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Why Mothers Are Absent or Weak In Disney Movies



Ever wonder why all Disney heroes lack paternal support? If you haven’t noticed, in most Disney films and fairy tales mothers tend to be weak or absent – (Starting with Snow White, to Cinderella, Bambi, Peter Pan and the search for a mother figure, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King… and this goes all the way up to Finding Nemo and Tangled, in which Rapunzel must battle her evil mother and venture off on her own to find her real parents.)  This absent mother dynamic strengthens the hero or heroine, ensuring that they must struggle on his or her own and, fighting their own battles until they reach their self-discovery.  The end result tends to be family or love, once they have proven their independence. Some would say that this is related to Walt Disney’s personal loss of his mother in 1938, but others would argue that most of these Disney stories were already created as fairytales prior to being made into a Disney film. What do you guys think?

Speaking of independence, “Nemo” is latin for “no one.” Also, backwards it spells “Omen.” Coincidental? I think not!

What Do The Bishop from Les Miserable` and Rafiki from Walt Disney’s The Lion King Share in Common?


Have you seen the Les Miserable` movie yet? Are you as obsessed with Colm Wilkinson as I am? He happens to be the reason I am obsessed with the movie. (And yes, you will find that I use the word “obsessed” just as much as Seth Rudetsky. Sorry Seth.) For those of you who don’t know Colm Wilkinson, he created the role of Jean Valjean when Les Miz opened in 1985 at the Barbican Theatre in London. When it transferred to Broadway two years later, Producer Cameron Mackintosh refused to open the show unless Colm Wilkinson played Valjean. His wish was granted, even though it went against the Actor’s Equity Association’s policy of only hiring American actors at that time. See for yourself why Mackintosh insisted that Wilkinson was the only man for the job.

Epic right? Cameron Mackintosh and the team of Producers had the same idea when the movie was first being discussed. They felt that it was very important to have Colm Wilkinson in the movie, even if he had to play a different role. Once again, his wish was granted as Wilkinson plays the Bishop in the movie, adding a special symbolic undertone to the film. Wilkinson passed the torch to Hugh Jackman, giving him advice and encouragement on the journey of taking on the challenging role of Valjean. Similarly, in Les Miz the Bishop is Valjean’s guide to a better life as he gives him a second chance to live a life worth living. Colm Wilkinson and the Les Miz team sum it up better than I can:

And now for my fun Disney fact: While we’re on the topic of guidance, we all know and love the hilarious character Rafiki in Lion King who is essentially Simba’s counselor. Did you know that “Rafiki” is Swahili for “friend?”
Thanks for reading. Would love to hear your feedback!