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Like Father and Son, from Chaplin to the Beginners

Posted March 01, 2012 to photo album "Like Father and Son, from Chaplin to the Beginners"

Mike Mills poignant portrait of a father and son relationship inspired us to look back at how films from Chaplin to Beginners have handled this paternal subject.

Being Flynn
Beginners (2011)
The Kid (1921)
The Champ (1931)
I Was Born But... (1932)
The Bicycle Thief (1948)
Rebel without a Cause (1955)
Bigger Than Life (1956)
The Godfather (1972)
The Great Santini (1979)
Kramer Vs. Kramer (1979)
At Close Range (1986)
A Bronx Tale (1993)
In the Name of the Father (1994)
The Sum of Us (1994)
Billy Elliot (2000)
Road to Perdition (2002)
Finding Nemo (2003)
There Will Be Blood (2007)
Finding Nemo (2003)

Finding Nemo (2003)

While many father/son stories dwell on the anxiety that sons feel about their fathers, Andrew Stanton’s 2003 animated adventure, Finding Nemo, beautifully captures a father’s worry for his son. Here, a clownfish named Marlin (Albert Brooks), whose wife had previously been killed by barracuda, is left to raise his son, Nemo (Alexander Gould), alone. For Stanton, the origin of the story was very personal. He told BBC News how once, during a walk to the park with his five-year-old son, “I spent the whole time going, Don't touch that! Watch out for cars! You're going to poke your eye out! You don't know where that's been! I just sort of stopped myself and realized that I was so afraid of something bad happening that I was eclipsing any chance to connect with him in the moment.” With the talent of Pixar's animators and a remarkable cast, Stanton transformed that fatherly fear into an awe-inspiring sea adventure. But he also did something even more innovative – he revealed the emotional life of the human male. As Roger Ebert notes, adults who’ve seen a lot of animated family fare might “appreciate another novelty: This time the dad is the hero of the story, although in most animation it is almost always the mother.”