Yesterday, in many parts of the world, was Father’s Day. For the purposes of this list, I’m only considering film and TV dads who have children. This list will therefore not include father figures like Uncle Jesse from Full House or Sully from Monsters, Inc. no matter how much I would love to feature them. So, without further ado, and in honor of the amazing fathers out there, here’s my pick of the 10 best big and small screen dads.

 

 

10. MAC MACGUFF – JUNO

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When Juno first came out, it tackled many issues that films had not taken an honest approach to before. Mac MacGuff, played expertly by Academy Award winner JK Simmons, is the accepting and lovable father everyone deserves, helping his daughter confront the harsh truths of reality and the life she will make for herself.

9. BOB PARR/MR. INCREDIBLE – THE INCREDIBLES

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Ok, so obviously my 23-year-old millennial brain is gonna have an emotional tie to any and everything Pixar. Bob Parr is the typical American dad: funny but cheesy; a bit closed off; protective and a superhero to his kids (only difference here is that he’s a real superhero.) I always found The Incredibles to be a lovely and honest representation of family and Bob is one of the largest reasons why. I can’t wait to see where the Parrs are in their lives when The Incredibles 2 hits cinemas in 2018.

8. BURT HUMMEL – GLEE

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In its 6 seasons, Fox’s Glee saw many character development arcs but the one that was always the most profound was that of Kurt’s father Burt Hummel. A single Midwestern father, Burt slowly learns how to accept his gay son and be the best father anyone could ask for as well as a wonderful stepfather to Finn.

7. BOB BELCHER – BOB’S BURGERS

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Light-hearted, free-spirited and always good intentioned (despite sometimes poor outcomes), the patriarch from Bob’s Burgers is one of the most honest and adorable characterizations of fatherhood depicted on television.

6. CHRIS GARDNER – THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS

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Following the real-life story of Chris Gardner, an entrepreneur who was homeless for a year, Gabriele Muccino’s 2006 film is the heartfelt tale of love and struggle and the bleak moments in life. Despite the hardships they face, Chris Gardner tackles every challenge head on, giving his son the sense of security needed in the harsh world they live in.

5. MARLIN – FINDING NEMO

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In a world in which father’s are often depicted as distant, Marlin from Pixar’s Finding Nemo (and its sequel Finding Doryperfectly proves that fathers, like mothers, will go to the end of the world to protect their children. The ultimate single dad, Marlin proves how love conquers all.

4. Homer Simpson – The Simpsons

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Probably the most famous TV dad of all time, Homer Simpson proves that, although you don’t always get it right, family comes before all else. Sure, sometimes he gets a bit angry or can be found unconscious on the floor of Moe’s Tavern, but Homer’s intentions are always to protect his family and give them a happy life.

3. ATTICUS FINCH – TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

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Gregory Peck’s portrayal of the ground-breaking lawyer from Harper Lee’s novel is so on point that he is virtually indistinguishable from the literary character. Atticus Finch sets the most incredible example for his children when he takes the moral high ground and goes against the popular opinion, proving to his children in the film and audiences in real life that empathy is man’s greatest strength.

2. GUIDO OREFICE – LA VITA È BELLA

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Roberto Benigni’s incredible character is one of few film fathers who is genuinely good from start to finish. Fun, kind-hearted and incredibly loving, Guido manages to keep a smile on his son’s face even throughout the atrocities of the holocaust, convincing his son that their time in an Italian internment camp was all a fun game in order to physically and psychologically protect his innocence. We would be lucky to have a father like Guido look out for us.

1. ALL THE DADS – MODERN FAMILY

When compiling this list, I knew I wanted to include one of the incredible fathers from the Emmy and Golden Globe winning Modern Family but choosing just one was too hard a task: so I compromised and bring you all four! The best thing about the Modern Family dads is that they all showcase a different and beautiful side of fatherhood proving that there is no one right way of doing it.

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First we have Phil Dunphy, the typical dad-joke dad who never knows whether he’d rather protect his kids or be their best pal. Phil proves that men can still be vulnerable and in touch with their emotions while being amazing fathers, a concept often overlooked when constructing fictional father figures. It’s thanks to Phil and actor Ty Burrell that the show is so highly quotable and it’s impossible not to laugh when the fun-loving dad appears on screen.

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Modern Family‘s Mitch and Cam helped revolutionize how we see family, proving that same-sex couples can raise children just as well as any straight-couple. The TV family has pushed boundaries and helped many real-life families accept their LGBTQIA+ children. Between Mitch’s neuroses and Cam’s flair, the couple balance each other out perfectly, allowing themselves to be the perfect dads for Lily.

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We couldn’t talk Modern Family dads without mentioning the ultimate patriarch: Jay Pritchett. Ed O’Neill’s character is the quintessential grandfather and traditional dad. He’s out of touch with his emotions, often uncomfortable with seeing his son kiss his husband, and not the most delicate but he nonetheless proves that love can transcend closed mindedness and that we never stop trying to be the best grand-fathers and father we can be.

Do you agree with my list? Who’s your favorite on screen dad?

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Published by Gemma Pecorini Goodall