It’s a film that warms the heart no matter how many times you watch, and now a survey has proven what we all knew: Mufasa from The Lion King is the absolute daddy of them all.
Whether you saw The Lion King as a toddler or a teen, the unforgettably moving Disney animation has been making people reach for the tissues for decades now, and Simba’s old man has been placed in the top spot, beating contenders from the worlds of Harry Potter, Indiana Jones and the film, Taken.
Showcase Cinemas surveyed 2,000 people via One Poll in June, 2018, and there are some names you’d expect up in the top 10 most popular dads, and some as misplaced as some as our forebears parenting techniques.
Take Bryan Mills from Taken for example. What a dad. A man of many skills you’d be lucky to have as your pops.
Or what about a curveball in the shape of Scotland’s finest nanny, the suggestible crossdresser of Robin Williams’ Mrs Doubtfire. Not quite as popular as you’d expect. In fact old Bryan and Daniel Hillard barely scraped the top 10 at numbers five and six respectively.
Indiana Jones’ dad, Henry Jones, played by Sean Connery in The Last Crusade was number four. At number three, George Bailey in the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life and Arthur Weasley (played by Mark Williams) in the Harry Potter world, was number two.
Mufasa would be proud to be thought of as the most loved dad, I’m absolutely sure, because he got a bit of a shafting when you think about it.
He was the King of the Savanna, the leader of the pack and he was basically done over by his brother.
Scar was such a so and so, he actually convinced Mufasa’s young cub, Simba, his father’s death was all his fault. Snide.
But it turns out Scar probably wasn’t Mufasa’s brother after all.
Hello Giggles spoke to the film’s producer, Don Hahn, who revealed some home truths about Mufasa and Scar’s relationship, saying:
[While making the movie] we talked about the fact that it was very likely [Scar and Mufasa] would not have both the same parents.
The way lions operate in the wild… when the male lion gets old, another rogue lion comes and kills the head of the pride.
What that does is it causes the female lions to go into heat [to reproduce], and then the new younger lion kills the king and then he kills all the babies. Now he’s the new lion that’s running the pride.
That will surely give Mufasa some beyond the grave relief. It is a jungle out there after all.
And while he wasn’t able to defeat his evil lion counterpart, Mufasa has roundly seen off a combination of wizards, accountants, transvestite housekeepers and fish in the top 10:
1 Mufasa, The Lion King
2 Arthur Weasley, Harry Potter series
3 George Bailey, It’s a Wonderful Life
4 Henry Jones, Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade
5 Bryan Mills, Taken
6 Daniel Hillard/Euphegenia Doubtfire, Mrs Doubtfire
7 Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird
8 Captain Von Trapp, The Sound of Music
9 Jack Byrnes, Meet the Fockers
10 Marlin, Finding Nemo
Mark Barlow, UK General Manager for Showcase Cinemas, said:
The silver screen has given rise to some incredible fictional parents, and it seems mums and dads are in agreement that the self-sacrificing animated lion, Mufasa, is the UK’s favourite movie dad.
Across the board, it seems that men are more influenced by the parenting they see in films than mums are, with twice as many dads telling us that they’ve turned off a film because they thought it could show their parenting skills in a bad light – hopefully we don’t see too much of that this Father’s Day!
Just in case it’s as much news to you as it is to me, Father’s Day in the UK is this Sunday, June 17.
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Tim Horner is a sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated with a BA Journalism from University College Falmouth before most his colleagues were born. A previous editor of adult mags, he now enjoys bringing the tone down in the viral news sector.