I meant for this to go up on Mother’s day. Uh, well, I’m kinda late. I blame my computer getting broken. But now it’s fixed and I have a special mother’s day tribute! I’m really lucky that I have an awesome mom who I can call my friend. It’s too bad that in most western animation the mom is mysteriously absent. A lot of the time they’re dead, or just plain gone, with no explanation. This is especially true of Disney (see the tvtropes page ‘Missing Mom’). That’s why I’m always happy to see an awesome mom in animation. Here are my ten(ish) favorite moms in animation, in no particular order.
Ursa and Kya, from Avatar: The Last Airbender
I’m grouping these two together because they have a lot in common, and I’m sure that was intentional. We don’t know a lot about either of them, except that they sacrificed themselves for their kids. Ursa was exiled and Kya gave her life. And they were both great enough moms that Zuko and Katara both had very emotional drives to find/avenge their mother even years later.
The Crystal Gems, from Steven Universe
Even though they’re not normally referred to as ‘mom’ in the show, Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl have been dubbed moms by the fandom. And for good reason; they do all collectively act as mother to Steven. They not only protect him, they’re there for him emotionally. Even if they don’t always understand his human needs.
Helen Parr, from The Incredibles
AKA Elastagirl. AKA Mrs. Incredible. AKA My favorite character in the whole movie. Helen is awesome. She’s a superhero who can easily hold her own in a fight both physically and mentally. But she also loves her family and cares enough about them to leave the Super stuff behind and raise her kids. She doesn’t dumb things down or try to sugar coat it when Dash and Violet are thrown into the fray later in the story, she straight up tells them that bad guys aren’t gonna hold back, and neither should they. She’s a loving mother and wife, and you do not wanna mess with her family.
Kala, from Disney’s Tarzan
Yet another Disney character, Kala is impressive because she’s one of the few moms in the Disney Animated Canon who 1) Exists 2) Survives to the end of the movie and 3) Is actually involved in the plot. (Helen doesn’t count because The Incredibles is a PIXAR film) I also love Kala because she’s an adoptive mother who loves her child just as much as her own flesh and blood. Despite the fact that Tarzan is a human, she recognizes that he needs her, and, as the song says, they’re ‘not that different at all’. She’s the one gorilla in the troop that will always stand by Tarzan, and the reason he came back to protect them.
Maddie Fenton, from Danny Phantom
Maddie is cool. She kicks butt, she’s smart, and she’s beautiful. She’s very protective and her kids, and puts up with a lot of Jack’s stupidity. Y’know, when he’s not being brilliant. She may seem like she’s not paying much attention to Danny at times, considering she never catches on to his ghost powers. But she does worry about his weird behavior and tries to spend more time with him. That’s just hard when your teenage son can turn invisible and walk through walls. Despite what a lot of fanfiction will tell you, she actually does accept Danny any time he reveals his powers (It happens a few times due to time travel and memory erasing and stuff).
Dr. Nora Wakeman, from My Life as a Teenage Robot
Dr. Wakeman is cool because she’s a very unconventional mother. At the beginning of the series, she doesn’t even really consider herself Jenny’s mom. She’s just XJ-9’s creator; a roboticist with a really advanced robot on her hands. It’s Jenny who calls Dr. Wakeman ‘Mom’ and only because she wants to be more like a normal teenage girl. Over time the good doctor warms up to the idea, and even though she continues to call Jenny ‘XJ-9’, she still clearly cares for her creation like a daughter.
Wanda, from Fairly Odd Parents
Unlike Timmy Turner’s biological mother, who is ditzy and neglectful, Wanda cares a lot about her godson (and eventually her birth son). Even though Timmy is reckless and at times ungrateful, she loves him unconditionally, and tries to encourage him to do the right thing (most of the time). And more importantly, she’s a friend to Timmy, one of the very few friends the boy has. I think being a good friend to your child is more important than anything.
Judy Neutron, from Jimmy Neutron
At first glance, Judy seems like your typical cartoon mom. Just there, doing a lot of cleaning. Except she’s not some air-headed ditz. She’s really smart. What’s more, Jimmy’s lab and inventions aren’t a secret to her. She’s completely aware that her son is gifted, and probably my favorite thing about this whole show is how well it portrays a parent dealing with a ‘gifted’ child. My brother was skipped up a grade, and while that’s not nearly as impressive as Jimmy’s stuff, I feel I can kinda relate to her. She gives Jimmy room to learn and invent, but she also puts her foot down when she needs to.
Linda Flynn-Fletcher, from Phineas and Ferb
I love Linda. Of all the moms on this list, she probably reminds me the most of my mom. Smart, talented, and sarcastic, while still being caring and patient. No matter how many times Candace tries to bust Phineas and Ferb, no matter how many times whatever it was disappears, Linda always comes to see what it is, because she loves Candace. She’s also incredibly supportive of her kids. She encourages them to dream and play (although she has no idea just how far that goes for her two boys). Whenever Candace is suffering from low self-esteem, Linda reassures her that yes, Jeremy likes you. Yes, you have friends. Yes, you’re a talented musician. And last, but not least, she cares for Ferb just as much as the other two, even though he’s a child from her husband’s previous marriage.
Maria Rivera, from El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera
In a show all about super heroes and super villains, Maria manages to be amazing with no powers at all (Well, except Plata Peligrosa, but that’s just two episodes) She cares a lot about her family, to the point where she hyperventilates if she sees any of them in danger. And yet, if you put her boy in danger, she will mess you up. With her librarian knowledge. Maria is smart and she doesn’t take any crap from anyone, but she’s also willing to give people a second chance to change for the better. Plus, I just love that she’s a bookworm. I relate to that.
So, that’s my ten favorite animated moms. If you didn’t see your favorite up here, there’s a good chance I just don’t know about her, because I only watch so many cartoons. Feel free to share your favorite cartoon moms!
And I’ll be doing this again on fathers day! Until then, I’ll be working on getting back to reviewing LEGO Ninjago season 3. See you then!