It certainly feels that way, doesn’t it? Off the top of your head, can you name five Disney or Pixar movies where the parents aren’t dead or losers? You probably can’t. In this blog post we are only going to focus on the movies where the parents are dead, presumed dead, or killed during the course of the movie. While not a comprehensive list, it should give you an idea.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Well, her mother dies before the movie even begins. Her father remarries, but not long after he passes away. Apparently, he didn’t realize that he married an evil lady who essentially wants to kill her stepdaughter.
Probably no Disney death traumatized as much as this one. I watched this when I was really young and I was not ready for such a traumatic event. “Hey, there’s Bambi’s mom, she looks so happy…wait, what just happened?” I’m sure I had nightmares.
Her mom was already dead before the movie started. So, naturally, Disney had to get rid of the only other sane person in the movie; her dad. After his death, she ends up living with the Kardashians, I mean, a horrible family. But no worries, one day, she will be rescued by a prince. Every girl’s dream, right?
Peter Pan (1953)
Okay, so Wendy, John and Michael have parents at the beginning and end of the movie. However, Peter Pan is an orphan and presumably so are the lost boys. But look at how happy he looks! Essentially, Peter Pan wants you to hate your parents in order to find great joy!
The Fox and the Hound (1981)
Kind of like a morbid shout out to Bambi, Todd, the fox, loses his mother when she is killed by a hunter. I wonder why Disney movies didn’t start any anti-hunting movements back in the day.
The Little Mermaid (1989)
Ever wonder why you never see Ariel’s mom? Well, that’s because she’s dead. It explains why her father’s a bit too overprotective. But again, no worries, Ariel will find her prince charming who sweeps her off her…tail?
I love this movie. Probably watched it a dozen times in my lifetime. To start with, Aladdin is an orphan. He’s also kind of a Robin Hood character. Steals from the rich to give to the poor…like himself. He meets princess Jasmine who has one thing in common with him…her mother’s dead. Also, her dad’s kind of a loser.
The Lion King (1994)
My favorite Disney movie of all time, but also has one of the saddest scenes ever. When trying to save his son from a stampede, Mufasa is killed by his jealous brother, named Scar. No lie, I cried like a baby when I saw this. Did not see that coming at all!
So, not only are his parents killed by a ravenous leopard, but he’s raised by two gorillas. One of the gorilla’s, the husband, does not like the idea of having a human baby. Maybe he had a point. Later in the movie, he is shot and killed by another human. Tarzan lost three parental figures in one movie. Awesome.
Finding Nemo (2003)
In one of the worse massacres in animated movies, Nemo’s mother and all of his siblings died in one instant. And this was before Nemo was even born! Grab me a tissue?
Okay, while they were technically not parents to anyone, they certainly could have. Disney and Pixar completely destroy your soul by making you watch this couple grow old without fulfilling their adventures, just to kill her off. Really? That was too much.
While Anna was trying out for Broadway, her parents get on a ship and get killed. I really did not see that one coming, but looking at this list, I probably should have.
So there you have it, if it wasn’t obvious before, it is now. Disney and Pixar hates parents. If it was up to them, children will live in a parent-less paradise with Peter Pan as president. Next time you take your kid to watch a Disney or Pixar movie, make sure that you’re ready to talk to them about death and loss.
A final word to Disney and Pixar: the whole thing with killing parents, please, let it go.