I was in the grocery store last week when the latest issue of The Atlantic caught my eye. The cover promised a story called “Why are all the Cartoon Mothers Dead?” This is something I’ve often wondered about, but the article wasn’t quite what I was expecting—the thesis being that the reason moms die in movies is so that dads can step up and play the role of both parents, showing that moms aren’t really necessary anyway.
The author made an interesting case, but it was in the comments section where I found something that rang more true to me. Moms die in movies, people were saying, because that’s the best catalyst for a good story. There’s no adventure, no real danger, when your mom is around to protect you. So that’s why moms, and sometimes both parents, have to be disposed of first. I don’t know why more of them couldn’t just go on vacation (Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead) or stay normal sized while their children turn into Cheerios (Honey I Shrunk the Kids.) I’m just glad I was able to work in some of the movies from my own formative years here. Read More>