I read an article recently that in the original version of the movie “Ice Age” the saber toothed tiger died; when, however, they tested the movie in front of an audience of primarily children, the sobs deafened the remainder of the movie. Movie makers went back to the drawing board and made an unconscious tiger who regains consciousness in time to deliver a pithy quip to sum up the movie. Explain to me why cinema folk can save a man-eating tiger – but Bambi's mom was left out in the cold to be mutton stew on some hunters table.
Bambi got me to thinking about Disney movies in general; “dead mother” seems to be an all too common theme. Not only was Bambi's mother unceremoniously “knocked off”, Peter Pan was an orphan, Mowgli in “The Jungle Book” – orphan, “The Little Mermaid” – dead mother, “Chicken Little” – dead mother, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Lilo and Stitch”, “Brother Bear” – dead, dead and dead. The mother of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” missing and a prostitute. In “Finding Nemo”, the mom gets eaten by a shark in the first scene. I always knew that motherhood was a dangerous business, but I had no idea that if you're a cartoon – it's life threatening.
I want to know why stiff mommies have become the new puppet in kids movies. I think somewhere in an office in Hollywood hangs the following equation; dead mom + dirty kid with a plucky spirit + evil nemesis who takes advantage of orphan = summer blockbuster! For all the Disney lovers out there, I am not taking aim at the suspender wearing mouse, I just want to point out that it is possible to have a quality cartoon with a mom who is not past her expiration – look at Charlie Brown; his mom had terrible communication skills, but at least she was ALIVE!
I could start a one-woman, petition signing, placard carrying, grassroots movement to bring back the live mommy in Hollywood . I would like to take mommy snuff films out of vogue. Let's see a few dead daddy movies. Let's try “Cinderella” with a daisy pushing daddy and an evil step-dad. How would Bambi have been different if Bambi's dad had been shot – he did have a better rack after all.
I would love to tell you that we, as angry, yet breathing mommies, were going to boycott dead, missing and evil mommy films. I could say that I will watch no more movies until mommies stop being corpses and start breathing with no artificial assistance. I have to be honest, though, when I need five minutes to take a shower, make dinner, or even drink a glass of tea, I have a stack of those very films that supply me with the requisite quiet time. I guess, in the end, Chicken Little's mom gave her life, so I could cook dinner in peace. Let us all take a moment of silence. . .
Boise City News