It's a Fight for Survival! Picture

Please note that many parents in stories and movies are often depicted as widowed or dead because (in relation to their original stories / time periods they're set in) often times--they were. It was no uncommon thing for a guy to go through 3-4 wives in his lifetime because of all the sickness and such that went with childbirth. The disease and mortality rate was horrible for adults and especially children, and so tales like orphaned children and such were sadly not uncommon. Not to mention war casualties. So, it's not so much cliche as much as tales reflecting what was very common during that time period. But ~ because I personally found it interesting ~ here are the living Disney couples for Disney's animated movies.

I also left out "2" movies like "The Lion King 2" and "The Little Mermaid 2," etc.

Honorable Mentions Who Fought to Survive:
For the couple parents we get to see, and maybe even get to know a little bit before one or both of them is killed.
1. The Lion King: So close. It starts out as a "both parents live" sort of movie, up until the point where it changes its mind. This movie actually shocked a lot of viewers since it was the first Disney murder. Yet, no one can say that Mufasa wasn't an amazing character with a lot of heart. Every time I watch the movie, I try to think up ways that Mufasa could have lived. Simba is a touch wimpy in comparison.
2. Tarzan: I already knew these two were going to die. It was sort of the premise of the movie. But, I really enjoyed the scenes with them. They reflected such a close bond that you could feel it. Even though they were there for a little while, you could feel their hope, their dreams, and their determination that this was not going to be the end--even though it was.
3. Frozen: I didn't think the parent characters in this were going to die, but I didn't think they were going to live either. I don't know if I thought about it either way, except that I was surprised to see them and delighted that they actually had a talking role. After all, there have been a group of Disney movies with living parents for the past few films in a row, like Brave and Tangled. These parents exhibited fearful people who would do anything to protect their girls, and grieved with their daughter's pain. I think I was more shocked about HOW they died. It saddened me. D:
4. The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Dang. I mean, brutal. Just brutal. For those of you who haven't seen the opening of the movie, I'm just not going to say. But those parents--especially that Mom--needs some sort of credit. For them, Quazi wasn't a monster. He was their precious child.

But here are our (both) surviving parent list:
1. Peter Pan: George and Mary Darling. Not meant to be a main focus, but you know the type. The father who is really strict and grumpy, but a secret softie, and the mother who calmly can manipulate him into thinking her way. Everyone knows a couple like this. Don't lie. I think it's funny watching this movie as an adult. They are very angry at the father and all of this starts, basically, because George says that Wendy is getting too big to live in the same bedroom as her brothers in the nursery. But, I love this movie. The symbolism of this story (with childhood, eternity, time, and aging) is beautiful.
2. Sleeping Beauty: King Stefan (whose name I keep trying to spell "Stephen") and Queen Leah. Didn't invite an evil witch to their baby shower. Apparently, a big mistake. Even though the movie is called "Sleeping Beauty," it turns out that the entire kingdom is put under a spell and "sleeps" along with her. So, with the exception of 3 faeries and a prince, everyone in the kingdom is catching up on their beauty sleep--including them.
3. 101 Dalmations: Pongo and Perdita (don't get on their bad side). This is a movie specifically about parental love. Fact: Many people who watch this movie and the live action one quickly fall in love with the sweet nature of dalmations and immediately decide they want one. What they don't know is that the dalmation is considered an aggressive breed that needs lots of exercise and socialization to get it as friendly as the ones depicted in the movies. Thus, this movie and its successor led to a pandemic of unwanted dalmatians in pounds. Also, overbreeding has led to a lot of dangerous health problems in the breed. But, FYI, a dalmatian is still a good breed of dog. It just requires a bit more work than most realize.
4 & 5 Hercules: This movie actually has 2 sets of undead coupled parents. The first I'll point out is the mortal couple, Alcmene and Amphitryon. It's hard raising an awkward and clumsy super man as a son, but they did it. The second couple is his birth parents, Zeus and Hera. I love Zeus's character in the story. A super strong, at times fearful, but slightly goofy dad. Though, I hear that in the true story, they were actually big jerks to their son. I think Zeus even tries to kill Hercules. But hey, who isn't trying to kill, eat, or rape someone in Greek mythology? In this instance, I like the Disney version best.
6. Mulan: The Fa family parents, Zhou and Li. If you haven't seen this movie, you should. The entire family, from the grandma and the undead ghostly ancestors down to the family guardians are full of personality. You really feel for the parents in this movie, though. Both parents are actually very complex characters, though only shown in scenes here and there. I love the rounded emotions that they have--especially the father. It would take more room than I have here to talk about it!
7. Treasure Planet: The parent couple of shame. By that I mean that both parents are alive (or at least his father is presumably alive), but despite that it has become a single parent situation because--unlike previous movies where the other parent is presumed dead, it is actually revealed that Jim's father was emotionally neglectful, disinterested, and eventually ditches his wife and son to pursue his own endeavors. This leads to the aggressive nature Jim has towards people (notably, men and authority figures) and how he comes to meet Silver. Sarah is a hard-working and admirable mother who is "at the end of her rope" because her son is driving her crazy and she fears for his future.
8. Tangled: The King and Queen. No, seriously, that is their names. They have none. They don't even talk. All we really know about them is that they are happy that their daughter is born, grieved when she goes missing, and happy when she returns. But, that sort of goes without saying. Still, I love some of the facial expressions they have. They were animated very well.
9. Brave: King Fergus and Queen Elinor. My FAVORITE parent couple ever! I actually like them and the 3 triplets a little more than Merida (though I still like Merida, of course). They way they interact is so real, I guess. Fergus, in particular, is a lot of fun, from butt pinching, mooning, and crazy story telling one moment to the ferocity that goes with protecting his family and seeking revenge out of grief the next. And Queen Elinor--well, I don't want to give away the plot.
Continue Reading: Ages of Man