What Does Walt Disney Have Against Moms?

One of my biggest pet peeves in Disney movies is the killing off of moms. It truly irks me that when I go to a “kid flick,” I have to worry that it will reinforce the innate fear that children have about confronting their parents’ mortality.

Yes, I am aware that some Disney movies are based on fairytales which date back hundreds of years. Most of these stories involve the loss of the mother prior to the beginning of the story, hence the existence of the wicked stepmother.

With this said, what about Disney movies that exterminate the moms with scenes that could give Steel Magnolias a run for its money? I haven’t even let my children see Disney tearjerker’s like Bambi, whose mom is shot dead in front of him, or Dumbo, whose mom is caged and carted off while pleading with an outstretched trunk.

No, instead I took my kids to see comedies like Finding Nemo, which starts with Nemo's mom and siblings being eaten by a barracuda (my son cried so much, I had to skip ahead on the DVD for the next 3 years). We then went to see Lilo and Stitch, and, well…oops, parents killed in a car accident. We tried Chicken Little and yep, you guessed it, no mom. Was there a mom in Pocahontas, Aladdin, or even The Goofy Movie? No, no, and no. It’s as if Disney is suggesting to audiences that moms are totally unnecessary in the lives of their children. Well, why would we be, when the kids can clearly be raised by doting Dads, fairies, dwarves, and adorable woodland creatures?

I imagine there's a warning sign on the writer’s room door that reads: “Mothers: Enter at Your Own Risk.” Of course, when it comes to buying tickets, toys, theme park admissions, or any other Disney merchandise, Walt expresses the opposite sentiment; he's our BFF. Maybe the writers should remember that in their next brainstorming session. Then they could do something totally outrageous, like write us into the story rather than out of it!

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