Screentime: Moana’s Dad Sucks

(Walt Disney Studios Motion pictures)

Where You Are.

“Daddy, this you.”

My daughter loves to identify the characters she sees, in books, TV, movies, with counterparts from her real life. She’ll point to a random woman in a picture book and loudly declare, “It’s Grandma”. There’s an illustration snail she will reliably identify as “Mommy” for no discernible reason. In The Cat In The Hat, there’s a crudely sketched portrait of a dude with a huge nose

Every time we read the book she points at the damn painting and says “PICTURE OF DADDY” over and over again until I say “Yes, that’s a picture of daddy can we please move on?”

So it came as no surprise when she held up a figurine of Chief Tui, Moana’s father, and told me “Daddy, this you”. In fact, it made more sense than many of the characters that are “me”. My daughter obviously identifies with Moana and Tui is Moana’s dad. Simple.

Initially, the comparison seemed favorable. For a start, Tui is a pretty impressive-looking guy. If this is what my kid sees when she looks at me, I’m doing something right. He’s also the Chief of a whole dang island, which looks pretty good on your CV.

Pictured: Me (Left); Other Dads (Right) (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/20th Television)

The Perfect Daughter

But the more I thought about the movie, the more uncomfortable I was about being linked with Tui in my daughter’s mind. Obviously, there is the fact of his being the main obstacle to Moana exploring the ocean, saving the world and finding herself in the process. But that’s just the start of it!

Moana is rightly praised for being a female-led film in which the heroine’s victory is her own. No man swoops in to save the day, or to offer a ring. Instead, the men of the film represent the status quo, the facts of the world that Moana must navigate around. It is no accident, therefore, that the two most significant male presences in the film are both authority figures. Tui and Maui are both powerful men, and each can be seen as representing different types of dad. (Stay with me here)

Maui and Moana
(Youtube//DisneyMusicVevo)

You’re Welcome

Maui’s is less so, but still valid. Maui is the figurative father of humanity. The litany of feats he lists in “You’re Welcome” demonstrate that without him, human lives would be unrecognizable. Tides, Wind, Land, Fire, Coconuts. All the things Moana and her people treat as givens, he handed to them. In the same sense that Prometheus is the father of humanity in Greek mythology, Maui is father to us all.

Maybe this is the dude I want to be compared to. Magic, heroic, legendary. Sounds pretty good!

But what kind of a father is he? As his song proclaims, he is a heroic one. He has performed incredible, dangerous feats to improve the lives of his children. He is brave and strong, fun and adventurous. But he also solves all his problems in the same way: Brute force.

He is also an absent father. His version of fatherhood consists of providing, but not sustaining. As soon as a complication approaches, he runs away.

His self-image is so dependent on his heroic victories & his strength that he cannot face the possibility of failure. I don’t want that.

Maui Flies Away
(Youtube//Nicole Sthefania)

Consider The Coconut

So I guess it’s back to Moana’s actual father, Tui. He has a more grounded, less spectacular, approach. He emphasizes tradition, tries to teach responsibility. I can get behind this, I suppose. I mean, kind of boring, but commendable.

Apart from two things. Firstly, he uses the twin swords of Tradition and Responsibility to hem his daughter in, stopping her not only from following her heart, but from coming up with genuine solutions to real problems they both face.

Secondly, it becomes clear he’s doing this not in order to help his daughter develop or grow, or even because he genuinely thinks its what’s best. He’s just projecting his own fear of the ocean onto her. His talk of tradition is just a cover for his own hang-ups. He doesn’t run away, he just hides behind his value-system!

I don’t wanna be either of these dudes!

(YouTube// Ultimate Productions)

A Girl Who Loves Her Island, A Girl Who Loves The Sea

In the end, though, Moana herself doesn’t outright reject either of these flawed father figures. She embraces the Tui’s responsibilities and traditions while rejecting the fears that guided him. She embraces Maui’s bravery and sense of adventure but rejects his fear of failure and his violence. She takes the best of each of them, rejecting their shortcomings, and becomes her own, stronger, person, finding solutions neither of them could ever see. (Obviously, this is also in large part due to the supportive maternal figures in her life, but you knew that.)

So I suppose I don’t mind whether my kid sees me as Tui, or Maui, or Heihei. I just hope that she can take the best of me, and use it to forge her own, better, way.

I Am Moana
(YouTube//ArchieBuld)

NASCAR’s Kyle Busch Races in Real Life Mario Kart [WATCH]

(YouTube/Kyle Busch)

NASCAR is adored for its grand spectacle on race days. With some stadiums being able to seat over 200,000 people, the air is electric with anticipation and excitement.

But that doesn’t mean it can’t be improved upon.

In a video recently posted to Twitter, stock car driver Kyle “Rowdy” Busch is playing Super Mario Kart with his 3-year-old son, Brexton, who had some insightful ideas for making his dad’s racing a little more exciting.

“Dad, it would be cool if you were in the game,” Brexton says.

“It would be, wouldn’t it,” Kyle replies. “Man, that’s a good idea.”

The video then fades to Kyle’s own version of the Nintendo title, dubbed “Super Rowdy Kart.”

Busch described the process of how the video came about at Daytona 500 media day.

“So Corey Lajoie was making these drift trikes and I asked him, ‘Can we make it into like a Mario Kart?’ like into a four-wheel go-kart looking thing. Make it adjustable where the seat slides forward, the pedals slide backward so Brexton can fit in it; he can actually drive it or a full-sized adult like myself can drive it.

“Corey built these things and as he was building them, he showed me the first one, and I was like, ‘Damn, it looks like a real Mario Kart’,” he added, chuckling. “I was like, ‘OK, let’s theme them then—you know, let’s have a Mario, a Yoshi, and a Donkey Kong, and then we’ll have one for me.’

(YouTube/Kyle Busch)

“So he made them all, built them and then I was like, ‘Now I’ve got to go buy costumes because we’ve got to do something with it,’ and so I found a website that had these costumes on it and ordered them up and there we go: We made a video.”

Besides an obvious misprint identifying Yoshi as Luigi, the video is pretty spot on in terms of Mario Kart accuracy. From items to sound effects to the information on the screen, combined elements from Super Mario Kart and Mario Kart 64 to create his ideal aesthetic for Super Rowdy Kart.

“The filming of the video took about two hours and then editing of the video took about a week,” Busch said. “The final two hours of editing was me and my web guy. We were just sitting there trying to figure out all the sounds and all the effects and getting them right and timed right and all the things to make it to where it was sensory overload for people. It was fun.”

All of the cartoonish racing antics conclude with Rowdy finishing first (obviously) and Mario, Yoshi, and DK grabbing second, third, and fourth places respectively.

Father Figures: Poop Buddies

“Poop buddies doing their duties… or should I say, doodies.

This is my husband and our 9-year-old. We have 6 people in a camper with a tiny black tank. Dad made a rule that if you need to go #2, you have to go to the campsite bathrooms.

Little man was terrified of those bathrooms and made Dad come in to see all of the spiders (aka webs, no spiders). Dad made a deal that he could go poop in the camper as long as he learned how to dump the tank when it was time.

So he had his spider-free poop sesh and then lived up to his end of the bargain the next day! #lifeskills”

– Melanie Lehnen

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com

Honey Bunches Of Oats Is Having a Midlife Crisis

(twitter/@HBOats)

While only about 30 years old, it seems as though Honey Bunches of Oats, the delicious cereal has found itself looking back on who it has been and what it wants to become.

New Honey Bunches of Oats Flavors
(Yahoo News)

Yes, like a 46 year old man who suddenly decides he’s a “hat guy,” the family favorite cereal is going for a new vibe. Yahoo News reports that two new HBoO flavors – Chicken & Waffles and Maple Bacon Donuts – will be available for an extremely limited time. Like, 1 Day Only limited. And only at some 2,000 Walmart locations. So things will be back to normal in no time, but if you’re itching to try some brunched-up clusters, be sure you’ve got an extra three bucks handy on March 7th.

These special boxes are in honor of National Cereal Day, a day that, apparently, exists. Because what better way to celebrate cereal than by making a great cereal taste like something other than cereal? Still, the flavors do sound pretty intriguing. Maple Bacon Donut is an easy win, but will the Chicken and Waffles taste like chicken and waffles?

It should be noted that Post is marketing these limited edition boxes as classic breakfast flavors, and that’s fine for the Maple Bacon Donut variety, but chicken and waffles is decidedly not a breakfast food. Sure, you CAN have it for breakfast, but that doesn’t make it breakfast food any more than eating cereal in your underwear at 9pm makes that “dinner food.”  Of course, chicken and waffles could be considered brunch food, but only if you’re pouring a Bloody Mary instead of milk.

Dad and Brother Help Groom out of Wheelchair for Wedding Dance [WATCH]

(Facebook/Marcelo Henrique da Silva)

It doesn’t matter how old you are, where you’re from, who you’re marrying, or even if it’s your first or fifth marriage: your wedding day is special. It’s a landmark day, it’s a life milestone, and it’s one hell of a good party. Anyone who chooses to have a wedding should have every opportunity to enjoy it. God knows that arranging and planning one is a hellish months-long stress fest that definitely requires one hell of a celebration, if only for getting through it unscathed.

For many couples, one of the most beautiful, and nerve-wracking, portions of the wedding is the first dance. My wife and I agonized for months over which song to choose and then took dancing classes to make sure we (mostly I) didn’t end up looking like fools on the dance floor.

Dance classes weren’t really an option for groom Hugo Rohling, who is paralyzed from the waist down and uses a wheelchair to get around. But that didn’t stop him from partaking in the tradition with his new wife on their wedding day.

In a Facebook video that has gone viral for good reason, Marcelo is seen dancing with his lovely bride, she in her beautiful, flowing wedding dress and he in his wheelchair. The pair gracefully maneuver around the dance floor and she gets in his lap for a kiss.

And then his father and brother come out for a surprise.

Chairs are seated on either side of Marcelo and each of his legs are strapped to theirs. He puts his arm around each of their shoulders and they all stand up in unison as the crowd cheers. Hugo’s bride walks over and embraces her husband at his full height, and the trio sways together to the music. Despite his brother and father flanking him, it surely seemed to the couple that they were the only two in the room at that moment.

The caption, from guest Marcelo Henrique Silva, reads: “I had the pleasure of participating in this incredible wedding of my friends Cinthia Zanuni II and Hugo Rohling in Cuiabá, and I’m going to share this video of what Love is really capable of.”

A lot of people have witnessed just that, thanks to Marcelo’s video, which has been shared over 400,000 times and has more than 16 million views.

KFC and Pizza Hut Unite to Create Gravy-Filled Pizza [WATCH]

(Twitter/KFC)

During the holidays, gravy is the great emulsifier. No matter how much you manage to pile onto your grandmother’s “fancy plates,” that brown, viscous liquid is there to be poured over into every nook and cranny.

But why should we stop there?

Two fast food behemoths agree that saturating things in gravy shouldn’t simply be an activity delegated to the holidays. In fact, it should be used to elevate current culinary favorites to utter new heights of deliciousness.

So, like a beautiful and greasy fast food Megazord, KFC and Pizza Hut are combining their palatable powers to provide customers with something truly special in honor of National Pizza Day (February 9th).

“The Gravy Supreme” consists of a standard pizza base with a cheesy bites crust, a heavy slather of KFC signature gravy (instead of tomato sauce), and then topped with popcorn chicken, sweet corn, and garlic sprinkles.

“[It’s] a match made in heaven. Believe me when we say it’s an absolute thing of beauty,” said a spokesperson for KFC UK & Ireland, via Evening Standard.

Whether you think it sounds amazing or just bizarre, you can’t say you aren’t at least a little bit curious to try it. It’s like dubstep music—I don’t really understand it but it still manages to get me excited for some reason.

Unfortunately, The Gravy Supreme will not be widely available anytime soon. It’s currently being tested at a few select Pizza Hut and KFC locations. Depending on the response (which I can only anticipate will be astounding), a larger rollout of the wonderful gravy pies will take place next year.

Give The Gift of Celebrities This Valentines Day | Paternity Leave | The Dad

Like most humans, Rob has no idea what to do for Valentines Day. So he takes a little advice from his coworkers, friends, and about 20 different movie stars.

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3 Things to Do With Your Kids This Weekend

(Getty/ morrowlight/ra-photos/Kelly Sillaste)

Good dads know how important it is to spend quality time with their kids and how fun it can be too. But it can be tough to keep coming up with new stuff to entertain your kids. If you’re dreading a weekend of kids complaining about being bored while you countdown the seconds until bedtime, we feel your pain. So each week we feature 3 simple ideas of things to do with your kids.

Make Paper Airplanes

(Fold N Fly)

All you need for this activity is a tiny stack of paper and a little patience. Challenge your aviators to create a fleet that will compete for distance and acrobatics. Check out Fold ‘N Fly – it’s the perfect wingman for this. The website features over 35 different paper airplane designs, data on their aerial abilities and crystal clear instructions on how to make them.

GPS Treasure Hunt (Geocaching)

Treasure hunting… there has to be an app for that? Yup, and there’s an entire online hobby based around it! Download the app, register and you can instantly use it to navigate to a geocache location. Don’t forget to bring a pen – once you find it you’ll sign and date your visit and then log your experience online.  If your kids really dig this they can level-up and create their own geocache to hide for others to hunt down.

Ice Cream Challenge

Let your kids choose the ice cream flavors, cone and let them go nuts with toppings. Chop up their favorite chocolate bar, use sprinkles, whip cream, chocolate chips, syrups, jams, etc. Use the selection at your favorite ice cream shop as inspiration. Once everyone is done, share ’em and then vote for the most artistic and most delicious. I know what you’re thinking…the dreaded sugar high – but that’s been debunked by science.

For more suggestions check out last week’s 3 Things to Do With Your Kids.

Valentine’s Day Before Kids VS After Kids [WATCH]

(YouTube/Holderness Family Vlogs)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Unless you’re a parent, in which case, Happy Make Sure Your Kids Brought Enough Valentine’s For Everyone In Their Entire Class So No One Gets Left Out And Feels Bad Do Why Do They Even Celebrate This Day In Schools I Heard Of One School That Changed It To Happy Friendship Day And I’m Torn Between Appreciating That And Losing My Mind Anyway Don’t Forget To Get Your Spouse Some Chocolate Day!

There’s no getting around the fact that Valentine’s Day, and romance in general, aren’t quite the same once you’ve been married for a while and have a few kids in the house. You’re tired, you’re rushed, you’re cleaning, you’re shuttling kids to practice, you’re helping with homework. You don’t have a lot of time or energy or headspace to celebrate your significant other the way you did when your relationship was still young. When you were still young!

The Holdernesses, a North Carolina couple who’ve been grinding out viral video after viral video of parenting-based song parodies for years now (starting with the infamous “Christmas Jammies”), are back this February to lay out all the ways Valentine’s Day has changed for couples with kids.

From the kinds of gifts you give each other to the date nights you arrange, nothing stays the same once kids are in the mix. You used to book dinner at an exclusive restaurant months in advance, now you’re angry that the restaurant doesn’t allow kids.