I had a conversation with Farrah on our drive home about animated movies. She had recently seen the movie "Beauty and the Beast" and asked me why in the realistic versions of movies, they go into more detail about things. I had explained there was more time that way and more adults were watching in order to justify giving a better back story to the story being told. I said with the movie "Cinderella" they showed that the mother was very sick and that she died. No young child wants to see that. Farrah told me that's what they did in "Beauty and the Beast", too. (We already knew the mom was dead, people. Nothing got spoiled there - settle down).
So...after thinking about it for a minute, I pointed out something that I realized...
There are soooooo many animated children's movies that show that one or both of the parents of the main character are either dead or taken from them! Seriously. Think about it. We did. In fact, Farrah and I found ourselves horrifically entertained by listing the various movies that showed exactly what I'm talking about:
Cinderella (mom dies and gets replaced by shitty stepmom)
Finding Nemo (mom gets eaten by barracuda)
Sleeping Beauty (Aurora is taken from her parents - but, in the movie Malificent, the mother dies)
Tarzan (parents are dead)
Frozen (parents are dead)
Lilo and Stitch (parents are dead)
Jungle Book (parents are dead)
Lion King (dad dies)
Snow White (mom is dead)
Bambi (mom is alive...then dead)
Beauty and the Beast (mom is dead)
Little Mermaid (mom is dead)
Aladdin (parents are dead - then he finds his father in another movie, but mom...still dead)
The Princess and the Frog (dad is dead)
Kung Fu Panda (parents are dead)
Hunchback of Notre Dame (parents are dead)
Big Hero (Tadashi - Baymax's maker aka dad...dead)
How to Train Your Dragon 1 (mom is dead, dad is alive)
How to Train Your Dragon 2 (dad is dead, mom is alive)
And then there's the "not quite dead, but close enough" scenarios in theses movies:
Dumbo (mom gets taken to prison)
Pinochio (he's kidnapped and taken from his dad)
101 Dalmatians (pups are kidnapped)
Tangled (kidnapped and raised by fake mom)
So, those are the only ones I could come up with and I know I'm missing some. For instance, I forgot to mention Anastasia...do I need to tell you how her parents died? Because they did. Both of them.
Why do the story writers decide to go after children's deepest fears? Seriously. I get that they are showing how the characters grew up through such a tough experience and persevered, but did they really need to do it without their parents? Why'd they have to die? Why was it having a tragedy like a parent dying be the thing that made the kid strong? I don't think that's how it works or what makes a person show their strength. How about they lose their first job? Or maybe they got an F on a test. Or perhaps the parents are just divorced. For shit's sake...Bambi's mom got shot. SHOT! Tadashi was blown up. Quasimodo's parents were brutally murdered. Elsa's parents were on the Titanic...I think.
Maybe the writers of these stories were actually parents themselves and knew if in real life, their child broke out in song one more god damn time and swung from the rafters and let a bunch of forest animals in the house, that would be the last freakin' straw and CPS would be knocking on their door. That being the case, removing a parent or both parents for that matter, made the most sense. It sounds like too much work to write them into the story, anyway. Whatever the reason might have been, it's safe to say that apparently a kid without a parent can grow up to rule an entire kingdom and if that's the case, then Disney has given me permission to allow Farrah to do the rest of this growing up on her own because she'll probably be more successful at life without me. Looks like I'm going to leave her the house and I'll go travel the world and I'll conveniently find her when she's the CEO of a major corporation. Seems like the theme to follow.