There is always a running joke about how Disney loves to kill off the moms in a good story. Don’t believe us? Hmm…. Bambi, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, etc. But how come no one really talks about the Disney dads?
It’s time to give some recognition to the most important man in these characters’ lives. Here’s an ode to the best Disney dads!
Great Prince of the Forest – Father of Bambi
Let’s just say that Bambi’s dad is a man of few words, but he teaches Bambi about inner strength. He is always quiet and calm when talking with Bambi, and even though there is an awkwardness between Bambi and his father after his mother’s death, we think he’s a good father.
Mr. Darling – Father of Wendy, John, and Michael
Don’t be too quick to judge Mr. Darling’s quick temper! Think about it – He was probably working all day and came home to kid chaos. That’s a lot for anyone. Now imagine those little dears stole your gold cufflinks AND DREW ON YOUR SHIRT that you needed for that fancy evening…. 3. 2. 1. Explosion! Sure, poor Nana had to take the fall on that one, but let’s just say we relate heavily to Mr. Darling.
Jim Dear – “Father” of Lady
Dog parents count as parents! Plus we have to count Jim Dear on our list of great Disney dads since the whole storyline about how Jim Dear gifted Lady to Darling is taken directly from how Walt Disney gifted a dog to his wife, so Jim Dear is, in a way, Walt Disney!
King Stefan – Father of Sleeping Beauty
One of the hardest things as a parent is questioning whether or not you made the right decision. I’m not sure that I would have cast off my child if she were expected to meet some sleepy demise 16 years from now, but it all worked out, so okay. We’ll let it slide.
Pongo – Father of 99 Puppies
You think you struggle saying the right name for the kid in trouble in your house?! Imagine trying to find the right name out of nearly 100! Pongo gets the ultimate dad award because let’s not forget that only 15 of the puppies are biologically his. The rest of the 99 were rescued from the evil Cruella and he raised them as his own on their Dalmatian Plantation. #IYKYK
Ector – Adoptive Father of Arthur
Ector can be rather rough and gruff, but he really shows that he cares for the boy, I mean Wart, I mean Arthur. We think it’s a case like many men, he doesn’t know how to show emotion. You do see him talk fondly about Arthur to Merlin, we just wish he spoke that way to Arthur! Is there a spell for that? Higitus figitus migitus mum, prestidigitonium!
King Triton – Father of Ariel
As I kid watching The Little Mermaid, I agreed wholeheartedly with Ariel. How could her father deny her of her true love?! Now I laugh. King Triton was tasked with raising 7 daughters and we think he did a pretty good job. He even made Ariel a beautiful dress to walk to Prince Eric in.
Maurice – Father of Belle
Crazy old Maurice. We love his free spirited ways and how he embraced Belle’s curiosities and continued to tell her how wonderful she was. Though we have some issues with him suggesting Gaston to Belle as a potential match… The real question though, is if Maurice ended up with the human Mrs. Potts… Does that make Chip now her brother?
Sultan – Father of Jasmine
We love the Sultan from Aladdin! He is patient with his daughter and just wants what is best. He even went against hundreds of years of traditions to change the laws to make his daughter happy. Now that is love!
Mufasa – Father of Simba
Mufasa was more than just King of Pride Rock, he was a father first. We loved how he would take Simba to work to teach him the ropes, but incorporated play time with the morning meeting. Pouncing lessons! In the end, he showed his true devotion to his son by giving his life to protect Simba’s. Long live the king.
Chief Powhatan – Father of Pocahontas
There seems to be a trend in Disney with calm, quiet, and patient fathers in Disney. The Chief in Pocahontas had much to attend to and believed strongly in tradition, and yet, he encouraged his daughter to flourish in her own way. He even gave credit to her for speaking sense about the impending battle. Too bad the real Pocahontas story didn’t go quite like this… Anyway…
Goofy – Father of Max
Ok. Let’s give the award for the best Disney dad right here to Goofy! He’s one of the Fab 5, and the only one to have a child and he is raising him on his own! We watched in A Goofy Movie how he just wanted to love his son and have fun doing it and you know teenagers… Goofy put up with a lot and didn’t give up! Go on, Goofy, take a bow… Then do the perfect cast!
Pete – Father of P.J.
Well, Pete is a father. His son is Max Goof’s best friend, P.J. It kind of ends about there. Who really likes Pete? Are there any Pete fans out there? He’s just loud, impatient, entitled, and kind of mean.
Amphitryon & Zeus – Fathers of Hercules
You read that right. We’re giving attention to BOTH fathers. Zeus may be Hercules’ biological father, but it was Amphitryon that raised him and made him a man. Given the fact that the boy had God-like strength, that had to be really difficult.
Fa Zou – Father of Mulan
We love how when the trip to the matchmaker didn’t go well Mulan’s father just sat with her. And instead of trying to talk about what happened, place blame, or make excuses, he just reminded her that everything and everyone blooms with time and they are all beautiful. We never really get to know Fa Zou, but we know he was a war hero because his name was well known to the officials in charge, and of course, he must have been a great man because Mulan risked her life for her father.
John Clayton – Father of Tarzan
Yikes! Did you know that Tarzan’s father had a name?? According to the book, his name was John Clayton. Wow, Disney got a little cheeky there making the bad guy’s name Clayton. We see you, Disney. Wondering why we didn’t include Kerchak? There is no doubt that Kala is one Tarzan’s mothers, but Kerchak said repeatedly that Tarzan wasn’t his, and often made Tarzan feel inferior.
Pacha – Father of Chaca and Tipo
First, we have to say that the Emperor’s New Groove is the most underrated and underappreciated Disney movie ever made. There. We got that out. Pacha is a caring and loyal guy. He looks out for his village and loves his kids. More than that, he still maintains his loyalty despite being betrayed.
FUN FACT: Did you know that the Emperor’s New Groove is the FIRST animated movie to show a pregnant woman?
James – Father of Tiana
Tiana’s father was only seen for a few short minutes in Princess and the Frog, but we know he must have had a powerful and beautiful presence in Tiana’s life to inspire her to work as hard as she did. He encouraged her to follow her dreams and that personal responsibility and sacrifice could make them come true. He also showed her to care for others. It was obvious by looking at their home and neighborhood that they didn’t have much themselves, but when they made the perfect gumbo he insisted they share it with everyone.
King Frederic – Father of Rapunzel
A man of few words? How about a man of no words! Rapunzel’s father has zero lines in the entire movie, and yet we know his thoughts and emotions the whole time. This man’s face is an open book. We see the pure devastation before the lantern festival for the 18th year, but we see him square his shoulders to be strong for the kingdom.
Agnarr – Father of Anna and Elsa
As king, his job is to rule the land and protect the villages, which he did but risked everything for the love of his daughter. The movie suggests that in addition to closing the gates away from villagers, they also closed the ports for trade. This had to have put a huge hardship on the kingdom, but he was afraid of someone hurting his little girl.
Stu Hopps – Father of Officer Judy Hopps
Why do I feel like every father in America wants to be kind of like Stu Hopps. Think about it. He raised his daughter to have super confidence and take care of herself, but as she is leaving home to go grow up he sends her off with tasers, fox spray, and all other self-defense gadgets.
Tui – Father of Moana
Poor Moana, most of her life she felt that her father had an unreasonable fear of the water. Let’s face it, she makes a great point that if the areas they are fishing and harvesting weren’t working, then change them. But once she knows the story she has a better understanding of his position. Parents take note: Communication helps!
Chief Benja – Father of Raya
*Personal Experience* – My husband took my daughter to see Raya and the Last Dragon in theaters and I thought it was so cute that he said he didn’t care for the movie because the father’s sacrifice and Rayas determination to bring him back made him a little misty eyed. Adorable.
Chief Benja shows us that we need to look into the hearts of people and work together. That is a sound philosophy for molding great humans.
Agustin – Father of Maribel
Poor guy is so accident prone that it is safe to say that he married the perfect person! Agustin had a very difficult position in the family because he had no powers and was surrounded by greatness. He learned how to embrace his gifts and talents and trying to teach Maribel that it is ok.
Let’s Not Forget Pixar Films!
Pixar is its own studio owned by the Walt Disney Company, so basically they are Disney movies… Sort of. They still count, so let’s tip our hats to these special dads!
Mr. Potatohead – Adoptive father of the Aliens
When the aliens were selected out of the game they couldn’t adapt on their own so Mr. and Mrs. Potatohead adopted them. We love a good adoption story!
Merlin – Father of Nemo
Of course Merlin made it on the list! The entire movie of Finding Nemo is about how good of a father Merlin is chasing his son across the ocean. I mean, come on, 3 sharks, deep water monsters, whales, seagulls, geesh. Yes, he makes the list.
Mr. Incredible – Father to Violet, Dash, and Jack Jack
“Mr. Incredible, Incredible, Incredible. Catching the bad guys. Pow! Pow! Pow!” Mr. Incredible is super involved with his family on top of saving the world. He is encouraging Dash to be the best him he can be and helping him in areas where he may fall a little short, like math. That’s pretty awesome, sir.
Django – Father of Remy
Remy and his dad didn’t always see eye to eye, but there was always a mutual respect and love for each other. We love how his dad brings the whole rat army to help Remy in the kitchen on the big night. You kids may do a lot of things that you just don’t understand, but you love them no matter what.
Carl – Adoptive Grandfather of Russel
New fan theory for you! We learn the Russel’s biological dad doesn’t really make the time for him like he should. We also know that Carl and Ellie couldn’t have children together. Carl meeting Russel was really kismet. Think about it. Who showed up for the father son jamboree patch pinning? Carl! Russel started spending a lot more time with Carl after they were home. Carl unofficially adopted Russel as his grandson and we love it!
King Fergus – Father of Merida
We love the paradox that Pixar made with King Fergus! He is this giant of a man who looks like little more than a mountain of muscle, and yet he bows and submits to his queen. Love it! Plus, the fact that it was he that gave Merida her first bow and taught her to use it. He raised a warrior princess!
Bill Andersen – Father of Riley
Have we mentioned that being a parent is hard?? Riley’s family left everything they knew in the midwest for California because of Riley’s dad’s new job. That’s a ton of pressure! If you haven’t already, you need to see the Pixar short, Riley’s First Date, so you can actually see what goes on in her dad’s mind. Don’t get too excited, it’s a whole lot of nothing, but we learn more about him and we like what we see.
Charlie – Father of Dory
Don’t you just love the little nicknames that Dory’s father uses for her? Awww, Kelpcake. It’s like a fish-friendly version of cupcake! We love that while recognizing his daughter’s disability, he finds ways to help Dory cope with it and adapt. Just keep swimming!
Enrique Rivera – Father of Miguel
Honestly, despite seeing Coco many times, we have to look up Enrique. This family is very female dominant. Sure, there are men, but they never speak or hold any dominant position in the family.
Wilden Lightfoot – Father of Ian and Barley
Queue the waterworks for the father that never really got to be! Oh my gosh, Pixar, what are you doing to us?!!? Lightfoot passed away from an illness before Ian was born and when Barley was just a preschooler. He must have been a great father to make such a lasting impact on such a boy. *We’re cheating here, but shout out to the mom who kept dad’s memory alive all these years!*
Lorenzo Paguro – Father of Luca
We can appreciate any dad who can rock a solid mustache, and that is even on full display in his sea monster form. Lorenzo doesn’t really have a strong role in Luca even though he is seen throughout. He is a pretty passive guy who just wants to keep everyone happy. This is definitely a yin and yang situation with his wife. Together they equal each other out.
Mossimo Marcovaldo – Father of Julia
This man is nothing if not intimidating by his size and his booming voice, and yet, he is the adult most changed throughout the film. Here was a man who believed he lost his arm to a sea monster willing to protect a young sea monster because he got to know what was inside. He is teaching his daughter to love what is on the inside of people instead of just what is on the outside.
Jin – Father of Mei
Jin may have been ridiculed by Ming’s family, but he showed himself to be a good man and good father. He shows a great deal of respect for the panda, but also helps his daughter navigate her own path. He shared a quiet strength with Mei to let her know it was okay to be different. Love it! We also love the little extra in the end where he is jamming out to 4Town. Excellent.
Who is your favorite Disney Dad? Tell us in the comments!
I am a mother of three that has refused to grow up. Adulting is for the birds, so I go to Disney World every chance I get for that magical escape from reality. I believe that Haunted Mansion is the best ride in all of the Disney Parks, and I am fervently in team Happily Ever After for fireworks spectaculars, (sorry, not sorry, Enchanted). Finally, I hope I never grow tired of skipping down Main Street, USA, and my dream come true would be “friends with” the Fairy Godmother in my old age.
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