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Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Best (and Worst) Disney Moms

On this Mother's Day, I thought I'd take a few moments to recognize some of the best (and worst) moms (or mother-like characters) in the Disney genre.

First will be Sarabi, Simba's mother in The Lion King. She was a loving and caring mother who allowed her son to stretch his boundaries while maintaining some security. Even after Mufasa's death (and Simba's supposed death), she still did her part to help and support the other lions.

Also, there's Helen Parr from The Incredibles. Helen is a more modern-oriented mother who has to deal with a family that's falling apart. She is the glue for a family that his struggling to fit in, even though they don't fit in (they're supers).

Next up is Perdita from 101 Dalmatians. The quintessential patient and doting mother, Perdita is always acting in the best interests of her pups (all 101 of them!). Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast is a similar kind of mother figure. She all but adopts Belle while she is in the Beast's castle.

Mrs. Darling, from Peter Pan, is much like Perdita and Mrs. Potts. She is never seen becoming cross or otherwise angry with the children, even in the face of some obvious mischief.

Then there's Jumbo, mother of Dumbo from the film of the same name. She is one of several Disney mother characters who sacrifice themselves to make sure their children survive. The same is true of Bambi's mother. While we, the audience, don't get to know these characters well, we grieve for them because of the heartache and loneliness their children feel.

Then there are some characters who may not be biological mothers, but act in a maternal nature. The most "motherly" of these has to be Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way, from the film of the same name. Firm, yet loving, she helps the Banks children (and their parents) come to know each other again and learn to be a loving family.

Also there's the Fairy Godmother from Cinderella. She comes in to become the mother Cinderella never really had. While she doesn't spend a great deal of time with Cinderella, she serves as a source of wisdom and reassurance, just when Cinderella needs it.

And there's Flora, Fauna and Merriweather from Sleeping Beauty. These three adopt Aurora and serve as foster mothers to help Aurora meet her destiny.

Now we turn to the worst mother in the Disney genre. Really there's only one that's worth mentioning and that's Lady Tremaine, from Cinderella. She is Cinderellas step-mother, and it's probably thanks to her that stepmothers have a bad rap. Lady Tremaine is as calculating and evil a character as Maleficent (who is one of the most evil characters Disney ever came up with).

Know of some other good (or bad) mothers worth mentioning? Post a comment!

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!


Anonymous said...

How about Nemo's mother? She gave her life to protect her babies.

Anonymous said...

What about the Evil Queen in Snow White?? She makes several attempts to kill her own (step?)daughter. That's a pretty bad mother!

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