Author’s Note: This is one of the oldest cross overs that Les & I have done.  His list inspired me to repost it.  Pt. 1 will go up today and Pt. 2 tomorrow.  And we will keep this celebration going by continuing on Tuesday with Top 6 Fathers of Once Upon A Time. Also I don’t hate The Incredibles as much as I did when I wrote this.
Moviefan12:  Hello  and welcome to a special 2 part cross over.  Join me today as Les and I countdown both of our  Top 6 Disney Dads.  Les will go first and for the most part I like a majority of his choices save for one from a particular film, I don’t think too highly of.  Now before we begin let’s have Les introduce himself for the 3 of you who don’t know who he is.  

Les:  Greetings Manic fans. I’m thrilled to be here at one of my favorite blogs. Thanks for having me on Moviefan12.
Moviefan12: Pleasure to have you here as we take a look at the Disney Dads that you have chosen for this list.  Let’s begin, Shall we?
6.  Chief   Powhatan  –   Pocahontas

Moviefan12: I see your # 6 choice comes from a rather underrated Disney film in my opinion.  What is about this character that you like?

 

Les: Well, as a father, I actually relate to him and his wish to give his daughter a good life. What makes him interesting to me, is that while he doesn’t know what she’d really want in life, he’s still trying to make wise decisions for her. At the end of the film, he listens to her when it really counts and that’s when he redeems himself as a great father.

 

Moviefan12: Those are some excellent observations about this character.  I will admit that I do find this film a tad forgettable but you have made strong points as to why he is a good father.  He just wishes to see his daughter happy and coming from this at the angle of a child, we always feel the need the please our fathers and sometimes unsure of whether or not they are proud of us. I get that a little bit from this character and one that will appear on my list too but while he doesn’t say it, you can feel that he is proud of Pocahontas.  This goes back to the old adage sometimes “People say it best when they say nothing at all”.   Yeah, I know I borrowed that from a Country Music song about love but it does work here as well.   Now Moving on.

 

5.   George Banks – Mary Poppins

Moviefan12:  Funnily enough,  I had this guy on my original list until I saw that you had him as well. Let’s hear what you have to say about perhaps one of the most famous Disney Dads.

 

Les: Well first of all there’s the actor: David Tomlinson. A Disney staple in the ’60s he appeared in many of my favorite Disney Films: The Love Bug, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and, of course Mary Poppins. In each one, he brought such a flair to each character that they become unforgettable.

 

Then there’s the character. George Banks is a stuffily proper English Gentleman of 1910. As he’s fond of singing(Yes it’s a musical, and one of the best ever filmed, but I digress…) A British Bank must have order….A British Home requires nothing less…..Tradition, Discipline and Rules…Must be the tools…..(love the Sherman Brothers for great songs…) He also expects his children to snap to and fit perfectly into his notion of the perfect household.

 

Naturally, reality is quite different and he’s not that good a Father at the start of this picture. Throughout the picture, it doesn’t seem like he’s going to improve much, getting annoyed at how Mary Poppins has turned the household all topsy-turvey. Then, coerced by Poppins to take the children with him to the Bank where he works, He tries to get his son, Michael to open a bank account with his Tuppence. Mr. Dawes, Senior(Dick Van Dyke in makeup so good you’d never know it’s him until the credits) snatches the money out of his hands and when he screams to “Give it back!” incites a Run on the Bank! Frightened, the children run away(Don’t worry, Bert finds them and takes them home where they and Mary end up on the rooftops of London dancing with the Chimneysweeps) When George gets home, He’s really upset to find his home invaded by all the Sweeps dancing inside. He then gets a phone call from his bosses, and he understands he’s about to lose his job. Here’s where his character grows and starts to have an arc to it.

 

Bert (Dick Van Dyke) listens to him bemoan his fate and how it’s all Mary Poppins’ fault. He then sings a song telling him about how he’s been ignoring his children and how soon they’ll grow up and be gone and it’ll be too late for him to give. At the end of it. Michael and Jane come up to him and Michael hands him the Tuppence hoping it’ll make everything all right(This scene makes me cry every time I see it. That’s love, my friends…).  Anyway, long story short, He’s sacked, Tells a great joke and runs out to go home and fix Michael’s kite so the family can go fly a kite and spend some quality time together. While there, his bosses inform him that the Senior Dawes passed away laughing at his joke leaving a position open at the Bank which they offer him. So good things do come to those who do good things, and George Banks ends the picture becoming the father his children needed all along.

Moviefan12: Wow, you covered it better than I could.  Mr.  Banks is in my opinion of the most important characters in this film.  Everything you have said I agree with and I think he had the best development of all the characters from being a stuck up to becoming a caring man.   It takes him to lose everything that he thought he cared about to realize what is truly important in life such as his family.  Now I didn’t fully understand and appreciate this character until I saw the stage adaption of Mary Poppins at The Kennedy Center.  From both seeing that play and watching Paw’s excellent review of this film,  I understand  how important this character is.  I think I came to understand this character so much more after listening to the song from the Mary Poppins stage soundtrack,  Good For Nothing/Being Mrs. Banks (Reprise)
In Mr. Banks’ part of the song you can feel that he has been defeated and has lost all hope.  He just feels that there is no need to go on and without his status, he is nothing. Without authority he is lost but he soon realizes that he lost touch with what truly matters. His family.  Now, I’d to take a moment to talk about Mrs. Banks’  part of the song,  she wants to George to know that he doesn’t need to worry about his status because she’ll love him for he is.  It takes George a while to realize this but in the end he does and if you haven’t, I  suggest you search out the play. It is phenomenal while not a good as the movie, it was great and there was just something so neat about seeing Mary Poppins fly over the audience.  Getting back on track, Mr. Banks has now been portrayed in both film and stage and it took me seeing both the play and thinking about the film to understand the true importance of this character because the first time I watched this film as a little boy, I thought he was the villain.  Which in the film, there really isn’t one. However in the play, there is with Mrs. Andrews, a character from the books that was cut from the film.  In both the book and the play she was the nanny of Mr. Banks and many of the other bank tellers.  After seeing this character and how she is the exact opposite of Mary Poppins, in that he is stern, strict and downright scary, it is no surprise that Mr. Banks ended up being the man he was.   
Doesn’t that lady looks like she is all about the love?
4.  Pongo  – 101 Dalmatians
Moviefan12:: Ah, now we come to a four legged father.  

Les: AH yes, Pongo the father of 15 of the 101 Dalmatian puppies. Voiced by Rod Taylor, this is a father who looks after his children(That is until his owner takes him for a walk and kidnappers break into the home and steal the puppies for their boss Cruella DeVil(One of Disney’s greatest villains) who is planning to kill them for their fur to make a coat! He does what he can to console his wife, Perdita(Kate Bauer)over the loss, and tries to hope that the human authorities can find the missing puppies.

 

However, when it seems that there’s no hope, He uses the “Twilight Bark”, a dog network to find where the puppies went. Finding out Cruella has kidnapped the children, he and Perdita break out of the house and rush to save their children. It’s really quite inspirational the depths to which they go to get to the puppies and then attempt to save not only theirs but the 86 orphaned puppies as well. I look at Pongo and I think that if I were in his position, I’d expect nothing less from myself. You stop at nothing to protect your children, and Pongo definitely gets top marks for his dedication to his kids.

Moviefan12:: Here again,  I agree with what you have to say about Pongo.  He goes to great lengths to protect and save his children.   He’ll stop at nothing to get them back and do anything that it takes to save them from the evil, Cruella de Vil.   I might also add that the  “Twilight Bark” is pretty cool too.  You also have to respect that he wanted to look after all the other puppies that had been kidnapped.  That is the sign of a great father and man. Well okay, he’s a dog but you know what I mean.  He is a very endearing character and not much else that I can say about him.   
3.   Merlin – The Sword In The Stone
Moviefan12: The inclusion of this character intrigues me a little bit seeing as he isn’t actually a father but more of a father figure.  Not to say that  I don’t have a character like this on my list as well but still I would have never thought of this character for a list such as this.
Les: Yeah, but when you think about it, he really does take up the father mantle seeing as Wart’s adoptive Father, Sir Ectar(Sebastian Cabot)treats him like a slave-or rather a serf in training to be a squire, rather than a son. To the uninitiated, Merlin, voiced by Karl Swenson, is a Wizard who knows magic and knows the future because he’s living his life in reverse, so his past is our future(or so the legend says…) He doesn’t always know the precise details so when he decides to Tutor Wart, he doesn’t yet realize that this boy is destined to become King Arthur. He’s just the boy he knew would fall through his roof while reaching for an arrow that went astray.
And in the great tradition of Mentors, he puts Wart through his paces teaching him practical lessons about life by changing him into different animals to observe how nature works(The part where he becomes a squirrel and is chased by an amorous squirrelette is evocative of the classic Pepe Le Pew cartoons from Warner Brothers, but works as it’s own funny scenario).
However, where he really shines as the Father figure comes when Wart falls into the clutches of Madame Mim(Martha Wentworth)-who parallels the character of Morgana Le Fay in the old Arthurian Legends. She’s a possible ancestor to Ursula the Sea Witch in her nasty demeanor and witchcraftery(I think I just created a word LOL!) In any event, Merlin steps in to protect Wart from becoming Mim’s snack, even at the risk of his own life. The battle of magical wits is EPIC and in the end, Merlin triumphs as every Father should for the sake of his children.
Moviefan12:  This is wonderful reflection of the character and a way that I would have never thought of this character. Admittedly because it has been so long since I have watched this film but taking into account everything you said about Merlin, there is nothing I can argue against.  This is such a grand way of looking at the character.  The more I think about it, you are so right that he is the True father to Wart who goes on to become King Arthur.   Wonderful observation, my friend.
2.  Marlin – Finding Nemo

Moviefan12: Another choice that I truly like.

 

Les: Now here’s a Disney/Pixar character who might just have the greatest character arc in the entire library of Disney Characters. A Clownfish voiced by Albert Brooks, Marlin starts the picture a really happy fish. He’s married to a wonderful girl, Coral(Elizabeth Perkins) settling down in the Great Barrier Reef on the verge of having their hundreds of eggs hatching and becoming parents. However, this is a Disney film so, Like Bambi’s mother, Coral and all but one of the eggs are devoured by a barracuda and he’s knocked out trying to stop it. Waking up, all that’s left of his life is his one and only son, Nemo(Alexander Gould). Marlin is so over-protective of him he literally goes out of his way to keep him from danger and in the process keeps him from experiencing life and learning from it.

 

On Nemo’s first day of school, Marlin freaks out discovering that the class is going to the drop off and barges into the class embarrassing his son to the point that he rebels against him, swimming out to open sea to touch a boat in defiance of Marlin’s orders for him to swim back. Then a sports diver capture Nemo and take him away in the boat. From here on, Marlin kills himself attempting to find and rescue his son. His dedication to overcome his fears of the ocean to get to his son is inspiring.

 

With new friend, Dory(Ellen DeGeneres), a Blue Tang with no short term memory, they brave sharks, sea mines, Angler fish, Jellyfish, Gnarly currents and in a really brave moment, letting go of a whale tongue in a leap of faith to get to Sydney Harbor where Nemo’s been taken. THEN he has to survive almost getting swallowed by a pelican and then about 100 seagulls trusting Nigel(Geoffrey Rush)A brown Pelican who’s seen Nemo in the dentist office fish tank to take him safely to the fishtank. Thinking Nemo’s dead(he’s pretending in order to get flushed since all drains lead to the ocean) Marlin starts swimming home utterly dejected. In the other Disney Tradition of the lost finding their way home, Nemo with Dory’s help catch up to Marlin just as a fishing net springs to capture Nemo and Dory.

 

And this is the part where Marlin really grows as a father. He trusts his son to go back into the net to save Dory’s life by getting all the fish in the net to swim down together, a trick he picked up in the fishtank. it works, the fish are freed, and Marlin gets his son back now encouraging him to live life and seek out an adventure daily. I particularly love the scene at the end where Nemo stops the school bus to swim back to hug his father goodbye before going to school.

Moviefan12: I’m not sure I would call him the greatest but I still like this character and while Nemo may be the titular character. The movie actually has more emphasis on Marlin and how he grows from being an over protective father to someone that understands that he needs to let his son have his own space and grow.  Yes, it took his son being taken away from him to realize this but  I also believe that the interaction that he sees between Crush and Squirt helps him to realize this.  He is a wonderful character and it is understandable that he is so protective of his son after what happened in the beginning of the film. What was that thing, anyways?  Moving on from that though.  Marlin to me is the true focus of this film and has such a wonderful development and realizes that he needs to back off.
Moviefan12: Now we have come to Les’s number 1 Disney Dad and it is…
1.  Robert Parr/Mr. Incredible

Moviefan12: Those of you who have followed my blogs for a while should know that  I hate this film. I don’t like this character either.  Never have, never will! Also, this will be the only time anything from this film will appear on A Look at Disney.  Therefore I’ll let Les talk about this character but I won’t because it would be nothing but a rant on how I think he is a terrible father.  To give you his thoughts on Mr. Incredible, I’ll let Les take the reigns.

 

Les:: Which is one of the reasons I chose Mr Incredible, because one thing you’ll find on many of my blogs is concrete examples of polite civil debate done respectfully. However, I do like Mr. Incredible for the very reason that he really is a horrible father at the start of the film. Robert Parr(Craig T. Nelson)Is a superhero having a mid-life crisis(Which I actually understand having had one, myself). He barely functions in his role as a father, ceding all control to his wife, Helen(Holly Hunter)who wants the family to “fit in” with ordinary society. Robert, on the other hand is lying to her about going bowling with his best friend, Lucious/Frozone(Samuel L Jackson)in order to sneak out behind her back to fight crime as a vigilante.

 

When the opportunity comes for him to become a hero again, he jumps at it and the lies get bigger and bigger-however, where Helen assumes he’s having an affair, he’s really trying to fight crime like he used to. I’ll admit that’s not much better considering he’s still lying to her, but it is an important distinction, nonetheless.

 

Helen finds out where he’s gone and gets a jet on a favor to fly out to confront him, and the kids sneak aboard(They all have superpowers) Captured by his nemesis, Syndrome(Jason Lee) and thinking that his family has been killed by a missile, He becomes a man utterly defeated. Later on, when he finds they’re still alive, he goes on a rampage to find and protect them. When they’re captured together. He breaks down and has a really honest moment with all of them where he apologizes for ignoring them and promises to not take his family for granted anymore. That’s where he starts becoming a really good father. From there to the end of the film, he becomes supportive and appreciative of their skills and they rely on each other to do what’s right, where at the start of the film, Mr. Incredible only “worked alone.” I believed in his transformation that I think he’ll only get better as time goes on.

 

Tim: Nice assessment on a character that I’m not too fond of. Thanks for stopping by and letting us have a look at the Disney Dads you have chosen for this list. The fun isn’t over though, join us next time, we take a look at my Top 6 Disney Dads.

By Moviefan12

Disney Geek, Oncer, Brony, and Expressionist

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.