Over the years, Disney has given us remarkable characters of all kinds. Although many of the fairy-tale films have, true to their origins, step-mothers or no mothers at all, among Disney’s most memorable characters are a number of mothers. From nasty, manipulative “godmother” Gothel in “Tangled” to the pampered but determined Duchess in “The Aristocats,” Disney’s moms deserve their due – and this Mother’s Day is the perfect time to honor them. We profile just a few of these wonderful characters below – recognize any moms you know?
Ever loving, ever protective, and ever adoring of her sweet baby Dumbo, Mrs. Jumbo will do anything for her child. The world needs time, and a small miracle, to realize that Dumbo is perfect just the way he is, big ears and all – but Mrs. Jumbo has known it all along.
Dizzy, distracted Mrs. Banks has her heart in the right place, even if her mind is often marching off on a grand cause. She discovers a better balance in her family life by the end of the film and is reminded of the joys of flying a kite with her nearest and dearest. Still, when she sings regarding efforts to win the vote for women, “Our daughters’ daughters will adore us/And they’ll sing in grateful chorus/Well done!” – Mrs. Banks has a point! In real life, the efforts of women to secure the vote, like many other reforms championed by mothers throughout history, changed the world and made it a better one for the generations to come.
In Disney’s delightful live-action “Swiss Family Robinson,” Mother Robinson helps make the shipwrecked family’s new treehouse a real home. Although at first she prays for rescue, by the time help arrives she and Father Robinson decide to stay on the island that their hard work and courage has made a family paradise. Every mother who works hard to tame life’s dangers and make home a haven has a little Mother Robinson in her, even if there aren’t pirates and wild animals right outside the door.
Elastigirl/Mrs. Incredible/Helen Parr
She can handle three kids, furnish a nifty mid-century-modern house, and keep Bob in clean shirts – but she can also pilot a fighter jet and vault across rooftops fighting evil. Retired (sort of) super-heroine Helen Parr can handle all kinds of challenges without getting stretched thin, although sometimes it takes a timely reminder from Edna Mode to “Remember who you are!”
In “Return to Never Land“, Wendy is all grown up and the mother of two children of her own. She’s bearing a heavy burden of responsibility, but we discover that at heart, she’s still the playful and courageous person she’s always been. Because mothers are never just mothers, as hard as sometimes it is for their offspring to believe – and they have adventures of their own. How else could they be so understanding when their own sons and daughters venture out of the nest to follow the second star to the right, and straight on till morning?
Sita and Layla
The cheetah and lioness profiled in Disneynature “African Cats” are real-life mothers who show their willingness to do anything to protect their young, in footage that is majestic, hilarious, and heart-breaking by turns. If you need any inspiration to give your own mom a hug and a thank-you, these wild families should do it.