One of the tropes you'll recognize in fairy tales is that the main character is almost always motherless. Disney film adaptations are no different. Disney moms are either weirdly absent, off-screen, or long dead.
One explanation, offered by longtime Disney producer Don Hahn,
"[It's] 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."
Another explanation? If Disney moms were still around, they'd likely put an end to those villains before they had a chance to begin. You don't mess with the mama bear.
In a recent post, College Humor and artist Amy Kim took to rewriting a few of your favorite Disney films, with the moms still very much present. Needless to say, these new stories don't need a lot of screen-time to make their point. In fact, they hardly need more than a single frame.
1. Disney moms would understand pubescent girl hormones, thereby quashing any need for teenage rebellion.
"Oh come on, Triton dear. Don't you remember when we were young?"
"I do! And that's precisely why I'm worried!"
2. Disney moms would cut to the heart of colonial ignorance
But seriously, Grandmother Willow. Advice like that would've been a whole lot more helpful than all your cryptic singing.
3. Disney moms would help balance Disney dads' overprotective instincts, because seriously.
You know that Rajah grows up to be a full-fledged tiger, right? You gave your daughter a pet tiger.
4. Disney moms would read their daughters' boyfriends like a book
Maurice is adorable, but you know he's too busy tinkering with this machines to note that "the guy who took me hostage that one time" may be a questionable choice for a son-in-law.
5. Disney moms have no idea what their Disney daughters would have been up to without them.
R.I.P. Disney moms. You were the best thing we never had.