Finding movies with Great Dads was actually a challenge. Standard plots seem to be: “Terrible father learns to be a slightly better father,” “Child learns to overcome what an a-hole terrible father was,” or “Child avenges death of father regardless of father’s reputation or back story.” But there have been some really great dads in the movies in a lot of genres.
Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. In this classic adaptation of the Harper Lee novel, Atticus raises his two children during the Depression and while the South is coping with social struggles that Atticus works to help his children understand. Atticus is compassionate, patient, and a strong moral compass for his family and his community.
Warwick Davis as Willow in Willow. Willow is a good father to his own children and a loving husband. In order to save his village (and their world) from a tyrannical witch and protect a baby prophesied to bring down the witch’s reign, Willow must go on a Quest with the help of Val Kilmer and mischievous brownies. Motivated by love and determination Willow is a brave and mighty hero, even if he’s not a warrior.
Steve Martin as George Banks in Father of the Bride. Father of the Bride looks at how a dad adjusts when he finds out his little girl isn’t little anymore and that there will be other people to help him take care of her. This adjustment is not always graceful. George might not be the most on the ball father on this list, but as a little girl who had to bring a fiance home to meet her Daddy and plan a wedding, I can verify the accuracy of this movie. Except I don’t think my Daddy ever got arrested for stealing hot dog buns.
Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg, and Ted Danson as Peter, Michael, and Jack in 3 Men and a Baby. Three men find a baby on their door step. They have to raise her. Will hi-jinks ensue? Actually three men learn how to be dads. Its not easy, because babies don’t come with manuals. This is a great Father’s Day movie because each of the men learn how to use their strengths as individuals and as a group of friends to do their best to take care of baby Mary.
Christopher Lloyd as Emmett “Doc” Brown in Back to the Future. What list about Movie Dads would be complete without a Mentor? And everyone’s favorite movie mentor had great hair, helped teach Marty self-reliance, took him on exciting adventures, changed the world for the better, and managed to do all this without anybody losing hands or fingers!
Dennis Quaid as Willis Davidge in Enemy Mine. In the middle of a super-80s, violent inter-galactic war, enemies are stranded on a hostile planet and forced to work together to survive. Davidge has to raise Zammies, the child of his befriended enemy and later fight to protect Zammies from slavers and return him to his parent’s planet (I did say it was super 80s). Davidge teaches Zammies his alien language and English and teaches him how to play American football. Enemy Mine shows the strength of friendship and that family is unforgettable.
Jody “Goldberry Riverdaughter” Boyce
“Goldberry Riverdaughter” has been her friends’ and families’ resident book nerd since reading the Tao of Pooh at age eight. Since then her literary exploration has lead her straight to Lord of the Rings where she’s made her home. In addition to a staff reporter for Legendarium, she also runs Hells Hobbits. She has a degree in History, as well as a new-found penchant for disassembling literary canon. She lives with her equally nerdy husband and two gigantic cats enjoying table top games & cosplay.