Would these movie dads buy you a pony?

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"Daddy. I want a pony!" It's the cry of little princesses the world over (and probably in a few other universes too.) As this Sunday (17 June) is Father's Day, we decided to rate a selection of fathers on film on their pony-buying ability and other dad qualities. From Darth Vader to Atticus Finch: who'll come good with the tiny horse?

Click on a movie dad photo to launch the gallery and let us know all your dad-related thoughts on Twitter or in the comments section, below...

What do you think? Which movie dads would you claim as your own? Tell us your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments section below.

Image credit: Rex and 20th Century Fox

  • Darth Vader - The Star Wars films

    Lord Vader, formerly Anakin Skywalker, is a highly flawed father in many, many ways. But if you’re looking for an all-powerful dad figure Darth’s your man.

    Pony-buying ability: 10/ 10 (if you don’t mind a Nelvaan riding beast instead of a horse)

    Would he help you move house? No

    Shame-inducing jokes? Not a humorous man.

    Special dad skills: Eventually sacrifices life for kids.

  • Don Vito Corleone - The Godfather

    Entrepreneurial minds will thrive under the direction of Vito Corleone – after all he built his ‘family business’ up from nothing and is able to command respect wherever he goes. Just one note of caution: go up against him and expect it to be the last thing you do.

    Pony-buying ability: 6/10 – at the very least you’ll get a horse’s head.

    Would he help you move house? His mafia buddies will carry out the work for him.

    Shame-inducing jokes? Unlikely but if he tells them, you MUST laugh.

    Special dad skills: The ability to send any enemy of yours to 'sleep with the fishes'.

  • Dr Jake Houseman - Dirty Dancing

    As sexy dance lessons, teenage rebellion and the realities of a backstreet abortion force his youngest daughter to come of age over the course of the summer, we’re sure Dr Houseman wished he’d taken his family somewhere else for their holidays.

    Pony-buying ability: 9/10 – anything to distract Baby from all that dirty dancing.

    Would he help you move house? Yes.

    Shame-inducing jokes? Not even your grandmother would blush.

    Special dad skills: Behind that square exterior he’s a knight in shining armour.

  • Jack Torrance – The Shining

    A keen family man, Jack Torrance books his family in to be winter caretakers of the old Overlook Hotel. How was he to know he’d go insane and end up chasing his wife and son through a maze with an axe?

    Pony-buying ability: 2/10 Broke writer.

    Would he help you move house? No – probably best he stay away from enclosed spaces.

    Shame-inducing jokes? Zilch. Unless you consider “Heeere’s Johnny!” humorous.

    Special dad skills: Scaring away rubbish boyfriends.

  • Peter, Michael and Jack – Three Men and a Baby

    Three men about NY town are forced to ditch their bachelor lifestyle for dirty nappies and sleepless nights after the arrival of Mary, an abandoned lovechild from a fling Jack had many moons before. After a few false starts and a run-in with a heroin drug ring, they prove themselves more than worthy of the task, particularly Peter (Tom Selleck) and his scene-stealing moustache.

    Pony-buying ability: 18/30. But you can’t buy a kid’s affection (as anyone who’s watched Three Men and a Little Lady will know)

    Would they help you move house? Yes.

    Shame-inducing jokes? A lifetime of them, the goofier the better.

    Special dad skills: Twilight renditions of Goodnight Sweetheart complete with harmonies.

  • George Banks - Father of the Bride

    George loves his little Annie very much, but doesn’t really want to see her grow up. Throw in a bucket of class insecurity stirred up by the wealthy family his daughter is marrying into and you have a whole film about fatherly anxiety.

    Pony-buying ability: 4/10

    Would he help you move house? Yes.

    Shame-inducing jokes? Only occasionally

    Special dad skills: Willing to let go in the end. Aww.

  • Alder MacGregor - The Wicker Man

    The landlord of Summerisle’s only inn, The Green Man, in cult British film The Wicker Man, Mr MacGregor is happy to let the regulars sing lusty songs about his fetching and highly-sexed daughter.

    Pony-buying ability: 3/10

    Would he help you move house? No, stay behind the bar.

    Shame-inducing jokes? Off the scale.

    Special dad skills: Turns a blind eye to rhythmic banging emanating from bedrooms.

  • Daniel Hillard – Mrs Doubtfire

    A dedicated dad puts his transvestite skills to the test when divorce threatens his relationship with his three kids – Natty, Chris and Lydia. Throwing dignity to the wind, he masquerades as a middle-aged Welsh nanny - Mrs Doubtfire - at his old home, duping his former wife and ensuring quality time (of a kind) with his children. Cue: tears, tantrums, hilarity and a prosthetic nose.

    Pony-buying ability: 2/10

    Would he help you move house? Hell yeah - he'd also give it a good dust down if in his Mrs Doubtfire guise.

    Shame-inducing jokes? It’s his greatest forte.

    Special dad skills: Will don fishnets and fake breasts in the name of paternal devotion.

  • Atticus Finch – To Kill a Mockingbird

    An educated man and fair-minded lawyer, Atticus Finch is hailed as the wisest person Maycomb County and the go-to guy for fatherly advice and lessons on life.

    Pony-buying ability: 5/10 - but there’d be a moral to the pony-buying story.

    Would he help you move house? Yes.

    Shame-inducing jokes? Never ever.

    Special dad skills: He always knows the right thing to do.

  • Mr Bennet – Pride and Prejudice

    With only a modest income to provide for his five lively daughters, and a social climbing wife hell-bent on marrying the girls off to the first rich man they meet, Mr Bennet has a lot to deal with on a daily basis. However, he manages his load with good humour and grace, reserving the majority of his wit for winding up his wife.

    Pony-buying ability: 9/10 – he’s a fan of country pursuits. And that "modest income" is only modest if you move with the Regency gentry.

    Would he help you move house? Reluctantly yes – he’d rather have you at home.

    Shame-inducing jokes? Mrs Bennet has those covered.

    Special dad skills: Witty asides.

  • Lester Burnham – American Beauty

    Stuck in the midst of a mid-life crisis, pot-smoking, blackmailing dad Lester is certainly no role model for teenaged daughter Jane – particularly as he also fantasises about getting it on with her best friend Angela.

    Pony-buying ability: 10/10 - blackmailing his boss has its perks.

    Would he help you move house? Only if you were moving in with a hot girlfriend.

    Shame-inducing jokes? As bad as his flirting skills.

    Special dad skills: He’d take you out in his sports car.

  • Harry Sultenfuss - My Girl

    Well-meaning, but totally clueless, funeral director Harry is pretty stuck when it comes to understanding pre-teen girls, particularly his hypochondriac daughter Vada. But as a combination of tragedy and new love hover on the horizon, he re-discovers his sensitive dad streak.

    Pony-buying ability: 4/10

    Would he help you move house? Yes.

    Shame-inducing jokes? If only to lighten the mood in the funeral parlour.

    Special dad skills: Big bear hug and trumpeting skills.

  • George Bailey - It’s A Wonderful Life

    Heartless bankers are currently public enemy number one but if good-hearted businessman George Bailey was your father, you would defend him to the end.

    Pony-buying ability: 7/10

    Would he help you move house? Naturally.

    Shame-inducing jokes? Not likely – it’s just not his style.

    Special dad skills: Making Christmas wonderful.

  • Mel Horowitz – Clueless

    Gruff and uptight, on the outside Mel Horowitz is your typical over-worked LA lawyer. But on the inside, particularly when it comes to his daughter Cher, he’s a massive warm-hearted softie who thinks that anyone who doesn’t get her must be an idiot.

    Pony-buying ability: 10/10 – but wouldn't you prefer a convertible?

    Would be help you move house? No. But the staff would.

    Shame-inducing jokes? A couple up his pin-striped sleeves.

    Special dad skills: He won’t mind if you hook up with your step-brother.

  • Mac MacGuff – Juno

    Most fathers would be hard-pressed to remain cool when faced with a pregnant (and super-sarcastic) 16-year-old daughter but Mac MacGuff supports his ‘Junebug’ all the way.

    Pony-buying ability: 3/10

    Would he help you move house? Yes.

    Shame-inducing jokes? You betcha.

    Special dad skills: Diffusing serious situations with a bad joke – or by threatening to kick someone’s ass.

  • Homer Simpson – The Simpsons Movie

    Go in with low expectations if you claim Homer Simpson as your father. Lazy, stupid and mildly abusive, Homer is just as likely to sell the family dog for beer as for a bucket of chicken. But when push comes to shove, he always puts his family first… well, maybe second - runner-up to a can of Duff.

    Pony-buying ability: 2/10 – though he might acquire one by accident.

    Would he help you move house? No.

    Shame-inducing jokes? Count on it.

    Special dad skills: Eating and drinking beer like a true pro.

  • Buck Russell – Uncle Buck

    Although not strictly a dad, Uncle Buck assumes a father figure role when his brother and sister-in-law have to leave town and he is tasked with looking after their three kids. While the little ones Miles and Maisey quickly warm to his exuberant ways, he has to work hard to win over rebellious teen Tia.

    Pony-buying ability: 3/10 – he’d lose the money in a bet.

    Would he help you move house? Yes.

    Shame-inducing jokes? You wouldn’t be able to shut him up.

    Special dad skills: Making a giant stack of pancakes for your birthday.

  • Guido Orefice - Life is beautiful

    Wartime Italy with Hitler at the helm is not a good place to be Jewish, but Guido Orefice will do anything to protect his young son from the fallout. Even when both are in a concentration camp, he convinces the little one that it is all a game through charm, humour and sheer force of spirit.

    Pony-buying ability: 10/10. If you use your imagination.

    Would he help you move house? Yes.

    Shame-inducing jokes? 100% - but his son’s too young to notice.

    Special dad skills: That walk! And an ability to bring joy into even the bleakest of scenarios.

  • Mufasa – The Lion King

    Mufasa is the ultimate dad to young Simba – strong, loyal and wise, ruling by example (and not to mention a king). Faced with a stampede of wildebeest, it's no surprise when he springs to Simba’s rescue, even if the guilt of the sacrifice will lie heavy on Simba’s conscience forever more. Like many good things, Mufasa’s father role is short-lived but stand-out.

    Pony-buying ability: 0/10. Unless it was a meal option.

    Would he help you move house? Yes – all paws to the fore.

    Shame-inducing jokes? Not likely. He’s far too dignified.

    Special dad skills: Willing to put his own life before his son’s. Sob.

  • Captain Georg Von Trapp – The Sound of Music

    Running his household as strictly as he sails his naval ships, widower Captain Von Trapp has little time for niceties when it comes to his seven children. Luckily, failing nun Maria comes to his aid as the children’s governess and begins to bring out the best in him, filling his heart with - you guessed it - the sound of music.

    Pony-buying ability: 1/10 pre-Maria; 8/10 post-Maria.

    Would he help you move house? Yes, everything would be ship-shape and running on time.

    Shame-inducing jokes? Maybe at sea.

    Special dad skills: Chooses a good second wife.


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