Sure you can. Ask my mother. Well, maybe hate is too strong of a word, but she isn’t a big fan. I would like to say that I love Disney movies. They were a great part of my childhood. I still watch them, the classics and the new ones. I can, however, see my mother’s point.
My mother has two primary complaints about Disney films; the amount of orphan characters and that they are full of death and violence. For those two reasons, she finds Disney movies very upsetting, even traumatizing. Extreme? Maybe a little. Though, this is the same woman who can’t watch nature videos where the big cats are hunting. She most certainly does not want a front seat to the circle of life – real or fictional.
Death and Orphans
These seem to be common themes among Disney films, particularly the classics. Think about it. An awful lot of Disney characters are missing one or both parents. Cinderella, Snow White, Pinocchio, Bambi, Dumbo, Peter Pan, Mowgli, Rapunzel, Pocahontas, Jasmine, Quasimodo, Esmeralda, Ariel, Belle, Simba, Nemo, Tiara, Lilo and Nani,… none of these characters have two parents. I am sure there are more. These are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.
doe by R0Ng on flickr
Don’t forget the death, traumatic and violent death! I understand that some of these movies are adaptations of fairytales and the main character as an orphan is an essential part of the story. Cinderella, my favorite Disney movie, would not work if dear daddy was in the picture. A common reason that kids are orphans is that the parents die. But did Disney really need to include the scene where daddy dies in front of the house? In front of his daughter!
Disney writers seem sure to burn that traumatic parental death scene into your brain. Bambi for example – dad gets shot, mom dies in a forest fire. I can see both scenes clearly even though it has been many many years since I have watched Bambi. The Lion King is another violent one. And I will forever be traumatized by the scene in Finding Nemo where his mom gets eaten. I happen to think the movie could have worked just fine without killing the mom. Seriously, Disney. Were you jonesing that badly to go back to the classic gruesomely murdered parent scene. Why?!
Clownfish by aquarist.me on flickr
Finding Nemo would have worked just as well if mom was still swimming around. I would have liked to see a nagging mom sending the neurotic dad out to the open ocean to find the son that got kidnapped on his watch. Really, isn’t being disabled and kidnapped enough misery without Nemo losing his mom to a ravenous whatever it was?
I am all for Disney’s tradition of characters overcoming obstacles, but at times I think they go a little far. Maybe they coud be sure the orphan status is essential to the story. Maybe don’t layer on the traumas. Maybe hire less sadistic writers!
Enough with the horrible death scenes! There are sensitive viewers watching. Thirty-something women and their mothers can take only so much!
What is your favorite Disney Movie? Your favorite Disney orphan? Death scene?