8 Encouraging Family Movies That Show Fatherhood in a Positive Light

As a dad, I've become concerned about the image of fathers portrayed in popular culture. It seems all too common that dads in movies and sitcoms are bumbling, unconnected squares who are the comedic foil and butt of all the jokes. Fatherhood becomes a joke, and alternative family structures without fathers take precedence. It serves to belittle the role of dad and promotes fatherless households in popular culture.

So when I see a movie that presents a strong father figure, I cheer a little. It is good to see that not everything in entertainment is geared toward tearing down the traditional role of fatherhood. It gives me something to share with my kids and helps reinforce what I'm trying to be: the best dad that I can be.

Here's to putting Pop back in pop culture!

In no particular order, here are some of my favorite movies that portray a strong father or father figure. These are the movies that I love watching with my family and that send a positive message about the nuclear family.

8. Cars

Not exactly a father—and they're animated race cars, not humans. But in one of his final performances, Paul Newman voices Hudson Hornet, the old, washed-up former race champion who takes the young hotshot, Lightning McQueen, under his wing and teaches him the tricks of the trade. Definitely a father figure character, he shows tough love and shares his experiences to make the up and coming star better.

7. The Lego Movie

This movie is a lot like The Wizard of Oz, in that the main story is a fantasy that gives way to real life in the end. The young son makes the dire mistake of messing with his dad's Lego models that are to be touched by no one. In the end, the dad, played to great effect by Will Ferrell, relents and comes to realize that quality time with his son is more important than preserving his pristine Lego creations. It's a little bit silly, but the movie is legitimately hysterical, and the payoff at the end is worth it.