Wednesday Addams is a fictional character from the Addams Family multimedia franchise created by American cartoonist Charles Addams. She is typically portrayed as a morbid and emotionally reserved child that is fascinated by the macabre, often identified by her pale skin and black pigtails.

Wednesday Addams
The Addams Family character
Wednesday-Addams.jpg
Lisa Loring as Wednesday in The Addams Family original TV series.
First appearanceThe New Yorker cartoon (1938)
Created byCharles Addams
Portrayed byLisa Loring (1964–1966, 1977)
Christina Ricci (1991, 1993)
Nicole Fugere (1998, 1998–1999)
Krysta Rodriguez (2009–2011)
Rachel Potter (2011)
Jenna Ortega (2022)
Voiced byCindy Henderson (1972, 1973)
Debi Derryberry (1992–1993)
Chloë Grace Moretz (2019, 2021)
Hair colorBlack
Age6 (in the original television series)
12–13 (in the films)
15–16 (in Wednesday)
In-universe information
Full nameWednesday Friday Addams
GenderFemale
FamilyGomez (father)
Morticia (mother)
Pugsley (older/younger brother)
Pubert Addams (youngest brother, Addams Family Values)
Wednesday Jr. (younger sister, Halloween with the New Addams Family)
Pugsley Jr. (youngest brother, Halloween with the New Addams Family)
Fester Addams (great-great-uncle/great-grand-uncle) (in the 1964 series) (uncle from then on)
Debbie Jellinsky Addams (aunt via marriage to Fester, Addams Family Values; deceased)
Grandmama (paternal grandmother)
Goody Addams (ancestor; Wednesday)

Wednesday has been portrayed by several actresses in various films and television series, including Lisa Loring in the television series The Addams Family (1964–1966) and in the television film Halloween with the New Addams Family (1977); Christina Ricci in the feature films The Addams Family (1991) and Addams Family Values (1993); Nicole Fugere in the direct-to-video film Addams Family Reunion (1998) and in the television series The New Addams Family (1998–1999); and Jenna Ortega in the streaming television series Wednesday (2022).

Origin

Addams Family members were unnamed in The New Yorker cartoons that first appeared in 1938. When the characters were adapted for the 1964 television series, Charles Addams named Wednesday based on the Monday's Child nursery rhyme line: "Wednesday's child is full of woe". Actress and poet Joan Blake, an acquaintance of Charles Addams, offered the idea for the name.[1] Wednesday is the sister of Pugsley Addams and the only daughter of Gomez and Morticia Addams. Earlier adaptations depict her as the younger sibling, while later adaptations depict Wednesday as the elder Addams child.

Appearance and personality

Wednesday Addams is a typically young girl (in the original series, she is about six, in the two original movies and animated movies, she is 13, and in the Netflix series named for her, she is 15, though later turns 16, and is 18 in the Addams Family musical) who is obsessed with death and is described as very brilliant, with a penchant for doing odd scientific experiments. Wednesday does most of her experiments on her brother Pugsley Addams for "fun" or for punishment. Wednesday has been shown to care for Pugsley, but is often hostile towards him, and has tried to kill Pugsley many times. She enjoys raising spiders and researching the Bermuda Triangle. She has a tendency to startle people due to her gothic personality.

Wednesday's most notable features are her pale skin and long, dark braided pigtails (which, in the 1990's animated series, nobody else is allowed to touch, and it's implied Wednesday will get very violent if anyone else does grab them). She seldom shows her emotions and is generally bitter, often sporting a stare forward with blank, emotionless eyes, and seldom changes her expression. Wednesday usually wears a black dress with a white collar, black stockings, and black shoes. In the Netflix series, it's mentioned that Wednesday's allergic to any color other than black, white, or grey; claiming that she breaks into hives if she gets in contact with any other colors.

In the 1960s series, she is sweet-natured and serves as a foil to the weirdness of her parents and brother; although her favorite hobby is raising spiders, she is also a ballerina. Wednesday's favorite toy is her Marie Antoinette doll, which her brother guillotines (at her request). She is stated to be six years old in the television series pilot episode. In one episode, she is shown to have several other headless dolls as well. She also paints pictures (including a picture of trees with human heads) and writes a poem dedicated to her favorite pet spider, Homer. Wednesday is deceptively strong; she is able to bring her father down with a judo hold, however most adaptations of her do not portray her in this manner.

Wednesday has a close kinship with the family's giant butler Lurch in all portrayals, and in the Netflix series, she also seems to be closer with her Uncle Fester, even giving a genuine smile when she sees him. In the TV series, her middle name is "Friday",[2] and in the Netflix series named after her, she retains this middle name, and it is because she was born on Friday the 13th. In the Spanish version, her name is Miércoles (Wednesday in Spanish); in Latin America she is Merlina; in the Brazilian version she is Wandinha (“little Wanda” in Portuguese); in France, her name is Mercredi (Wednesday in French) and in Italy her name is Mercoledì (Wednesday in Italian).

In the 1991 film, she is depicted in a darker fashion. She shows sadistic tendencies and a dark personality and is revealed to have a deep interest in the Bermuda Triangle (which has remained an integral part of her interests throughout the adaptations) and an admiration for an ancestor (Great Aunt Calpurnia Addams) who was burned as a witch in 1706. In the 1993 sequel, she was even darker: she buried a live cat, tried to guillotine her baby brother Pubert, set fire to Camp Chippewa, and (possibly) scared fellow camper Joel to death.

In the animated series and Canadian TV series The New Addams Family from the 1990s, Wednesday retains her appearance and her taste for darkness and torture; she is portrayed as having her parents' consent to tie Pugsley to a chair and torture him with a branding iron and ice pick.

In The Addams Family Broadway musical, Wednesday is 18 years old and has short hair rather than the long braids in her other appearances. Her darkness and sociopathic traits have been toned down, and she is in love with (and revealed to be engaged to) Lucas Beineke. In the musical, Wednesday is older than Pugsley.

In the parody web series Adult Wednesday Addams, Wednesday, as played by Melissa Hunter, recovers her dark, sociopathic and sadistic nature (although as in the originals any actual horrific acts are only implied and may or may not occur off-camera) and her long braids, connecting with the events and the depiction of the movies and the original cartoons. This Wednesday deals with being an adult after moving out of her family home.[3] The web series gained media attention with the third episode of Season 2 in which Wednesday punished a pair of catcallers.[4] While this behavior gained attention from early fans, The Tee & Charles Addams Foundation, copyright owners of The Addams Family, flagged the series for copyright violation resulting in the series being temporarily pulled from YouTube,[5] however as of 2016 the series has been reinstated.

In the 2019 animated version of the same title, Wednesday retains her emotionless nature and sadistic tendencies, trying to bury Pugsley and tormenting a bully at school, and it is stated that her birthday was on a Tuesday. However, despite her gothic strangeness, she's also bored with her macabre and sheltered life, wanting to see the world despite Morticia's objections. This leads to her befriending Parker Needler and the two taking on several of each other's traits, with Wednesday at one point wearing colorful clothes, though ultimately deciding she likes dressing in darker colors more; in the 2021 sequel, she is revealed to love science experiments as well, unlike the earlier adaptations where she simply enjoys doing experiments on Pugsley. She also often feels disconnected from the rest of her family for her differences, later realizing that being different is "the most Addams-y thing to be" and growing to love her differences, and has a pet squid named Socrates. Her braided pigtails end in nooses in the first film, and weights in the second.

In the Netflix series Wednesday, Wednesday is the titular character and is interested in being a detective. She has an interest in writing novels, specifically gothic mysteries. She tries to publish her works, but they are seen as far too shocking and macabre to publish. Other than writing, some of Wednesday's other hobbies are cello playing and fencing. Wednesday could also speak German. She generally retains her interest in scary things, and her mostly emotionless nature, but opens up during the course of the series: having a best friend, the colorful werewolf Enid; having a love interest; showing her care for her brother more explicitly; and her powers have shifted from the original super strength to psychic abilities, being able to see important things of a person's past or future through touch, and these visions typically are negative, which causes her to generally estrange herself from everyone else, thinking she cannot trust them, though she does learn to trust. Her mother, who has similar abilities, tells Wednesday that their psychic visions are presented based on their own attitudes, and that Wednesday's visions tend to be darker and more negative, compared to Morticia's visions being happier.

Portrayals

Wednesday has been portrayed by many actresses in film, television, and on stage:

Wednesday is played by Lisa Loring in the original TV series, though far less malevolent than described by the cartoons. In the first animated series from Hanna-Barbera, her voice was provided by Cindy Henderson. Henderson voiced that same character in an episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies. In the second animated series from Hanna-Barbera, she is voiced by Debi Derryberry.

In the 1977 television holiday-themed special, Halloween with the New Addams Family, Lisa Loring plays a grown-up Wednesday, who mostly entertains their party guests with her flute, and can hear and understand coded help messages by bound-up members of the family, and dispatch help to free them. In the time interval between the original TV series and this television movie, her parents had two more children who look just like the original Pugsley and Wednesday, and they appropriately are called Wednesday Jr and Pugsley Jr, respectively.

The Addams Family (1991) and its sequel Addams Family Values (1993)[7] portray Wednesday more comic-accurately, maybe even darker. In both films, she is played by Christina Ricci. Wednesday's personality is severe, with a deadpan wit and a morbid interest in trying to inflict harm upon her brothers, first Pugsley and later Pubert. In the film Addams Family Values (1993), Wednesday and Pugsley are sent to a summer camp for "privileged young adults" called Camp Chippewa, where Joel Glicker (played by David Krumholtz)—a neurotic, allergy-ridden wallflower camper with an overbearing mother—takes a liking to Wednesday. She refuses to participate in Gary Granger's play, a musical production of the first Thanksgiving. She, Pugsley, and Joel are locked in the "Harmony Hut" and forced to watch upbeat family films to curb their antisocial behavior. On emerging from the hut, Wednesday feigns perkiness and agrees to play the role of Pocahontas, though her smile ends up scaring the campers, as well as her blonde nemesis.[8] During the play, she leads the other social outcasts—who have all been cast as Native Americans—in a revolt, capturing Gary, Becky, and Amanda and leaving the camp in chaos with Pugsley and Joel. Before she leaves, Wednesday and Joel kiss. At the end of the film, however, it is suggested that Wednesday, though she obviously likes Joel, purposely tries to scare him to death after he brings up the subject of marriage.

Wednesday is portrayed by Nicole Fugere in the straight-to-video movie Addams Family Reunion and Fox Family Channel's television series The New Addams Family, which were both produced in 1998.

Zoe Richardson appeared at the Birmingham Hippodrome as Wednesday Addams in a Musical adaptation of The Addams Family on Ice in November 2007.

The Addams Family musical debuted on Broadway in April 2010, with Krysta Rodriguez playing Wednesday. The character is now 18 years old, has "become a woman", and no longer sports her signature pigtails. In March 2011, Krysta Rodriguez was replaced with Rachel Potter as Wednesday in the Broadway cast. The production began its first national tour in September 2011, with Cortney Wolfson cast in the role of Wednesday Addams.

Chloë Grace Moretz voices Wednesday in the 2019 animated movie and in the sequel, which was released on October 1, 2021. The whole family is mostly designed to resemble the initial cartoon depictions, with added details; for instance, Wednesday's hair braids end in nooses in the first film, and weights in the second.

Jenna Ortega portrays Wednesday in the 2022 Netflix series of the same name. Ortega's performance in the series received acclaim from critics;[9][10] she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy.[11] The series was renewed for a second season.

Family tree

Addams family tree
Grandmama[i][n 1]
Debbie Jellinsky[n 2]Uncle Fester[i]Cousin Itt[i]Margaret Alford[n 2]Tully Alford
Mal Beineke[n 3]Alice Beineke[n 3]Gomez AddamsMorticia Addams
(née Frump)
[i][ii]
Rupert Styx[n 4]
Lucas Beineke[iii]Wednesday Addams[i][iv][v]Pugsley Addams[i]Pubert Addams[vi][n 2]
Wednesday Addams Jr.[n 5]Pugsley Addams Jr.[n 5]
Notes:
  1. ^ a b c d e f "Altogether Ooky: The Addams Family Tree". Family Tree Magazine. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  2. ^ "Morticia Addams: A Witch Icon Worthy Of All The Praise". SyFy Wire. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  3. ^ "Celebrate the 10th Anniversary of The Addams Family on Broadway". Playbill. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  4. ^ "Here's how Wednesday Addams got her name". The A.V. Club. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  5. ^ "The Many Shades of Wednesday Addams". The New York Times. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  6. ^ "11 things you never knew about Addams Family Values". Digital Spy. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  1. ^ In the Broadway musical The Addams Family, Morticia refers to Grandmama as Gomez and Uncle Fester's mother,
    to which Gomez reacts with surprise and says that he had thought she was Morticia's mother. Morticia later says that
    Grandmama "may not even be part of this family", referencing Grandmama's ever-changing relation to the family.
  2. ^ a b c Established in the 1993 film Addams Family Values.
  3. ^ a b Established in the Broadway musical The Addams Family.
  4. ^ Established in the 1964 episode "Halloween with the Addams Family".
  5. ^ a b Established in the 1977 film Halloween with the New Addams Family.

References

  1. ^ Addams Family Values, Letters, The New Yorker, July 30, 2018
  2. ^ "Wednesday Leaves Home" (November 20, 1964) Season 1, Episode 10, at 06:30
  3. ^ a b Carrie, Stephanie (March 6, 2015). "A Christina Ricci Doppelganger Creates a Series About Wednesday Addams As an Adult". LA Weekly. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  4. ^ Vagianos, Alanna (February 13, 2015). "How Wednesday Addams Would React To Catcalling". HuffPost. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  5. ^ Lanning, Carly (April 21, 2015). "Copyright claim yanks 'Adult Wednesday Addams' from YouTube". The Daily Dot. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
  6. ^ "The Addams Family Fun House". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 25, 2023.
  7. ^ "The Addams Family Movie page". October 28, 2009. Archived from the original on October 28, 2009. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  8. ^ "Wednesday Addams". Enjoy-your-style.com. March 21, 2013. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  9. ^ Fuge, Jonathan (November 18, 2022). "Wednesday Reviews Praise Jenna Ortega as the Titular Addams Family Member". MovieWeb. Retrieved November 30, 2022.
  10. ^ "Jenna Ortega's Wednesday is the best yet for this surprising reason". Digital Spy. November 25, 2022. Retrieved November 30, 2022.
  11. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (January 10, 2023). "Golden Globes: Full List of Winners". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on January 11, 2023. Retrieved January 28, 2023.

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