5 Famous Characters with Brunette Evil Twins


Having an evil twin can be a drag. They run around causing mischief and often trying to steal their innocent twin’s identity. Thankfully for us, when it comes to the realm of fiction, it's easy to tell the good twin apart from the evil one: by their hair. Here are five famous (and unfortunate) characters that had to deal with a brunette evil twin.

1. Samantha from Bewitched

Sixties television loved using the brunette evil twin trope. For those who remember Bewitched, Samantha was the beloved blonde housewife who also doubled as a witch with magical powers. With just a twitch of her nose, Samantha could wiggle her way out of any troublesome situation. She also had an evil "twin" in her cousin, Serena. Elizabeth Montgomery donned a black, cropped wig while playing Serena. The evil witch also sported a beauty mark on her cheek. During Bewitched’s eight-year run, Serena caused all sorts of trouble with her flirtatious antics.

2. Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie

Like Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie created an evil twin for its main character. To make things doubly confusing, Jeannie’s evil, brunette counterpart was also named Jeannie. Like most evil twins, the brunette Jeannie tried to steal the identity of her blonde sister and caused all sorts of problems while trying to impersonate her.

When Sidney Sheldon first created the show, he wanted to cast Jeannie as a brunette to avoid confusion with Samantha from Bewitched. However, he could not find an actress to portray Jeannie as he had envisioned her, so he was forced to cast the blonde Barbara Eden as his lead. Jeannie’s brunette evil twin was likely created to at least partially satisfy Sheldon’s initial wishes for a raven-haired Jeannie.

3. Ginger from Gilligan’s Island

In the Gilligan’s Island episode “All About Eva," a brunette comes to the island ... and looks suspiciously like Ginger. When the dark-haired Eva meets the gang, everyone befriends her and tries to change her appearance to make her resemble Ginger even more. By the end of the episode, Eva fulfills her role as an evil twin by leaving the island and taking Ginger’s identity.

4. Sabrina from Sabrina the Teenage Witch

In the 1990s short-lived animated version of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Sabrina had a brunette evil twin named Damina (who was actually her cousin). While they looked exactly alike, Cousin Damina was a little more innocent than most evil twins and chose not to steal Sabrina’s identity. However, since the show lasted only 65 episodes, who knows what kind of trouble Damina could have caused had it been more successful?

5. Ariel from The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid contains probably the best-known example of the evil brunette twin trope. In the popular Disney movie, Ariel is a mermaid who falls in love with a human. Against her father’s wishes, Ariel makes a deal with the evil Ursula to grow legs and meet the handsome Prince Eric—if she gives up her voice. Ariel can only gain her voice back and stay human if she receives a true love’s kiss from Prince Eric within three days. When Ursula senses that Ariel is close to winning the deal, she transforms into Ariel’s evil brunette twin, Vanessa. Vanessa then uses Ariel’s stolen voice to try and steal Prince Eric from her, but you probably already know how that plan ends.

Photo Illustration by Mental Floss. Woody Image: iStock. Background: IFC Midnight
9 The Shining References Buried in Pixar Films
Photo Illustration by Mental Floss. Woody Image: iStock. Background: IFC Midnight
Photo Illustration by Mental Floss. Woody Image: iStock. Background: IFC Midnight

Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining: Not the most kid-friendly movie! But, as circumstance would have it, it’s a favorite film of Pixar regular Lee Unkrich, who has directed or co-directed five Pixar features—including Toy Story 2 and 3; Monsters, Inc.; Finding Nemo; and Coco—in addition to doing editing work on several others. As such, it’s no surprise (or maybe it is) that several references to The Shining, from the obvious to the obscure, have snuck into Pixar’s lineup over the years. Here are nine of them.


One of the most iconic images from Stanley Kubrick’s filmography is of Danny (Danny Lloyd) cycling through the halls of The Shining’s Overlook Hotel. That same iconic carpet can be found in Toy Story, where it adorns the home of the toy-torturer Sid. Unkrich, who was one of the editors on the film, credits that particular Easter Egg to production designer Ralph Eggleston.

2. THE NUMBER 237 // TOY STORY 3 (2010)

The number 237 makes an appearance in 'Toy Story 3' (2010)

Unkrich worked several references to the number 237—the room in the Overlook Hotel where some particularly trippy things go down for Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson)—into Toy Story 3, which he directed. The license plate on a garbage truck in one scene reads RM237; Woody instant messages a toy whose code name is Velocistar237; and the model number of a security camera in Sunnyside Daycare is Overlook R237.


Speaking of Sunnyside Daycare’s security system: It features an intercom that’s an exact (albeit animated) duplicate of the one used by Wendy Torrance (Shelley Duvall) in The Shining. Several feet away from the intercom is a tissue box, the pattern of which resembles that aforementioned carpet pattern in the Overlook Hotel.


For both Toy Story 3 and Finding Nemo, Unkrich asked his composers—Randy Newman and Thomas Newman, respectively—to utilize the “kalinga” technique at particular moments where the audience was meant to feel unsettled. Favored by Polish composer and conductor Krzysztof Penderecki, whose music was featured in The Shining, the “kalinga,” per Unkrich, “is when the violin players tap their bows against the strings rather than strumming. It's almost a plucky sound. If everybody does that throughout the orchestra you get a crazy, almost insecty sound, it's so unsettling.”


This one’s easy: In Finding Nemo, Bruce the shark echoes Jack Nicholson’s most famous line from The Shining when he snarls “Heeeere’s Brucey!”


    Early in Coco, there’s a scene where Dante the dog abruptly wakes up from a nap. In the background, we see a normal-looking axe stuck into a tree trunk. An axe could just be an axe ... were Unkrich not sitting in the director's chair. Earlier this year, in an interview with Cinema Blend, he confirmed that the axe is in fact modeled after “one of the axes from The Shining.”

    7. REDRUM // COCO (2017)

    There are two 'The Shining' references in this one scene from 'Coco' (2017)

      In that same shot, right behind the axe, is a red metal storage drum, a reference to REDRUM, Danny Torrance’s favorite phrase and (er, spoilers for The Shining?) “murder” spelled backwards.

      8. THE GRADY TWINS // COCO (2017)

        As Coco’s Miguel runs through Frida Kahlo’s underworld art studio, he passes a painting of two girls who, per Unkrich, represent a “Día de los Muertos-inspired version of the twin girls from The Shining.”

        9. APOLLO 11 // TOY STORY (1995)

          Stick with us for a moment on this one, as it's not as straightforward as the other ones: Toy Story’s Buzz Lightyear was named after Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who was the second man to set foot on the moon. Apollo 11 looms large as part of the mythology of The Shining, as there are famously some conspiracy theorists who believe that Kubrick faked the moon landing and used The Shining as a quasi-confession. (At one point Danny Torrance wears an Apollo 11 sweater, which Lee Unkrich now owns.) This is very likely a coincidence, not an outright nod to The Shining, but given the level of The Shining appreciation in the halls of Pixar, it’s not a stretch to believe that someone at least got a chuckle out of it.

          anthodomi, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0
          Pop Culture
          Take a Look at What Studio Ghibli's Theme Park Will Look Like When It Opens in 2022
          A recreation of the house in My Neighbor Totoro built for the 2005 World's Fair.
          A recreation of the house in My Neighbor Totoro built for the 2005 World's Fair.
          anthodomi, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

          Miyazaki mega-fans may want to start planning their next trip to Japan. The much-anticipated Studio Ghibli theme park is now set to open in 2022, The Japan Times reports. The animated film studio just released several new images that show what the park (originally projected to open in 2020) will look like.

          Ghibli Park will be built on the site of the 2005 World's Fair in Nagakute, a city about 90 miles east of Kyoto in central Japan. The park's creators envision it as a place where the fantastical films of director Hayao Miyazaki, co-founder of Studio Ghibli, are brought to life. The mysterious forest in My Neighbor Totoro—one of Miyazaki’s most iconic films—will be reimagined in an area of the park called Dondoko Forest. The park property already features a recreation of the house from that same film, originally built there for the World’s Fair.

          Other famous films by Studio Ghibli will be represented in the park as well. There will be a Princess Mononoke Village and antique shops modeled after the one in Whisper of the Heart. The main gate to the park will be built in a 19th-century style reminiscent of Howl’s Moving Castle.

          Witch Valley will feature attractions inspired by Howl’s Moving Castle and Kiki’s Delivery Service, and the Big Ghibli Warehouse will contain exhibition areas, a theater, and play spaces. The Japan Times reports that the park will also have giant installations of spiders and “boar-shaped spirits”—recurring motifs in Miyazaki’s movies. And if the concept art is anything to go by, Ghibli Park will be filled with beautiful walking paths surrounded by lush greenery.

          Miyazaki fans have more of the legendary director's work to look forward to in the next few years. He recently came out of retirement to make one last film, which will be released by 2020, Forbes reports. The 77-year-old filmmaker said he wanted to leave something for his grandson to remember him by after he dies.

          [h/t The Japan Times]


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