10 Movies to Tug at Dad’s Heartstrings on Father’s Day
Most dads are big teddy bears when it comes right down to it. Check out these movies featuring awesome dads to watch with your own pop on Father’s Day!
Finding Nemo (2003)
This is one of those cartoons that’s sure to make you cry—in the first five minutes! Once you make it past the scene where Nemo and his dad end up alone together, you’re in for the beloved search and rescue tale. This family favourite is all about what dads will do for the love of their kids.
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Steve Martin shines in his dramatic turn as the ultimate super dad. He’s dealing with work stress and kid problems, but he still finds the time to coach little league and dress up as a cowboy to come through for his family. This sentimental ensemble drama is all about the strong bonds across generations. And it’s sure to make you laugh, cry, and then laugh some more.
Here’s some more inspiration from comedian Steve Martin.
The Champ (1979)
This emotional drama stars Jon Voight and little kid Ricky Schroder as the ultimate father-son ragtag team working toward goals! Voight plays a boxer looking to score another win, and Schroder’s the kid who looks up to him no matter what. Spoiler alert: Beware the tragic scene near the end that scientists have deemed the saddest movie of all time!
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Old Yeller (1957)
This sentimental Disney classic follows two brothers in the post Civil War West who learn how to be men with the help of a brave and loyal yellow dog. After their cowboy Pop takes off for work, big brother Travis (Tommy Kirk) has to tend and defend the farm while he keeps his rascally little bro Arliss (Kevin Corcoran) out of never-ending trouble. Old Yeller keeps them both in check until tragedy strikes right before Dad’s return. It’s the perfect movie about growing up that’s sure to turn on the waterworks!
Ready for your own pet? Here are 7 Reasons Every Kid Should Grow Up with a Big Dog.
Air Force One (1997)
Harrison Ford is the president of the United States and the bad guys have hijacked the plane and captured his wife and daughter. No problem! Ford’s action hero president is every dad who is committed to his job but still puts family first. No one furrows their brow with as much emotional intensity as Ford. This film came out in 1997 but still packs a punch!
The Lion King (1994)
This epic Disney musical is loosely based on the story of Hamlet. It’s basically about how to live up to the image of a great father. Little Simba loses his Dad early in a heartbreaking scene and has to learn how to become king. Just the circle of life! Hakuna Matata! (No worries!) This classic is endlessly watchable and a childhood touchstone if you’re in need of some ’90s nostalgia.
Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
Dustin Hoffman plays a devoted dad in this weepie about the trauma of a custody battle. This window into a painful divorce is made bearable by the great performances. Meryl Streep plays the mom and wife who takes off and then wants back in. You’ve got drama, heartbreak, and a really cute little kid (Justin Henry).
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Superman II (1980)
No scene tugs at the father-son heartstrings quite like Christopher Reeve and Marlon Brando in Superman II. Clark Kent (aka Kal-El) hits a low point, so he heads to the Fortress of Solitude and gets a final convo with his dad, Jor El. He finds out in a heartrending speech about the circle of life and that his dad died for him. Have fun with the awesome retro special effects!
Liam Neeson became a screen action idol in this story about the kind of dad that the bad guys should never mess with! When human traffickers kidnap his teenage daughter and her friend, Neeson embarks on a rescue mission for the ages. (Just like your dad would!) Look for Neeson’s famous phone call to the villains where he talks about his “particular set of skills!” It’s the perfect film to watch with your own hero father.
Dirty Dancing (1987)
Nobody puts baby in the corner! Except maybe Jerry Orbach. He plays the ultimate doting dad in this ’80s classic about love and romance. Jennifer Grey woos Patrick Swayze, but her father is always in the background giving her advice and lectures and then saving the day right when her friends need it. And by the end, even this amazing dad has to finally let his daughter grow up. It’s not easy, but Orbach’s awesome performance lessens the blow.
Originally published as 10 Movies to Tug at Dad’s Heartstrings on Father’s Day on ReadersDigest.com.