The heroes and heroines of most Disney movies come from unstable family backgrounds; most are either orphaned or have no mothers. Few, if any, have only single-parent mothers. In other instances, mothers are presented as "bad surrogates" eventually "punished for their misdeeds." There is much debate about the reasoning behind this phenomenon. Some feminists (such as Amy Richards) believe it is to create dramatic interest in the main characters; if mothers were present to guide them, they argue, there would not be much of a plot. Some entertainment journalists (such as G. Shearer) believe that it is to show that a happy family does not have to consist of a mother, father and a child and that a family can be one parent and one child, or one parent and many siblings. Below is a list of some notable examples of this aspect of Disney movies and television series.
Aladdin: Jasmine - no mother; a mother character was originally written for Aladdin's character, but was ultimately cut so he has no parents, although he finds his father in Aladdin and the King of Thieves.
Pocahontas: Pocahontas - no mother (mentioned only; revealed to have been dead for years).
Lilo & Stitch: Lilo and Nani - parents dead prior the beginning of the movie.
Pirates of the Caribbean (film series): Elizabeth, Jack - mother referenced as dead (Elizabeth's mother is noted by her father's ghost but never seen), Will - mother mentioned having died, father is "Bootstrap" Bill Turner.
Ratatouille: Remy - no mother. Had a father. Linguini - mother was not shown on screen and is mentioned to have died. His father was the late master chef Auguste Gusteau.
Tron: Legacy: Sam Flynn - no mother. No father for the majority of his life as well.
Lady and the Tramp: Lady - mother of Scamp, Annette, Collette and Danielle. Jane Brown - mother of James Brown Junior.
Toy Story (franchise): Andy's mother (name not mentioned) - single [it has been theorized that Andy's mother is divorced from/divorcing his father because of the family moving to a smaller house (Toy Story) and selling extra items in a yard sale (Toy Story 2)].