When we were out last night, my husband and some other guys were talking about Finding Nemo and how they liked that it was about a father’s relationship with his child, because that’s unusual in movies, and Disney movies involving a parent tend to focus on mother-child relationships instead — Bambi and his mother, Dumbo and his mother, Simba is close to his father but Mufasa is killed.
It was fun being able to immediately point out that this wasn’t true. Ariel, Belle, and Jasmine are all being raised by single fathers. Jasmine isn’t the protagonist of Aladdin, of course, but Ariel and Belle’s relationships with their fathers are large parts of the plots of The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. Pinocchio is essentially a story about a boy and his father. Both of Tiana’s parents are dead, but she was closer to her father than to her mother. Hiram in The Great Mouse Detective is a single father to Olivia, and so is Chief Powhatan to Pocahontas. Game. Set. Match.