A look back at 10 classic Disney movies

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Classic Disney animated films all have at least one wicked, dead or ineffectual parent. The stories are littered with horrible stepmothers, overbearing fathers or parents who are never really on the scene at all. Whether it’s Dumbo’s mad mother or Snow White’s wicked stepmother (there are a lot of dead mommies in these tales), each story centres on an individual who must raise herself or himself and overcome the obstacles created by having no parents or parents upon whom one cannot rely.

Here are the 10 most famous animated Disney classic films. Some of them have been amusing and terrifying children for close to 80 years.


Can we skip the argument about Dwarfs vs. Dwarves? Thanks.

The death of Snow White’s beloved mother puts the young beauty on a collision course with her vain, murderous stepmother. A huntsman with a conscience spirits Snow White away to the protection of a team of dwarfs in the forest. Prince Charming wakes her with a kiss from a death sleep.

DUMBO (1941)

Teased for his big ears, a dear little elephant uses those ears to learn to fly and becomes the star of the circus.


After the death of Cinderella’s beloved mother (sound familiar?) her father marries a horrid woman with two daughters. They all treat Cinderella like a slave. Then the prince sends out those invitations to the ball…

PETER PAN (1953)

While their parents are out for the evening, the Darling children are left in the care of the family dog (!) and encounter a flying boy named Peter and a gaggle of lost boys who will never grow up.


An angry fairy curses a newborn and says the child will fall into a deep sleep upon her 16th birthday. Only a prince’s kiss can awaken her.

101 DALMATIANS (1961)

Pongo and Perdita must save their puppies from the fur-wearing harridan, Cruella De Vil.


Mowgli is an orphan boy who lives among the animals until they lead him to a human village.


A motherless mermaid trades her voice for the love of a human.


A young woman goes in her widower father’s place to the castle of a vain prince. The prince is under a curse that has left him turned into a beast and he will remain that way until he learns to love.


After the death of his beloved father, a young lion cub must fight for his rightful place as leader of his pride.