Let’s face it–Hollywood gives dads a bad rap (Darth Vader, anyone?). According to moviemakers, dads are the root of all inner turmoil and dysfunction.
But in honor of my dad–who is awesome and who taught me how to spit sunflower seed shells, throw a baseball, and appreciate the outdoors–and all the other great hard-working fathers out there: here’s our list of stellar movie dads.
Happy Father’s Day!
#10: The Great Prince of the Forest — Bambi
Okay, so he doesn’t say much, but whenever Bambi needs him most his dad shows up to save the day.
#9: Caractacus Potts — Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Dick van Dyke’s scatter-brained inventor faces parenting alone; but despite his poverty, brings joy to his kids’ lives in the form of an awesome magical car that flies and transforms into a boat.
#8: The Father in Swiss Family Robinson
He doesn’t really have a name, but I love the leadership and authority displayed by the dad in this classic Disney movie. Extra points for building the coolest tree house EVER.
#7: Captain George Kirk — Star Trek (2009)
I think he gets less than 20 minutes of screen time, but, as Captain Pike, points out: Jim Kirk’s dad makes good use of his time–saving not only his crew, but his wife and newborn son. (Of course, he wouldn’t have died if J. J. Abrams hadn’t pulled the whole time-warpping black hole thing.)
#6: Mr. Incredible — The Incredibles
Many of us view our dads as heroes, but Bob Parr is literally a superhero! Sure, he’s a bit distracted at first, thinking of his glory days, but a little world-threatening mayhem helps him truly value his family and become the dad his kids need.
#5: George Stanley Banks — Father of the Bride
How many dads can relate to this–the overwhelming madness of wedding planning and the bittersweet moment of giving the bride away? And let’s be honest, George Banks has every right to flip-out over the wedding costs. We crunched the numbers and it turns out the mula shelled out for Annie Banks’ nuptials could have paid my college tuition.
#4: Marlin — Finding Nemo
He may be just a little clown fish, but this dad faces sharks, deep-sea monsters, and a jellyfish forest to save his son from the horrors of Darla the Fish-Killer.
#3: Mufasa — The Lion King
I don’t think my generation will get over this movie dad’s tragic death scene. It’s almost as traumatizing as the death of Bambi’s mom.
#2: Guido Orefice — Life Is Beautiful
And speaking of dads who lay down their lives for their kids, how can you not cry as Roberto Benigni’s plucky Jewish-Italian protects his son’s innocence in a Nazi concentration camp.
#1: Chris Gardner — The Pursuit of Happyness
So you might ask why I ranked Chris Gardner over Guido. It’s because The Pursuit of Happyness is based on a true story. There is no way you can’t root for this guy to make it against all odds. And I love the fact that they used Will Smith’s own son for the role of Gardner’s trusting kid.
So who makes your list for best movie dads?