Read about how Disney movies force the theme of growing up.
It's commonly said that 101 Dalmatians and Peter Pan are the only two Disney films where a character is shown to have both parents, and both parents stay alive throughout the movie. The rumor isn't entirely true, however, and appears to have been started before a string of Disney cartoons with complete family units, including the Disney-Pixar collaboration The Incredibles and the oft-forgotten Mulan. But even old cel-animated cartoons like Lady and the Tramp feature full sets of parents who stay alive during the movie's full running time.
The rumor is based in truth, though: a lot of Disney movies orphan their main characters, usually early in the film. Two of the most famous parent-death scenes are found in Bambi and The Lion King. Many more prominent female characters are without mothers, like Jasmine in Aladdin and Belle of Beauty and the Beast. This type of plot point is consistent with a common Disney theme: growing up. Kids without parents are forced to fend for themselves in a dangerous world, but with courage and friendship they manage to persevere. This positive message hasn't stopped parent groups and newspaper columnists from labeling Disney anti-family, however.