I'm one of the first to defend the media when it comes to crap like, "Television poisons the youth of America." When a parent uses their TV as a babysitter, and doesn't provide the guidance that goes with it, then you reap what you sow. But after looking through my daughter's Disney videos, and reflecting on every single animated movie they've ever released, it's clear that somewhere in that secret underground freezer that Walt Disney is still scheming with the most evil of all goals, "DESTROY ALL PARENTS!"
The premise is simple. Disney will do everything they can to destroy the traditional family unit in their movies. If the main character isn't an orphan at the beginning of the film, they're going to be before the movie is over.
BAMBI (1942) is probably the most famous of the early offenders. In one of the more traumatic events for a kid to sit through, the poor little guy loses his mother when she's shot by a hunter. There's no purpose whatsoever for this event, other than to give BAMBI a shot at being alone and growing up. The movie rather sucks, but since it's such an early "beautiful" example of animation, it will always be considered a classic.
The same plot device is used in THE LION KING (1994) where young Simba watches his father get killed right in front of his eyes, prompting him to take off into the forest and grow up. It's as if Disney's trying to say to the kids, "Screw your parents, just run off into the woods and sing 'Hakuna Matata' and everything is going to be alright!" Of course when your Dad is also the voice of DARTH VADER, you're going to have fucked up father and son issues, anyway.
The worst of the parent killing Disney films has to be TARZAN (1999). Not only does little Tarzan have to watch both his parents eaten by a ravenous cheetah at the film's start, but even his adoptive gorilla father ends up getting shot later on in the film. Looks like being a parent of Tarzan is risky business.
How about this year's summer Disney film DINOSAUR? In the film's trailer, a T-Rex comes out, scares the mother off, and destroys the other eggs in the nest except for one who is whisked away by a pterodactyl to get raised by others.
To be fair, not every Disney film has the parents getting killed off. In fact most of them have them conveniently gone at the very start.
Mmmmm....kissing dead girls is fun
SNOW WHITE where were her parents anyway? Why was she living in that castle with The Evil Queen? They never explain that one, do they? And let's not even touch on the blatant necrophilia references at the film's end (see picture above).
THE LITTLE MERMAID has no mother figure anywhere in the film, nor does BELLE from BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.
ALADDIN is an orphan, but you do find out in the third direct to video installment in the series that he has a long lost father (no word on the mom, though).
Not only does PINOCCHIO have no parents, but the undertones of old Gepetto wanting a boy so badly that he carves one out of wood is downright creepy!
MOWGLI in THE JUNGLE BOOK is left in the Jungle and raised by wolves. DUMBO not only has no father around to speak of, but is removed from his mother for nearly the entire film.
PETER PAN not only has no parents, but has an entire colony of orphaned boys who don't want to grow up. And let's not forget the great parenting of Wendy and her brothers, who are left home alone at night to go fly away and nearly get killed by pirates while they party the night away. Who the hell lets the family dog baby-sit their kids anyway?
Some may argue that many of these stories were works of literature long before Disney had a crack at them, but even Disney's own original lineup of characters didn't have any kind of parents around.
Where are the parents of MICKEY MOUSE?
Or DONALD DUCK? Didn't he have a mom or dad? And why did he have to raise his nephews Huey, Duey, and Louie? What happened there? When you consider all the assistance Donald got from UNCLE SCROOGE, it makes you wonder what's up with all the uncles raising the kids of their fucked up brothers and sisters. I certainly wouldn't want a brother of mine watching my kids that walked around all day with no pants on.
GOOFY is an enigma as well. You never meet his parents, but in recent years the folks at Disney have decided to give him a son named MAX (See A GOOFY MOVIE and AN EXTREMELY GOOFY MOVIE). Though you have to give them credit for finally giving Goofy some family responsibility, you have to wonder why they had to start him off as a Single Dad! There's no mother to speak of in any of these films (Though I can imagine anyone that actually mated with Goofy would eventually wise up and leave town, anyway).
DISNEY deserves some credit for MULAN for making a damn fine film that totally breaks the mold. Not only does FA MULAN have a mother and father that stay alive through the whole film, but her grandmother lives with them, too. Though they have to kill CAPTAIN SHIANG's father to create some sense of balance.
In fact, if you really really scrape through the Disney films, the only movies where family members aren't killed off are LADY AND THE TRAMP and 101 DALMATIANS (not that Cruella Deville wouldn't love to have it otherwise). So if you're a dog, Disney's got your back, otherwise watch out.
Let's hope enough people get wind of this, and send the message to DISNEY that this bullshit has to end. STOP KILLING OFF THE PARENTS IN YOUR MOVIES. Who the hell else is going to keep shelling out $20 every time they come out on video, huh?
Once and for all, DISNEY needs to cut the crap and stick to what they do best...putting subliminal sexual messages in their movies!