Disney Never Has Moms
Theory: None of the Disney protagonists have mothers because Walt Disney was still mourning the loss of his own mother.
It’s true: Most of the Disney princess movies always seem to feature strong dads — like Belle’s father Maurice the inventor, Princess Jasmine’s father the Sultan and Ariel’s dad King Triton — but the moms have either passed away or are just absent without explanation, and one Disney exec recently gave his sad theory as to why.
“Walt Disney, in the early 1940s… bought a house for his mom and dad to move into. He had the studio guys come over and fix the furnace, but when his mom and dad moved in, the furnace leaked and his mother died,” said Disney producer, Don Hahn. “He never would talk about it, nobody ever does. 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.’ 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.”
Hahn added, “There’s a theory, and I’m not a psychologist, but he was really haunted by that. That idea that he really contributed to his mom’s death was really tragic. If you dig, you can read about it. It’s not a secret within their family, but it’s just a tragedy that is so difficult to even talk about. It helps to understand the man a little bit more… to me, it humanizes Walt. He was devastated by that, as anyone would be.”
Bambi seems to be an exception, but that film was released prior to Disney’s mother’s death.