‘Mother-Daughter Relationship in Disney Films’ Critique Leaves Something to Be Desired

(This article contains affiliate links. If you order something from an affiliate link, the seller still gets full price, our website gets a small commission, and it costs the same as if you went to Amazon without the link.) In her essay “Eighty-Six the Mother,” in 1995’s “From Mouse to Mermaid: The politics of film, gender, and culture,” Lynda Haas discusses the penchant for Disney films to kill the mother and avoid telling stories about the mother-daughter relationship. There’s no question that Disney has gotten rid of the mother in many of its stories. Even if it’s because of the story told by the source material, Disney still chose the type of material it wanted to bring to the screen.

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Disney Films, Academic Essays, and an Open Mind

I typically shy away from books and essays that critique Walt Disney and his films. There are several reasons for this. We don’t need to kill our heroes. Walt was a product of his times. It’s easier to critique and tear down things than it is to create them. However, the biggest reason is that too many of these types of essays contain inaccuracies and falsehoods that come from someone not being an expert in Disney knowledge and/or doing sloppy research. It’s insane how many “educated” people believe Walt’s frozen head lies in a secret lair under Disneyland. It’s hurtful how many people say he was racist or anti-Semitic when those who worked with him deny those allegations. Sometimes, it’s just ridiculous the interpretations that people come up with for Disney films.

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