Marge Simpson – The Simpsons (1989)
The Simpson family is a tri-denominational religious family. Homer and Bart converted to Catholicism in season sixteen, episode twenty-one, The Father, the Son, and the Holy Guest Star, Lisa converted to Buddhism in season thirteen, episode six, She of Little Faith, and Marge and Maggie belong to Reverend Lovejoy’s church, whose denomination would later be identified as The Western Branch of American Reformed Presbo-Lutheranism in the same one where Homer and Bart converted. Every speaking member of the Simpson family, except for Homer (and the mute Maggie), is fluent in French. Marge speaks and tutors French in The Way We Was, Bart becomes fluent after his time as an exchange student in France in The Crepes of Wrath, and Lisa is revealed to be fully fluent in Paths of Glory.
Bambi’s Mother – Bambi (1942)
Little is known about the early life of Bambi’s mother except that she and her future husband, the Great Prince, met in childhood. Shortly into her son’s childhood, however, she is killed by an unseen hunter known as “Man”. At one point, the film was meant to show the body of Bambi’s mother after she was shot. This scene was later removed as it would be too dark. Despite this, her death is considered to be one of the most horrific and graphic deaths in all of Disney history.
Norma Bates – Psycho (1960)
“Mother”, or Norma Bates, is played by several actors and actresses in the movie, including Anthony Perkins. Several people contributed to her shrieking harpy hag voice, and there was a deliberate attempt to age her up, make her older, since Sir Alfred Hitchcock wanted this to be an apocryphal voice of Norman’s own conscience and inner demons. Realistically, Norma Bates would be about fifty, since Norman in the movie is only about twenty-six, but you can hear from the voice of the actors and actresses playing her that she is supposed to be a sexagenarian, which is possible if she gave birth to Norman when she was in her mid to late thirties.
Elizabeth James – The Parent Trap (1998)
Nick Parker’s reaction to seeing Elizabeth for the first time in 11 years is identical to James Garner’s character’s reaction in Move Over, Darling (1963) upon seeing his missing wife after 5 years. In both films, the man is on an elevator with his current partner and leans over in disbelief as the door closes. In an extended scene, Elizabeth delves further into why she and Nick did not stay together long. She says, “I tried living in California, he tried living in London”. Her daughter, Hallie, replies, “So you broke up?” Elizabeth tells Hallie that she and her twin sister, Annie, were the best thing about the whole situation and they continue to stroll down the streets of London.
Mrs. Incredible – The Incredible (2004)
When borrowing a plane, Mrs. Incredible’s pilot call sign is “India Golf Niner-Niner”, which translates to IG99, a reference to the 1999 film The Iron Giant, also directed by Brad Bird. In earlier scripts of The Incredibles, after Mrs. Incredible calls her friend, Snug Porter, inquiring about a jet. He pilots her and the hidden children to Syndrome’s island, and is killed when the plane was destroyed by the missiles. Mrs. Incredible realizes he is dead when she spots his cap sinking into the ocean depths with the wreckage. This is foreshadowed by photographs of Snug and Mrs. Incredible (then Elastigirl) together in her youth as boone companions still seen in the final cut of the movie, suggesting he was her flight instructor instead.
Mama – I Remember Mama (1948)
In order to physically submerse herself in the role of Mama, Irene Dunne wore no make up and used body padding to make herself appear heavier. Dunne worked with dialect coach, Judith Sater, for two months to perfect her Norwegian accent. Dunne became so immersed in getting her character’s voice down that she used the accent around her home with her family.
Joyce Byers – Stranger Things (2016-)
In the flashback scene at Castle Byers, Joyce surprises Will with tickets to see Poltergeist (1982). The manner in which Joyce communicates with Will when he is trapped in the upside down realm is very similar to how Carol Anne and her mother spoke to each other in the film. Will uses the lights in the house while Carol Anne talked through the television. Joyce has had anxiety problems in the past prior to the series, and it’s hinted to be hereditary, as she had an aunt named Darlene who had similar problems.
Annie – Imitation of Life (1959)
The scene in which Annie Johnson finds her errant daughter Sarah Jane performing in a nightclub wasn’t in the 1934 version, and may have been inspired by a similar scene from another classic women’s film about motherly love and sacrifice, Mildred Pierce (1945). Although she has the second largest role in the film, Juanita Moore was billed seventh, behind actors with much smaller roles. As some form of compensation, her on-screen billing reads “presenting Juanita Moore as Annie Johnson,” but that credit didn’t make it into the film’s advertising.
Aladdin’s Mother – Aladdin (1992)
The unnamed mother of Aladdin (later named Zena in the Aladdin comics) was conceived in the early stages for Aladdin; at one point she had a major role in one draft for the film. However, as development progressed, the character was removed from the film (along with many other characters) to streamline the story. However, on the Aladdin DVD, the scene where she and the Genie urge Aladdin to tell Jasmine the truth is included in the deleted scenes. In the comic books, the story portrays Zena as having been just as adventurous as her son, with a no-nonsense attitude towards those who judge her based on her gender. She was also a skilled fighter, having battled Aladdin one-on-one.
Molly Weasley – Harry Potter (2001-2011)
Contrary to rumors among fans that Neville Longbottom would be the one to kill Bellatrix Lestrange, J. K. Rowling stated she had always intended for Molly to be the one to do it, for two main reasons: firstly, so that Molly could “have her moment” and show that simply because she had dedicated herself to her family did not mean that she was not a powerful witch, and secondly, to show the clash of Molly’s “maternal love” against Bellatrix’s “obsessive love”. Her husband’s pet name for her, “Mollywobbles”, may be a pun on “the collywobbles”, British slang for a queasy stomach, especially when caused by anxiety. Possibly in reference to her constant fretting over the welfare of her loved ones.
Valka – How To Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
In 2014, writer Dean DeBlois revealed that Valka was originally going to be the main antagonist of How to Train Your Dragon 2. This role was later changed to be Drago as DeBlois wanted to make her more redeemable and kind. The initial capture of Hiccup is the last remaining scene from this version of her character. Valka’s mask resembles the helmet worn by the Witch-king of Angmar from The Lord of the Rings franchise. Her mask and disguise are also similar to those worn by the dragon priests, undead, servants of dragons who are enemies in the video game, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The blue-green paint, crown-like spikes, and Valka’s staff also bear much resemblance to the Statue of Liberty: a fitting analogy, given that Valka seeks the freedom of all oppressed and enslaved dragons.