With Father’s Day coming up this Sunday, sons and daughters around the nation reflect upon the lessons they learned from their fathers and the memories they have of them. Here are four inspiring fathers in films.
Mufasa, “The Lion King”
In Disney’s “The Lion King,” Mufasa has all of the qualities that make for a terrific father. As king of the jungle, Mufasa often has to protect his kin and kingdom through his incredible strength. Still, he is also gentle and patient. These two virtues are particularly necessary when dealing with the foibles of his young, curious son Simba. In numerous scenes in “The Lion King,” Mufasa lovingly reproves his son’s overzealous behaviors but then showcases more affection and teaches him moral lessons. In the end, Mufasa makes the ultimate sacrifice for Simba and lays down his life for him.
In the “Spider-Man” films, young Peter Parker is being raised by his Aunt May and Uncle Ben (with “The Amazing Spider-Man” being the only of the two films that explains how this living arrangement came to be). Uncle Ben is a simple man in many ways. He has little formal education and works a blue-collar job. However, he has a strong sense of right from wrong. The wisdom he passes down to his nephew and his subsequent death serves as the catalyst for Peter’s decision to use his newfound superhuman powers to the benefit of the citizens of New York.
“The Old Man” Parker, “A Christmas Story “
In the memorable holiday film, “A Christmas Story,” the main character of the film, Ralph Parker, simply refers to his father as “The Old Man” (played by Darren McGavin). In many ways, Ralph’s father does not fit the bill of being an ideal father or man. The Old Man is representative of many fathers from his generation. He generally takes the approach that kids are supposed to be seen and not heard, he reads the newspaper at the dinner table and Ralph informs the audience that he hears his father use a certain word numerous times a day that requires soap in the mouth when Ralph is heard using it.
Still, despite his flaws, there is something sweetly endearing about The Old Man and his love is shown on numerous occasions for his wife and children throughout the film. At the end, he becomes a hero in his own right when he expresses pure joy at fulfilling Ralph’s greatest wish and he saves Christmas after the hound dogs next door ruin his wife’s best efforts to make a special Christmas dinner. The Old Man might not meet contemporary expectations of fathers, but he is a great example of how even men with tough exteriors can be touched by fatherhood.
Guido Orifice, “Life is Beautiful”
In a world completely without hope and humanity, Guido Orifice somehow manages to continue to show his son the power of both in “Life is Beautiful.” After being detained by the Nazi regime because of their Jewish beliefs, Orifice and his wife and son are taken to a concentration camp. Eager to protect his son from the vile hatred and lack of any human decency displayed in the camp, Orifice contrives a scheme to convince his son that they are actually in a fun training program. Down to his brutal murder, Orifice refuses to let his son’s view of the world be changed and continues to instill in him the notion that life is, in fact, beautiful.
Who is your favorite movie father?
Dylan Cannon is a regular Ok. com and KSL contributor. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.