Quvenzhané Wallis, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role in Beasts of the Southern Wild, plays little orphan Annie in the new film adaptation of the 1977 musical. (Sony Pictures Entertainment)
Quvenzhané Wallis, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role in Beasts of the Southern Wild, plays little orphan Annie in the new film adaptation of the 1977 musical. (Sony Pictures Entertainment)
Quvenzhané Wallis, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role in Beasts of the Southern Wild, plays little orphan Annie in the new film adaptation of the 1977 musical. (Sony Pictures Entertainment)

(WBUR) – When you think about the musical Annie, what associations come to mind? Probably the song “Tomorrow,” right? And Annie’s bright red, curly hair? Red hair comes with its own cultural mythology. In this case, it underscores Annie’s plucky, independent spirit.

As it turns out, hair is almost a character in this trailer for the new version of Annie coming out Dec. 19, says Noliwe Rooks, a professor at Cornell University. In just 2:19 minutes, you’ll see three or four jokes about or references to hair.

“Her hair is just wild,” Rooks notes. In this version, Annie is played by the African-American actress Quvenzhané Wallis, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role in Beasts of the Southern Wild. And Rooks says Wallis’ hair, as Annie, continues to stand out.

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