I'm on my second week of reading Swann's Way (Du côté de chez Swann).
Proust moves from the joys and frustrations of going to bed to introducing Mr. Swann and his importance. For the young protagonist, Swann is a source of stories and early (and unwanted bedtimes).
Much of Mr. Swann's reputation is based around the things he has apparently done and the people he apparently knows. Some of the adults begin to wonder if Swann's period of influence is starting to wane. The boy through doesn't care if Swann is popular or important. What has him upset is being sent to bed early and not being able to get his usual bed time kiss and tuck in from his mother.
The tight relationship between the boy and his mother is why I'm including Dumbo and his mother. Try as I might I haven't been able to think of a better example in film (or TV) between a mother and her son. So often when children are the protagonists the mother is absent (usually dead). I find this absence of mothers in lieu of mother figures (aunts, nannies, teachers) in films disturbing.
If you can think of a better example than Jumbo and Dumbo, please leave your suggestions in the comments.
That scene with Dumbo being rocked by his mother used to make me cry. I always disliked it that in most Disney movies, the mother has died. It's like they feel they can't get any instant sympathy for the character otherwise.
Comment #2: Saturday, July 11, 2009 at 23:13:32
Disney films aren't that bad. Sleeping Beauty has both her parents (even if she doesn't know them very well), the Darling children in Peter Pan have both parents as does the baby in Lady and the Tramp. 101 Dalmatians have a mother and father dog. I think Mulan has both parents. Alice and her sister presumably have both parents though they aren't actually in the film. Mothers are alive and well in Dumbo, Bambi (until the end), Aristocats and Rescuers Down Under.