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Watching animated films such as 'Bambi', 'Frozen' or 'The Lion King' can help children come to terms with death, a study has found.

The main characters in Disney and Pixar movies are more than twice as likely to die than in dramas aimed at adults.

This is an opportunity for parents to discuss end of life issues with children, say psychologists behind the research.

Professor Kelly Tenzek, of the State University of New York at Buffalo, said: ‘These films can be used as conversation starters for difficult and what are often taboo topics like death and dying. These are important conversations to have with children, but waiting until the end of life is way too late.'

Death is a running theme in the genre. In 'The Lion King', Mufasa is killed by his jealous younger brother, while Elsa and Anna's parents are lost at sea in 'Frozen'. Arguably, the most heartbreaking death is in 'Bambi' when the little deer's mother is shot by a hunter.

Professor Tenzek and co-author Professor Bonnie Nickels, whose study is published in 'Omega: Journal of Death and Dying', analysed 57 Disney and Pixar movies with 71 deaths.