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    Loathsome Characters Wiki

    Maria (Hansel & Gretel, 1987)

    NOTE: Please not to be confused with the Brazilian version of Gretel's name, because this character has nothing to do with her.

    Maria
    If you really thought Susan Heffley and Horrid Henry's mom were bad mothers, just wait until you see this mother...
    Gender: Female
    Type: Abusive Mother
    Age: Adulthood
    Species: Human
    Portrayed by: Emily Richard
    Status: Alive
    Media of origin: Hansel & Gretel (1987)


    You stupid, stupid children. I'll never forgive you, never.
    Maria, An angry Maria tells her children she would never forgive them for letting Duncan the donkey eat her custard and drink and break a pitcher of milk

    Maria (not the Brazilian version of Gretel's name) is one of the main characters in Hansel & Gretel (1987). She is a mother who treated Hansel and Gretel very badly, especially at the beginning of the film. She was always irritated by the difficult situations that her family went through, and was responsible for her children being lost in the North Woods, but she managed to massively redeem herself in the middle and beginning of the film. She is portrayed by Emily Richard.

    "You Stupid, Stupid Children!" Qualities

    1. First, to take the elephant out of the room, she is a typical stereotype of a bad mother who mistreats her children badly. She may not prove to be a good mother to Hansel and Gretel. For example:
      • In the breakfast scene, at the beginning of the movie, when Hansel goes to get another piece of cheese, she instantly smacks Hansel's hand away, which shows that she is abusive towards them.
      • She even blamed Hansel and Gretel for letting Duncan the donkey in the house, and eating his custard and drinking and breaking a pitcher of milk, even though Hansel accidentally forgot to lock the barn door and let Duncan in.
    2. She is constantly easily angered by everything around her, and often loses her temper with her family's and her children's situations of poverty.
    3. She can be obnoxious, silly and annoying at times.
    4. In fact, she is even to blame for leaving Hansel and Gretel lost in the North Woods!
      • She was quite angry and furious after Duncan walked out of the barn door, ate all the custard she had made, and also drank and broke the pitcher of milk that one of their good neighbors had given them. After this uproar, she gives them a punishment: she forces them to pick berries for dinner, but the place where they usually pick berries had no more berries, so they decided to go to another place where there were berries. AND THAT HARSH DECISION MADE THEM REALLY LOST IN THE NORTH WOODS FOR REAL!
      • Fortunately, she had a conversation with her husband Stephan and acknowledged her mistakes… but at the same time, that was very incompetent of her, not least because her children were easily lost in the North Woods!
    5. Her infamous quote, "You stupid, stupid children. I'll never forgive you, never", which is such a cruel thing to say to anyone, especially your children.
    6. She is also very mean to her husband Stephan, always criticizing him just because a baker was not owing him the necessary money, about Hansel and Gretel not doing their due chores, and about her husband not thinking straight about their poverty situations of her family, which makes her look like a huge idiot.
    7. She is very pessimistic and mean-spirited, as seen in the opening breakfast scene quoted earlier, as when everyone praises her breakfast, she ends up saying, "It was fine for a single mouse. Not for a man and his family." Oh, come on!
    8. For some reason, she is mistakenly classified as a mother rather than a stepmother, as in the original The Brothers Grimm tale, she is a stepmother.
    9. In the Brazilian version, her name is also Maria, which can be a bit confusing, as Gretel's name in the Brazilian version of the movie is also Maria, what it might look like there are two Gretels in this movie.
    10. She can also be considered a Karma Houdini, as she was not punished for her abusive/evil behavior, for letting her children wander off alone in the North Woods, and for her bad deeds towards her husband Stephan.
      • What's more, considering that she let her children go out alone unsupervised to the North Woods, she could even be arrested for it, and if they even died, it would lead to 4 to 12 years in prison.

    Redeeming Qualities

    1. She at least cares a lot about her family, and she was right to tell them about the poverty, and the treacherous and petty situations they went through.
    2. Contrary to everything else, she's not that bad compared to these moms here.
    3. She redeems herself massively in the middle and end of the film after she realizes that everything she had done with her children earlier.
      • She also showed empathy for her children after they got lost in the North Woods, and even hugged and forgave them for their bad behavior towards them.
      • She can also be likeable in the scene where she makes her custard with the milk that one of her neighbors has given them and even hugs Gretel quite happily. Unfortunately, she ends up going berserk after everything that happened before.
    4. Emily Richard gives a great performance in her role.
    5. She is right that her children can do their chores and are well behaved, she just does her best as a mother, despite her problems.
    6. In fact, she's not an intentionally bad character, she's just flawed.

    Trivia

    1. Her actress - Emily Richard - is known for participating in films such as: Empire of the Sun (1987), The Secret World of Polly Flint (1987) and Enemy at the Door (1978), as well as being married to Edward Petherbridge since 1981, and also having two children with him.

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