Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! Today is a day for celebrating the best parts of our father-child relationships; calling them when the engine makes a funny noise, rolling our eyes through their dad jokes (but secretly laughing) and knowing that – no matter how awkward they may get about it – they love us no matter what.
So lets celebrate the steady reliability, so-bad-it’s-good sense of humour and unconditional love with a tribute post to all the great dads out there in fiction and film!
Atticus Finch – ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’
Wise, gentle and calm, with a distinct sense of justice and tolerance that he instils in his daughter, Atticus Finch is everything you could hope for in a father. A single dad, he went against norms at the time by being very involved in his children’s lives, raising them as a friend as well as a father. He allows Scout to be herself even when society tells her otherwise and always stands up for what’s right, comforting the sensitive Scout when the world seems against them. We’ll just pretend ‘Go Set a Watchman never happened’, shall we?
Arthur Weasley – ‘Harry Potter Series’
Another man who fights for what’s right while still keeping in touch with his gentler, paternal side, Arthur Weasley is an enthusiastic and involved father, taking an interest in everything from the mechanics of the twin’s jokes to Ginny’s quidditch career. And what’s more, he acts as a father figure for Harry quite often too, taking him in for summers at the burrow and treating him no differently than he does his own children. The man’s got a big heart!
Phil Dunphy – ‘Modern Family’
The ultimate goofy dad, we love Phil almost as much as he loves his family. His relationship with Luke spans everything from magic camp together to insane experiments around the house, leading to hilarity and disaster. But when it counts, his serious side is there, whether he’s comforting Haley through a breakup or teaching Alex to embrace her differences.
Johnny Rose – ‘Schitt’s Creek’
What may seem like a slightly unconventional choice at first makes sense when you think about it: Johnny’ character development throughout the series is just as much about becoming a family man as it is about restoring the family to financial stability. He spends more them with Alexis and David, getting to know them far more than he ever had when they were rich and steadily becoming a bigger and bigger part of their lives, passing on his knowledge of business and work ethic to them.
Marlin – ‘Finding Nemo’
Okay…he’s a fish, but he’s still a great dad! Overprotective from the get go as Nemo is his only child, Marlin conquers his fears (of everything beyond their tiny reef) to brave the perils of the big open ocean to rescue his son. Despite being terrified of the world around him, he forces himself through all the dangers he faces to find his son and works on himself and their relationship as the story unfolds. Talk about dedication!
Mr Bennett – ‘Pride and Prejudice’
Another choice that may not be entirely obvious at first, as Mr Bennett appears as somewhat of a background character in comparison to his loud and hilarious wife. But Mr Bennett has a quietly effective and affectionate role within the family. He ensures his daughters are well cared for and in (mostly) happy marriages – not an easy feat at the time. He ensures Lizzie prioritises herself and doesn’t self-sacrifice her happiness for the family’s financial stability when Mr Collins proposes and rides out to rescue Lydia to try save her from making a terrible, social mistake in marrying the wrong man. He has that quiet, calm strength that a lot of us see in our dads.
Mr Banks – 'Mary Poppins'
Another work in progress throughout the movie, Mr Banks starts off as a big old grump. Ut as we discover throughout the movie, his job puts him under enormous pressure and he must work hard to provide for his family. He’s distant, stern and fairly stereotypical of the era. But as his frosty exterior melts, he learns to make the most of his time with his children while they’re young, embracing the ridiculousness and imagination that comes with childhood. This character was supposedly based on Walt Disney’s own father, and there’s a great movie about it called ‘Saving Mr. Banks’.
Red Foreman – ‘That 70s Show’
Another angry dad, Red Foreman is cranky, strict and super harsh on Eric and his friends (even though sometimes they deserve it). But he also has a total softie side that sometimes makes an appearance, like when he takes Hyde in when his family flake on him, making sire he graduates school does his best in life. Strict on the surface, most of Red’s rules are for the good of his kids.
Bob Cratchit – ‘A Christmas Carol’
A slightly unseasonable choice, but Bob Cratchit is the crowning jewel in this Father’s Day list. Poor, but determined to give his children and wife a good life, he works under the hard task master Ebeneezer Scrooge to provide for his family keep them as comfortable as possible. Humble and caring, he works his awful job to take care of his sick young son, Tiny Tim, who he always teaches to see the bright side of life and to be charitable and kind to everyone, no matter their station in life. Dad goals!