In today’s pop culture, it’s all too common to see fathers portrayed as heartless tyrants or total buffoons. So this Father’s Day the editors of Crosswalk.com would like to pay tribute to those movie men who not only provided for their families, but demonstrated the strength of character found only in a great father. Here, in no particular order, are our top ten greatest fathers in film:

 

1. Mufasa (The Lion King)

Though Mufasa is only featured in the beginning of The Lion King, his influence is felt throughout the entire movie. The king of the Pridelands exudes the qualities of a Christian father; though a children’s cartoon, Mufasa serves an example of how to parent with wisdom and humility. The original “Lion King” teaches his son Simba important life lessons such as how to treat other. “Respect all the creatures, from the crawling ant, to the leaping antelope,” he tells Simba as a cub. Mufasa also admits his vulnerability when he tells young Simba that adults have fears just as children do, teaching his son that having fears does not make him weak or a coward.
 

2. Pacha (The Emperor’s New Groove)

Pacha, the lovable and long-suffering dad from The Emperor's New Groove, may not be the most well-known father figure, but you can't deny his credentials. Faced with the potential destruction of his family's home (and village), he confronts the most powerful man in the kingdom, Emperor Kuzco. The odds of a peasant changing the mind of a self-centered despot don't seem great, but Pacha models a tenacious, never-say-die spirit for the sake of his family that any father can aspire to. By the end of the movie, Pacha's sacrificial attitude and refusal to quit help transform the most hardened llama heart. That's the stuff good fathers are made of, and any Christian dad would love that to be said of him (okay... maybe not the llama part).
 

3. Chris Gardner (The Pursuit of Happiness)

Few men have faced the same hardships as Chris Gardner. After watching his business and marriage crumble, Gardner must find ways to make ends meet while living as a single parent. Crippling debt and continued failure force him to suffer indignities few people could tolerate. Yet, throughout all these hardships, Gardner continues to persevere toward a better life for him and his son. His tender love, combined with his fierce determination, make his pursuit of happiness all the more poignant.
 

4. Henry Jones Senior (Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade)

Henry Jones Sr. is far from the perfect father. Being absent for most of Indy’s childhood, there’s a degree of tension between father and son when they reunite in The Last Crusade. Still, you can’t deny the Sr. Jones is there for his son when he really needs him. During their journey together, he provides Indy with the moral compass needed to find the grail, and the wisdom to let it go. Charming, scholarly, and creative, Henry Jones Senior can teach us all a bit about the importance of faith and self-reliance.