Why do parents die in a lot of animations by Disney?

Note: The current article has been written more than 3 years ago!

In a lot of animated movies by Disney, the parents (either the father, the mother or both) die. What might be the reason for this?

#1 Reason: 

The Tragic Reason Why Disney Movies Rarely Have Mother Characters | E! News:
“One reason is practical because 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,” Don offers. “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.”

#2 Reason:

The Tragic Reason Why Disney Movies Rarely Have Mother Characters | E! News:
“The other reason—and this is really odd—Walt Disney, in the early 1940s, when he was still living at this house, also bought a house for his mom and dad to move into. He had the studio guys come over and fix the furnace, but when his mom 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. He never would talk about it, nobody ever does. He never spoke about that time because he personally felt responsible because he had become so successful that he said, ‘Let me buy you a house.’ It’s every kid’s dream to buy their parents a house and just through a strange freak of nature—through no fault of his own—the studio workers didn’t know what they were doing.”

#3 Reason:
I have a third opinion – in order to like a movie, that movie must give you emotions. When you think animations, you inherently think “comedy”. But if in the movie you go through different emotions – happiness, sadness, boredom, excitement, disgust, anxiety, pleasure, even disgust – you might appreciate the good emotions better. The “bad” emotions are generally a few in a movie. Some might be very powerful (Bambi‘s mother death), others might be subtle (Elsa and Ana’s parents, from Frozen). But you might “feel” the other emotions in an even more intense way.

There is even a movie, which is in my top 5 favorite movies (Saving Mr. Banks (2013)), in which you might see the relationship between father’s death / Disney. Very emotional movie.

Bambi’s mother | Disney Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia:
At one point, the film was meant to show her body after she was shot but was later removed as it would be too dark. Despite this, it is considered to be one of the most horrific and graphic deaths in all of Disney history.

King Agnarr and Queen Iduna | Disney Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia
One day, Agnarr and Iduna are to set off on a two-week sea voyage. During a storm, they are drowned at sea by monstrous waves. Anna and all the people of Arendelle mourn their deaths (a portrait of the couple is draped over with a black sheet of fabric), but Elsa doesn’t attend the funeral out of fear of her powers being revealed and someone getting hurt as a result. Due to the untimely tragedy, Elsa’s training was left incomplete, her powers still mostly out of her control.

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