Photo: Courtesy of the Walt Disney Pictures.
This story was originally published on 13th September 2014.
Ariel from The Little Mermaid, Jasmine from Aladdin, Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and even Elsa and Anna from Frozen all have one thing common: They are motherless. And, in a way, it makes sense. We have to feel for them somehow, and royalty and sympathy don't exactly go hand in hand.
But, the real reason for this common thread has little to do with plot. It's something darker and sadder than that: It's because Walt Disney was traumatised by his own mother's death.
Disney producer Don Hahn reveals this in a new interview with Glamour magazine. While Disney himself didn't lose his mother as a child, Hahn said he did feel responsible for her death and was "haunted" by it. "[Disney] bought a house for his mum and dad to move into," explained Hahn. "He had the studio guys come over and fix the furnace, but when his mum and dad moved in, the furnace leaked and his mother died. The housekeeper came in the next morning and pulled his mother and father out on the front lawn. His father was sick and went to the hospital, but his mother died.”
Of course, Walt Disney himself has been dead since the '60s, so we're not sure why the trend persists. It could be respect. It could be tradition. Or, it could very well just be that it's a formula that works. Whatever it is, we think it's time that it ends. It'd be nice to see a strong female character in a Disney movie who is neither villain nor spunky princess in search of a prince. Someone over 30 who just happens to be smart and successful and, you know...alive.
If we're lucky, she'll be all that and not a queen. It might be a big ask, but we can always dream, right? (MTV)