Christina Ricci played the clever, sarcastic and morbid Wednesday Addams in both 1991’s “The Addams Family“and its sequel from 1993”Addams Family Values“and she was so good that it’s hard not to associate her with the role, even 30 years later. The Addams Family movies were based on the 1960s tv show, itself based on a cartoon, which followed the exploits of a gothic family of adorable weirdos.
The youngest family member and only daughter of Gomez (Raul Julia) and Morticia (Anjelica Huston), Wednesday and her brother Pugsley (Jimmy Workman) spent most of the first film bonding with an impostor posing as their uncle Fester (Christopher Lloyd). Reviews for the film were mixed, but Ricci’s performance was generally seen as a highlight. “Best of all is stage thief Christina Ricci, who performs on Wednesday with the adorable saucer-eyed disengagement of a demon child from Neptune,” wrote Entertainment Weekly Review. “Beneath her pigtails, Wednesday is quite her mother’s daughter – it’s just that where Morticia likes to receive pain, Wednesday likes to give.”
The second film once again saw the family come face to face with another menacing stranger – a serial killer named Debbie Jellinsky (Joan Cusack) – as well as a new baby, Pubert. He also sent Wednesday and Pugsley to summer camp, where Wednesday was portrayed as Pocahontas in a Thanksgiving play, punished for non-compliance, led a coup and found her first boyfriend. “The cast is uniformly wonderful, with young Ricci giving depth to her character far beyond her years,” said Variety in his review from the second film.