Our Favorite Pop Culture Dads

by Matthew Escosia
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We often notice and praise good daddy characters in our favorite movies or series. They are the superhero dads who have different ways of expressing their fatherly love and carry a handful of values we use in our everyday duties. Fathers in real life are just like them, they protect and save their children from life’s villains too, but without donning a costume.

In celebration of Father’s Day, here are our favorite dads in pop culture!

To all the fathers and father figures in Southeast Asia and across the globe, Happy SuperDads Day from SEA Wave mag!


Arthur Weasley from “Harry Potter” series

There are many great father figures in Harry Potter but Arthur Weasley is arguably the best of them all. Aside from being one of the most charming characters in the series, Arthur’s willingness to become more involved to his children, including Harry and Hermione, feels very real.


Marlin from “Finding Nemo”

Despite being a solo parent, Marlin tries to become the best parent he can be for Nemo. While the task gets extremely challenging when he had to juggle multiple responsibilities at once, we get to see his true compassion and love for his child when his son has gone missing. The adventures of Marlin (and his friend Dory) is one of the most remarkable rescue missions in film. Finding Nemo is also one of the best movies about fatherhood thanks to Marlin.


Dr. Henry Jones from the “Indiana Jones” series

Dr. Henry Jones was a perfect character to complement the adventurous lifestyle of Indiana Jones. He is one of those dads who allowed his children to be independent and playful. And although Indiana becomes alarmingly involved in dangerous games later on, we’ll never get to see his best self if not for the trust Dr. Jones has imparted to him.

Also, Dr. Jones will not be as impactful if not for the performance of Sean Connery, who added a genuine warmth while playing the character.


Poseidon from “Percy Jackson” series

Poseidon remains one of the more interesting characters in the “Percy Jackson” series by solely portraying him as a very humane parent to the titular hero. The decision to make him as someone who is down-to-earth instead of being overwhelmingly powerful than what Greek mythology tells him so was spot-on.


Mufasa from “The Lion King”

Mufasa served as a positive influence for Simba to eventually become the best leader and fighter he was destined to be. In the two “The Lion King” movies released (the 1994 animated movie and 2019 remake), his character stands out for his lessons that remained resonant.


Ned Stark from “Game of Thrones”

Ned Stark’s short-lived role in Game of Thrones remains shocking, but imagine him staying throughout the eight seasons of the show. Imagine his prominent maturity and sense of command saving the entirety of Westeros from larger-than-life conflicts. Yes, there’s a big chance Game of Thrones will be 4 seasons less if Ned Stark survived the whole fiasco with the Targaryens. His leading presence is rooted from being a loving father to his children, even Jon Snow, the bastard/ product of forbidden love whom he still kept regardless of the possible dangerous repercussions.


Homer Simpson from “The Simpsons”

Homer Simpson is not the smartest character in this list, but his warmth and compassion for his family is genuine. Watching “The Simpsons” is like watching just the funniest bits of your father: often goes through unexpected troubles, but always finds a way to get away from it.


Mr. Incredible/ Bob Parr from “The Incredibles”

During the course of two “The Incredibles” films, we get to see the multiple antics Mr. Incredible/ Bob Parr has to go through to save or take care of his children. He is someone who is willing to learn more as a parent and can still manage to save the world while replacing the diapers.


Jim Hopper from “Stranger Things”

Jim Hopper’s involvement in Stranger Things is blurry at the moment due to the last season’s shocking twist about his character. But his father-daughter-like relationship with Eleven is inarguably the heart of the show. Here’s hoping we get more of that aspect in the future season(s).


Batman from “Batman” series

While Batman often prefers to fight his missions alone, his alliance with Robin was an important component to his multi-layered character. As a guardian and semi-parent to Robin, Batman’s guidance goes way more than just training to become a better crime-fighter, but to become a better person as well.


Darth Vader from “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi”

Say what you say about Darth Vader but his character arc from being the most hateful villain in possibly in the history of movies to suddenly a thoughtful parent who tries to make up for his son is a great redemption story. Here is a parent who defies his problematic nature to make the ultimate sacrifice to rescue his son, Luke.


Tony Stark from Marvel Cinematic Universe

We only get to see Robert Downey, Jr.’s Tony Stark become an actual father in Avengers: Endgame, but his positive impact as a patriarchal figure is already felt by becoming Peter Parker’s “Uncle Ben”-type of guardian in the Spider-Man: HomecomingCaptain America: Civil War, and Avengers: Infinity War films. The only difference between Tony and most dads is that his jokes actually land with precise timing. Talk about a father with a great sense of humor. Double win! But going back to Endgame, being dad to Morgan may be short and sweet but his love for her became a classic piece. Who would not melt in “I Love You 3,000”?!


Do you have pop-culture dads you want to add in this list? Share your reactions in the comments section below.


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