Walt Disney Wants to Kill Your Parents (not really, but kinda....)

(This is a two-part post, but if you haven't read this first part, the second part that I just posted won't make much sense.  So I'm keeping this post on top so it's one cohesive essay.  Feel free to comment!)

The newspaper editor in me came up with the title to this post.  It's provocative and engaging.  Is there a secret plot by the Disney corporation to kill parents?  In reality, of course not, but if you're a parent in a Disney animated cartoon, then I might invest in some of that cheap term life insurance, because you're in some serious danger.  Throughout the history of Disney full-length features, there have been (with the release of Tangled in 2010), fifty animated features.  If you put much thought to it, you'd be surprised how few of those movies have two parental figures of a major character in the story, or where both parents survive the entire story.

I was talking with my wife a few months ago and mentioned noticing the lack of dual parent households in the pantheon of Disney animated movies, or at least dual parent households where the parents survived the story.  So it got me to thinking.  What were the real stats?  I searched online and found a few mentions of the idea, but not a whole lot of specifics.  Where was there a breakdown of each movie and the parental situation of each?  I couldn't find it.  So I decided to do some more research and put it all in one place, along with some ideas on the psychology of Disney animated movies and why there were so few families where both mom & dad were present from start to finish.

You might assume that in wanting to gather all of this information that I have an agenda and am trying to make Disney look bad.  At worst, you'd think that I'm a fervent Disney hater.  In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.  Both my wife and I are huge Disney fans who've been to Disneyland tons and also to Disney World.  We love taking our sons to Disney parks and when they do watch movies, chances are it's a Disney or Pixar one.  I have tremendous respect for the work that Walt Disney did as an artist and executive.  I've always fantasized about working for Disney, helping to create some of the magic that I'd enjoyed so much as a kid and still enjoy as an adult.  So my desire to figure this out was curiosity rather than animosity.  It's a strange cultural phenomenon that I wanted to try and figure out.

So let's break it down, one movie at a time and see what the final results are.  The movies are listed chronologically, beginning with the first full-length animated movie ever, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) - Snow White's mother is dead and her father is absent at best, presumed dead at worst. (Potential Parents: 2 / Surviving Parents: 0)

Pinocchio (1940) - Geppetto created Pinocchio and survives the story.  In all of my research, I can't find a single mention of a wife for Geppetto, either before or after Pinocchio's "birth."  Can't really knock Disney for no mom, so for me, Pinocchio gets credit on the plus side.  (Potential Parents: 1 / Surviving Parents: 1)

Fantasia (1940) - Since this is just a collection of shorts, I'm not going to count it on my list.  There are a few other "features" that are just collections of shorts, so they won't be tallied either.

Dumbo (1941) - There's only Dumbo's mother* in the story, and she's taken away from him early in the movie in a very traumatic scene.  Dumbo had no real father, even if Timonty Mouse became a parental figure to him.  (Potential Parents: 2 / Surviving Parents:  1)

Bambi (1942) - In one of the most traumatic deaths in cinematic history, Bambi's mother is shot by a hunter and dies, leaving the young deer with just his father.  (Although in reality, you don't see her die.  All you hear is a gunshot.)  (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  1)

The next six animated features, Saludos Amigos, The Three Caballeros, Make Mine Music, Fun and Fancy Free, Melody Time and The Adventures of Ichabod & Mr. Toad were all "package films," collections of shorts with some bridging sequences, so even though there's no mother figure in The Three Caballeros and it appears that Katarina's mom is dead in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, I'm not counting any of them on my official tally.  And for my purposes, I'm counting Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 as the same kind of movies.

Cinderella (1950) - Cinderella's mom is already dead when the movie starts, and then her dad dies when she's a teenager.  Her stepmother, who was pretty horrible while Cinderella's dad was alive, reveals her true bitch nature after his death, berating, tormenting & belittling Cinderella at every juncture.  (Potential Parents:  3 / Surviving Parents:  1 (the horrible stepmom, of course))

Alice in Wonderland (1951) - I felt a little bad for knocking Dumbo for the lack of a dad, so I'm going to put Alice in the plus column because although there is no mention of parents, there's also no mention of a parental trauma.  Alice and her sister appear well taken care of, evidenced by the fact that they are well dressed, well mannered, and can spend a lazy afternoon by the bank of the river.  (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  2 (I think))

Peter Pan (1953) - Although Wendy, John and Michael have parents at the beginning and end of the story, Peter is an orphan, with the lost boys all presumably orphans as well.  The negatives outweigh the positives, so a minus for this one.  (Potential Parents:  4 (not including The Lost Boys) / Surviving Parents:  2)

Lady and the Tramp (1955) - Although technically Lady's dog parents aren't present, she's adopted by the Darlings, who survive the movie and when are reunited with Lady at the end of the story, treat her well and even adopt Tramp.  That's all a plus for me.  (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  2)

Sleeping Beauty (1959) - Both of princess Aurora's parents are alive and appear to love her.  Everything bad that happens to Aurora is caused by the wicked fairy Maleficent.  (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  2)

101 Dalmatians (1961) - Another people/dog movie, but for me, as long as the parents survive, it's all good.  In this one, not only do they survive, but the dalmatian Pongo finds both himself and his master, Roger, a wife in the film. All of these "parents" survive, so another in the plus column.  (Potential Parents:  4 / Surviving Parents:  4)

So after ten complete full-length features, it seems that things aren't as dire as I suspected.  Although there have been a fair amount of parental deaths, the tally is actually even:

Total movies where all parents survive (if applicable): 5
Total movies where one (or more) parent dies, is already gone, or is completely absent: 5

But just like a basketball game in the NBA, just when things look even, one team goes on a run.  I'll give you three guesses as to which side does in our scenario, and you can save the other two for another time...

The Sword in the Stone (1963) - Arthur (or Wart) is an orphan.  Although Merlin becomes a mentor and grandfather-type figure to him, his parents are still gone.  (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  0)

The Jungle Book (1967) - Mowgli is found in a basket in the middle of the jungle, presumably abandoned by a single mother.  You wouldn't think that a married woman with a healthy husband would do such a thing, so this one goes 0 for 2.  (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  0)

The Aristocats (1970) - If the story ascribes parental roles to animals, I'll stick to that, so The Aristocats goes in the minus column because there's no father.  I almost put it in the plus column because late in the film the alley cat O'Malley proposes to Duchess, but she declines.  (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  1)

Robin Hood (1973) - This is a tough one, because Robin's parents are never mentioned, and since he's an adult, I don't know if it's fair to assume, even if his parents are dead, that he's what you'd normally think of as an orphan.  No other main character's parents are mentioned either, although in the Errol Flynn Robin Hood movie, Maid Marian is an orphan.  This one's a push.  (Potential Parents:  N/A / Surviving Parents:  N/A)

With The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977) being another collection of short tales, albeit all with Winnie the Pooh themes, I'm not going to count it.  I did some research, though, and couldn't find any mention whatsoever of Christopher Robin's parents, although the character of Christopher was based on A.A. Milne's own son, and Milne and his wife were together until his death.  Since the Pooh stories are all figments of the fictional Christopher's imagination, there's no reason to assume he had lost a parent.  But if you really wanted to be a stickler, you could point out that Roo has a mother, Kanga, but no father.  Anyway, moving on...

The Rescuers (1977) - No ambiguity here - Penny, the lead character is an orphan.  You find that out in the first two minutes of the movie.  Whew!  That one was easy.  (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  0)

The Fox and the Hound (1981) - While there is no mention of the hound, Copper's, parents, the fox, Tod, loses his mother and becomes an orphan when she is killed by a hunter.  (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  0)

The Black Cauldron (1985) - The lead character, Taran, is an orphan.  He does have a duo guardians, but they're a pale replacement for parents.  (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  0)

The Great Mouse Detective (1986) - A young mouse, Olivia, has presumably already lost her mom when her dad gets kidnapped.  Luckily, though, with the help of the Sherlock Holmes  inspired Basil, they rescue him by movie's end.  Still no mom, though.  (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  1)

Oliver and Company (1988) - Based on Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, this movie stays true to the spirit of the book and is therefore full of orphans.  The total number of missing parents could reach the hundreds, but for our sake, we'll just count Oliver and Dodger.  (Potential Parents:  4 / Surviving Parents:  0)

The Little Mermaid (1989) - Even with the renaissance of Disney animation, parents didn't fare any better.  Ariel's mother is dead, and while Eric's price status makes you assume that at least one parent is still alive, there's no mention of either - ever.  (Potential Parents:  4 / Surviving Parents:  2)

The Rescuers Down Under (1990) - The lead character, while not an orphan like Penny in the original, has no father.  (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  1)

Beauty and the Beast (1991) - Belle's mother is dead, leaving her with a loving, but absent-minded father.  Although it isn't specifically mentioned in the movie, the book that it's based on says that the Beast's father died when he was a boy.  (Potential Parents:  4 / Surviving Parents:  2)

Aladdin (1992) - Another orphan, Aladdin, finds his true love in Princess Jasmine.  They had things in common to talk about during dinner dates - her mom is dead as well.  (Potential Parents:  4 / Surviving Parents:  1)

The Lion King (1994) - At the beginning, the lion prince Simba has two loving parents. But his father, Mufasa, in an effort to save Simba from a stampede of wildebeests, dies when his jealous brother, Scar, hurls him back down directly in the path of the stampede.  The episode scars poor Simba for years, before he finally comes back and hurls the treacherous Scar into a bunch of starving hyenas.  (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  1)

Pocahontas (1995) - Another mother has already passed away, and the title character is left with only a father.  (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  1)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) - The disfigured Quasimodo is an orphan who has been "raised" by his life-long guardian, Judge Frollo.  Frollo is an evil man, and at the end of the film, falls to his death from the roof of the cathedral.  Although I won't count him as a dead parent, it's still another death surrounding Quasimodo.  Bummer.  (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  0)

Hercules (1997) - I'm tempted to give this one two in the plus column, partly to make up for the shellacking that the plus side is taking, but mostly because Hercules has two sets of parents that survive.  His parents on Mount Olympus as well as his adopted human parents make it through the whole film.  After fifteen films in a row (not counting the above-mentioned Robin Hood and Winnie the Pooh), Disney finally decided that it has a group of parents worthy for the end credits.  (Potential Parents:  4 / Surviving Parents:  2)

Mulan (1998) - Mulan's parents are both alive and very supportive of their daughter.  She loves them so much that she takes her father's place (in disguise) when the men of China are conscripted to fight the invading Huns.  The only parental death noted is that of the father of Mulan's commanding officer, Li Shang.  Even so, this one goes on the plus side.  (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  2)

Tarzan (1999)  - Well, that didn't last very long, did it?  Tarzan quickly becomes an orphan when his parents are killed by an evil leopard.  He's adopted by a gorilla whose husband originally doesn't want him, but after being shot late in the film by humans, accepts Tarzan as his son with his dying breath.  And I won't even get into the fact that Jane most likely doesn't have a mother... (Potential Parents:  4 / Surviving Parents:  1)

Fantasia (2000) - The most recent of films that's a collection of short vignettes, I won't count Fantasia 2000 for either side.

Dinosaur (2000) - In this CG animated movie, the lead dinosaur Aladar's mother is forced to abandon her eggs during an attack by predators.  One of her eggs is carried off by a pterodactyl where it hatches and the dinosaur is raised by a family of lemurs (of which there is no father).  (Potential Parents:  4 / Surviving Parents:  1)

The Emperor's New Groove (2000) - Since he's the teenage emperor of the Inca empire, it's clear that Kusco's parents are dead.  (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  0)

Atlantis:  The Lost Empire (2001) - The parents of the lead character, Milo, are never mentioned, so my initial thought was that Atlantis would be a push.  However, the mother of the Atlantean princess, Kida, sacrificed herself to protect her people from a tsunami.  That tips the scales in favor of another negative outcome for parents.  (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  1)

Lilo & Stitch (2002) - Stitch was created, much like Pinocchio, so there are no real parents for him.  Lilo, on the other hand, is an orphan being raised by her sister.  I don't care how much fun you can have with a crazy alien while listening to Elvis songs, it still sucks to not have any parents.  (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  0)

Treasure Planet (2002) - Teenager Jim Hawkins tries to help his mother run an inn, but is distracted by his calling to explore the far reaches of space.  In a montage later in the film, we see that an indifferent father finally left without warning, leaving his wife and young son to fend for themselves.  While he didn't die, it may have been better for poor Jim if he had.  (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  Technically 2, but really 1)

Brother Bear (2003) - The plot is a bit difficult to parse down into a sentence or two, so check out the Wikipedia plot if you're curious.  Simply, though, one of the main characters, Koda, loses his mom to a human tribesman.  (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  1)

Home on the Range (2004) - There are no real parental roles in this film, positive or negative, so my first inclination is that Home on the Range would be a push.  But the lead character, Maggie, has a husband, Bob, so kids could be a part of their future.  I know it's a reach, but this one's a plus.  (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  2)

Chicken Little (2005)  - Chicken Little has a dad, Buck Cluck, but sadly there's no mother mentioned.  (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  1)

Meet the Robinsons (2007) - Abandoned by his mother at an orphanage as as infant, Lewis never had a chance to know either parent.  His best fried (and later, in an alternate timeline, enemy) Goob, is also an orphan.  Happily for both, the end of the movie shows them both being adopted by what appear to be happy and loving parents.  Although I'd love to give some credit for the plus side, an orphan is still an orphan, and the trauma can't be minimized.  I will give them credit in the parent tally, though... (Potential Parents:  4 / Surviving Parents:  2)

Bolt (2008) - Penny has a mother, but no mention of a father (finally a break for you moms!)  Penny's mother may be a little meek, but she fiercely defends her daughter at the end of the movie and is supportive throughout, making the best of her single parent situation.  Still a negative, but a positive negative, if that makes any sense.  (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  1)

The Princess and the Frog (2009) - Tiana grows up with both parents in a loving and supportive household.  By the time she's an adult, Tiana's father has passed away, although it's unclear as to exactly when he died.  Although Tiana misses her father, she was raised by both parents to be a strong and hard-working person who values her family.  Another positive negative.  (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  1)

Tangled (2010) - Originally, I was going to post this one under the negative, because Rapunzel's "mother" dies at the end.  But then I had a discussion with my wife and she brought up some great points.  Gothel was never Rapunzel's mother, even though Rapunzel considered her so.  Gothel was Rapunzel's demented abductor, consistently lying and manipulating her captive for her own selfish gain.  Rapunzel's parents not only were alive and loved her, but reminded the kingdom every year that she was not forgotten by releasing thousands of floating lanterns on her birthday.  When reunited with her parents at the end of the film, the animation is breathtaking in the way they convey that love they have for her with only their eyes.  So while Flynn was an orphan, he's an adult at the start of the movie and by the end of the movie, he's wholeheartedly welcomed into of the royal family.  A big fat one on the plus side!

So after seventy-three years and fifty animated features (9 of which I'm not counting for above-mentioned reasons, and one, Robin Hood, which I counted as a push), what's the final count?

Total movies where all parents survive (if applicable):  10
Total movies where one (or more) parent dies, is already gone, or is completely absent: 30

At a 3:1 advantage, that's a staggering number of films where children are left at least partially parentless.  It's too large a number to be dismissed as coincidental.  The evidence is too strong to support that notion, and just in case you didn't think I took this case far enough, let's look at some other examples of animated features.

Disney isn't the only animation studio that has released features.  Throughout the decades, scores of other animated movies were released.  I won't go into the details of all of those, but I will talk about the most recent animated features from a few other studios.  With the debut of Toy Story in 1995, Pixar released the first animated feature done completely with computer animation.  Dreamworks animation followed suit in 1998 with the debut of their own computer animated feature, Antz (and have released a total of twenty-one in the years since). Even Sony Pictures Animation has released three films, with many more in the works.

Since my entire idea was focused on Disney movies, I won't get into the Dreamworks+ or Sony movies (someone else can tackle that project), but Pixar's another story.  From the start, Pixar was a financial (and creative) partner of Disney, and is now wholly owned by them.  The creative team at Disney was instrumental in helping shape Toy Story into the benchmark movie it became.  Even though there were lots of Pixar/Disney similarities (Pixar head John Lasseter even worked for Disney out of college), the Pixar story brain trust developed independently of the Disney studio.  Naturally, I wondered if the guys at Pixar developed the same kind of storylines on their own.  So to be over-the-top thorough (and because I love Pixar movies), I'll break down each of their movies to see where the parental peril lies.

 Toy Story (1995), Toy Story 2 (1999), Toy Story 3 (2010) - It makes sense to group the trilogy together, since they share the same group of characters.  Since none of the toys have parents, per se, (although I'm tempted to give the potatoheads credit for "adopting" the aliens), Andy's the one with the main family unit.  Andy's father is never mentioned in any of the movies, so we can assume Andy's parents are most likely divorced.  My wife made another really good point in reference to Toy Story 3.  She notes that at the end of the movie, Bonnie, who inherits all of Andy's toys, is shown playing in her yard.  We also see her mother, who we knew from earlier in the movie, as well as her father, who's raking leaves in the background.  She argued (very persuasively, I might add) that I should give the filmmakers some credit for that parental relationship.  I agreed, so the Toy Story trilogy will get a minus mark for Andy's family, and half a plus for Bonnie's.  (Potential Parents:  4 / Surviving Parents:  3)

A Bug's Life (1998) - After doing some (kinda gross) research, I discovered that male ants die shortly after mating.  So Princess Atta and Dot most likely never knew their father.  Mother Nature's a cruel mistress, but this one would still count in the minus column (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  1)

Monsters, Inc. (2001) - It's clear that monsters have parents (based on the kids jump-roping on the street and the kids touring the factory, and Mike mention's Sully's mom), but the idea of any of those parents being gone is never addressed.  Sully's dad could've very well been sitting next to Sully's mom in the family room when she was talking to Mike (I know my Mom did most of the talking for my parents).  I know in science, lack of proof is proof of a negative, but I still think I'm going to put Monsters, Inc. on the plus side.  (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  Most likely 2)

Finding Nemo (2003) - Marlin and Coral are talking about their family's future when Coral is killed in a barracuda attack.  Deeply traumatized and vowing to save the only surviving child from harm, Marlin becomes an overprotective single parent.  Dory might have a family, but she can't quite remember... (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  1)

The Incredibles (2004) - Both Parr parents survive the movie, despite numerous attempts to kill them off by villains, giving nothing but support and help to their children.  (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  2)

Cars (2006) - Very much like Robin Hood, Cars doesn't really address the parental situation at all.  No mention of any of the character's parents are made, either alive or dead.  Although it appears that Ramone and Flo are probably married, and there's a very happy little kid car waving a flag at the last race, there's no mention one way or the other about parents.  So Cars is another push.  (Potential Parents:  ? / Surviving Parents:  ?)

Ratatouille (2007) - We find out early that it's just Remy, his brother Emille and his dad.  No mom.  (Potential Parents:  2 / Surviving Parents:  1)

WALL-E (2008) - Robots don't have parents, so my first thought was that this one wouldn't really count.  But upon closer inspection, it appears that in 800 years, humans will abdicate the bulk of their parenting duties to robots.  I don't think that's a very good example to set, so this one seems like a negative to me.  But the future looks brighter, because when the children were put in danger, Mary and John put their laziness aside (and their bodies in harm's way) to help save them. (Potential Parents:  Lots / Surviving Parents:  Lots of apathetic ones)

Up (2009) - Russell mentions, and has great affection for, his mother.  At the end of the film, she shows up waving happily during his Wilderness Explorers ceremony.  His father, by Russell's own admission, is much more distant who Russell says is "really busy all the time."  But based on the Disney/Pixar parental loss experience, Russell's doing okay.  His dad may figure it out and realize he needs to be a better father, and since he's still alive, there's a chance he just might.  Distant does not equal dead, so Up's a plus in my book.

So after sixteen years and eleven animated features#, here's how Pixar's scorecard works out:

Total movies where all parents survive (if applicable): 3 1/2
Total movies where one (or more) parent dies, is already gone, or is completely absent: 5

Once again, there's a preponderance of movies where parents are conspicuously absent.  Starting off with the single parent household in Toy Story, John Lasseter and company have continued (mostly) to follow the Disney method of storytelling.

But after all of these words and all of my bloated discussion, the obvious question remains.

Why?  Why did Walt Disney, and after his death the Walt Disney Animation Studio (and even the folks at Pixar and Dreamworks), persistently tell stories that are fraught with parental loss? I'll explore the "why" in my next post...

In the radio business, they call that a tease, designed to leave you hanging and wanting to wait through the commercial break to hear the rest.  Normally I wouldn't do that to you (I always thought it was a mean trick, albeit an effective one), but I've already written far too much on the subject, and I need time to write far too much more on the "why" issue.  So if you're interested, check back in a couple of days for my detailed look into the psychology of animated movies and fairy tales.

* To argue the other side, though, Dumbo was delivered to his mother by a stork, so there was no official pregnancy or birth, so you could reasonably put this one in the plus column if you wanted to.  But since there aren't two parents in the story, I counted this one on the minus side.

+ Okay, I couldn't help it.  I won't do them all, but I'll quickly do the top five grossing Dreamworks animated features.  In Shrek (2001), Shrek has no family unit whatsoever.  His eventual bride, Fiona, though, has two parents (although her father becomes homicidal at the prospect of his beloved daughter marrying an ogre).  Kung Fu Panda (2008) tells the story of Po, a panda being raised by his "father," a supportive goose.  There's no mention of his mother, and they never address the whole goose/panda bear parental situation.  2005's Madagascar has no parents for any of the animals, but the sequel shows that the lion Alex assumed he was an orphan who ended up in New York's Central Park zoo.  The sequel also reveals that both of his parents were alive the entire time and the family was reunited.  The great movie How to Train Your Dragon (2010) tells the story of a meek Viking, Hiccup, awkwardly living in a single-parent household with his father.  His mother died, presumably in a dragon attack.  The fifth top-grossing film, Monsters vs. Aliens (2009) doesn't really mention the family units of any of the monsters, or aliens.  The giant human in the film, Susan, is an adult whose family isn't mentioned.  So you see, it's not just a Disney or Pixar thing...

# I also have to mention the stunning success of Pixar, both critically and at the box office. Out of the eleven movies they've released, they've amassed forty Academy Award nominations, winning ten of them (not including John Lasseter's Special Achievement award for Toy Story).  Since the Best Animated Feature category was created, with only one exception (Cars), every time a Pixar film has been nominated in that category, it's won that Oscar.  Up (and then Toy Story 3) became the first movies nominated in the Best Picture Category since Beauty and the Beast in 1991.  Commercially, their success has been every bit as impressive.  The global box office totals for the same eleven movies is just over $6.6 billion, for a staggering average of $600,000,000 per film.  The lowest gross for a Pixar film is the original Toy Story, which still brought in $352,000,000 at the global box office.  Their run of eleven straight hits is unprecedented in Hollywood history and shows no signs of slowing down with 2011's Cars 2.  I could do a huge post just on the admiration I have for Pixar.
1 Response
  1. Cornflower Says:

    Peter Pan (1953) - Although Wendy, John and Michael have parents at the beginning and end of the story, Peter is an orphan, with the lost boys all presumably orphans as well. The negatives outweigh the positives, so a minus for this one. (Potential Parents: 4 (not including The Lost Boys) / Surviving Parents: 2)

    1.Peter Pan isn't an orphan. He does have parents but he doesn't belong to the family anymore since he ran away from home as a baby.

    2.The Lost Boys aren't orphans either. Please remember that the time period the book and story takes place in isn't our time. So at the time (Edwardian) upper and middle-class parents wouldn't spend any time with their kids expect seening them once in the morning during breakfast (the kids already had theirs) and once at night so the kids can say "goodnight".

    The rest of the time the kids are in charge of a nanny (ie. Mary Poppins). So add to the fact that the Lost Boys fall out of their pram? Its no wonder they don't remember their moms