10 of Our Favorite Disney Moms
Mother’s Day is on May 9th, a time to celebrate the wonderful women in our lives. As part of the celebration we thought we’d take a look at some of the most memorable Disney mothers. In no particular order, here are ten of our favorites:
1. Lady Elinor (Brave)
Lady Elinor and Merida don’t always see eye to eye. Lady Elinor wants Merida to accept the traditional responsibilities inherent in being a princess and eventual queen. Merida wants to be free to write her own story, to follow her own passions, regardless of what’s expected. This difference puts the pair at odds, but over the course of the movie Brave we watch as both grow towards a greater understanding of each other. Lady Elinor is not a perfect parent, but that’s part of what makes her so relatable. Her love for her family is never in doubt and the journey she undertakes with Merida is a beautiful example of the complexities and joys of the mother/daughter relationship.
2. Perdita (101 Dalmatians)
Perdita belongs on this list simply for being the mother of 15 Dalmatians and somehow remembering all of their names. My wife and I have two kids and sometimes mix them up or call them by the cats’ names. However, she goes well beyond that. She and Pongo (the puppy’s dad) undertake a massive journey to rescue the pups from the clutches of the villainous Cruella de Vil and her goons (the Badduns). Not only do they manage to rescue their 15 puppies, but they discover another 84 in danger. They rescue those pups and Perdita takes them in as her own.
3. Helen Parr/Elastigirl (The Incredibles)
Helen Parr is awesome. As a wife and mother, she’s the glue that holds the Parr family together. As Elastigirl, she’s a hero every bit as impressive as Mr. Incredible. She sets an incredible example for her kids when she says, “Leave the saving of the world to the men? I don’t think so!” Like the other mothers (and mother figures) in this list, she uses her powers, intelligence, and her heart to protect her family from any and all threats.
4. Nani (Lilo & Stitch)
Yes. If we’re being technical, Nani is Lilo’s sister and not her mother. That said, for all intents and purposes she functions as Lilo’s mother. She sacrifices everything to give Lilo a good home and security. She searches for any job she can find to make sure she can provide for Lilo, supports her interests and eccentricities, and loves her unconditionally. Ohana, or family, is at the center of Lilo and Stitch. After all, ohana means family, and family means no one gets left behind or forgotten about. It’s one of Disney’s most emotionally resonant films.
5. Eudora (The Princess & The Frog)
Eudora is one of the unsung heroes of The Princess and the Frog. Though the movie focuses a lot on the relationship between Tiana and her father (especially their shared dream of opening a restaurant), it’s impossible to overstate the importance of Eudora. Not only does she support Tiana in the pursuit of her dreams, but she makes sure that she remembers the importance of life beyond work. She doesn’t just want her daughter to be successful, she wants her to be happy, to have fun, and to live life fully.
6. Gramma Tala (Moana)
As stated at the outset, we aren’t arranging this list in any particular order. That said, if we were Gramma Tala would be pretty near the top. Talla moves to the beat of her own drum. She openly declares herself the village crazy lady, and it’s a role she embraces. She also transmits the cultural knowledge, telling us the story of the heart of Te Fiti and Maui. She encourages Moana to listen to the voice inside her, and to take chances. Not even death can keep her from guiding Moana. She comes back as a manta ray, appearing to her at her moment of greatest need.
7. Mrs. Potts (Beauty & The Beast)
There may be no more charming human being on the planet than Angela Lansbury and all of that charm is on full display as Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast. In a literal sense, she’s the mother of Chip. However, in another sense she acts as the mother figure for Beast and everyone in the castle. It’s impossible not to love her. She’s like the embodiment of a warm hug.
8. Kala (Tarzan)
Another adoptive mother, Kala is the gorilla who raises the orphaned Tarzan. She discovers the human infant in a tree house after his parents have been killed by Sabor, the leopardess. As it so happens, Kala had lost her child to Sabor as well. From their loss, a new family is born. Though they come from different worlds, Kala embraces Tarzan, celebrating his uniqueness while helping him to see those things that they have in common, what makes them family. She sings him, “You’ll Be In My Heart” as a lullaby, and the song is a perfect expression of motherly love, “…you’ll be in my heart. Yes, you’ll be in my heart. From this day on now and forever more…”
9. Kanga (The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh)
Though she plays a somewhat minor role in the movies, Kanga is still a great mother in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. She dotes on little Roo, and makes sure that he is well taken care of. On top of that, she’s sort of a surrogate mother for Tigger, who is basically Roo’s best friend.
10. Lucille Krunklehorn (Meet the Robinsons)
Meet the Robinsons is one of my all-time favorite Disney movies, and Lucille Krunklehorn is one of my favorite characters. She’s undeniably hilarious. Her scene with the caffeine patch at the Science Fair never fails to make me laugh. She’s also a brilliant scientist and delightfully eccentric. She’s also a great mom. If you haven’t seen the movie, be warned that there’s a mild spoiler ahead. Lucille, who makes her appearance as a guest judge at the science fair, ultimately becomes the adopted mother of Lewis, the main character in Meet the Robinsons. She and her husband (Bud) adopt Lewis and give him space to pursue his passions (which ultimately change the world). In fact, as you meet the entire Robinson family it’s clear that Lucille and Bud have done a fabulous job encouraging every odd member of the family in their wacky and diverse interests.