It takes a real man to be a father. He needs to be honest, dependable, brave, and extremely loving, and these 10 fictional men are great role models for real-life fathers everywhere. While we’ll never trade our own dads for anyone else in the world, we still probably won’t hesitate if we get a chance to be adopted by them. Click “next” to see our list!
1. TOM BAKER
Cheaper by the Dozen
We all know about the difficulties of juggling a flourishing career and a happy family life, but Tom’s got it 12 times as worse than most of us do. His brood gets upset when he decides to move the whole family to another state, and they cope by being extra mischievous, adding a lot of stress to their poor dad’s life. In the end, Tom realizes that he should have made his family his top priority, and he gives up his dream job so he can raise his kids well.
2. KING TRITON
The Little Mermaid
King Triton, the wise and caring ruler of Atlantica, is a caring, loving father to his seven daughters, though he finds it difficult to accept his daughter Ariel’s fascination with humans. When he learns that Ariel has fallen in love with a human prince, he destroys her collection of human artifacts and bans her from going to the surface of the ocean. But when he finds that Ariel has signed a dangerous contract with the sea witch Ursula, he readily takes his daughter’s place despite knowing the consequences of doing so. In the end, he grows to accept and support Ariel’s romance with Priince Eric, and he makes his daughter human for eternity.
3. MR. FREDERICKSON
Mr. Frederickson originally found Russell, the precocious boy scout who became his accidental companion on his journey to Paradise Falls, to be a huge nuisance. But after several brushes with danger, he grows to treat the young boy as the son he never had. They make it back to the city in time for Russell’s Senior Explorer ceremony, and Mr. Frederickson takes the place of Russell’s dad for the pinning of his final badge.
4. CARLISLE CULLEN
The Twilight Saga
Being adopted by a vampire family wouldn’t be such a bad thing with Carlisle as your dad. Ironically, this vamp is a brilliant, compassionate doctor who has imparted a strange “vegetarian” lifestyle to his adopted children, influencing them to feed on animals instead of humans. As a father, he’s very patient and understanding, and his willingness to do anything to let his family live in peace is very admirable.
5. GUIDO OREFICE
Life is Beautiful
When the Jewish Guido and his family are taken to a concentration camp during the Second World War, he does everything he can to keep his son Joshua’s morale up despite the many harrowing things they encounter on a daily basis. He helps his son survive the terrors of the war by making him believe that they're contestants in one big game. In the end, he sacrifices his life to save his son, but maintains the game until the very end.
(Screencap from Cheaper by the Dozen courtesy of 20th Century Fox. Screencap from The Little Mermaid courtesy Buena Vista Pictures. Screencap from Up courtesy of Columbia Pictures. Screencap from The Twilight Saga: Eclipse courtesy of Pioneer Films. Screencap from Life Is Beautiful courtesy of Miramax Films.)
6. DAMON MACREADY / BIG DADDY
Damon’ sole mission in life is to rid his city of crime, and he passed this determination on to his daughter, Mindy, by teaching her everything he knew about martial arts and weaponry. It’s a strange way to bond with your daughter, but it clearly worked for them as they took down the city’s vigilantes one by one under the superhero names Big Daddy and Hit Girl.
7. BRYAN MILLS
Having a child kidnapped is bound to be any parent’s worst nightmare. When Bryan’s daughter, Kim, gets abducted on a trip to Paris, he uses all his skills as a former CIA operative to get his daughter back. While his fighting skills are commendable, his willingness to do absolutely anything just for his baby girl is more admirable.
8. GEORGE BANKS
Father of the Bride
For a dad, no man can ever be good enough for his daughter. This is exactly George’s mindset when his daughter, Annie, goes home one day and announces that she’s getting married to a man whom she has only known for a few months. Though Bryan is nice, polite, and well-off, George is still convinced that his future son-in-law is up to no good, and he does everything he can to get his daughter to cancel her wedding.
9. BOB PARR / MR. INCREDIBLE
Bob used to be the most super of all the superheroes, Mr. Incredible. But when the government cracked down on all the supers, he was forced to go into hiding and trade in his super suit for a button-down, a tie, and a boring job in an insurance company. Syndrome, a technological genius hell-bent on killing off all the supers, then disrupts his family’s quiet life, and Bob leads his super family to defeat their enemy and save humanity.
10. CAPTAIN VON TRAPP
The Sound of Music
Captain Von Trapp, a Austrian widower and a decorated army man, had raised his seven children in a strict and extremely disciplined manner. When Maria Rainer arrives, he becomes grateful for the reintroduction of music in his household, and Maria becomes a foster mother to the Von Trapp kids. When Germany’s occupation of Austria becomes inevitable, the Captain takes it upon himself to lead his family across the mountains so they can seek refuge in Switzerland.
(Screencap from Kick-Ass courtesy of Viva International Pictures. Screencap from Taken courtesy of Viva International Pictures. Screencap from Father of the Bride courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures. Screencap from The Incredibles courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures. Screencap from The Sound of Music courtesy of 20th Century Fox.)
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