Many Disney parents are overprotective, and they often struggle with letting their children be their true, authentic selves. However, Disney’s moms and dads typically have a good reason for being overbearing. Usually, they’re overprotective because they just don’t want their kids to face any danger or harm.
Disney films usually follow a certain pattern; the heroes act against the parents’ wishes, chaos ensues, but they all come to a mutual understanding and reconcile. Whether it’s Finding Nemo’s Marlin or Turning Red’s Ming Lee, even the best parents are overbearing until they see the error of their ways.
10 King Triton’s Anger Gets The Better Of Him
The Little Mermaid
Ariel’s father, King Triton, is the king of the ocean and the most overprotective Disney parent. His strictness is mostly understandable, as raising seven daughters alone while running a kingdom is difficult. However, his prejudice against humans makes less sense.
Triton’s hatred of humans drives a wedge between him and Ariel, who is fascinated by humans and wants to give them a chance. When he discovers that Ariel saved a human from drowning and now has a crush on him, Triton loses his temper. This conflict is one of the most intense arguments in a Disney movie, but by the end of The Little Mermaid, Triton and Ariel come to an understanding.
9 Queen Elinor’s Relationship With Merida Is The Focus Of The Movie
Queen Eleanor is one of the more nuanced versions of the overprotective parent in the Disney pantheon. On one hand, Eleanor is responsible for the kingdom’s affairs and properly training her successor. On the other hand, Merida needed to find a balance between upholding her responsibilities and being true to herself, and Elinor wasn’t helping by forcing her to fit a certain image.
Many overprotective Disney parents only reconcile with their child after a forbidden love is approved, but Brave doesn’t follow the typical formula. Instead, Merida and Eleanor go on an adventure and work together to rebuild their relationship. This leads to one of the sweetest and most wholesome endings that Disney ever made.
8 Chief Tui Doesn’t Want Moana To Repeat His Mistakes
Moana’s father, Chief Tui, is overprotective, but his motives are understandable. Tui wanted to sail the sea, but when he tried, he and his best friend were caught in a storm. Tragically, his friend drowned. Now, Tui keeps Moana away from the ocean out of guilt.
Toward the end of Moana, Chief Tui and Moana are able to relate to each other. From then on, he shows few reservations about returning to the ocean, despite his trauma. Moana deserves a happy ending after everything she did to save her island, and Tui also deserved to heal.
7 Ming Lee Struggles With Her Demons
If Brave offered a nuanced relationship between a girl and her mother, Turning Red took it even further. Mei Ling and her mother, Ming Lee, love each other but don’t always show that love healthily. Ming Lee goes to extreme lengths to protect and shelter Mei Ling, and keeps letting her personal issues cloud her judgment. Mei Ling is so afraid of disappointing her mom that she hides her real desires, instead of being open about them.
This causes a major breakdown in communication, which results in a huge fight between Mei and Ming. Mei finally comes clean to her mom about what she wants in life and Ming finds some resolution to her insecurities. In the end, they both come to understand each other better.
6 The Sultan Dotes On His Daughter A Little Too Much
The Sultan isn’t nearly as aggressive in protecting his child as other overprotective parents, but his actions are still too much. Throughout Aladdin, he keeps his daughter sequestered in the palace, doesn’t let her mingle with people of “lesser” status, and tries to force her into marrying a prince. He doesn’t allow her any independence or acknowledge her capabilities.
Despite this, the Sultan is a likable person. He’s more than willing to admit when he’s wrong and fixes his mistakes by changing the law and allowing Jasmine and Aladdin to marry. After all, all he wanted was for Jasmine to find a good man. Aladdin became that for her.
5 King Frederick’s Actions Swerve Into Dangerous Territory
Tangled & Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventures
Many people talk about Mother Gothel’s toxic parenting and how she’s a textbook example of gaslighting and manipulation. However, no one talks about King Frederick. Obviously, his overprotectiveness comes from a place of love.
Nonetheless, King Frederick occasionally goes too far; he even locked her up in a tower, just like Gothel did. It takes him a long time to understand how capable Rapunzel really is, but he eventually stops letting his fear and grief control his actions. It’s a very satisfying but underrated character arc in Tangled.
4 Marlin’s Greatest Weakness Became His Greatest Strength
Finding Nemo’s Marlin is perhaps one of the best movie dads. After losing his wife and his children to a barracuda attack, Marlin grows increasingly worried about his surviving son’s safety. He even tries to pull his son out of school after the first day. Finally, Marlin crosses a line when he tells Nemo that he can’t do anything.
After Nemo’s kidnapping, however, Marlin’s strong love for his son drives him to cross the entire ocean. He faces many dangers to find his son. At the climax of Finding Nemo, both Marlin and Nemo have grown tremendously, and they work together to save Dory.
3 Simba Didn’t See The Long-Term Consequences For His Daughter
The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride
The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride follows Simba as he becomes a father and handles the responsibilities of being a parent. Unfortunately, he fumbles a bit. He’s not wrong for not trusting his daughter’s new boyfriend, as Kovu was initially planning to murder Simba.
However, because of Simba’s protectiveness, Kira wasn’t taught to hunt or fight effectively like the other lionesses. Instead of acknowledging that his actions put her at a disadvantage, Simba just clamped down harder. It’s so frustrating to watch this, but thankfully, he eventually listens to his daughter and lets her be an adult.
2 Gwen Piper Lied To Her Children
Halloweentown is a Halloween special that aired on Disney Channel in the ’90s. The movie follows Marnie Piper, who discovers that she’s from a long line of witches and goes on an adventure to protect all creatures of the night. However, her mother, Gwen, is completely against it.
Given how dangerous witches can be, Gwen isn’t wrong to keep her children away from it all. However, Gwen should have told Marnie that she’s a witch, and keeping these kinds of secrets is never a good idea. Nevertheless, Halloweentown ends happily when Marnie’s whole family reunites. Eventually, Gwen agrees to raise Marnie as a witch.
1 The King And Queen Of Arendelle Never See Their Daughters Blossom
In Frozen, the King and Queen of Arendelle fear for Elsa’s safety, so they keep her isolated in the palace and her powers a secret. Unfortunately, this only worsens the situation. Elsa develops severe self-loathing while Anna spends her childhood alone, and both children develop unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Unlike most overprotective parents, the King and Queen die before Elsa and Anna find any closure with them. This is an unusual departure from the typical Disney story about rebellious children. Even if Elsa and Anna’s relationship is the most important bond in Frozen, fans wonder how their parents would feel about Elsa using her powers openly.
NEXT: 10 Animated Movie Parents Who Embarrassed Their Kids
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