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reoch
04-02-2003, 02:22 AM
I was having a discussion with my friend a couple of minutes ago and she brought up an an interesting point about Disney films. We actually go into an argument about why in almost ALL of the Disney movies, the charaters are from a single parent, or no mention of one of the parents.

Some examples can be uh.....Dumbo, Poccahontas, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid, etc.

Just wondering your thoughts on why Disney would repeatedly do this...was it not important enough to get into or something else?...just curious I guess

:rolleyes: Reoch

Fern Forest
04-02-2003, 02:31 AM
I think in Sleeping Beauty she had both parents when she went to sleep. Anyway we did do a thread about this a few months ago. Maybe someone can dig it up and link to it.


Incidently most Final Fantasy stories have the same thing. Not just the main character but most of the characters. And not just the main series but the gameboy series as well.

Why? It's just a useful and interesting theme for writers to use for heroes and villians. A handicap for the hero to overcome and a reason for the villian to descend into depravity.

Fern Forest
04-02-2003, 02:35 AM
Here's the Disney mother thread. (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=154156&highlight=little+mermaid+aladdin)

reoch
04-02-2003, 04:32 AM
Thanx for the link....should've checked first ei?

Achernar
04-02-2003, 04:55 AM
All the movies you listed are animated children's movies. Are you saying it's true of all Disney movies, or just those? I've gotten the impression that most kids' movies are like that. I never really did a count, though. On Amazon.com's top 10 children's movies list, five are by Disney. I've only seen one of the other five, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and the main character is an orphan in that. Can someone who's seen a lot of kid's movies say something about this?

Ethilrist
04-02-2003, 07:55 AM
Plus, the main character tends to have a totally lame and incompetent friend.

DrFidelius
04-02-2003, 08:07 AM
The Wife refers to these as "Dead Parent Movies." Where really cool stuff and adventures happen to kids who have lost one or more parents.

We prefer films where the parents die and the kid's lives become a living hell. It's cathartic.

Scumpup
04-02-2003, 08:15 AM
Because it scares the children in the audience, thereby helping to create a sense of dramatic tension.

pizzabrat
04-02-2003, 08:21 AM
All of those posts of psycho-babble and "story depth" rationalization and no one hops on the obvious. It's the money. Animation is expensive. You can't just find an actor, you have to create her from scratch, and each character model has to be paid for. If they can get away with one less character being rendered, they will; it would be too expensive not to. Alladin worked without parents, and so it was produced without parents. The father in The Little Mermaid controlled Ariel's life all by himself. What would be the purpose of adding a mother? And where, exactly, would a mother fit in Beauty and the Beast? All this talk about a character being stronger by overcoming their parent's absense or pandering to a child's fear of orphanage really works for the story after the movie is made, but the initial reason is the cost.

Scumpup
04-02-2003, 08:23 AM
Is that also why the 1-parent theme is carried over in their live-action movies, as well?

pizzabrat
04-02-2003, 08:42 AM
...such as? What are some single-parented Disney live-action movies? As far as I know dual-parented homes far out-number single-parented in their live action features. There's Mary Poppins, The Santa Clause, Max Keeble, eh.. I can't think of anymore. The only single parent one I could think of is Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and that's because the father and the witch had to end up together at the end.

pizzabrat
04-02-2003, 08:45 AM
There's also Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and Spy Kids, but I didn't mention those because dual-parentage is integral to the title and the plot, respectivley.

zev_steinhardt
04-02-2003, 09:04 AM
Well, going down the list in Disney's Animated Classics:

Missing Parents
Snow White
Dumbo (where's his father? - although it's not an issue in the film. In any event, his mother is taken away during the film.)
Bambi
Cinderella
Peter Pan (from Peter's perspective)
The Jungle Book (Mowgli may have had parents, but, if so, he was obviously seperated from them for years)
The Rescuers
The Black Cauldron (the main character's parents aren't mentioned, but he's living with a mentor, so let's put him here).
Oliver and Company (Oliver is alone and separated from his parents and family).
The Little Mermaid
Beauty and the Beast
Aladdin
The Lion King (I'll put Simba here since Mufasa dies halfway through the movie)
Mulan (she's missing a parent, right? It's been a while since I saw this movie)
Tarzan
Lilo and Stitch

Intact Families
Sleeping Beauty
101 Dalmatians (from the puppies' perspective)
Herclues (even though he's separated from his divine parents, he does grow up with two perfectly good human parents).

Family not relevant
Pinocchio (unless you count Gepatto, in which case he's in an intact family)
Fantasia
Saludos Amigos
The Three Caballeros
Make Mine Music
Fun and Fancy Free
Melody Time
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
Alice in Wonderland (she has an older sister, but her parents are not relevant to the story. Indeed, we don't know if she has them or not).
Lady and the Tramp
The Sword in the Stone
The Aristocats
Robin Hood
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (who knows if C.R. has parents -- it doesn't matter for the story)
The Fox and the Hound
Fantasia 2000
The Emporer's New Groove
Atlantis



Not sure about (because I haven't seen the movie)
Great Mouse Detective
The Rescuers Down Under
Pocahantas
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Treasure Planet.

So, based on my highly unscientific method, there were 16 films where there was a missing parent (or parents), 3 films where the main characters had a fairly intact family and 18 where the family life didn't make a difference in the story.

Note: This list only includes those films that are on the Disney's Animated Classics list. It does not include Live Action movies (The Absent Minded Professor, Parent Trap, etc.), Pixar releases (Monsters Inc, Toy Story, etc.) or mixed animated/live action movies (Mary Poppins. Pete's Dragon, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, etc.)

Zev Steinhardt

Daniel
04-02-2003, 09:07 AM
The Santa Clause is a dual-parent movie? I guess it's how you interpret it; the father is divorced, but the mother has a small but significant role also. Still, the whole movie centers on a kid going on an adventure with his one, unhindered parent.

(and the plot of the sequel hinges on the "my dad has no wife" concept)

Ah well. However you look at it, Disney made up for it with Hercules, where you could argue the kid had a total of four parents altogether.

jjimm
04-02-2003, 09:16 AM
I think Gepetto would be a single parent.

Elvis
04-02-2003, 09:26 AM
In Toy Story, I have noticed, there is no mention made of the missing parent, but you never see Andy's dad, only his mom...

Pábitel
04-02-2003, 09:36 AM
Originally posted by zev_steinhardt
Well, going down the list in Disney's Animated Classics:

Not sure about (because I haven't seen the movie)
Great Mouse Detective
The Rescuers Down Under
Pocahantas
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Treasure Planet.


The Great Mouse Detective

The child mouse whose father is kidnapped has no mother.

The Rescuers Down Under

The boy has only a mother.

Pocahantas

Her mother has died sometime before the story begins

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Quasi's mother is killed by the bad guy

Treasure Planet

The hero has only a mother.


So these would all fall into the missing parent column.

Achernar
04-02-2003, 09:45 AM
Rescuers Down Under doesn't count. It's if the protagonist is missing a parent, not just any character from the story. And though I haven't seen The Great Mouse Detective, I think the same would apply.

Scumpup
04-02-2003, 09:46 AM
Just a few Disney live-action movies with 1-or-0 parents:
The Parent Trap
Pollyanna
Mighty Joe Young
Annie
Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book
The Light in the Forest
Kidnapped
Summer Magic
Into the West
Cinderella (Wide World of Disney 1997)
Johnny Tremain
The Moon Spinners
Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken
The Journey of Natty Gann
The Shaggy Dog
Heidi (1993)
Anne of Avonlea
Escape to Witch Mountain
Oliver Twist (1997)
Flash
So Dear to My Heart
No Deposit, No Return
Treasure Island

There are, no doubt, more. I just got bored with scrolling through synopses looking for words like "orphan."

Bryan Ekers
04-02-2003, 10:05 AM
Plus, what's with all that damn singing?

pizzabrat
04-02-2003, 11:49 AM
Just a few Disney live-action movies with 1-or-0 parents:
The Parent Trap
Pollyanna
Mighty Joe Young
Annie
Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book
The Light in the Forest
Kidnapped
Summer Magic
Into the West
Cinderella (Wide World of Disney 1997)
Johnny Tremain
The Moon Spinners
Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken
The Journey of Natty Gann
The Shaggy Dog
Heidi (1993)
Anne of Avonlea
Escape to Witch Mountain
Oliver Twist (1997)
Flash
So Dear to My Heart
No Deposit, No Return
Treasure Island

Manyof these have broken families integral to their plots. There'd be no movie if the parents in Parent Trap weren't separated. Annie and Oliver Twist[/I} are ABOUT orphans, and thier conditions were established in the source materials. Orphanage is just another obstacle that Pollyanna is supposed the wow her audience by shining through. [I]Jungle Book needs no comment, nither does Cinderella, or any of the other movies based on pre-existing materials that already exablished broken parentages. I'm not familiar with all of these, though.

pizzabrat
04-02-2003, 11:53 AM
Intact Families
Sleeping Beauty
101 Dalmatians (from the puppies' perspective)
Herclues (even though he's separated from his divine parents, he does grow up with two perfectly good human parents).

Hercules is such an anomoly. Because the film began at Hercule's birth, Hera had to be there (though she isn't the mother in the real story). But I don't understand why they rendered two entire Earth parents. Maybe they just had some extra money that year.

Dangerosa
04-02-2003, 11:59 AM
Another intact family in Mulan.

Personally, I like Tarzan for family. Tarzan starts with two parents, looses them both, is adopted by his ape mother, rejected by her mate, and accepted by him in the end. Jane is more a traditional Disney hero in that she only has her father - her mother is absent (apparently dead, though she is referenced "Her mother was like that.")

Scumpup
04-02-2003, 12:36 PM
Manyof these have broken families integral to their plots.

So, Disney clearly must select scripts featuring broken families in order to keep the costs down. Those cheap bastards...
Look, they could produce any kind of movies they wish. Whether it is integral to the plot or not, there is a significant number of single or no parent live-action movies. Your "it costs too much" idea was nifty as an explanation of that plot device in the animated features, but you really have nothing with which to back it up.

NutWrench
04-02-2003, 12:46 PM
Has Stephen Spielberg ever made a movie that didn't have either a single-parent kid or a kid in danger? (Besides Raiders of the Lost Ark and [/i]1941[/i])

rjung
04-02-2003, 12:52 PM
Originally posted by Dangerosa
Another intact family in Mulan.
IIRC, Mulan was actually the first Disney animated movie to show an intact family (human, at least).

Nichol_storm
04-02-2003, 12:55 PM
Originally posted by pizzabrat
Hercules is such an anomoly. Because the film began at Hercule's birth, Hera had to be there (though she isn't the mother in the real story). But I don't understand why they rendered two entire Earth parents. Maybe they just had some extra money that year.

Well, baby Herc needed someone to care for him as an infant, once he was made mortal. His foster parents obviously loved him, as did his divine mother and father. Altogether, one of the rare examples of a hero having not one, but two complete families.

Has anyone mentioned Lady and the Tramp? (Too lazy to check through the thread) Darling and Jim Dear have a baby together, and at the end we see Lady, Tramp, and their puppies.

In Treasure Planet, which is adapted from Stevenson's "Treasure Island", the main character is fatherless (in the movie, his father abandoned him; in the book, his father dies) but he gains a surrogate paternal figure of sorts in Silver. It falls into the same category as Oliver & Company and The Jungle Book -- its adapted from an existing literary source that already did away with a parent, so Disney was not responsible for the "Dead Mother" (or "Dead Father") in those works.

.:Nichol:.

DesertDog
04-02-2003, 01:14 PM
Originally posted by zev_steinhardt
Well, going down the list in Disney's Animated Classics:

Missing Parents
.
.
.
Mulan (she's missing a parent, right? It's been a while since I saw this movie)

Zev Steinhardt Both of Mulan's parents were around and in the movie, but her father was lame -- that's why she felt compelled to take his place.

DD

Agrippina
04-02-2003, 01:29 PM
Originally posted by NutWrench
Has Stephen Spielberg ever made a movie that didn't have either a single-parent kid or a kid in danger? (Besides Raiders of the Lost Ark and [/i]1941[/i])

"Amistad", "Saving Private Ryan" (Ryan is a young man, but not a kid) to name a couple. It's been a while since I've seen these movies, though, so I could be wrong.

Spielberg makes a little more sense in the single-parent department because his parents divorced when he was a kid and he identifies with it more. For instance, he's stated that E.T. is more about a kid coming to terms with his parents' divorce more than anything.

pizzabrat
04-02-2003, 01:35 PM
So, Disney clearly must select scripts featuring broken families in order to keep the costs down. Those cheap bastards...
Look, they could produce any kind of movies they wish. Whether it is integral to the plot or not, there is a significant number of single or no parent live-action movies. Your "it costs too much" idea was nifty as an explanation of that plot device in the animated features, but you really have nothing with which to back it up.

http://www.wordplayer.com/columns/wp28.Pencil.Test.html Read #16

http://www.artyears.com/exclusive/nancy.html Read "How are Film Directors different from those directing animation movies?"

Dangerosa
04-02-2003, 02:11 PM
Mulan, the first? Well, the family was intact to a degree in Sleeping Beauty, but as Aurora was removed from her family.... Peter Pan has a very intact family in the Darlings, but the plot of the movie (and the book) revolves around Peter's motherlessness. As someone mentioned, Lady and the Tramp has an intact human family, as does 101 Dalmations (though no children, just puppies).

But, as mentioned here and in the previous thread, this is one of those themes in children's literature and is hardly unique to Disney. Whether we are talking about the Brother's Grimm or Mark Twain (or Harry Potter or the Lemony Snickett books), orphans or children with at least one parent absent are a staple.

pizzabrat
04-02-2003, 02:27 PM
So, Disney clearly must select scripts featuring broken families in order to keep the costs down. Those cheap bastards...
Look, they could produce any kind of movies they wish. Whether it is integral to the plot or not, there is a significant number of single or no parent live-action movies. Your "it costs too much" idea was nifty as an explanation of that plot device in the animated features, but you really have nothing with which to back it up.

Why are you arguing with me when obviously you don't know what you're talking about? What "plot device"? Ariel's motherlessness was not a "plot device". It didn't affect the story in any way. Her presence was just unnecessary, so they didn't draw her. Same with Beauty & the Beast. How was Belle's motherlessness plot device? You don't know anything about the economy of filmmaking. Studios don't produce anything they wish, they produce what they NEED to. Writers don't write whatever they want, they write what's important to the piece. This goes doubly so for animated films because they're so much more expensive. It's not just a "nifty idea" of mine, it's fact. Why Disney makes so many live-action movies with broken homes is another discussion, but the animated movie question has been answered.

Morgainelf
04-02-2003, 02:45 PM
Many of the animated Disney films are based on fairy tales. Being orphaned or living with a single parent is very often a plot device in fairy tales. Particularly when it means that an evil step-parent can then be interjected.

Off the top of my head:
Snow White - Mother dies, evil stepmother takes over.
Cinderella - Mother dies, evil stepmother takes over.
Jack and the Beanstalk - Father is dead or not in the picture, single mother needs help raising money.

I'm sure you can think of a dozen examples. The point is that the orphan or child of a single parent or stepchild is automatically at a disadvantage. This creates impetus for change, and a reason for the story. It gives the hero something to overcome.

I don't doubt that the economics of animated film favor the tightening of character lists. However the plot device argument can't be dismissed so easily. It's got to be a combination.

singular1
04-02-2003, 03:04 PM
Bambi's parents are both alive for the first 2/3 of the movie. The father is there, he's just busy, being king of the forest and all that, knocking up all the other doe-eyed tail he could get a hold of. He's there at the end to approve of his son's progress.

ArrMatey!
04-02-2003, 04:23 PM
Originally posted by pizzabrat
Hercules is such an anomoly. Because the film began at Hercule's birth, Hera had to be there (though she isn't the mother in the real story). But I don't understand why they rendered two entire Earth parents. Maybe they just had some extra money that year.

I've never seen the film, so I can't say for sure, but I was under the impression that the myth got kinda mutilated cos, well, the 'real' Hercules was a half-deific bastard child. Not something family-friendly Di$ney would touch with a ten-foot pole.

I hate it when they mangle the stories for political correctness, although many of them have encouraged me to actually read the real stories. To wit, I knew 'Hunchback' couldn't possibly be as cheery as they made it, ending-wise. I won't spoil it cos it's a heck of a book- go out and read it!

Scumpup
04-03-2003, 06:25 AM
Why are you arguing with me when obviously you don't know what you're talking about?

Before you embarass yourself any further, go back and read the OP. It doesn't say specifically "animated Disney movies." Your cost premise. which is only minimally supported by the sites you cite, would account for the lack of parents only in the animated features. Disney quite obviously does exhibit the theme in a majority of their movies of both types. Good day to you, sirrah.

elfje
04-03-2003, 06:49 AM
instead of looking at Disney, who didn't even come up with most of these fairy tales, have a look at Grimm brothers and HC Andersen, the people who wrote these stories down (didn't necessarily invent them as they're Folk-lore, old popular stories, passed on through generations.

If you really want to know why these fairy tales are the way they are, read "The uses of enchantment" by Bruno Bettelheim.

explains it all

Threadkiller
04-03-2003, 10:35 AM
The Emperor’s New Grove (http://us.imdb.com/Title?0120917) is a bit different.

The Emperor Kuzco has no parents mentioned (His father and mother are presumably dead since a) he is the Emperor and b) Yzma was his “mother figure.”)

There is however possibly the strongest “traditional” family ever shown by Disney in the Pacha clan. There is a loving mother and father two (third on the way) loving and active kids.

gonzoron
04-03-2003, 10:58 AM
I think someone mentioned this in a previous thread on the subject, or maybe it was a movie review. It's difficult to write an adventure story where the protagonist is young and has a complete, loving family, because parents are supposed to keep you out of trouble. They're supposed to protect you from the bad guys. So in order for the kid to have danger or adventure the writer's got to either seperate him/her physically from the parents (Mulan, Hercules, Alice in Wonderland, Spirited Away...) or make them dead (Harry Potter, Peter Pan, Lilo, ...).

Single parents are a good compromise because they can be portrayed as too busy or distracted to help, or bamboozeld by a wicked stepparent. (Snow White, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, E.T., Iron Giant)

Also single fathers can be nice and overbearingly strict without the softening influence of a mother, (stereotype alert!) causing the child to rebel and run away. (Little Mermaid, Pocahontas?)

So basically, if a kid want to get in trouble AND get out of it on their own without being saved, you've got to neutralize the parents somehow. Killing them is the easiest way.

gonzoron
04-03-2003, 11:07 AM
Yup, all that stuff I wrote was pretty much covered in the previous thread. Nevermind... :sheepish:

zev_steinhardt
04-03-2003, 11:12 AM
Originally posted by Threadkiller
The Emperor’s New Grove (http://us.imdb.com/Title?0120917) is a bit different.

The Emperor Kuzco has no parents mentioned (His father and mother are presumably dead since a) he is the Emperor and b) Yzma was his “mother figure.”)

There is however possibly the strongest “traditional” family ever shown by Disney in the Pacha clan. There is a loving mother and father two (third on the way) loving and active kids.

True. But neither of the two main characters' parents fit into the film in any way, I put it in the "not relevant" category.

Zev Steinhardt

rjung
04-03-2003, 02:56 PM
Heck, The Emperor's New Groove was so far removed from the Disney formula, it should have been a Warner Bros. movie! :D

If Chuck Jones had ever done a Disney movie, he would have done Groove.

zev_steinhardt
04-03-2003, 03:00 PM
Originally posted by rjung

If Chuck Jones had ever done a Disney movie, he would have done Groove.

Agreed. That was my first thought when I saw TENG as well.

Zev Steinhardt

Phelan
04-03-2003, 03:51 PM
I'm pretty sure that you can add the movie Something Wicked This Way Comes, to the single parent list for Disney films.

Fenris
04-03-2003, 06:19 PM
Originally posted by reoch
ISome examples can be uh.....Dumbo, Poccahontas, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid, etc.

Just wondering your thoughts on why Disney would repeatedly do this...was it not important enough to get into or something else?...just curious I guess

:rolleyes: Reoch

I have no idea where this idiocy (not you Reoch, the urban legend you're quoting) came from.

Um. Sleeping Beauty had both parents. Sorry.

So you're down to 4 examples. And remember, the argument isn't "Why don't the parents take an active role and remain deeply relevant to the story?" (answer: because, in kidlit, at least the non-dreary stuff like Judy Blume, the main goal is to get the kids away from the parents so they can have adventures), it's "Why are there no two-parent families?"

Let's look at some others:

1) 101 Dalmations. Both parents are around.
2) The Jungle Book: No parents (but if you count Baghera and Baloo as parents, Mowgli had two...they were the same gender, but let's not quibble, shall we?)
3) The Resucers: None, then two surrogate parents (Bianca and the other mouse) then two real parents in the end.
4) Peter Pan: John, Michael and Wendy had two parents, at the end, so did the lost boys (and if you count Peter, his parents aren't dead, unless it's through old age: his 'origin' was that
5) Princess Aurora (in Sleeping Beauty) had both parents
6) I'm pretty sure Hercules had two mortal (and two immortal) parents.
7) Mulan (I think) had two parents.
8) Alice Liddle did, in fact, have two parents, but they didn't show up in the movie (or the book, IIRC)
9) Pinnochio could be counted either way: Gepetto as father and Blue Fairy as mother (she brought him to life after all) or not counting the blue fairy.

10) Tarzan had no parents at all (not counting the apes) or two (at least in the books, IIRC) counting the apes.

11) Mary Poppins: two parents

12) Bedknobs and Broomsticks: No parents, or, counting Emelius and Eglantine, two parents.

13) Lady and the Tramp: they're adults, so it doesn't matter, but at the end, all assorted babies of either species has two parents.
And that's off the top of my head. There's only a very few Disney movies with one parent.

Fenris

Diceman
04-03-2003, 08:56 PM
4) Peter Pan: John, Michael and Wendy had two parents, at the end, so did the lost boys (and if you count Peter, his parents aren't dead, unless it's through old age: his 'origin' was that)
I think you're missing the point here. Peter has no parental influences in his life; we don't know whether his mom and dad are alive or dead, but either way they aren't around. Ditto for the Lost Boys.

Pinnochio is a special case, as is Hercules. I'm inclined to count Geppetto as a single father, and put Hercules in the "Two Parents" family. (although in the original myth, it would be a single mother situation, since Zeus doesn't stick around after boinking Herc's mom.)

Also, in The Rescuers Down Under, not only does the boy have no father, but the giant eagle is a single parent as well. (The bad guy shot the eagle's mate.)

everton
04-04-2003, 05:48 AM
Originally posted by pizzabrat
Why are you arguing with me when obviously you don't know what you're talking about? What "plot device"? Ariel's motherlessness was not a "plot device". It didn't affect the story in any way. Her presence was just unnecessary, so they didn't draw her. Same with Beauty & the Beast. How was Belle's motherlessness plot device? You don't know anything about the economy of filmmaking. Studios don't produce anything they wish, they produce what they NEED to. Writers don't write whatever they want, they write what's important to the piece. This goes doubly so for animated films because they're so much more expensive. It's not just a "nifty idea" of mine, it's fact. Why Disney makes so many live-action movies with broken homes is another discussion, but the animated movie question has been answered.
So, let’s get this straight.

Are you saying that Charles Perrault, Collodi, H.C. Andersen, Charles Dickens, J.M. Barrie, Victor Hugo, Rudyard Kipling, A.A. Milne, Lewis Carroll, Sir Thomas Mallory, Ward Greene, Kenneth Grahame, Washington Irving, the German folk tale writers, the French folk tale writers, the English folk historians, an unknown oriental author and numerous others, all left parents out of their stories to save Disney some money or that Disney picked those stories to save the cost of animating a couple of extra characters?

Fenris
04-04-2003, 06:03 AM
Originally posted by Diceman
I think you're missing the point here. Peter has no parental influences in his life; we don't know whether his mom and dad are alive or dead, but either way they aren't around. Ditto for the Lost Boys.
But the story of Peter Pan was about Wendy, Michael and John. Peter and the Lost Boys were the backdrop. Wendy (and to a much lesser degree) Michael and John are the viewpoint characters and they have two parents (and a dog).

Also, in The Rescuers Down Under, not only does the boy have no father, but the giant eagle is a single parent as well. (The bad guy shot the eagle's mate.)
Heh. Fair enough :) I'd forgotten that one.

ryoushi
04-04-2003, 06:24 AM
Originally posted by everton
So, let’s get this straight.

Are you saying that Charles Perrault, Collodi, H.C. Andersen, Charles Dickens, J.M. Barrie, Victor Hugo, Rudyard Kipling, A.A. Milne, Lewis Carroll, Sir Thomas Mallory, Ward Greene, Kenneth Grahame, Washington Irving, the German folk tale writers, the French folk tale writers, the English folk historians, an unknown oriental author and numerous others, all left parents out of their stories to save Disney some money or that Disney picked those stories to save the cost of animating a couple of extra characters?

I'd guess Disney picked those stories because they were well-known and/or to save on royalties (especially in the case of stuff like Cinderella and Aladdin).

psychonaut
04-04-2003, 08:35 AM
Originally posted by zev_steinhardt
Well, going down the list in Disney's Animated Classics:

Family not relevant
The Sword in the StoneIt's been a while, but I seem to recall family (or lack thereof) being particularly relevant to this story. The young Arthur is an orphan entrusted into the care of relatives, who are at worst hostile (Sir Kay) and at best indifferent (Sir What's-his-name-with-the-moustache). I think this film should go under the "Missing Parents" category.

everton
04-04-2003, 08:45 AM
Originally posted by ryoushi
I'd guess Disney picked those stories because they were well-known and/or to save on royalties (especially in the case of stuff like Cinderella and Aladdin).
I’m sure that’s right. The point is that many of Disney’s animated movies are based on existing stories that were not written for the screen, so the characters included were not influenced by animation costs. In fact Disney often added characters that weren’t in the original books.

Perhaps there is a false assumption in the OP that parentless characters are typical in Disney films. As other people have said, there are several films where the central characters are adults that have not been orphaned abnormally, or characters that have parents that don’t appear in the plot. But where children in the audience (or young readers) are expected to identify with the central character, taking that character’s parents away is likely to provide dramatic tension and problems to overcome. Many written stories are also centred on children whose parents are absent or non-existent.

Obviously giving children a central role, or peculiar parent substitutes, or magic powers, or scary adversaries are all ways to make a story more exciting than to set them in a secure world where mum and dad can step in to take control at any moment.

Kaitlyn
05-14-2003, 12:55 AM
On the Disney Channel, most of the original series, both animated and live action, (Lizzie McGuire, The Proud Family, Kim Possible, Even Stevens, That's So Raven) have protagonists living in happy, functional, intact families. The reruns of Disney produced shows from other networks or syndication (Boy Meets World, Sister, Sister, Smart Guy, Honey I Shrunk the Kids) tend to focus on intact families. In one case, (Boy Meets World), many storylines had at their core the contrast between the protagonist's intact, functional family and his best friend's broken home.

The original movies tend to be much more likely than not to focus on characters from intact, functional families.

On the Disney Channel, at least, the message seems to generally be very pro-family.

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