The Disney Death: A symptom of dying, appearing to die, or almost dying, but miraculously returning to life just in time for a happy ending. (For more, see this article from TV Tropes).
The Disney Death is designed to tug at our heart strings, to bring tears and tension as the climax approaches the denouement. My tear ducts fill as Belle kneels beside the Beast as he appears about to die, only to transform into a young man with shiny toes and fingers.
Now Belle has a human-appearing date for the next town party, but is he really human?
Let’s also consider Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. Both fall under “a sleep like death,” but Snow White is in an actual glass coffin. A coffin is usually a good indication of deadness… or, being a vampire.
Sleeping Beauty has a higher likelihood of still being alive, but are she and Snow White the same when the wake? Or, does waking from the state of sleep transform them into something else? Have they been zombified or vampirified? Are they still human and alive?
In the case of Mufasa, the line between dead and undead is clear. He dies under the stampede of antelopes, and then returns as Ghost Mufasa.
While he returns as a wise guide, he’s still a ghost.
And who else is a ghost?
So, as you prepare for Halloween, and put on your Disney movies, just watch those Disney deaths and look for the rise of the undead.
- What’s your favorite Disney death?
- Which Disney character would make the best zombie?
- Would Sleeping Beauty be better if she turned into a werewolf, and then fought Maleficent as a dragon?
Side Note: The other day, I took a break from the epic adventure known as Grad School, and did backwards trick-o-treating in my apartment complex full of college students. If you ever want to make friends, just knock on their door and offer them candy. I highly recommend it.