Today’s topic of discussion is Dick Daring, the pseudo Evel Knieval father from the Disney TV show, The Replacements. Of course there’s a reason for this decision, and that’s because today is creator Dan Santat’s birthday! Happy [redacted] Birthday Dan!
Daring resembles the typical cartoonish father figure in that he’s somewhat inept (buying daughter Riley a mule instead of a horse), partially clueless but forever loving towards his family. What makes him stand out though, is his job: being a daredevil.
This sets things up for plenty of jokes as Dick attempts some truly outrageous stunts over the course of the series that, naturally,for the most part fail.
What makes Dick an interesting character is that we can compare him to another cartoon father that is partially clueless but forever loving and that’s Homer Simpson. The big difference between the two though, is that Dick’s character never changed whereas Homer’s character gradually changed over the course of the series. To that end. Dick as a dimwitted character is much more believable than Homer is.
Dick Daring also embodies many of the traits of the so-called man-child. He’s a grown man but sometimes acts like he’s still a kid. There’s nothing wrong with that since Will Farrell made a career out of it, and it does put an interesting twist on the entire family setting as sometimes it’s the kids who appear more mature than him!
Although not an overly complex or conflicted character, Dick Daring does make the perfect addition to a great show. He balances out some of the seriousness with his wild and crazy ways, and he always has a foil in C.A.R.R. the family’s British super smart car.
As far as cartoon fathers go, Dick Daring is about as animated as you can get.