Many of the greatest heroes to ever hit the big screen have been fathers. Many fathers in pop culture are worthy of being called Superhero Dads for overworking their duties as ‘dear old dad.’ Only in films are you ever able to see the extreme extent that a father will go to rescue their kid in distress. You could only hope that in the event that something as drastic as being kidnapped by an evil villain with an agenda, or a gang of rebels from Africa, that your father will turn out to be like those superhero dads you see in movies.
In honor of the holiday, we’ve put together a list of Superhero Dads who have exceeded the limits of being a regular dad. Some are as heroic as giving up their life for the happiness of their daughter and the entire planet, but others show an example that hits closer to home demonstrating that a superhero dad can be that man that shows you good manners and morals. Hopefully the list will make you appreciate your ‘fasha’ even more on this father-dedicated holiday.
Take a look at our superheroes after the jump . . .
10. Marlin from Finding Nemo
Talk about literally meaning the phrase, “For you, I would cross an ocean.” Albert Brooks is the voice of Marlin, an overprotected-traumatized dad who crosses the turbulent sea to rescue his only son, Nemo. Marlin loves his son so much that he takes on three sharks, a mass amount of jellyfish, and ends up in the belly of a blue whale, all while in the company of an annoying regal tang fish that suffers from short-term memory loss. Marlin might have been a bit neurotic in the beginning of Finding Nemo, but he proves that a father will go anywhere to find his son even if it means being eaten by the largest animal ever, the blue whale.
9. Harry S. Stamper from Armageddon
My father had “the conversation” with me at the age of 15—to those of you who don’t know what “the conversation” means, it mostly deals with dating. He said, “Dear, you cannot date until after you are married.” Clearly he was kidding, right? Perhaps my father was, but Harry S. Stamper (Bruce Willis) was not when he made it clear to his daughter that she couldn’t date A.J. Frost (Ben Affleck). A jealous father might not be so heroic, but as the end of the world comes closer, Stamper decides to sacrifice his own life for human kind and more importantly for our list, his daughter.
8. Chris Gardner from The Pursuit of Happyness
“A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.” A troubled family man, Chris Gardner (Will Smith), is left without money or a wife, but fully commits himself to his son Christopher (Jaden Smith). Like the film, the protagonist, Chris Gardner, is based on a true rags-to-riches story about a man who struggles with homelessness while raising his son. Both father and son struggle through many difficulties together, but this film shows that having a good dad is what’s important.
7. George Banks from Father of the Bride
George Banks (Steve Martin) may fill in the worldwide stereotype of every father-of-the-bride to be: a man on the verge of becoming insane. Banks tries to be a good sport about his daughter marrying a big shot from Bel-Air, but finds it difficult to handle that his baby girl is growing up and making a life of her own. This type of storyline might be one of your own someday because regardless of how old you get, you will always be your father’s baby.
6. John Quincy from John Q
Desperate times do call for desperate measures. Denzel Washington plays John Quincy as a father whose son is diagnosed with an enlarged heart. In a failed attempt to get a transplant for his son’s heart, Quincy takes the situation into his own hands. As a desperate father willing to do anything so that his son might live, Quincy takes a hospital full of patients’ hostage until the hospital gives him what he desperately wants, a heart for his beloved son. Quincy is truly a real-life super-dad.
5. James J. Braddock from Cinderella Man
Set in the 1930s, Cinderella Man is about a has-been boxer who after losing “the big match” is forced to try to find work during the Great Depression. James J. Braddock (Russell Crowe) is a guy who has no luck, but has a whole lot of heart. As he struggles to get his job back as a fighter, he also battles to keep himself and his family alive through hardships. The one thing that drives him through all the pain and to his Cinderella ending, is his family.
4. Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mocking Bird
Being a superhero dad isn’t only about saving the world, but also about teaching you how to live in the world. Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) has some great parenting skills even though he is doing the parenting job as a lonely soldier. He has a quality that many fathers yearn for, or simply do not take the time to endorse. Finch tries to teach his children the importance of morals. Finch is a superhero because he completes his task of being a good parent, and there is nothing more heroic than that.
3. Ray Ferrier from War of the Worlds
Tom Cruise takes the lead as Ray Ferrier, a beat down dad that finally gets his rebellious adolescent son to respect him after aliens try to take over the planet. While the plot of War of the Worlds may be wacky, Ferrier goes through great pains to keep his son and daughter alive and deserves to be on our Superhero Dad list. Ferrier is the type of father that not only shows that when everything goes awfully wrong dad will be there to save you, but also that when the time calls for it, dad will let you go.
2. Guido Orefice from Life is Beautiful
The first time I saw Life is Beautiful, I was sitting in my father’s loft sipping hot cocoa next to him. I cried. He then went on to call me principesa for days. Guido Orefice (Roberto Benigni) is truly one of the most amazing fathers of all time. He endures being away from his wife in a concentration camp during Hitler’s ruling, with a smile. He gives his son hope and love in a time where there was none. Orefice deserves a standing ovation and a plaque saying “World’s Best Father” because he does what he needed to do for his son — told him that “Everything will be alright.”
1. Solomon Vandy from Blood Diamond
The love story between Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou) and his son should have been a motion picture all on its own. Vandy is enraged that his family has been taken away from him and that his son is kidnapped by the rebels who turn his children into monsters by giving them guns. The heartbreaking situations that Vandy goes through to get his son back are painfuly realistic. Blood Diamond shows the real-life situations that people are suffering due to the diamond business in the western world. Vandy is a superhero dad who during desperate times will stop at nothing to get his son back and even when the worst happens Vandy shows that no matter what you may become, your father will always love you.
Happy Father’s Day and don’t forget to get your ‘old man’ something nice, he loves you.