Father’s Day is fast approaching — it’s June 21 in case you didn’t know — and we at the Clog have been taking some time to reflect on what it truly means to be a father. Dad bod or no dad bod, we accept all forms of fatherhood. In order to capture the answer to this nebulous question, we turn our attention to the memorable dads of our childhoods. Namely, the animated dads who made us laugh and cry and whom we will always hold close to our hearts.
This list will be organized in reverse alphabetical order in an attempt to show no bias toward any one animated dad. The Daily Clog holds no responsibility for any arguments that may occur between friends when discussing the importance of the following animated fathers.
- Zeus and Amphitryon, Hercules
Oh Zeus! We start our list at the end, with Zeus and Amphitryon. Unlike most of us, Hercules was lucky enough to have two dads to help him follow his dream of going from zero to hero.
- Thomas O’Malley, The Aristocats
Abraham de Lacy Giuseppe Casey Thomas O’Malley didn’t start out a dad, but he was fated to be one as soon as Duchess and her kittens entered his life. Swoon.
- Stu Pickles, Rugrats
Stu Pickles — eccentric father to precocious Tommy, Stu revolutionized the idea of “tinkering” in the garage.
- Professor Utonium, The Powerpuff Girls
Professor Utonium holds the distinction of being the only dad on this list who literally made his daughters. He’s always there for the girls to give them a pep talk when it’s needed.
- Nani, Lilo & Stich
Although Nani is not a father to Lilo in the strictest sense of the definition, she’s Lilo’s only parental figure, so for that, we bestow upon her the title of Honorary Father. Nani will do anything to protect Lilo.
- Mufasa, The Lion King
Mufasa came down from the heavens to guide Simba when Simba was at his most forlorn. That’s some fatherly love and dedication that lands him a spot on this list.
- Marlin, Finding Nemo
Marlin traversed the Great Barrier Reef to find his son. Maybe Mufasa had it easy.
- King Triton, The Little Mermaid
There was some argument over whether to include King Triton. After all, his extreme controlling nature over Ariel was so not cool. But in the end, he realized he needed to let Ariel live her life, and he gave her the ability to do so with Prince Eric forever.
- King Fergus, Brave
Merida wanted to learn to fight and liked to burp at the table; King Fergus supported those decisions. Enough said.
- Gru, Despicable Me
Gru also came to be a father by a rather circuitous route, but, boy, does he excel at it. He gave up his evil “genius” ways and found true happiness in the end.
- Goofy, A Goofy Movie, An Extremely Goofy Movie
Man, Goofy is basically every college student’s worst nightmare — the overprotective father who literally follows his son to school. But even though he’s a bit crazy, he loves Max more than anything.
- Fa Zhou, Mulan
Mulan was the action hero, but Fa Zhou was willing to head to what would be certain death in order to fulfill his duty to his family.
- Crush, Finding Nemo
Finding Nemo is rife with awesome dads. Mellow and loving, Crush goes with the flow and lends a guiding hand to Squirt.
- Carl Fredricksen, Up
Carl isn’t related to Russell, but together they form the perfect father-son duo.
- Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible, The Incredibles
Who wouldn’t want a superhero for a dad? It turns out his own kids, but together they learn a valuable lesson about not taking each other for granted.
- Bob Belcher, Bob’s Burgers
Somehow Bob Belcher manages to keep his family together, even through the trials and tribulations of puberty, childhood and extreme mothering. He always comes out on top.
It’s pretty clear what one needs to be a dad — whatever the situation calls for. Fatherhood isn’t something that can be so easily defined as the blood link between a person and his offspring. The one similarity between the dads listed above was their love and support for the children placed in their care. Not to get too sappy, but we need to go thank all the people in our life who have been a father to us. Even if that person is a woman … or a cat.
Image source: Bev Sykes via Creative Commons