Although you will rarely see overzealous candy mongers dressed as these unsung heros on Halloween, I can’t help but acknowledge the impact of the wisecracking’, straight talkin’ and most influential grannies of Disney! My relationship with my own grandmother was complicated, but even so, her life lessons and no nonsense advice affects me to this day. Comic relief, powerhouse or wealth of knowledge ( usually a bit of all three!) these Disney grannies(in no particular order), IMO, are the most memorable.
Gramma Tala, Moana
Ok, I know I said no particular order, but Gramma Tala is probably my favorite Disney granny.
While Moana loves her parents and her village dearly, Gramma is her anchor, her shoulder to cry on, her support system. She understands the brave young chief unlike anyone else, and gives zero mickey butts about what her own family, or even the other villagers think of her. Tala can be found talking to herself, commanding the ocean, and sporting sweet tats, all while dropping sarcastic burns and zings. A granny so powerful she deliberately disobeys (brownie points if you know what Disney movie that is from) her son and village chief to show her granddaughter that there is more to life than what is expected of you. Her influence is reflected, even after death, in the gut wrenchingly brave decisions Moana makes to ensure the safety and prosper of her home and family.
Grandmother Fa, Mulan
Don’t underestimate Grandmother Fa. While she may be a traditional ancient Chinese Matriarch who ‘knows her place’, she is the glue that holds together the Fa family. Who summoned the ancestors to protect Mulan when she took her father’s place in the battle against the Huns? Granny Fa! Who loves to elicit shock in her daughter-in-law by crossing the busiest path in town with a ‘lucky’ bug to protect her? You guessed it! And Who is ready to enlist in the next war to find the future Mr. Fa? Grandmother Fa, of course! The Fa family is full of strength and perseverance, and it all started with this powerhouse, time honoured Grandmother.
Grandmother Willow, Pocahontas
While not technically a grandmother, or person for that matter, grandmother Willow is behind every critical decision made by Pocahontas. She commands respect, think the scene with spoiled, curly tailed percy and mekko, and can be just as gentle as she is coarse: sounds like a grandma to me! As a few centuries old Willow tree, there isn’t much that phases her, not even a colonizer who could quite literally threaten her existence. Like any good granny, Grandmother Willow urges Pocahontas and John Smith to find a way to end the fighting instead of reciprocating the violence likewise. The Willow tree in many cultures symbolizes strength, hope and harmony; the perfect summarization of this iconic character!
Mama Coco, Coco
This 2018 Oscar winning piece of cinema may have taken home the most prestigious award in film for it’s visual beauty, but the real English Rose of Coco was the heart warming story. The pictures namesake, while geriatric and frail, even seemingly senile, holds the fate of her family in her hands. Let’s be honest, I was in tears the majority of this movie, but I would have to say the most stirring bit was when Coco and Miguel sang ‘Remember me’. This watershed moment not only resurrected Hectors memories, but sealed the bond of the Rivera family even further. The character who said the least taught us the most. Family is everything 🙂
Fairy Godmother, Cinderella
Would this even be an homage if we didn’t mention this scattered brained, wish granting, not technically granny, granny? Nope! What I really love about Fairy Godmother, besides her glittery wand (I wonder if that thing can turn the pumpkins into PSLs instead of a coach?) is what a total and complete mess she is! Sorry dear, I can arrange your transportation and eventually remember to transform your rags into ball attire, but imma give you breakable shoes and a midnight curfew with no way whatsoever to find your one true love after a night of waltzing and sweet nothings. To be fair, I think she had all the tricks in her bag, she just didn’t know how to use them yet. Maybe this was her first gig?
Grandparents have a bigger influence than many of us realize. While our parents or guardians have given us the tools to meet life’s many joys and challenges, their parents, likewise were the curators of their livelihood. It would be hard for many of us to talk about adolescent or young adult memories without mentioning our grandmothers. Disney honors family in a way that no other entertainment brand does, and I can’t wait to branch out even more on this aspect in my upcoming blogs! If you have enjoyed this piece, please stay tuned every Wednesday and Friday to First we haunted mansion , and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @firstwehauntedmansion.
I’ll also be collaborating with https://www.celebrationspress.com/ sometime in March, so keep your eyes peeled for that, but in the meantime go check out this this fabulous publication both in print and online!