Molly is a minor character in Annie. She is based on the character of the same name from the Broadway musical Annie. She is an orphan under the care of Miss Hannigan. She is portrayed by Sarah Hyland.
Molly, along with Annie and several other orphans, is a young girl who lives in Miss Hannigan's orphanage. She lives in New York City. Her parents died before the events of the movie. She is the youngest orphan in the group. Molly and Annie are best friends.
Molly is overall a very gentle and sweet child. She constantly supports Annie in her quest to find her parents, and cares for her well-being. Because of her demeanor and age, she is usually targeted by the other girls. However, Annie stands up for her, and comforts her when she has nightmares of her parents.
Despite her tragic life, Molly has a very silly sense of humor. She mimics Miss Hannigan, whom all the orphans despise, and makes the other orphans laugh. However, she also tends to be clumsy, and Miss Hannigan has even expressed that her days are numbered.
Molly is the youngest of the girls in the orphanage by several years. She wears old tattered clothes, and has long messy brown hair. She has fair skin and large eyes, and is much smaller than any of the other girls.
Appearance in Annie
Molly's parents died before the events of the film. Afterwards, she was taken to Miss Hannigan's orphanage for girls. She is the youngest orphan out of the girls. She is teased by many of the orphans for having nightmares about her parents, but she developed a strong friendship with Annie before the events of the film.
Role in the Film
The film begins with Molly crying out in her sleep for her deceased mother. The orphans begin to yell at her, but Annie sticks up for her. To calm Molly down, Annie reads Molly the letter that her parents left to her, explaining that someday they'll come back for her. While Annie reads her letter, the other orphans join in, having heard the letter several times, and mock her.
Moments later, Annie decides to sneak out of the orphanage to look for her parents herself. Annie commands Pepper, the bossiest orphan, to take care of Molly while she's gone. But Annie is captured by Miss Hannigan before she can escape.
To punish the orphans for Annie's misbehavior, Miss Hannigan keeps them up all night cleaning their room. During this time, the orphans chase Molly around the room as they scrub the floors (It's a Hard-Knock life). Molly expresses her sadness that she never receives presents from Santa, and other hardships. When the orphans are throwing their sheets into a large hamper, Molly is dumped inside by the girls, and is buried underneath the linens.
Miss Hannigan, upon entering the room, hears Molly underneath the sheets, and is annoyed. She roughly picks her out of the hamper and places her on the ground. Another person, Mr. Bundles, enters the room. He replaces the orphans' sheets with fresh ones, much to their delight. While he is talking with Miss Hannigan, Annie sneaks into the hamper. When Mr. Bundles unwittingly takes Annie out of the orphanage, the other orphans laugh and cheer. Miss Hannigan wildly scrambles out the door and chases after him.
Later on, Molly is shown with the other orphans, watching Annie being taken to billionaire Oliver Warbucks' home for Christmas. The orphans are overjoyed by this news, and jump around, while Miss Hannigan becomes furious.
Much later, Molly is listening to radio host Bert Healy introduces Annie. Annie announces that she is looking for her parents, and will offer $50,000 dollars to anyone who can prove they are her mom or dad. Molly and the orphans are excited to hear Annie again, and sing and dance in celebration (You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile), until Miss Hannigan makes them stop.
When Molly and the orphans are left temporarily under the care of Lily St. Regis on Christmas Day, Miss Hannigan's brother's girlfriend, she accidentally tells the girls that Miss Hannigan is at the Warbucks' mansion. The orphans, by keeping Lily's purse hostage, are able to force Lily to tell them what the Hannigan's are doing so close to Annie. Lily tells them that Hannigan's are pretending to be Annie's parents for the reward money, and the orphans anxiously run after her.
While the girls decide to chase after Annie, Lily realizes that the Hannigan's may double-cross her and cut her out of the deal. Together the orphans and Lily run to the Warbucks' mansion. Upon arrival, Lily rats out the Hannigans, disguised as "Ralph" and "Shirley Mudge." Almost immediately after, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appears and arrests the three cons. Happy to be no longer under the care of Miss Hannigan, the orphans find presents from Annie underneath the Christmas tree. Furthermore, President Roosevelt tells the orphans that he will find a nice family for each of them to live with.
Differences from the Source Material
Annie, which originally premiered on Broadway in 1977, differs from the Disney version in a few ways. In the movie, Molly seems to be several years younger than the other orphans, but in the musical, she is only younger by a year, or so.
Molly and Annie are best friends. Annie is very protective over Molly, and protects her from bullies like Pepper. Molly supports Annie when Pepper and the other orphans doubt that Annie's parents are coming back for her. Molly enjoys listening to Annie's parents letter because it helps her sleep.
However, during the musical number, The Hard-Knock Life, Annie becomes harsh towards Molly. Loudly singing to her along with the other orphans, "No one cares for you a smidge," while letting the other girls push her into a large hamper. She may have been upset about being caught, or annoyed that Molly was playing around while everyone was working.
Later, Molly and the other girls rush to Annie's aid when Miss Hannigan attempts to kidnap Annie.
Miss Hannigan expresses a deep hate for Molly, and all the other orphans. When picking her out of a large hamper filled with dirty sheets, she tells her that her days are numbered. Miss Hannigan further expresses her hatred for the orphans in her song, Little Girls.
The Other Orphans
Molly has a very poor relationship with the other orphans. They tend to mock her and harm her due to her small size. When Annie attempts to escape the orphanage, she tells Pepper to protect Molly, it is unknown whether or not Pepper would listen to Annie, since she was caught before she could leave. However, when Annie leaves for Christmas, the girls seem to stop bullying her (You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile).
- In the musical, Molly is six years old. The second youngest girl, Kate, is seven years old. Making her not that much younger than the others.