didn't want to be a mermaid princess like Ariel when Disney's award-winning film was released back in 1989? She's independent, smart, talented, such a total package. There's probably some complaint to be issued about how her desire to be a human is anti-feminist or something, but I know that Eric totally would have changed himself into a mermaid for Ariel if the situation was reversed.
Chuckie Finster "Rugrats"
Just thinking about Chuckie brings back warm fuzzy memories of this excellent Nickelodeon show. No, I was not a toddler or a child when it aired, but I was still totally charmed by the series nonetheless – in large part because the kids I babysat would sit still for a half hour when it was on. Anyway! Chuckie was the series' moral compass, always there to provide the less mischievous option in any given scenario with his trademark complaint: "Maybe this isn't such a good idea, Tommy."
Jessica Rabbit, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"
Jessica Rabbit is the sexiest animated redhead of them all, no question. That perfectly curvy body, her sultry voice (thanks to Kathleen Turner), her love for Roger, what a total babe. I have spent considerable time wondering how her dress always stayed up, but that's not important, right? I'd really like that filmmaking team to think about making a sequel to that groundbreaking film so we can find out if Jessica and Roger stayed happily ever after.
Strawberry Shortcake, "Strawberry Shortcake"
Sweet little Shortcake might have gotten her start on greeting cards, but the animated show and corresponding toy line from the '80s was a prominent figure in my childhood. Strawberry was just so cheerful and optimistic, the perfect role model for my still-idealistic 5-year-old self. Not to mention the fact that all the toys smelled like their character names: Strawberry Shortcake, Custard, Huckleberry Pie, Blueberry Muffin, Lemon Merengue, Apple Dumplin', etc. And let's not forget the awesome Peculiar Purple Pieman of Porcupine Peak, who has the best "villain dance" of them all.
Kyle Broflovski, "South Park"
Shoutout to "South Park" star Kyle Broflovski for being the "smart one" of the group and the brunt of all the jokes about Jewish people. Kyle is also the most family-oriented of the bunch. He is at his best when he's defending his overbearing mother against Cartman's potty mouthed complaints and when he's not punting his baby brother Ike. Remember when he tried to get the police to arrest Ike's much older teacher girlfriend and no one wanted to do anything except congratulate the preschooler? "Niiiiice." Slightly unrelated: that "Ginger Kids" episode is hilarious and mean. You don't know what it's like!
Are there any we left off the list? Let us know in the comments below and on Twitter!