10 Times Disney Dads Had Us in Tears
June 17, 2021
Disney movies are full of heartwarming moments between fathers and their children. In honor of Father’s Day, we’re highlighting the top dad scenes that made us misty-eyed. Celebrate the occasion with this walk down cinematic memory lane, then snag some special tokens of appreciation for the father figure in your life. Disney® Visa® Credit Cardmembers save 10% on select purchases at Disney store and shopDisney.com, where you’ll find clothing, collectibles and other gifts for any fan.1 Now, grab some tissues and read on.
1. Fa Zhou giving Mulan a pep talk
After Mulan botches her appointment with the village matchmaker, it’s dad Fa Zhou that lifts her spirits with a poetic pep talk about late-blooming flowers. The man is a retired war hero and martial arts master, but the way he gingerly places the floral pin into his daughter’s hair shows just how doting his heart is.
2. Mufasa telling Simba that the kings of the past are watching over him
Mufasa’s lesson for Simba about the starry skies and spiritual guardians is exactly the kind of loving guidance his cub needed in that moment—and a message that sticks with him well into adulthood. It’s peak parenting, even for a father as full of wisdom as Mufasa.
3. Bob Parr calling his family “his greatest adventure”
Fighting crime is a family affair by the end of The Incredibles, when Bob (aka Mr. Incredible) finally realizes there’s no greater prize than his wife and kids, dubbing them his “greatest adventure” as they escape Syndrome’s containment unit.
4. King Triton granting Ariel’s wish to become a human
Love for their kids and a primal drive to keep them safe can make parents do crazy things (like, say, denying them their heart’s greatest desire). Luckily, King Triton comes to his senses by the end of The Little Mermaid and uses his powers for the good of his youngest daughter.
5. Marlin promising to protect Nemo
Finding Nemo opens with some serious heartbreak, as a giant barracuda wreaks havoc on Marlin’s family. But when he wakes up from the ordeal to find a single surviving egg and vows to take care of Nemo above all? Well, cue the waterworks.
6. King Fergus ditching gender roles
What’s not to love about King Fergus? By teaching Merida how to ride a horse, defend herself and shoot a bow and arrow better than any boy around, he’s not just teaching her how to become an independent Disney Princess; he’s also honoring who she is—not trying to change her.
7. Geppetto witnessing Pinocchio becoming a real boy
This man wanted to be a father so bad that he carved a child out of wood, so excuse us if we shed a tear (or more) at Geppetto’s elation the moment Pinocchio becomes a “real boy.” Not to mention the exhaustive search for his son and extensive battle with the whale, Monstro!
8. Maurice risking public humiliation to help his daughter
The way Maurice bursts into the town pub after escaping the Beast’s castle—and stands his ground as Gaston and other partygoers essentially call him crazy to his face—is every parent who’s ever advocated for their children in moments of adversity.
9. James giving Tiana words of wisdom
What is it about good dads always knowing exactly what to say? Encouraging Tiana to wish on a star, James balances his daughter’s aspirational tendencies with some grounding (and sage) advice on hard work being the key to success.
10. Goofy’s entire character arc in A Goofy Movie
Every well-meaning parent fumbles every so often, and Goofy has plenty of gaffes. But he’s also caring and supportive of Max’s dreams, and open about his feelings. (Nothing beats a Goofy heart-to-heart!) For such a quirky character, he’s also self-aware of his own shortcomings—like his tendency to be a tad overbearing—and always trying to do better.
Now that we’ve wrapped that dose of Disney dad nostalgia, dry your eyes and head to shopDisney.com or your nearest Disney store for the perfect Father’s Day gift—and bring your Disney Visa Card along for 10% off select purchases.1