Movie Dads Who Showed Us What Real Love Is

Jordan Claes
Robin Williams in 'Mrs. Doubtfire'.
20th Century Fox | 20th Century Fox

The love a father holds for his children is unlike anything else on this planet. Our fathers are our nurturers, they provide us with our backbone, and help to shape us into the men we aspire to be.

In the long history of Hollywood, there has been no shortage of incredible movie fathers. So in order to give thanks for the countless lessons they've bestowed upon us, here is a collection of movie dads who showed us what real love is.

Ben Healy in 'Problem Child'

Ben and Junior Healy in 'Problem Child'.
Universal Pictures | Universal Pictures

The vast majority of people would've cut tail and run after finding out that they'd inadvertently adopted the spawn of Satan, but not Ben Healy. He was determined to see the good in Junior, even when there was very little, if any, to see.

Gomez Addams in 'The Addams Family'

Raul julia as Gomez Addams in 'The Addams Family'.
Paramount Pictures | Paramount Pictures

Sure, they may be a little kooky and spooky, but the children in the Addams household want for absolutely nothing. They're given free rein to hone their passions and skills — even when said skills flirt dangerously close to psychopathic tendencies.

Edward Bloom in 'Big Fish'

Ewan MacGregor as Edward Bloom in 'Big Fish'.

Edward Bloom was a storyteller. Instead of painting a boring existence, filled with self-loathing, Edward instead chose to teach his son how to view the world through a rose-colored lens of imagination and wonder.

George Banks in 'Father Of The Bride'

Franc and George Banks in 'Father Of The Bride'.
Touchstone Pictures | Touchstone Pictures

George was willing to lose his shirt in order to give his daughter Annie the wedding of her dreams. He sacrificed his home, as well as his sanity, and all he asked in return was to have one single dance with his daughter.

Yondu Udonta in 'The Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2'

Yondu catching his trick arrow in 'Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2'.
Giphy | Marvel

As Yondu so poetically put it, Mogo might have been Peter Quill's father, but he wasn't his daddy. Yondu was far from the perfect father, but he was the only one that Quill had ever known.

Anakin Skywalker AKA Darth Vader in 'Star Wars: Episode VI - Return Of The Jedi'

Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker in 'Return Of The Jedi'.
20th Century Fox | 20th Century Fox

Darth Vader was one of the vilest and most evil villains the galaxy had ever known, but Anakin Skywalker was not. When his son's life was on the line, Anakin rediscovered the goodness in himself and sacrificed his life in order to save Luke.

Harry Stamper in 'Armageddon'

Harry saying goodbye to Grace in 'Armageddon'.

Let's get one thing clear: Harry Stamper is the kind of man who would've been more than content to crack a beer and watch the world born. He didn't do what he did to save the planet, he did it to save his daughter, Grace.

Scott Calvin in 'The Santa Clause'

Tim Allen as Scott Calvin in 'The Santa Clause'.
Buena Vista | Buena Vista

Scott Calvin was selfish, greedy, and totally self-centered. It took the love of his son to truly teach him how to be a good man. In return, Scott returned the favor by becoming Santa Claus.

Jack Byrnes in 'Meet The Parents'

Robert De Niro in 'Meet The Parents'.

Was Jack Byrnes a tad overbearing? Without question. But you don't spend 19 months in a Vietnamese prison camp without coming out of it a tad paranoid. While he was most assuredly overprotective, his love for his children could never be questioned.

Chris Gardner in 'The Pursuit Of Happyness'

Jaden and Will Smith in 'The Pursuit Of Happyness'.
Sony Pictures | Sony Pictures

"Don't ever let somebody tell you that you can't do something — not even me," may just be the greatest piece of parenting advice I've ever heard. Chris Gardner wasn't without flaws, but he knew the importance of allowing his son to carve out his own path.

Bryan Mills in 'Taken'

Liam Neeson in 'Taken'.

We all like to think that we'd go to the ends of the earth to protect the ones we love. Bryan Mills wasn't afraid to put his money, and his particular set of skills, where his mouth is.

John Quincy Archibald in 'John Q'

Denzel Washington in 'John Q.'.
New Line Cinema | New Line Cinema

John Q. understood the proper order of things. Parents aren't supposed to bury their children; children are the ones who are meant to bury their parents. And he was willing to lose everything in order to make it so.

Marlin in 'Finding Nemo'

marlin and Nemo hugging in 'Finding Nemo'.
Giphy | Disney

Clownfish are known to roam, but very few would be willing to travel thousands of miles across an open ocean simply to rescue their doomed offspring. That's what makes Marlin in Finding Nemo so special.

Clark Griswold in 'Christmas Vacation'

Clark and Ellen Griswold in 'Christmas Vacation'.
Warner Bros. | Warner Bros.

How would you like to host your parents, your in-laws, nieces, nephews, children, and at least one annoying cousin during the holidays? It's far from an appealing prospect for any sane person. I guess Clark really is the jolliest asshole this side of the nut house.

Daniel Hillard in 'Mrs. Doubtfire'

Robin Williams in 'Mrs. Doubtfire'.

Daniel lied to his children, he manipulated his wife, and he came very close to burning down the house after setting his rubber breasts on fire. But in the end, it was all so that he could be closer to his family and the children he loved so much.