It is unheard of in the world of Disney to have both parents alive and well in any animated film. One parent is always dead or out of the picture, and some characters are just straight up orphans.
Think of the dads of Disney; most deal with magical powers, stubborn children, and old-fashioned traditions. This can cause for fathers and their kids to sometimes clash, but it seems, for the most part, that Disney fathers are putting forth the effort to sustain a proper relationship with their children.
MTV News contacted licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Janina Scarlet, who gave us the breakdown on a majority of these father-daughter/father-son relationships and how they can work on improving their communication and overall bond with their child. Welcome to therapy, dads.
1. Goofy from The Goofy Movie
It is true that Goofy loves and pushes to spend time with Max. However, Goofy is unaware of what Max's passions and interests are, as he continually tries to get him to participate in activities that Goofy did when he was a kid.
During a therapy session, Dr. Scarlet would recommend that they spend more of their time together to find out what their common interests are so that they may do activities that they would both find enjoyable.
2. King Triton from The Little Mermaid
King Triton is a very macho father who is also very controlling of Ariel. He is very protective over Ariel, which does show that he cares, yet his act of intense shielding can stunt Ariel's growth in discovering who she really is.
We do have to hand it to him, as he does eventually come around and accept the fact that Ariel wants to be a human and is in love with Prince Eric. That is the ultimate sacrifice.
In therapy, Dr. Scarlet recommends that they discuss why Ariel is so fascinated by humans and perhaps explore hobbies of Ariel's that they both have in common.
3. The King of Arandelle from Frozen
The King certainly did not approve of Elsa's powers and more or less tried to get her to suppress them by telling her to "conceal, not feel." I'm sure he thought he was doing his best by protecting her, but that is certainly not the case.
Dr. Scarlet compares this to a family not accepting their child's sexuality, which might cause a kid to become ashamed of who they are, and therefore try to conceal it. This usually ends very painfully for all members involved.
Although Elsa's father unfortunately dies before they can work out their problems, Dr. Scarlet says she would help the two work on acceptance and towards understanding her abilities better. Therefore, she will no longer think there is something wrong with her. What she ultimately needed was love and approval.
4. The Sultan of Abfabah from Aladdin
As a Middle Eastern woman myself, this one is overall pretty realistic. The Sultan cares so much for Jasmine and wants her to marry a prince so that she will be taken care of for the rest of her life. He does eventually understand that Aladdin makes her very happy and accepts her decision in picking him as a partner.
In therapy, Dr. Scarlet would help Jasmine open up a little more with her dad. She sees him as old and closed-minded. But it seems the Sultan can handle a lot more than Jasmine thinks.
5. Fa Zhou from Mulan
Mulan's father has some health issues and may be a tad fragile, however, he still loves Mulan very much and wishes to protect her. Their relationship isn't a typically traditional one, as Mulan comes to her father's rescue.
Dr. Scarlet recommends that Fa Zhou shows Mulan that he has more faith in her. It seems Mulan doubts too much about whether she is a good daughter or not, and might need some praise every once in a while. They both need to express their appreciation for each other more often.
6. Maurice from Beauty and the Best
Maurice is a quirky scientist, a bit of a strange man. He therefore teaches Belle to go against the grain and be her own person. He encourages her love of reading. Both Belle and her father refrain from judging each other and instead support and appreciate one another.
Dr. Scarlet doesn't feel the two need to go to therapy at all! She does recommend, though, that they keep up whatever they're doing because it's definitely working very well.