When a tale is told, it is repeated and reconfigured to suit our backgrounds and our name. A tale in reality, is just a memory that has already been experienced and is being shared from a different point of view (Seger 386). Walt Disney Pictures creates scenarios where the situation of which characters are placed in, reflect families of the real world. Movies like The Jungle Book: a story about a boy raised by wolves in the jungle; and Finding Nemo: a father and his son lose their wife and mother and get separated at the son’s first day at school, have story plots that follow a realistic plot that could occur in a real-life family.
Mowgli--the child from The Jungle Book--has no real human mother or human father, but has a mother figure that had raised him. This is a mother wolf that took him in as her own, raising a few wolf cubs along with him. When personified, the image depicted by Mowgli and his wolf “family” represents a mother that is raises children on her own and accepts another child into her family. This is one of the many “non-traditional” families put together by Walt Disney Pictures to satisfy their parent-abusive animated movie requirements.
In a study conducted by Shelley A. Haddock and students from Colorado State University, Images of Couples and Families in Disney Feature-Length Animated Films, the students selected 26 movies to analyze based on the relationship between characters. It is explained that approximately 30.8% of the Disney movies they chose, were made up of “traditional” children with both biological parents. (Images of Couples and Families in Disney Feature-Length Animated Films) If only 30.8% make up the biological families of the most commonly watched Disney movies, then Disney decided to create 69.2% of their favored movies with “non-traditional” families. Missing parents and lost children stories make up more than half of Disney’s treasured classic movie collection.
Single parents are an undoubtedly common factor throughout Disney’s movie history. Finding Nemo and Toy Story, both created by Disney and Pixar, contain single parent families. In Toy Story, Andy only has a mother leaving his father’s absence unexplained. Though in Finding Nemo, Nemo’s mother is killed before he hatches. Andy’s missing father is portraying the normality of missing or lost parent in the average American home. Where Nemo’s mother represents the parents taken away by divorce, kidnapping, or death.