I read this a few weeks ago and found it interesting, especially since prior I did think about the lack of parents (especially mothers) in many Disney films.
101 Dalmatians and Peter Pan are the only two Disney cartoon features with both parents that are present and don't die throughout the movie.
After the commercial success of his first major movie, Walt Disney purchased a new home for his parents. A defective furnace in the new home led to his mother dying of asphyxiation. This was a devastating blow for Walt Disney and may be the reason for the lack of mother figures in his films.
Interestingly, all this took place between the release of Snow White and the release of Bambi, a film in which a deer has to cope with the loss of his mother.
Losing a parent is such a defining moment in life. It's interesting how often I feel more mature? worldly? jaded? than people who have both their parents living, especially those who are "grown ups." Maybe I feel that I don't get enough credit for what I've been through (especially my particular circumstances) and the fact that I'm still standing/functioning/excelling.