Next to my own #1 mother, the best mothers are in animated television series


Alexis Simmerman

In a collage created by Alexis Simmerman, some of these amazing fictional mom’s are featured, including Pema from Avatar: The Legend of Korra, Mrs Boonchuy from Amphibia, Angella from She-Ra: The Princesses of Power, Aunt Ellen from Lolirock, Eda Clawthrone from the Owl House, Maya from Ninjago, Sarai from the Dragon Prince, and Julieta from Encanto.

by Alexis Simmerman, Editor

Everyone has a different definition of the term “motherly” but the one thing I think most people can agree on is that they’re the most loving and supportive people in a person’s life. As a result, modern media has a slew of them, ranging from awesome to why were you allowed to reproduce. But the latter has so many wonderful examples of what I think a good mother is, and in honor of Mother’s Day, here is my totally biased list of great television moms.

10- Pema the supportive mother

Have you seen Avatar the Last Airbender? Sorry, it’s not Katara.

 In the Legend of Korra, there is another character who I feel deserves this spot, since we actually see her being a mother. 

The character is Katara’s daughter-in-law, so we can at least assume that she learned from the best. Yeah, we’re talking about Pema.

I raised Meelo. I can handle anything.”

— Pema, The Legend of Korra

Pema is the wife of Tenzin, Aang and Katara’s son and the mother of four children, Jinora, Ikki, Meelo, and Ronan, three of whom are airbenders. Given that she’s a non-bender herself, it’s amazing that she manages to wrangle them as well as she does. She’s the only one who could possibly keep a handle on the wild card that is Meelo, and she even says herself that is no easy task.

Pema is a serene, understanding, and happy person who is always there to guide anyone who needs her, especially her children, and Korra who is practically one of the family. She has complete faith in her children and their abilities, the one to reason with Tenzin when he was frustrated with their eldest’s rebellious phase in Book 3, but that doesn’t stop her from worrying about them when they do travel the world. She’s the voice of reason in the family, often the one to rein in both her husband and her kids, which, with Meelo, is a talent. She was likely the reason Jinora was able to get her tattoos at such a young age in the first place, in spite of her husband’s stubborn nature. She’s the mediator when it comes to Tenzin and Korra, the mediator between the stubborn and temperamental mentor and the teenager, especially when Korra jumps in head first against Tenzin’s orders.

Though she’s encouraging, she’s also protective, physically and emotionally. She’s the one who will give them a gentle scolding if she feels they need it, but also understands that they still need a watchful eye and guidance if they are to grow.

The three airbending children are allowed to go on dangerous missions for the fate of the world, and Pema not only trusts them, but she packs snacks for them with nice notes in them to let them know they are loved, even when far away. 

9- Sarai the departed mother

Hailing from the same creators as Avatar, The Dragon Prince definitely stands on the same level as its predecessor.

Sometimes, things can get so complicated that our minds can’t quite sort them out alone, but when you slow down and let yourself breathe, your spirit and your body can catch up with your mind and help out.”

— Sarai, The Dragon Prince

Sarai is the mother of Callum and Ezran, the wife of King Harrow, and the queen of Katolis. Typically, royal mothers tend to be more stiff, since often their roles are dedicated to being both a mom and a ruler, which can be hard to manage.

While we don’t see much of her before her death, it’s pretty clear that her boys hold her in a fond place in their hearts, as well as everyone she has met. She’s described as a loving and compassionate person who has a strong moral compass, but also loyal to those she loves. She was willing to think about the long term, even when the needs of the many were at stake, and was very strict with her husband about her opinions.

Even in death, Sarai still protects her boys and loves them with all her heart. Callum said when Ezran nearly drowned that he felt her spirit, almost like it was looking over them, and her memory was what saved Callum from nearly dying when he used dark magic. Much of her kind heart and love was passed onto her boys, and because of that, they were the ones to attempt to break the toxic cycle of war and conflict between humans and elves.

8- Ellira the protective mother

Lolirock is a French animated show on YouTube following a standard magical girl story line, and one of my guilty pleasures. 

Choosing a mom from this series isn’t too hard, I can’t really go for the biological mother here since she’s hardly seen in the show, and her most motherly action is sending the main character off with my choice: Ellira, or Aunt Ellen.

I think of all the times I might have helped you in the fight against Gramorr but couldn’t. I just felt so helpless.”

— Ellira, Lolirock


Ellira is a soldier in Iris’ mother’s army, defending the kingdom against the forces of evil. When the darkness overpowers the light, the Queen has Ellira take her newborn child and flee to Earth to keep her safe, with the promise that she would never let Iris know about her real past and to protect Iris at any and all costs. From there, Ellira became Aunt Ellen and raised Iris as her own.

Aunt Ellen is a kind, loving aunt to Iris, helping her grow up to be the sweetest person she can be, all without revealing her true nature. While she wants to tell Iris the truth, her oath remains firm for years. She lets girls into her house rent free as Iris’s friends, no identification required. She never pushes boundaries, but she’s also dedicated to keeping Iris safe, meaning that she will step onto the battlefield if necessary.

In Season 2, episode 17, she was willing to risk her enemies discovering her identity and putting her life at risk, if it meant keeping Iris from being captured. Her oath was on the line, but she didn’t hesitate for Iris’ sake, and she was more than willing to do it again when she realized that Iris’ friends were in trouble, and the girl was in no condition to fight. When the truth came out, she knew how heavy the information was for Iris, and thus gave her time before talking to her, with her favorite hot chocolate. She was open and honest when her oath no longer bound her, and genuinely felt guilty for hiding things that long.

She’s often the springboard for Iris’ hobbies and interests, particularly the band. Not only is she one of their biggest fans, but she has a system of connections within the industry that she is more than willing to extend to the girls to help them advance their careers.

She might be called Aunt Ellen, but Ellira is a great mom to the very last.

7- Ming Lee the doting mother

Disney has a complicated relationship with mothers. They’re either dead or very passive, at best. It’s only recently that Disney has started highlighting more mothers in their movies and shows, which honestly, is a blessing.

Recently, the movie, Turning Red, includes one of the most realistic and touching representations of motherly love in Ming Lee.

I see you, Mei Mei. You try to make everyone happy but are so hard on yourself, and if I taught you that, I’m sorry. Don’t hold back for anyone. The farther you go, the prouder I’ll be.”

— Ming Lee, Turning Red

Ming is a proud, devoted mother and wife who works hard and can come off as a bit crazy at times. She has a complex relationship with her daughter, relying on her to be perfect and dutiful. However, this likely stems from her own past trauma from her own mother, as well as the way she was expected to be as a child. They do much together, but she’s very protective of Mei, often embarrassing her in public and viewing everything her daughter likes with a critical mind. She’s a helicopter parent, but at times, it’s understandable.

Ming doesn’t want her daughter to make the same mistakes that she did when she was a kid and go through the same pain, but this leads her to unintentionally make the same mistakes as her own mother. She has a hard time accepting the fact that her daughter is growing up. 

Even still, Ming had the strength and courage to admit her faults, showing herself vulnerable to her daughter and accepting that she crossed some lines, and once she did that, she started to be a lot more accepting towards her daughters’ likes and friends. She takes full responsibility for her actions and accepts the consequences of them. She trusts Mei to be her own person, promising that she will be happy no matter what she does.

6- Arianna the understanding mother

Tangled The Series was the best thing to happen to the Tangled franchise, and that’s coming from someone who considers Tangled her favorite movie. The show greatly expanded the lore, the characters, and the world of the Tangled Franchise, and gave us so many wonderful stories from these amazing characters.

One of the best things the show did was expand the characters of Rapunzel’s parents, mainly Queen Arianna, and showing them as parents in contrast to Gothel.

There’s more to you.”

— Queen Auriana, Tangled the Series

Arianna perfectly understands the situation she and her husband are placed in. Rapunzel isn’t a baby anymore, but a teenager, and as a teenager, she can’t just shelter her. She’s the one who balances out her husband’s more paranoid nature, believing that she needs to have faith in her daughter. She loves having a complete family again, and encourages Rapunzel to learn more about the world. She’s the parent Rapunzel mostly confides in, and is the only reason Rapunzel wasn’t locked in another tower until the season 1 finale when she was kidnapped. She understands that teenagers are complex and need patience and understanding from their parents to properly develop. 

5- Maya the distant mother

 I’m probably going to get made fun of for this, but I can’t not talk about this mom.

Ninjago as a show is a guilty pleasure of mine. It’s not the best when it comes to characters, and good luck if you try to make sense of the lore, but it’s been running for fifteen seasons. It was a part of my childhood, and I still watch even today.

That’s just how the cookie crumbles.”

— Maya, Ninjago

Maya is the mother of Kai and Nya. She had to fight in a war and made quite a few dangerous enemies in her youth, many of which would come back for round two years later. 

Maya is a caring and friendly person, willing to help anyone. While a bit confident and naive in her youth, she has a tendency to see the best in everyone. However, when her kids were still young, she was forced to abandon them in order to protect them, and it clearly affected her as she wasn’t able to see her children grow. 

 Years later, it is hard for her to accept that they didn’t need her. It was why she is so eager when her son calls her for help, despite her daughter not being a fan of the whole ordeal. She tried to make up for lost time with Nya, and, while she is pushy, given her situation, it’s understandable. 

She is very much willing to stowaway on an underwater mission in order to keep an eye on Nya, and, with the girl having water powers that were going haywire, that’s justified. 

While her persistence doesn’t always go the right way, it’s clear that everything Maya does is coming from a place of love. However, her greatest moment was when she realizes how much her daughter had grown and that her daughter had surpassed her. The greatest pride of any parent is seeing their children become adults.

She never stopped wanting to be there for them when they needed her, despite all the time they lost.

4- Julieta Madrigal the loving mother

Encanto is a movie about familial love, and Julieta Madrigal is, without a doubt, the best mom there.

Mama, you’ve always been too hard on Mirabel.”

— Julieta Madrigal, Encanto

Julieta is very nurturing, which manifests itself in her healing gift. She’s supportive and affectionate towards the younger members of her family, and enjoys helping the people of her town. A smile on a person’s face is all the reward she needs. Throughout the movie, she was one of the few who stuck up for Mirabel when she was being cast aside by Abuela. She would have done that for any of her family members, because she is always the backbone of the family. She is the oldest triplet to a recently widowed mother, meaning she likely had to take on a motherly role for her siblings. 

She’s very unafraid to talk back to her own mother and cares more about her daughter than her home falling apart. She’s affectionate mostly towards Mirabel, still seeing her as her baby, but empathetic towards her struggles. She freaks out when Mirabel goes missing, and is practically frantic while looking for her. 

Honestly, with a mother like Alma, it’s amazing just how much of a backbone Julieta has. She’s like a mother bear in many ways.

3- Angella the strict mother

Parents have a job to protect their children from the world while also teaching them about it. That’s hard enough on it’s own, but leading a rebellion, fighting a war, and ruling a kingdom on top of that while being a single parent is not an easy feat. And it’s made even harder when your daughter is often impulsive and doesn’t think things through like her father.

I will not cut it out. I’ve been beside myself with worry.”

— Angella, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

Angella from She Ra the Princesses of Power is the queen of Bright Moon, former leader of the Rebellion, and mother to Glimmer. As a leader, Angella is very austere and focused. She can appear standoffish and detached due to her responsibilities, and given what she has to work with, who can blame her. She has a devoted and protective love for Glimmer, supporting one another after her husband died. 

She’s protective of all who she cares for, dedicated to protecting her people to the point that she does little more than defend to avoid endangering those she cares about. This is likely due to many war related trauma, most likely the death of her husband. Her trust is hard earned, as she is often haunted by the past, fearful of losing anyone else. 

She mostly fears losing Glimmer. She’s still supportive of Glimmer, but it’s clear that she constantly worries that Glimmer is going to get herself killed, and, given what that girl gets into, that’s  a fair assumption. Glimmer did try to hide the fact that she was glitching from Angella, which only resulted in pain. The two of them clash often, but it is mostly because Angella is afraid of losing Glimmer as well. Even still, she is the one who pushes things along when everything is at it’s bleakest state. 

When she sacrifices herself to save the world, her last request is for Adora to look after Glimmer, knowing that Glimmer will still need someone by her side to help her process her grief and not become what Angella allowed herself to become out of fear.

No one wants to repeat a painful experience. No one wants to lose a child. Angella did everything that she could to make sure Glimmer did not meet her father’s nor her fate, and while it might not have been enough in the end, the fact that she was willing to try earns her a spot on the best moms list.

2- Mrs Boonchuy the compassionately fierce mother

Amphibia is a show that will leave your emotions raw. There are many darker elements, intense themes, and jaw dropping moments that make the show so epic within all of the lighthearted elements. 

One of these more lighthearted elements is Mrs Boonchuy, Anne’s mother, who is a treat in season three.

Don’t believe you, but okay.”

— Mrs. Boonchuy, Amphibia

 Even in the second season, it was easy to tell just how much she meant to Anne considering what she went through to get a present for her in Hopping Mall

From the moment that Anne reappears on her doorstep, it is evident how much this woman loves her daughter. For starters, it takes a very patient mom to not throw out the three frogs that Anne has carried home. But Mrs Boonchuy puts up with the numerous living hazards, including frogs. 

The mother and daughter are constantly in danger from either the FBI, robots, or the Plantars. There is also plenty of evidence to suggest that Mrs Boonchuy was depressed because of Anne’s disappearance, such as the Thai community having to take care of them, the infamous work out room, and the general over protectiveness she had when Anne did return. 

While she’s very strict with Anne, she does know her daughter well enough to understand that Anne has learned. But, she won’t hesitate to step in and protect Anne if the situation calls for it. She knows when Anne’s potentially getting into trouble, but will leave her to her own devices despite her theories. This woman will break traffic laws, fight a killer robot with a hammer, stick a tracker on Hop Pop, mess with a public buildings’ electrical functions, and take on the FBI to see her daughter safe. 

While she has high expectations for her daughter’s future, she understands that it is Annes life to live. She makes sure that Anne grows up respecting the culture she’s from, while also enjoying the modern world.

Season 3 of Amphibia has been a roller coaster ride, and it was only made better by meeting the people who made Anne who she is today. Her protective nature likely comes from mamma herself, and the universe is better off for it.

  1. Eda Clawthorne, Bird Mama

The Owl House.

The Owl House is a revolutionary show in terms of Disney cartoons, with a mass of positive representations for LBGT+ characters, brilliant story lines, stellar animation, and the best mom to come out of fiction. 

Eda Clawthrone is a certified number one. This woman is everything a mother should be and more, and there is a reason why the fandom (and even the characters) collectively calls her Mama Eda.

What’s the fun in watching a kid get eaten if it’s my kid?”

— Eda Clawthorne, The Owl House

Eda is the adopted mother of King Clawthorne and Luz Noceda. From the moment that Luz stumbled through Eda’s door, it was pretty much fate. 

While Eda wasn’t as attached to Luz as she is now. She still allowed her to stay with her and agreed to teach her magic. She found it amusing the way Luz looked up to her. She seems to grow a soft spot for the human, and feels a responsibility as the teacher.

She trusts Luz enough to house sit for her (with a few warnings), and when Luz inevitably disobeys her, the consequences are fair, but also encouraging.

She was willing to swallow her pride and enroll Luz in Hexside and make amends with the principal for the many instances of trouble she created when she was a student there. She’s incredibly proud of Luz, especially when she emulates Edas traits such as getting a wanted poster and learning how to weaponize pride. She sees Luz and her friends as her kids, and is not happy when someone messes with her dumb kids. She knows Luz well enough to know the signs of when she’s hiding something. 

She cares for Luz enough she is willing to fight her own sister, when she’s on the verge of her curse taking over and will sacrifice herself to save Luz. 

She claims that Luz has given her something worth using her magic for, which is why she was willing to sacrifice so much. Her life got better because Luz was in it, and she didn’t care if she would lose her powers or not, because as long as her girl was safe. When Luz tried to save her, Eda pleaded with her to save herself, though her own life was at risk, wanting her to go back to the human realm where it was safe and leave her behind. She sees Luz as a daughter, and would make the choice to save Luz over herself. 

She spends a large portion of the house’s money to make sure Luz can eat something since there isn’t much food she can digest. She actually steals from a Garden Club to let Luz have the time to figure out what she wants to do with her life and what Palisman she wants, and tells her to take as long as she needs. She hates the thought of Luz and King leaving her, and tries to distract herself from her empty nest depression.

King was her first child, saving him from some old ruins when he was a baby. She wasn’t as attached to him before she adopted him, but she still holds much responsibility over him like with Luz. She’s good with babies, though it sometimes pains her, and is able to lull three screeching baby bats to sleep, which no doubt helped with King. 

She’s been known to carry King like an infant, but she speaks to him like an equal most of the time. She raises him like a son. She is in hysterics when King tells her that he wants to be legally adopted by Eda.

Honestly, the best thing to do is watch the show to see this mama bird in action because she has pretty much adopted every character she interacts with, and it’s glorious. She’s a fierce, protective, and loving mother who will do anything to see her babies are safe and sound, and provide encouragement to help her kids grow into their best selves, and she’s a delight.

Though, now that I’m thinking about it, I think the reason why I love these moms as much as I do is because they remind me of my own mom. Loving, supportive, strict yet compassionate, they’re everything I love about my own mom. If you have a mom as wonderful as these ladies, go give them a hug. Remember, too, that some of the best moms in your life are also not related by blood.