BySam Plank, writer at
"You have to be what you are. Whatever you are, you gotta be it." -Johnny Cash. Tweet a tweeter at my twitty twitter, @tw1tterintw1t
Sam Plank

It's been a tradition in movies for one, if not both, of the parents to meet their demise either in the movie or before it takes place, ever since Cinderella and Snow White. It's always been explained away as being caused by disease, war, or simply not existing, like in Toy Story. Or Walt Disney working through some painful psychological trauma. But looking deeper reveals a disturbing trend of jealousy, murder, and murderous jealousy.

Prepare to have a little bit more of your childhood ruined.

We'll start with the most well-known mermaid in all of...well, THE only mermaid that anybody has ever known.

Ariel's Mother

In , no mention is made of Ariel's mother, Queen Athena. But in The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning, we learn Athena was killed by pirates. The murderer?

None other than Captain Hook himself.

This is a theory that's been floating around for quite a while, so it's a perfect start to this list of animated murder and musical mayhem.

In Peter Pan (1953), we see this scene:

Does that mermaid look familiar? She should...a little bird (probably one of those from Cinderella) told me that she's Ariel's mom!

Who is the most famous, murderous pirate in all of Disney? Captain Hook, Peter Pan's nemesis! All the clues point to Ariel's mom getting ganked not by a small, shiny hook at the end of a monofilament line, but by a big, shiny hook at the end of a pirate's arm.

Stick around, because we're just getting started. But if you must leave now, read more on this theory here:

Bambi's Mother

As if seeing cute little 's pretty, delicious...oops...furry woodland mom get sort of murdered right before our young eyes:

What if that nameless, faceless threat the deer call "Man" wasn't nameless and faceless? What if I told you that hunter was THIS GUY:

Look at all those awesome!

I mean, how disgusting is that?

But wasn't Bambi a white-tailed deer, you might ask? In the movie, yes. But in the original novels, no! He and his family were roe deer. Whereas white-tailed deer are found in the United States, roe deer are common in Europe, and more specifically, France. Where does Gaston live? France. And Gaston loves hunting, so bagging a roe doe (...heh) in his own country isn't too farfetched.

As for timelines, there really isn't a year that Bambi was set in that we know of, but since Big Bad Man had a gun, it could have been anywhere from 1364 until the year Bambi was released, in 1942. Which is right in line with .

Oh, the Tangled (or frozen, I guess) web we weave...

Anna & Elsa's Parents

If you're still reading this article, you're probably familiar with the (now proven) theory that says Anna and Elsa's parents are actually Tarzan's parents, too.

Long story short, their ship did wreck, but they didn't die; they washed up on an island and had another child, who became Tarzan. Getting killed by that leopard, though? The next entry on this list will cover that.

In yet another theory, it's suggested that the ship that Ariel and Flounder explore is actually Anna and Elsa's parents' ship, at the bottom of the ocean.

Read more about that-

But the king and queen of Arendelle supposedly died in a shipwreck at sea and Ariel found their ship? It sounds like Anna and Elsa's parents were actually murdered by...

You got it. That b*tch Ursula.

Either she killed them with her power over the ocean waters, or turned them into seaweed. But that's another theory for another day.

Tarzan's Parents

Let's talk about the king of the apes, and not just the cartoon from 1999. Let's go way back to 1912, when the original Tarzan of the Apes came out in a magazine publication. We all know that in some versions of the story, it was disease or a leopard that killed Tarzan's parents, leaving him to be raised by apes.

But in Edgar Rice Burroughs' original work, “Sabor” was a term used by Burroughs to mean “tiger,” and was later changed to mean "lioness," not leopard. And it wasn't a jungle island Tarzan and his parents washed up was the Atlantic coast of Africa.

What else took place in Africa? Which murderous member of the lion family did we meet on that continent?

I'm lookin' at you, Scar. We know you not only killed Mufasa, but you neglected to mention in your confession to Simba that you also killed that poor baby's parents, and gave their little guy one hell of an identity crisis in the process.

Cinderella's And Snow White's Fathers

It couldn't be more obvious than this...Cinderella's and Snow White's evil stepmothers totally took out their fathers. Disease? War? Whatever. There was some definite foul play action going on there.

Andy's Dad

This is less of a tale of murder, and more of a tale of a kid and his mind.

So. Andy's dad. What all do we know about him? Three movies into Andy, Buzz and Woody's story, and we know jack squat about the guy. But the movies have given us clues to what might have happened to him.

It's previously been explained in a pretty detailed way what happened to Andy's dad. Jon Negroni lays it all out too, so I'll give you the abridged version.

There are no pictures of the guy anywhere.

The entire family doesn't speak of him once, and in the first Toy Story, Molly is just a baby:

So, dad must have departed the family in one way or another fairly recently. But how? If he had died, there would be pictures in his memory. The only other option? He did something pretty bad. Even if it was an amicable divorce, Andy would still at least have a picture of him in his room, right?

Nothing anywhere. Obviously, Andy is pretty ticked off at his father, so what does he do? He creates this elaborate fantasy world, much like his real world, but without any trace of his father anywhere. His toys talk, his neighbor Sid gets what's coming to him for abusing his toys, and everything else that happens is all Andy's imagination.

He pretty much kills his father's memory.

This is getting kind of depressing.

Ongoing Investigations

There are so many more murders left to be solved from our most beloved Disney movies. Belle's mom. Jasmine's mom (Jafar is still a prime suspect). Even Nemo's mother's death seemed to be controlled by mother nature and survival of the fittest, but who knows? Maybe Ursula had eels and barracudas working for her.

It's all connected...

Any other tale of betrayal and murder we need to discuss? You know the drill! Drill me in the comments!


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