James at Outside The Beltway notes something that’s bothered me of late. He points to, of all places, the NYT’s John Tierney, who wonders…..

......why Homer Simpson has managed to replace Ward Cleaver as the archetype of fatherhood in American situation comedies.

It’s hardly limited to this, James.
With young Children in the house over the last several years, I’ve become something of a watcher of younger fare, again. Toy story was just on recently. No father figure at all, in either of the two households represented in the story, is the one thing that leaps out at you before the story is half way through. Another Disney Movie, the (mildly amusing) remake of Freaky Friday, once again lacks a serious father figure.. the mother’s getting remarried.

This isn’t pick on Disney day, though… they’re simply an easy target. Heidi McDonald, in the New Pittsburgh Courier remarked on this last January;

Fathers, in the movies, are generally represented as emotionally distant, absent, abusive, uninvolved, or bumbling.

Anna at Undefined has questions, as well.The only time you see a father figure who isn’t an idiot, he’s a bad guy;

And why do the (successful, jetsetting, business-minded) fathers in the movies have to be the bad ones?

Roger Ebert goes one father, suggesting at one point ina review on Imaginary Heroes that

...fathers in the movies, as a group, supply only a few more heroes than Nazis.

Guess we can’t state the problem any clearer than this.

There’s another consideration, here besides the image we’re sending to ourselves and our kids with this stuff; and it’s a question I’ve asked before What kind of image are we sending to a world market eager to either adopt or eschew western ways?

Hollywood has set itself up as the documentor of western culture. Is this dismal picture of fathers we’re projecting, though Hollywood, harming western culture both from within, and from outside it as well?