9 Best Movies & TV Shows for Father’s Day
Whether bio, adopted, or uncles stepping up, here’s some great movies and shows about Dads.
This Father’s Day, we have you covered for all the highs and lows of fatherhood with our best shows and movies to capture the love and complication that comes with being a dad. Every relationship is different, so let’s take a look at some of the different variations out there and the best of the best for each one.
Strained but loving relationship
From children who suffer from meddling parents to those who have distant but loving relationships with their dads, almost anyone can relate to something from this show. Appa/Mr. Kim has resonated with both immigrants and non-immigrant Asian American families, who have to navigate generational, as well as cultural, divides.
The MCU is a series defined by fatherhood, with almost every superhero having some kind of “daddy issues” to work through. I thought about including Hawkeye, Avengers: Endgame, or Shang-Chi on here, but honestly, the Hawkeye show doesn’t explore Clint’s relationship with his family beyond the typical “I promise I’ll be home for Christmas” storyline, and I know stories about flawed father figures like Howard Stark and Wen-Wu can be difficult to watch for some people (also Thanos is the worst father in the MCU, which is an accomplishment when competing with the likes of Odin).
Meanwhile, the Ant-Man movies have Scott Lang gifting his daughter ugly rabbit dolls and learning magic tricks for her and clawing his way out of the quantum realm to get back to her. Now that’s a dad. And yes, I know Hank Pym being a good father/husband feels weird to some comics fans, but at least he does get called out on some things by Hope.
How To Train Your Dragon
Hiccup’s relationship with his dad in the first movie is less than ideal, but the way the two characters grow to understand each other makes them one of the most solid father-son duos in animation.
Stranger Things Season 2
Hopper does, admittedly, fall into the overprotective father role at times, but when your adopted daughter spent the first 12-ish years of her life being experimented on by a man who forced her to call him “Papa,” you’re gonna want to protect her. I personally think Season 2 Hopper is best, from the scene where he lets Mike get out all his frustration from Eleven having been hidden from him, letting him get angry but also holding him while he cries (because you know Mike’s dad has almost certainly never done that with him). Hopper’s literally such an iconic dad that they cast David Harbour to be Black Widow’s dad in her movie, despite them only having a ten-year age difference.
And of course you can’t forget the best babysitter in Hawkins, Steve Harrington!
Despicable Me 1 + 2
Oversaturation of the Minions aside, Gru is a genuinely great adopted dad to his chaotic little girls, and the first two movies have a ton of sweet moments between him and his ‘gurls.’ It helps that he also sometimes acts as a father to his minions, too, which solidifies him as the best boss.
Din Djarin is a standout in Star Wars, which is saying a lot in a series that is, in many ways, about fatherhood. From episode 3 of The Mandalorian on, every action he takes is to protect his foundling. Everything from losing his ship to his status as a Mandalorian is all for Grogu, and we commend him for it. It definitely helps that Pedro Pascal seems to have cornered the market on playing badass dads (Oberyn Martell, Marcus Moreno, Joel in The Last of Us).
The LEGO Batman Movie
I thought about putting Holy Musical B@man! in this place, but I think the 1-2-punch combo of both Alfred and Robin in this movie makes this one of the few mainstream Batman stories that really critiques the character’s supposedly lone-wolf nature as a self-defense mechanism against further pain.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Do I even need to say it? Uncle Phil is amazing, and woe befall anyone who messes with his kids, be they his biological children or his nephew. The episode where he comforts Will after his father blows him off yet again remains one of the saddest moments in sitcom history (especially considering the actor’s own strained relationship with his father).
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Iroh is such an amazing father figure that he’s kind of the only adult supervision the kids have for most of Avatar: The Last Airbender, and despite being on the “opposite” side of the heroes at the start, he does seem to try to keep all of them safe. It helps that he isn’t just that to Zuko, but also to Toph and even Korra when they need it, and the moment where he hugs Zuko in “Sozin’s Comet” will remain one of the most cathartic moments in all of animation. The fact that Kim’s Convenience actor Paul Sun-Hyung Lee has been cast in the role of Iroh in the Netflix adaptation is about the only thing that’s given me hope for the live-action version of the show.
What’s your favorite Father’s Day movie/show?
(featured image: Disney/Lucasfilm)
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