5 Things We Can Learn From Disney Dads

Happy father’s day to all the dads out there! In honor of dad’s day, I thought it might be fun to see what types of things we can learn from the great padres in Disney movies. Enjoy…

1. Dads come in all shapes and sizes

When we think of Disney dads, we think of the commanding Mufasa (The Lion King) , the chiseled King Triton (The Little Mermaid)  and the celestial Zeus (Hercules) . I don’t know about you, but my dad is never going to look like that, no matter how many badges he earns on his FitBit (although, his billowy chest hair does sort of resemble Mufasa’s).

We often forget, but not all fathers from Disney movies are impeccable specimens. The Sultan from Aladdin is pudgy, Marlin from Finding Nemo is nervous and Maurice from Beauty and the Beast is just plain kooky. More than that, many Disney father figures aren’t dads at all. Rafiki (The Lion King)  and Carl (Up) make quite an impression on their young friends, without having any kids of their own. 

Size and strength are not what make a dad feel superhuman.

2. Empathizing > embarrassing

No matter how embarrassing your dad may seem, he has nothing on Goofy. In A Goofy Movie,  Max is constantly hiding his face as to not be associated by his bumbling dad. Goofy spends most of the movie trying to make his son happy, but only making things worse. All because he can’t figure out what Max enjoys.

All that embarrassment is forgiven, however, when Goofy begins to relate to Max and sneaks them into the Powerline concert. An exclamation point is added to their father/son relationship when they bond over a shared experience.

As Powerline says, “If we listen to each other’s heart, we’ll find we’re never too far apart.” (Which is a great line until you start to realize that the flip side means you are not too far apart form becoming an embarrassing bad just like your old man).

3. A family is best team you will be on

As his name implies, Mr. Incredible (The Incredibles) is a pretty impressive dude. As a solo act, he is able to stop about 95% of the bad guys in Metroville. But it isn’t until he teams up with his wife, Elastigirl, and their children Violet, Dash, and Jack-Jack that he is able to take down the sinister Syndrome.

Being a family isn’t easy. A quick search for U.S. household statistics will tell us that. We don’t get to pick everyone we are stuck with and they often test our patiences. However, when we are faced with a trial, a total family effort can make us all incredible.

4. But sometimes your kids need to go solo

In spite of everything I just wrote, there will be times when a father can’t (and shouldn’t) be there to save the day. Take Hercules for instance. Zapped of his god-status as a baby, he is raised by mortal parents. He later learns if he can become a true hero, he’ll be able to return to My Olympus and rejoin his dad, Zeus.

If Zeus is really the king of all gods, I would imagine it would be pretty easy for him to show his son how to be a hero and then they would all have one big party in the clouds with their supernatural friends. But Zeus knows that Herc’ has to handle this one on his own.

Letting your son or daughter go on a journey of their own is probably one of the hardest things a parent can do (besides figure out how to work iTunes and the DVR). It had to be tough for Zeus, but in the end Hercules completed the journey by himself and was a much better man because of it.

5. A father’s influence is like a bad credit score

It sticks with you forever. The best Disney example of this, of course, Mufasa (The Lion King). He dies when Simba is just a cub, but that doesn’t mean he is left out of the movie. He shows back up in clouds, water and stars. His short time with his son leaves a huge imprint, which is summed up by this iconic scene…