Sunday, May 8, 2011

Wonder Why Disney Killed All The Mothers?

There are no mothers in the Disney classics.  Go ahead.. run through the movies in your head..  I'll wait here.  Yes, Bambi had a mother, but she was killed.  She was the one and only death of a positive figure in a Disney movie until Mufassa died in The Lion King. Have you sifted through them all and realized that there are no mothers?

I wonder if Walt Disney's childhood was scarred by a horrible mother or if he knew that none of the perils that the princesses would be forced to endure would happen if a mother was around? My guess is the second one. The stories would not have worked.  Bambi's mother protected him, so she had to go to progress the story. Cinderella would have never have been forced to work more than to do her fair share of chores; Snow White's mother would have been thrilled that her daughter was the fairest of them all. Ariel's mom would have figured out a way for her to be a girl for a while without losing her voice; Belle's mother would have made her husband a famous inventor so Belle wouldn't have been lost in the woods and taken to the Beast's castle. Moms celebrate their children, love their children, protect their children..  The stories that Disney made his millions from telling simply would not work if a mother was present. A mother's love changes everything.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms reading!  May you live happily ever after.


  1. I had never noticed that about Disney movies but you're right and it is very odd.

    I had a very normal childhood and a great mother but I still killed the mother off in every story I wrote as a kid. Go figure.

  2. True, although Disney simply built on the cornerstone of most children's literature. Self-sufficiency is usually the catalyst for most narratives, from the fairy tales recorded by the Brothers Grimm to the vast majority of Victorian literature (where the genre of children's lit was born). Victorians got around some of the "cruelty" of orphaning the children by having many of the tales set at boarding schools, where the absence of the parents could set things in motion just the same. Disney (and Harry Potter) just borrows from a long tradition.

  3. Great point! I like to believe that mothers can build self-suffiency in their children without missing their entire lives or dying though.