Why Do Disney Movies Always Kill Off The Moms?


When Frozen came out and everyone was raving, I thought about taking my three-year-old daughter to her first movie. The reviews said the film was smart, with strong female heroines and great music.  I could almost taste the popcorn and Milk Duds until I read a little further and found out the main characters’ parents were lost at sea, never to return. Oh Disney, you’ve done it again: you killed Mommy!

Disney movies have been murdering moms since the 1940s, when Bambi’s mother was shot dead by a hunter The world was at war back then, so traumatic loss could have been a reflection of the times.  Except Disney didn’t stop there. Quasimodo’s mom was felled by an angry mob. The Little Mermaid’s mom was killed by pirates. Nemo’s mom was eaten.  Not cool, Disney.

Even when mom isn’t blatantly killed off, she’s frequently MIA. Did Sleeping Beauty or Belle from Beauty and The Beast have moms? Not that I could tell, which is odd since someone must have taught those princesses how to coordinate their outfits and blow dry their hair.

To be fair, Disney doesn’t only have it in for moms. Fathers are dispatched with violently in The Lion King (trampled by a herd), Mulan (killed by Huns) and The Princess and The Frog (killed in battle).  Sometimes Disney characters are completely orphaned and forced to live with an evil stepmother (Cinderella) or a tribe of moody dwarves (Snow White).

So why does Disney keep offing parents?  I can think of a few reasons…

Keep reading at Lifetime Moms.

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  1. Posted April 8, 2014 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    When you have a n incomplete family and you turn out well it is more lauded right? Like the Disney characters looks more precious and vurnerable because no one would fight for them so they need a prince, some saving.

    The new ones they still need to kill the parents off because you are right, they have more freedom to do whatever they want like go on an icy
    Merlinda Little recently posted..Music VideoMy Profile

  2. Posted April 9, 2014 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    It’s all so very true, but I do have one slight correction. My 4 year old received Mulan for her birthday, so I have watched Mulan more times than I would care to count in the last month. Therefore I must say that Mulan’s father is very much alive – just crippled, so maybe that is a new category all on its own?! Haha

    Dead moms notwithstanding, I love me some Disney movies!
    Vanessa recently posted..55 yearsMy Profile

    • Posted April 9, 2014 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      I’m getting busted left and right on Mulan! I should have been clearer in my piece – Mulan’s dad doesn’t die, but Shang’s father does – it’s maybe a bit of a stretch, but still a dead parent. Glad you enjoyed it.

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