1. Literaturelady says:

    Great article!  You’ve shared some interesting thoughts and examples…articles like these are why I’ve been reading Speculative Faith for about two (or maybe three?) years now!
    I guess I have such a high standard for father figures (he must be a leader of the family; he must be wise and responsible; he must be understanding even if his son has crazy hobbies) that when Stoick didn’t meet all of them, I simply didn’t notice the need for understanding and forgiveness between both father and son.  Come to think of it, the same situation occurs in the cartoon Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.  Oh, and Finding Nemo!  (It’s actually more obvious in that film; Marlin learns to loosen up, and Nemo learns that his dad is braver than he’d thought.  Nemo also suffers the consequences for ridiculing his father).
    Nevertheless, I’d like to see a film in which the teen realizes that he was wrong and his father was right.  Because parents have more wisdom and experience, and can easily see the pitfalls of whatever weird dreams we teens might have…
    Perhaps the most responsible father figure I’ve seen on screen is Pongo the dog from the 101 Dalmatians cartoon.  Pongo comforts his wife/mate, protects his family from Cruella De Ville, and takes the initiative to search for his kidnapped puppies.  (Interestingly enough, he adopts the other puppies who escaped the De Ville place).  Also, both Pongo and Perdita set out to find and protect their kids, so there’s a great husband/wife team aspect there.
    Do other films even include a husband/wife teamwork role?  Other than 101 Dalmatians, and the Crocodile Hunter movie, I can’t think of any.  Oh, and ever noticed that films with father/son themes often kill off the mother?
    Thanks for this article!

  2. Kessie says:

    Mr. Incredible in the Incredibles comes to mind as a good Dad-figure. But he’s so used to going alone that he almost can’t function when his family helps out, because he’s so afraid that they’ll get hurt. Also, he’s very strong, but he still has a brain. He’s not a musclebound dimwit.
    While I’m on the topic of Brad Bird movies, there’s also Dean in the Iron Giant. Hogarth doesn’t have a dad, and Dean steps in to fill that role. He keeps Hogarth grounded in reality in regards to the giant, yet he’s also always on Hogarth’s side when the chips are down.

  3. Christian says:

    One of the central themes of the speculative TV series, LOST, is daddy issues. The core story behind the main main character, Jack Shephard, came about because Damon Lindelof (one of the creators and head-writers) had some unresolved issues with his dad when he died. Lindelof used the series to work through his grief and to help him find some closure. Still haven’t seen the series I gather, Stephen? 🙂 I think you’d enjoy most of it and there’s a wealth of topics to discuss.

What do you think?