Are Animated Dads Getting Hotter? An Investigation - The New York Times
May 07, 2021 1 min, 56 secs

It’s not just “Raya”: Recent animated films have demonstrated a commitment to putting hot dads onscreen that can only be rivaled by whoever’s casting “Riverdale.” Think of the elf dad from last year’s “Onward,” who looked kind of like a hot, blue John Krasinski, or Riley’s dad from “Inside Out,” whose mustache and five o’clock shadow once inspired a very frisky Buzzfeed article.

Most hot animated dads, like Miguel’s father in “Coco,” only get a little bit of time to make a big impression, but a precious few get the entire movie to shine, like the lantern-jawed, barrel-chested paterfamilias from “The Incredibles.” Their ranks are ever-growing, but still I wondered: Are animated dads truly getting hotter, or are we just getting crazier.

“Hotness is not just how they’re drawn — it’s all these other things that come together,” replied the writer Bim Adewunmi, a former host of the crush-centric podcast Thirst Aid Kit.

She pointed out that Disney had hired the “Lost” actor Daniel Dae Kim to voice Benja: “We interviewed him in person at Sundance in 2020, and I sound like such a pervy teenage girl, but he has a hot aura.

If the hot animated dad thing feels like a modern phenomenon, that’s in part because early Disney movies were more content to leave the protagonist’s parents out entirely?

“That’s the thing with Disney: The moms are all dead, and the dads are just old.

And though Denali found some of those replies to be not entirely safe for work — “Sometimes it’s a little surprising to have an image of Tarzan going at it on your timeline,” she said — it inspired her to wonder if this collective infatuation with animated figures wasn’t a long time coming.

“Especially when you’re a young gay kid and you’ve yet to watch a lot of mature movies, there are a lot of subtle things you pick up on — like the way Disney would give Li Shang from ‘Mulan’ a really nice chest,” Denali said.

“And I’ve also gotten a lot of comments on how that character looks like me,” Kim said

In fact, Kim revealed that Benja got hotter as development wore on: “The character that I saw originally was thinner and leaner and longer,” he said

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