Can a Princess Have a Mom?

Disneyland_PrincessesNow that I have a daughter who loves to dress as a princess and LOVES to watch the Disney movies to see the “pretty princesses”, I’ve had a LOT of experience watching Disney movies (over and over, again). I noticed a general trend with the Disney princesses: Most of them don’t have a mom. Or if they do, they’re an evil stepmother. So, like any curious person, my next thought is why?

As an author, I understand that it’s great to give characters adversity, and losing your mother certainly falls into that category. But for almost all the princesses? Isn’t that getting lazy with giving the character a background of tragedy?

Or perhaps it gives the character ample opportunity to be rebellious or take charge in a way that they wouldn’t be able to if they had a mother? I don’t really know – just speculating here.

Of course, it’s been mentioned that these stories are based off of fairy tales from a different time when women generally didn’t live a long life span. While this is true, I must also point out that Disney has adapted many of these fairy tales to their own versions. I’m pretty sure that, had there been a Princess Jasmine in the original story of Aladdin (there wasn’t), she wouldn’t have been so snarky and independent. And I know they changed around The Little Mermaid. The original version has Ariel turning into sea foam while Prince Eric marries another. So, they could certainly change the parental dynamics of they chose to.

What I’m hoping is that everyone will just agree that mothers are so essential in a child’s upbringing that if the mothers had been in the picture, they would have been able to solve the princesses’ problems early and then ruin any chance of a story filled with tribulations for the princess to overcome. Right? Maybe…

Maybe not. Let’s be honest here; women are more dramatic than men. Much more emotional. I think that having a mother in the story could bring an interesting element to the story. Possibly make it that much richer.

But, I suppose we should keep this simple, right? After all, they are Disney movies meant for young kids. So it’s not that big of a deal.

Now that I’ve given my two cents, what do you think? Does it bother you at all that most of these stories are young women without moms? Or with evil female influences?

Beauty and the Beast: There’s no mother in this story.

Cinderella: There’s no biological mother, but an evil stepmother.

Aladdin: There’s no mother in this story.

Snow White: There’s no biological mother, but an evil stepmother

Sleeping Beauty: Princess Aurora is estranged from both parents and raised by fairies – the closest to having a mother, or at least a positive female role model.

Tangled: Rupunzel is estranged from both parents, raised by an evil witch mother-type. One does wonder how her character turned out to be so nice with such a bad influence!

The Little Mermaid: There’s no mother in this story.

Mulan: She has both parents! No wonder she’s one of my favorite Disney characters. 🙂 But seriously, this story is one exception to the unspoken rule that a Disney princess must come from a broken home.

Pocahontas: There’s no mother in this story.

The Princess and the Frog: She does, in fact, have her mother! Though her father died, whom she was close to. So still just one parent while the other died.

Brave: Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner! Not only does she have both her parents, but the storyline is about her relationship with her mother. My friend said they made this movie solely because others have brought up the same points I did in this post. Either way, they did make the movie. Unfortunately, it’s not one of my favorites…