Sunday, June 17, 2012

Disney Fathers - Two Types

Have you ever noticed there are really only two types of Disney fathers?

1) Strong, powerful, serious. Not particularly verbose, often has anger issues. Angular face, broad-shouldered. Almost always a king or leader. Undeniably good, but priorities to stay in control or to protect their family/kingdom can be their downfall.

King Triton, Mufasa, Chief Powhatan, Zeus, Fa Zhou, Kerchak

2)  Short, fat, round, bumbling. Overly talkative and often mumbly. Comes off as silly and harmless, yet lovable. Hard to take seriously.

Maurice, Sultan, Archimedes Porter (Jane's dad)

I've always been fascinated by this. Why are there only two kinds of fathers depicted in Disney movies? What does this communicate about the image of a father or a man?

Do these father images resonate with your experience, either as a father yourself or the fathers in your life?

Happy Father's Day! 

To my dad, who took me to my first Disney movie experience when I was 10. I have a vivid memory of him not falling asleep, as he was prone to do during most movies, but laughing and smiling along with my siblings and me. I guess you could say he's a Disnerd too (although recently I had to explain this term to him. That was a hilarious conversation.)


  1. Hee hee...I'm giggling at the image of you explaining what a Disnerd is to your Dad. :)

  2. I've always wondered this myself. And in the case of Example 2, they're not only short - they're super short. Maurice, the Sultan, and Archimedes barely reach their daughters' shoulders. And while Maurice and the Sultan may be stronger and sturdier than Belle and Jasmine, respectively, if you observe Jane and her father together, you'll see that she's bigger than him all around. Not only is she a foot taller, but her forearms are also bigger than his.