So I just went to see the movie Brave with my two girls, and I’ve decided that I want to write a blog about it. It was absolutely wonderful, first of all. But as we left the movie theatre, my oldest daughter made an observation. She said that she thought it was the first Disney movie she’d seen where the mom wasn’t either killed or missing in action. At first laughed at the quirky comment. But then I started to think about it, and realized that she was right. After all, kids have a way of seeing things that adults simply can’t grasp. Could my daughter be on to something? Could Disney have conspired to produce a subculture within their corporation that suppressed female caregivers over the past seventy years?
I love a good conspiracy theory, so I jumped on that one.
Let’s look at the facts. Bambi is one of Disney’s most beloved animated features, adored by millions. But what’s the one scene that everyone hates about the movie? I bet you can guess it without me even having to say anything. It’s toward the start of the movie, when the mom gets shot between the eyes. In fact I think it happens within the first ten minutes. And how about The Little Mermaid? No mother there, and she’s never even mentioned. Same goes for Cinderella – never met her, never cared to ask. How about Snow White? Mom was dead by page seven, depending on which version you read. She certainly didn’t last longer than two scenes in any of the movies.
Pinocchio had a (fake) dad, but no mom. Tangled – we meet the mom, but only briefly. Same goes for Lion King and Sleeping Beauty.
So I ask you. What exactly are we to make of this? I have no idea, but it’s fun to speculate. By the way, I’ve put about ten minutes of research into this, so please don’t write Disney and ask whether I’m telling the truth or not.
Just for the record, I don’t have many moms in my book, either. Jason’s mom is dead, Paul’s mom is … well. And Tatiana has a psychotic father and a rather doddering old grandfather. There’s no reason for this, really – it’s just the way the dice fell. Maybe I should take a tip from Brave and get some sort of mother figure into the next book, just so I’m not making the same moves as Disney…