Disney films have been a staple of many children's childhood since the first movie came out in 1937, but have you ever thought why is it that in so many of the films the parents have died?
They’re loved by adults and children alike, and it’s even been suggested that they can contribute to your little one’s emotional growth.
But if you ever wondered why so many parents in the films are absent, Disney producer Don Hahn might have just given us the answer.
Don reckons that it might be down to a tragic event that happened to Walt Disney after he purchased a property for his parents.
‘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,’ Don revealed to Glamour.
‘The housekeeper came in the next morning and pulled his mother and father out on the front lawn.’
Don went on to state that he believes Walt, who passed away in 1966 after contracting lung cancer, put the blame for the heartbreaking occurrence on himself.
‘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”‘, he continued.
‘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.
‘To me, it humanises Walt. He was devastated by that, as anyone would be.’
The death of a parent is seen in The Lion King when Simba loses his father Mufasa. The King of the Pride Lands dies after he’s trampled on by a stampede of wildebeest.
Loss of a loved one is also part of the storyline in Bambi. The young deer’s mother is killed by a hunter half-way through the film.
Cinderella, Belle from Beauty And The Beast and The Little Mermaid’s Ariel also all grow up without mums.
Don, however, did purport that there could be a more practical reason as to why key characters are killed off – it helps speed up the plot.
‘They’re about that day in your life when you have to accept responsibility,’ he said of the recurring theme.
‘In shorthand, it’s much quicker to have characters grow up when you bump off their parents.’