Major movie franchises like Avengers, Harry Potter, and all that
Disney is known as the bastion of kid’s movies, a place for fluff and fun. But there’s a darker trend in Disney movies: dead or missing parents. It’s a convenient plot trope, or maybe someone over in the storyline department has some mommy issues, but whatever the reason, there’s a higher than normal percentage of orphans in Disney movies. Check out these 9 times Disney oh so conveniently had another orphan.
The movie that destroyed all of our hearts in childhood, did so with a single gunshot that also killed Bambi’s mother. While Bambi is not technically an orphan as his father still lurks somewhere in the forest, the loss of his mother is a serious blow to our hero that pushes him to grow into the great Prince of the Forest he is destined to be.
2. The Lion King
In another move to traumatize children, Disney decided to have Scar viciously and joyfully throw Mufasa to his death, a move that prompted Simba to a. become emotionally scarred forever and b. leave Pride Rock. While a good plot choice, it may have been a more intense than necessary introduction to death for many kids.
Moving to the much less graphic side of the spectrum, Cinderella is a true orphan. Her mother dies before the movie has even begun, and in the early narration, her father also passes away, leaving her in the hands of her stepmother. This is, of course, entirely necessary for Cinderella to exist as she does.
4. Snow White
Another of the sad stepdaughters, Snow White’s biological parents have passed before the movie begins, leaving her in the hands of the nastypants Queen who turns her into a scullery maid.
Aladdin’s parents are never addressed directly in the movie, but as a young person living on the streets, we can assume that he didn’t have a comfortable nuclear family to raise him.
6. The Jungle Book
While we never see Mowgli’s parents, the movie opens with Bagheera discovering the baby alone in a basket in the woods. Perhaps some horrible fate has befallen them, or perhaps they just really didn’t want a baby, but either way Mowgli’s only parents are the wolves he’s raised by.
7. Lilo and Stitch
Lilo and Nani are a pair of sisters who lost their parents in a car accident. Nani’s inability to appropriately care for her little sister is a major plot point of the movie, as is the development of a new family without their parents.
Tarzan’s parents originally survive the shipwreck that leaves them stranded in the jungle, but they don’t survive an attack by a leopard, leaving Tarzan to be adopted by Kala, a gorilla.
9. The Princess and the Frog
Tiana’s father played a huge role in her life as a young girl, so when he dies it leaves an obvious mark on her. She spends the rest of the film trying to live up to her memory of him, working hard and determined to open the restaurant she dreamed of with him.