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6 Films to watch on Father’s Day … including ‘Incredibles 2’


Disney Pixar

Paul Asay - published on 06/16/18

'Incredibles 2' hits theaters this weekend -- plus other fun films featuring unusual dads you can stream at home.

It’s wholly appropriate that Pixar’s Incredibles 2 was released Father’s Day weekend. A father stands at its emotional center — even if the actual storyline revolves more around Mom.

When the movie opens, superheroes are still, technically, illegal. Sure, they mean well, but they’re also very, very messy, which — for politicians, at least — makes them more trouble than they’re worth. But now, media mogul and confirmed superhero lover Winston Deavor wants to change all that. He plans to spearhead a public relations push to make “supers” legal again, and he wants Helen Parr, a.k.a. Elastigirl, to be its most visible hero.

But to do that, Helen will have to leave home … and leave the Parr family — moody Violet, super-fast Dash and baby Jack-Jack, who seems to have more powers than a certain caped wonder from Krypton — in care of her husband, Bob.

Disney Pixar

That’s unfamiliar territory for the one-time Mr. Incredible. He’s used to fighting crime, not his son’s math homework. He wants to flex his considerable muscle and maybe punch a few bad guys. Being the family’s primary caregiver? Not quite his style. The fact that Winston doesn’t want him (though, admittedly, his penchant for wanton destruction makes him a less-than-ideal choice) hurts Bob more than he’ll admit.

“I’m so proud of you!” he tells Helen through super-clenched jaws. “Really!”

But as designer Edna Mode tells Bob, parenting is itself a “heroic act,” and Bob proves himself a real hero. He stays up all night to study some new mathematic methods so he can help Jack with his homework. He does his best, albeit mostly unsuccessfully, to help Violet out with some unexpected boy problems. And he tries to keep Jack-Jack … well, from destroying the neighborhood.

“I just want to be a good dad,” Bob admits to Violet.

Disney Pixar

“You’re not good,” Violet tells her despondent father. “You’re super.” And indeed, his influence — not just as a superhero, but as a father — inspires his kids to do some (ahem) incredible things.

But Bob Parr’s not the only remarkable, inspirational dad we see in the movies. Here are a few others who do some pretty amazing things — and inspire their children to do likewise.

Fly Away Home (PG, 1996)

When her mother dies in a car crash, 13-year-old Amy (Anna Paquin) is sent to live with her estranged, free-spirited father, Thomas (Jeff Daniels). Thomas is far from your typical dad, and this fledgling family seems destined to be grounded for good — until Amy finds a nest of goose eggs that she brings home and hatches. When she and Thomas learn that the geese now see Amy as their mom, they realize they have to teach the goslings to fly. Not easy when you don’t have feathers. This sweet, sentimental family drama is available on a variety of streaming platforms for $2.99

Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (PG-13, 1989)

Admittedly, Henry Jones wasn’t the most attentive father when young Indy was growing up. The most important lesson he passed onto his boy was “self-reliance.” Still, the fact that Indiana Jones followed in his father’s archeological footsteps suggests that his example wasn’t all bad. And when the two renew their relationship, Indy learns plenty from pops — including an important lesson on what’s really important in life. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is available for free with an Amazon Prime membership.

Paramount Pictures

Interstellar (PG-13, 2014)

Father-daughter relationships can be difficult, especially when the father’s nowhere around. And while Coop leaves daughter Murph and son Tom, for a worthy cause — to save the human race — that doesn’t make the separation much easier. Still, Murph follows her father’s do-gooding example and improbably, almost magically, the two connect across chasms of space and time to do something wondrous. You can watch it on a variety of streaming platforms starting at $2.99

Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. and Paramount Pictures Corporation

The Lion King (G, 1994)

Mufasa doesn’t hang around long in this Disney animated classic, but his influence hangs heavy in Simba’s life. From beyond the grave, the lion’s regal father inspires him to step away from a life of unfettered ease, take on the responsibilities of king and fill his own place in the circle of life. It doesn’t look like The Lion King is available to stream for free anywhere, but let’s face it: If you have kids, chances are you have this movie somewhere in your collection already. Otherwise, check your local library.

Disney Enterprises, Inc.

My Life (PG-13, 1993)

Often overlooked, this tear-jerker is one of Michael Keaton’s best. He plays Bob Jones, a successful public relations exec who’s about to become a father (his wife, played by Nicole Kidman, is pregnant) but might not live to see his child born. Told he’s dying of cancer, Bob begins to make movies of himself for his unborn kid — from reading bedtime stories to teaching his teen-to-be how to drive. In the meantime, he and his family take the first rocky steps toward reconciling with his own estranged father. Sure, the movie offers a bit of Eastern mysticism and we don’t know how, exactly, Bob might’ve inspired his son to do great things: The kid’s pretty tiny still when the movie ends. But My Life will inspire many viewers to embrace life more fully, revel in the glories and pains of family, and remind us all what a privilege it is to be a father. It’s available on lots of streaming platforms for $2.99.

Capella Films

As Bob Parr well knows, being a dad is indeed a lot of work. But these movies remind us that the influence we have on our own kids, and the impact we can make on their lives, can be truly incredible.


Read more:
9 Catholic stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood

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