First published on Simplemost.com.
Think about the last 15 Disney movies you watched. Did any of them have a mother character? Ok, there was that mom in “Moana.” And, she’s nice and all, but the wise sage that is grandma still kicks the bucket before the story can move on. So, the strong female role model still dies.
Seriously, think about it. Where are all the mamas?
“Frozen” — dead.
“The Little Mermaid” — dead.
“Aladdin” — dead.
“Finding Nemo” — dead.
“Tangled” — fake mom — pyscho; real mom might as well be — dead.
“Bambi” — dead.
“Beauty and the Beast” — dead.
“Snow White” — dead.
“Cinderella” — dead.
Dead, dead, dead. All dead.
C’mon Disney, do we really have to sit through another “Oh no, the mom died” plot line? And, what do my kids think about all this mama drama? There are two ways these stories are digested in our house: Either the kids ask a million questions — why doesn’t she have a mom? Is she dead? How did she die? Mom, are you going to die? Or, the alternative (which might be worse): They don’t ask any questions. Meaning we have desensitized our kids so much that they don’t believe moms even exist in our fairy tales — and, nobody cares or asks why.
The hilarious duo behind #IMomSoHard have their own ideas about why Disney princesses can’t have moms. In their video, “I Princess So Hard,” moms Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley cut right to the chase.
“If moms come into a story that’s supposed to last 90 minutes, she’s going to clean that sucker up,” Hensley says. “It’s going to be over in seven minutes.”
They joke that in a mom-present world, Elsa from “Frozen” wouldn’t have covered her country in snow and ice.
“The mom in ‘Frozen’ would have been like, Elsa, you get out of that room. You’re going to have to deal with it. Life is hard, put on your gloves. Everybody’s got something, Elsa.”
And, they’re not wrong. But, do moms really ruin Disney movies? Do all the moms have to die? Does Belle’s mother really need to be dead in order for “Beauty and the Beast” to unfold? In a word, yes.
Think about it. If Belle had a mom, she’d change the plot from the get-go. Mom would ride shotgun on dad’s rickety invention carriage that started the whole mess, grab her dodo bird of a husband by the chin and tell him to stick to the main roads. Moms are far too practical for fairy-tale life.
In an interview with E News, Disney producer Don Hahn explains the practicality behind killing mom off. And, he basically confirms that the #IMomSoHard ladies really do know everything.
“The movies are 80 or 90 minutes long, and Disney films are about growing up. They’re about that day in your life when you have to accept responsibility. In shorthand, it’s much quicker to have characters grow up when you bump off their parents,” Hahn says. “Bambi’s mother gets killed, so he has to grow up. Belle only has a father, but he gets lost, so she has to step into that position. It’s a story shorthand.”
OK, OK, but we’d still like to see a mother-daughter relationship unfold on the big screen. Is it too much to ask to bump off the dad next time? Asking for a friend.