A raccoon keeps looking to have fun, buts its mother has to protect it from danger in the new short added to Disney+, “Far From the Tree.” As time passes, that baby raccoon grows up and has a baby of its own and becomes the overprotective parent while its baby is just as curious as it was.
This short is an excellent metaphor for the relationship between a parent and child and how when the child grows up, he or she becomes more like his or her parents. I remember being the child who was mesmerized by the world around me. I wanted to go explore every new place I went, but my parents needed to keep me safe from the dangers out there and most notably from myself. Now, that I’m a parent, the tables have turned. I have to keep my kids safe from the dangers around them, especially my younger, special needs child who has far less of an understanding than he should at his age. The discipline is necessary and the children don’t understand that the parent is more frightened of losing them than they are scared of anything else.
This short reminds me of a country music video from the 90s for a song called “Little Rock” by Collin Raye. In the video, it shows a younger version of Collin watching his drunk father scream at his mother and then getting scared when his father notices him. Then, an adult Collin is drunk and yelling at his wife when he notices his son and remembers being scared. He then calms down and hugs his son and goes about things differently. While there’s definitely a lot of differences as the racoon is just trying to protect her child, there’s some similarities too. The original mother has a scar on her eye and we learn how she got it and why she is so strict with her child. Then, as the original baby grows up and becomes a parent, the raccoon frightens its young with its protection so it takes a new approach to explain the dangers. It’s evolution that is necessary for the raccoons much in the way the evolution for Collin Raye’s character in the music video was necessary. Sometimes the ways of our parents don’t work anymore and we need to learn how to teach the same lessons in a different way.
This short tells an excellent story using some of the most unlikely subjects available. It’s a reminder to parents that you have to protect your children from danger, but you may have to adapt the way you teach your children due to the changing world around them. At the same time, it’s a great lesson for children to understand that when Mom or Dad is yelling, it’s more because they are scared about what could’ve happened to you than they are angry at you. I know I’ve yelled at my kids more out of fear for the danger than any actual anger at them for what they did. I think this is an excellent short for parents and kids to watch together.