So, a few days ago I’m watching James and the Giant Peach, I’m into the first ten minutes, awaiting a thrill ride of childish adventure and whimsical stop motion. James and his loving parents sit on an idyllic beach soaking in rays of sunshine planning the rest of their happy future together, and then literally out of the blue, James’ parents are gobbled up by a rhino (of all things). Now gobbled up is a pretty nice way of saying “James parents were torn limb from limb by a big pissed of flying rhino”, and yes it flies, and towards the end of the movie it shoots lightning out of its horn, but that’s beside the point (pun unintended). I began to think back over Disney’s back catalog and saw a disturbing trend with the parents of its movies. If the parental figures weren’t being eaten, trampled to death or shot by a twatish hunter they were probably being portrayed in a negative light. Let’s examine closer.
Let’s start off with the just plain neglective parents of the Disney universe. Ones that couldn’t give a flying fuck about their children in peril, and often they were so indifferent to the whole situation they weren’t even in the movie. In Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Snow White’s dad was nowhere to be seen, while his wife (evil step mother) was out making poisonous apples and demanding the heart of Snow White, when you write the lot of it down it sounds like a Tarantino movie. In Peter Pan Wendy’s dad attempts to kick her out because she is of age, so she runs off with the archetypal bad boy, joins a gang called the lost boys and dies in a fatal drag race against a rival gang, some of this is true. This neglective parent syndrome didn’t end with the older films, it is right here in the 21st century. The brilliant Up had a prime example of “letting your son run off with an old lonely man in a flying house”, its something I suppose all parents must face, but the fact the kids dad doesn’t even turn up on screen at all, not once through the entire film just makes us question his skills as a father figure.
Moving swiftly on to the good parents, who get killed by Disney’s evil writers. Bambi is up first, we have all had a childhood experience with this little fella, bedtimes were never the same once mommy and daddy couldn’t explain why Bambi’s mom didn’t get home that day. What your parents didn’t tell you is that Bambi’s mom was shot, skinned, cooked and eventually devoured by some bloke, scary thing is, Disney knew this, and he alluded to it, blame Disney for the money spent on all those therapy sessions. Up next is the Lion king, the coolest most protective dad out there, Mufasa. This poor guy is flung down into a herd of wilder beast and swiftly trampled the shit out of, oh and he was thrown by his brother no less, Hakuna Matata indeed. Starting to get the picture about Disney’s special treatment for parents and I mean special treatment in the context the Nazi’s would have used it for the Jews.
A few more Disney classics that feature bad/dead parents include Sword in the Stone, Honey I shrunk the kids (where they made a film completely based around shit parents), Honey I blew up the Kids (Yes they fucked up twice) and Wall E (don’t tell me you didn’t get the whole metaphor for the abandoning of a creation by its Creator). Another fifteen years of this anti parent propaganda and the children of the Disney revolution, us. will have us herding our parents into a dark and sinister looking Disney world never to be seen again, dark smoke rising from its tall towers, Mickey Mouse acting as the commandant of the slaughter house, Donald Duck leading Mom and Dad into the ovens, Some of this may not happen…