1. Atticus Finch (‘To Kill A Mockingbird’)
Lawyer extraordinaire, Atticus Finch is the first name that comes to mind when you think good on-screen fathers.
2. Lalit Verma (‘Monsoon Wedding’)
He redefined what it means to be an Indian father when he stood up to his paedophile brother and threw him out of his house saying he would protect his kids from even himself if he had to.
3. Seth Dharamchand (‘Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin’)
One nutso character, his shining moment was when he told his daughter to ditch the schmuck she was about to marry and run away from the shaadi ka mandap. He even went so far as to arrange the getaway car. Brilliant stuff!
4. Baba (‘The Kite Runner’)
An awe-inspiring, larger-than-life personality, the allure of Baba lies in the fact that he is in equal parts hero and villain. He is inspiring as a god-figure whilst also being a living embodiment of the failings of man.
5. Daniel Ruiz (‘Crash’)
A fantastic father, Ruiz finds his daughter hiding under the bed, scared that there is gunfire happening outside. He tells her that he has a magic cloak that will protect her from all the bad things in the world.
6. King Fergus (‘Brave’)
A big bear of a man, he’s putty when in comes to his daughter. He breaks tradition and gifts her a bow and arrow on her birthday. She goes on to become an excellent shot and a an extraordinary rebel.
7. Gru (‘Despicable Me’)
Evil villain on the outside, soft-hearted buffoon on the inside, Gru adopts three girls for villainous purposes. After spending just a little time with them, he forgets all about aspiring to the top spot on the list of the world’s greatest villains, and rises to the gargantuan challenge of being a foster parent to three vulnerable little girls.
8. Marlon (‘Finding Nemo’)
Neurotic, overprotective, and extremely annoying, this guy braves the entire ocean, and his worst fears, to rescue his kid and bring him back home safely. You gotta give him points for that! Other than that, the story is owned by that forgetful blue fish who sticks by him through sharks and whales.
9. Severus Snape (‘Harry Potter’)
He makes this list not so much for his unsung hero act, but for his undying love for the only person he ever loved. He loved her so much that he spent his life, and then eventually gave his life, to save her son. True love, this!
10. Ned (‘Imagine Me & You’)
A quiet man who spends his life being dominated by his wife, Ned’s finest moment is when he says to his daughter, “Please my darling, follow your heart”. In saying this, he wins the moment, and your heart, in one fell swoop.
11. Mr. Ping (‘Kung Fu Panda’)
An absolutely gorgeous character, Ping lives through the fears every foster parent has. And he is resilient in the face of these fears. Resilient and cute and utterly obstinate, he is an amazing father.
12. Bhola (‘Little Terrorist’)
Caught in the uncomfortable position of having to give shelter to a young boy who accidentally crosses the border from Pakistan to India, Bhola’s story is far too common in the regions surrounding the Indo-Pak border. It’s what he does with his predicament that makes Bhola an exemplary father figure.
13. Rahim Khan (‘The Kite Runner’)
The polar opposite of “the Baba figure”, Rahim Khan is Khaled Hosseini’s version of everything a father should be. He sees the darkness inside Ali and the light inside Hassan. Quiet, observant, patient, and kind, Rahim Khan is everything Baba could never be.
14. Mr. Malhotra (‘DDLJ’)
A rather chilled out dad who believes one should do whatever it takes to get what they want, he doesn’t set much store by academic scores and such like. He supports his kid no mater what, gets his ass kicked for his kid, and smiles through it all.
15. Papa Threadgoode (‘Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe’)
A quiet existence in a very big family, he won my heart when he went and took out a second mortgage on his store just so his youngest child could bring home the love of her life and they could start a life together.
16. Abdul Rehman Khan (‘Kabuliwala’)
A poor man who leaves his homeland, and his baby girl, to come sell knickknacks in the streets of India to eke out a living, Abdul Rehman Khan finds an unlikely friend in five year-old Munni. He carries in his pocket a crumpled coal hand print of his baby girl and in the few minutes he spends talking to Munni everyday, he imagines how his own little girl must be doing back home.
17. Daniel Hillard (‘Mrs. Doubtfire’)
Having lost custody of his three children in the divorce, Daniel Hillard decides he would do whatever it took to be able to spend time with them. He dons the avatar of a homely gradma to become their nanny.
18. Sam Dawson (‘I Am Sam’)
A mentally challenged man is left to look after his infant daughter. He does a phenomenal job of raising her. And then there comes a time when her mental age exceeds his, and he has to struggle to rise to the challenge. The State deems him incapable of raising her and puts her in foster care. He moves the courts to get his child back home, he fights the system tooth and nail. On her part, the little girl refuses to leave her father and runs back to him every chance she gets. It’s a special, heart-warming father-daughter relationship, this!
19. Hans Hubermann (‘The Book Thief’)
It takes heart, and humanity, to take in orphans in a time of war. Hans Hubermann does exactly that and goes above and beyond the call of duty towards his foster daughter. Aside from keeping her safe in a time of war, he gives her the greatest gift of all — he teaches her how to read. He brings her books and encourages in her a thirst for knowledge. He is, in fact, the only grown-up to ever stick around long enough to make a difference in Liesel’s life.
20. Frank Abagnale, Sr. (‘Catch Me If You Can’)
A man of honor, Frank Abagnale dotes on his son, the criminal mastermind. His trust in his kid is so blind that he fails to see the check-kiting, identity thief his son is becoming. To Frank, his son could do no wrong, and he makes him proud every day. When faced with the truth, however, he urges his kid to do the right thing.
21. Bryan Mills (‘Taken’)
As unbelievable as Liam Neeson is in this role, his character tears heaven and hell asunder to find his daughter who gets abducted on a trip to Europe. He’s the guy you want in your corner, because there is nothing he doesn’t do to get his little girl back home safely. Some father, huh?!!
22. Michael Sullivan (‘Road to Perdition’)
An enforcer for the mafioso, Michael Sullivan loses his wife and youngest child to an inner power struggle within the ranks of the mafia clan he works for. He then takes on the entire clan just to get his one living son beyond the clutches of the thug life and to a life of safety. Even with his dying act, he spares his son the horror of taking a man’s life, thereby saving him from being scarred for life.