12 Cartoon Parents, Ranked From Worst to Best

year ago

Parenting is perhaps one of the most difficult jobs in the world. And this is confirmed by statistics that claimed a stay-at-home parent’s salary would be worth at least $100,000 a year if all the jobs they perform daily were paid.

However, taking care of kids is not for the faint of heart. Nobody can guarantee that they will not make mistakes. There’s no common instruction book on how to be a good parent. Nevertheless, we can always learn from other people’s mistakes, even if it’s cartoon characters.

12. Mother Gothel from Tangled

What’s wrong: Gothel is a typical gaslighter. She constantly lies, ridicules, and devalues Rapunzel’s feelings. Gothel keeps her “daughter” in a high tower, telling horror stories about the dangerous outside world to keep her close.

Rapunzel forgot her own value and could not understand her own desires. She also suffers from Stockholm syndrome, which leads to an internal conflict between her desire to explore the outside world and her guilt at disobeying her stepmother’s command to stay inside a tower. After escaping from the tower, it takes her a little while to become comfortable with herself.

11. King Agnarr and Queen Iduna from Frozen

What’s wrong: Elsa’s parents isolate her from the world, tell her that she’s dangerous, and demand that she emotionally castrate herself to control her powers rather than try to tame them. As a result, even as an adult, she is constantly afraid of herself and continues to hide even after her parents die.

This decision impacted the psychological development of both daughters because cutting off Elsa from society also meant isolating Anna. It made them incapable of connecting with people. Elsa flips out and goes full ice queen when she first meets with the people at her coronation. And Anna wants to marry the first guy to bat his eyes at her.

10. Queen Lillian and King Harold from Shrek

What’s wrong: The King throws a tantrum because Fiona married Shrek instead of Prince Charming, who they had set her up with. When the Queen says, “This is Fiona’s choice,” the King answers, “Yes! But she was supposed to choose the prince we picked up for her.” This is the typical behavior of a narcissistic parent who uses their child as an expander of their own ego.

Luckily, when she met Shrek, Fiona had grown up and separated from her parents. She still loves them, but her own life and love are more important than her parents’ opinions.

9. Abuelita Elena from Coco

What’s wrong: The family is not very supportive and doesn’t take Miguel’s fascination with music seriously. Abuelita feels so in charge of Miguel’s life that she smashes his guitar. Even the dramatic family history that made them the way they are doesn’t justify that attitude.

Belittling a hobby can safely be equated with belittling the importance of the child. In an attempt to be alone with the music, Miguel was brought to the next world, where he almost remained forever.

8. Stoick the Vast from How to Train Your Dragon

What’s wrong: People of Berk Island have fought dragons for centuries. Stoick, the tribal leader and Hiccup’s father, wants to raise a great dragon killer and a brave warrior. But his son is the opposite of the father’s expectations: he’s a guy with a kind heart. Stoik can’t understand his son, so he unintentionally devalues his knowledge and doesn’t believe in him.

A child whose family doesn’t accept them cannot accept themselves. Hiccup can’t find peace and constantly seeks his father’s approval, using any means possible to get it—even the most extreme, which eventually leads to dramatic events in the film.

Positive side: In the end, father and son found common ground. Stoick realized that Hiccup’s technical knowledge is valuable, and his kinder worldview is more constructive. He accepted his son for who he was.

7. Madrigal family from Encanto

What’s wrong: A strict Abuela is the head of a family where everyone has magical powers except Mirabel. This makes her an outcast within the family. This is something that often happens in real life: relatives try to distance themselves from family members who behave differently or aren’t as successful. At the emotional climax, Abuela screams at Mirabel that she’s hurting the family.

Positive side: Despite the rough situation between Abuela and Mirabel, her actual parents are supportive and even try to stick with her and against the grandmother. Likely thanks to their influence, Mirabel remains kind and even risks her life to save the family. In the end, Abuela sees her mistakes and tries to set things right with Mirabel.

6. Queen Elinor and King Fergus from Brave

What’s wrong: King Fergus is a typical fun dad who likes to goof around. He loves his kids and thinks a great deal of Merida. But at the same time, he’s hands-off and leaves the discipline and difficult decisions to his wife. Queen Elinor is a proper monarch and demanding mother, forcing her daughter to follow the traditions without considering Merida’s desires.

Positive side: Ultimately, mom and daughter learn to understand and accept each other and reconcile.

5. Ming Lee from Turning Red

What’s wrong: Meilin Lee is a perfect 13-year-old kid. Due to her mother’s constant hyper-control, Meilin is forced to hide her secrets, including the fact that one day she turns into a red panda, which symbolizes puberty, strong feelings, and her national heritage. Her mother tries to banish her transition to the red panda, cutting off the vivid expression of her emotions forever.

All generations of women in this family have abandoned an important part of themselves to become convenient for society. Turning Red shows us the whole family system and its traumas transmitted from generation to generation. Meilin finds herself at a crossroads: go the same way or accept her panda.

Positive side: Mei chose herself and broke the cycle, healing her mom’s trauma along the way and encouraging her to become more in touch with herself. By the end of the movie, the mother and daughter are even closer than before and enjoy a more open and healthy relationship.

4. Marlin from Finding Nemo

What’s wrong: Marlin is a typical overprotective parent who shelters his kid from new experiences and growing up. Of course, that’s an influence of his past: he lost his wife and, like, 399 children.

Positive side: Marlin really loves Nemo and goes to the ends of the ocean to save him. He’s an imperfect parent, but he’s a good one.

3. James and Eudora from The Princess and the Frog

Positive side: James and Eudora are loving, supportive, and hard-working parents. They teach Tiana about life and following her dreams. Her parents’ influence can be seen in every aspect of her personality, her drive and ambition, and her intense love for her friends and family.

Tiana and her father cooked together throughout her childhood — that’s how he instilled in her a love of cooking, which later led Tiana to open her own restaurant. She began to work multiple jobs to save up for a deposit on a building. Eudora raised a wonderful daughter, mostly on her own, after her husband died. She is a kind, nurturing, and supportive parent.

2. Mufasa from The Lion King

Positive side: He is Simba’s central figure and example of strength. He teaches his son about his place in the world, the value of all other creatures in it, and leadership and taking on responsibilities. He truly is a never-ending source of incredible fatherly wisdom, “I’m only brave when it’s necessary. Being brave does not imply seeking out difficulties.”

1. Mrs. Davis from Toy Story

Positive side: Mrs. Davis has always been in the background of this franchise. A single mother struggles to raise 2 children and be a good mom. We watch her constantly trying to give her children all the best when she’s throwing a birthday party for Andy, suffering through trips to Pizza Planet, or performing the daily thankless tasks of raising kids.

Mrs. Davis lives in a universe that is pretty similar to our world. So she’ll never have a chance to prove her love to her son by fighting a witch or dying dramatically, like Mufasa. We never knew exactly what her problems were, but we know that, like many real-life parents, she has sacrificed herself daily to raise a good human.

How has parenthood changed your life and marriage? What are the common mistakes parents make but don’t realize? Please share your opinion in the comments!


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