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Friend to All Children

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"The minute they offered him the job as director of an orphanage, he resigned from the Jewish Children's Hospital in which he worked and he closed his private practice. [...] He had a doctrine: the child is a person. He has the same rights as an adult, and all the rights that adults have must also be given to children."
Itzchak Belfer on Yanusz Korczak
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Describing a character as being fond of and having a soft spot for children is an automatic Pet the Dog since Children Are Innocent with bonus points if the kids like the character back. (Double bonus points if the character is normally a hard-ass around adults) Characters who don't like kids are usually villains or anti-heroic. Note that this trope doesn't apply if it is a disguise put on to avoid suspicion for something else entirely...

This is mainly a trait of the Gentle Giant, the Emotional Bruiser, All-Loving Hero, and a requirement for Purity Personifiednote  unless Pure Is Not Good is in play, and a redeeming trait for many antiheroes. Overlaps with Wouldn't Hurt a Child, as characters who fit this trope not only are reluctant to injure children, but would go out of their way to protect children if it was necessary.

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Gods help you if you're dumb enough to harm a child in the presence of someone with this character trait. They will not forgive you, ever. (Though, this trope is a trait of many deities, so you may not get that help)

Compare Friend to All Living Things and Big Brother Instinct, and contrast Child Hater.


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    Advertising 
  • Ronald McDonald of McDonald's fame, naturally, not only in the fantasy world of the commercials he appears in but in spirit in Real Life, via Ronald McDonald House, the charity named after him, which provides accommodation for the parents of seriously ill children so they can stay near them at the hospital.

    Comic Books 
  • In The Authority, Midnighter has a surprising knack with children, and kids in return think he's pretty cool. Not bad for a Sociopathic Hero.
  • Batman. He's not the touchy-feely sort that usually dominates this trope, but he definitely seems to have shades of it — possibly because his own childhood was cut off in such a nightmarish manner. Look at Robin, whom Bats adopted solely because he needed it.
    • He shows similar tendencies in the graphic novel Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and several other sources, most likely due to his orphaning at such a young age. He does NOT like people to mess with kids.
    • In the No Man's Land novel, he tells Gordon that he won't interfere if he kills Joker, Joker having just shot Sarah, Gordon's wife. However, he also just kidnapped and violently endangered 30-something babies. In that same arc, Poison Ivy also fulfills this trope. She takes over the Gotham City Park but winds up making it a refuge for all the children orphaned in the earthquake. When the police try to force her out and are willing to destroy the whole place if they have to in order to defeat her monstrous plants, she eventually turns herself in without a fight so that one of the children can get urgently needed medical attention.
    • Batman practically runs an orphanage with the way he keeps taking on kids under his wing. The list includes: Dick/Robin/Nightwing, Barbara/Batgirl/Oracle, Jason/Robin II/Red Hood, Tim/Robin III/Red Robin, Damian/Robin V, Cassandra/Batgirl II/Orphan II, and Stephanie/Spoiler/Robin IV/Batgirl III. Even in the world of The Dark Knight Returns, where it got worse with Dick, Batman still has Carrie Kelly as Robin "DKR". Cynics might point out that all of the aforementioned kids Batman takes in become Robin or/and Batgirl at some point, but Batman has fostered kids temporarily and returned them to normal life. Possibly the best-known example of this is in the "You Should've Seen Him" story (Batman #423). Batman finds a brother and sister orphan pair dumpster diving to survive and works as Bruce to reunite them with a surviving relative. In most cases, the kids insist on joining Batman's crimefighting crusade over his protests. He provides them training, support, and equipment to maximize their chances of survival.
    • One of the most recurring things about Batman is the fact that he's never scary to children, despite being downright blood-chilling to criminals. "The Batman Nobody Knows" (Batman #250) takes this to its logical conclusion. Bruce takes some inner-city kids camping. Naturally they swap scary stories around a campfire, and this being Gotham, all the kids talk about Batman. Their exaggeration makes Bats seem like part demon, part giant, and also "Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, Shaft, and Superfly all rolled into one!" Finally, having slipped away during the last story, THE Batman leaps into the firelight. Not only are the kids not scared, they recognize him as Bruce!
    • Alex Ross' Justice shows what the superheroes would do if the world was ending. Batman would round up as many children as he can and take them to the Batcave for shelter.
    • DC: The New Frontier used this as an explanation as to why Batman adopted a friendlier look and took in Robin during the Silver Age. He didn't like it when a child he tried to rescue ended up being even more scared of him than the thugs who kidnapped him. When Superman asked him about the changes, all he would tell him is that he intends to scare criminals, not children.
    • Subverted for most of All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder, in which he abducts the orphaned Dick Grayson and places the already-traumatized boy through a Training from Hell regimen that includes, among other things, being forced to hunt and eat rats in the Batcave.
  • Like her cousin Bruce, Kate Kane also loves kids. She's rescued groups of them on different occasions as Batwoman, and they always willingly follow her, so they clearly don't find her scary. She's even been attacked by brainwashed children a few times and has never fought back when it happened, instead electing to evade them.
  • Deadpool is usually a Deadpan Snarker and Cloudcuckoolander violent killer. But due to the fact that Deadpool has the mentality of a child, he often gets along well with children. In fact, most of his heartwarming and Pet the Dog moments usually involve children (even though some children may be uncomfortable near him for good reasons). Try to hurt children in his presence, and he'll come after you like a deadly serious violent killer.
  • Subverted by a one-off villain from Ghost Rider. She had a good reputation with children and many of them came over to her house to play. How she kept this reputation when kids kept disappearing isn't explained. After being crippled she sells her soul to a demon that she uses to hunt down more children.
    • Played straight with Ghost Rider himself being a burning demonic skeleton he is as terrifying as an Anti-Hero as they come, but innocent little children are never victims of his wrath and worthy of his protection. One time GR saved a little blind boy (who thought he was Santa) from human traffickers and burned the kidnappers alive before returning the boy home to his parents.
  • Hellboy loves babies and kittens. This is exaggerated in the movies, but he's just a squishy Nice Guy. Who doesn't see many children and is adorably awkward when he does interact with them; usually along the lines of "hey, kid, don't do that, you'll die".
  • The Incredible Hulk, when enraged, is an unstoppable force ready to wreak havoc on anyone who gets in his way... unless you're a kid who's lost, afraid, or needing help. He'll stop in his tracks to save the poor urchin's day.
    "Hulk not smash kids. Hulk never smash kids."
  • Johnny the Homicidal Maniac makes a point of not murdering kids, and has "Little Chubby Babies" listed under things he likes (in the Directors Cut). If someone tries to harm a child in his presence he gets angry. With knives. That said, kids tend to be terrified of him. This is not unjustified.
  • Sara Felton from Knights of the Dinner Table has always gotten along well with children (well, except the two horny teenagers at Gary Con), such as Timmy Jackson and the Pee Wee Hackmaster League.
  • In the Dragon Age supplemental comic Magekiller, Marius initially refuses to take on a mission in the Tevinter Imperium because he refuses to do work in Tevinter. However, once Marius learns that his target is sacrificing children, he changes his tune.
  • The Asgardian Volstagg (a member of the cast of The Mighty Thor) loves kids; he and his wife have seven of their own, including two boys from Earth that they adopted. (When those two first met him, they mistook him for Santa Claus.) This is played utterly tragically when he takes a whole bunch of orphaned Light Elf refugees under his wing, giving them everything he has to feed them, and trying to protect them from a Muspelheim bombing raid. Unfortunately, he is a great deal more durable than they are, meaning that they burned to ash in his arms. This utterly breaks him resulting in him picking up the hammer of the Ultimate Thor, full of the pain and rage of a dead universe, becoming 'the War Thor' and making a very spirited attempt at destroying Muspelheim.
  • The Punisher usually gets along pretty well with children, Molly Hayes kicking him in the nuts notwithstanding. Having lost his own kids in his tragic backstory probably has something to do with that.
    • It usually involves his seeing them as his own kids that he was unable to protect. In one of his more awesome moments, he's tasked with retrieving a little girl in Russia whose blood contains an experimental supervirus along with another Special Forces guy, slaughtering the Russians sent to prevent that from happening. After he escapes (in a nuclear missile), he boards the pickup submarine and refuses to let anyone approach her, resulting in the virus decaying until it's unusable. When Frank is greeted by a large army unit and the general behind the operation, the soldiers are rather iffy about shooting him. Then Nick Fury (who gave him the mission in the first place) stands next to Frank, and the soldiers give up.
    • In another story, Frank is just getting ready to snipe a crime boss from a shooter's nest he'd set up in an alley off Times Square when he hears a noise and turns around to see a little girl asking if he can please help her find her dad. Frank's on a tight schedule because the crime boss won't be in the open for long, but stows his gun immediately and helps the girl. While walking through Times Square he holds her hand, lets her ride on his shoulders, buys her a doll, and keeps her very close. Even when he has to take his eyes off her in order to check his target, he always asks her a question to get her talking so that her voice will let him know where she is. This whole time, he is having very strong flashback memories to being with his own daughter before she died. When they finally find her father in an area that's a little off the beaten path, they run to each other. The dad looks up to Frank, thanking him profusely and saying that he'd just looked away from her for a minute, then just about shits his pants when he realizes he's looking at a scarred, heavily muscled and grim-faced man who's wearing a skull t-shirt and unslinging a sniper rifle. Frank tells the man to stand up and hold still, then uses his shoulder to rest his rifle in order to get a better shot at the crime boss. Frank shoots the crime boss while the man tightly hugs his daughter in order to keep her from seeing what is going on. His mission accomplished and the girl safe, he stows his rifle back under his coat and starts to walk away. Then he pauses, turns around, and tells her father one last thing: "Never look away, not even for a minute."
  • Karolina Dean of the Runaways. She was the one who came up with the idea of rescuing 12-year-old Klara Prast from her abusive husband. It's also pretty clear that Molly and Klara love her. Victor Mancha might also count; when he and Nico were still a couple, he expressed a desire to one day have kids, and in the alternate future of Age of Ultron, he's seen taking care of a group of orphans.
  • The Sandman (1989): It doesn't come up often but Dream gets along with children better than with most adults. He once has a polite conversation with a young girl on an airplane while traveling through the waking world in the Brief Lives storyline; later in The Kindly Ones, Dream entertains and helps some siblings who are looking for their mother as one of many things he has to do during a busy week.
  • The Sin City short story, Silent Night, definitely showcases Marv's soft spot for kids. This soft spot also seems to override his chivalry toward women as shown when he executes a female slave trader in order to save a little girl from sexual slavery.
  • Spider-Man has to deal with a lot of crap from adults, but not kids. Kids love their Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. One ChristmasSpecial has Spider-Man making his regular visit to the sick children's ward in hospital to the utter jubilation of the kids. Unfortunately, J. Jonah Jameson is also there and angrily tells Spider-Man to buzz off, however every single boy and girl, as well as the nurse, vetoes this demanding that "Spidey" can stay and the kids even rip into Jameson, pointing out all the times Spider-Man has selflessly saved and cared for them. At the end of the issue, armed criminals burst into hospital and threaten the children, triggering an Unstoppable Rage from Spidey.
  • Superman, in spades. Kid heroes, like the first three Robins, think Superman is extremely cool because he never talks down to them the way many heroes do to their grown-up pals' "sidekicks". Pre-Crisis (and in a few of the myriad of Post-Crisis retcons), it might stem from Superman having once been a Kid Hero himself (as Superboy).
  • Spider Jerusalem from Transmetropolitan seems to hate children slightly less than he does the rest of humanity. At one of his more annoyed moments, he ends up accosted by a noisy (and overly cheerful) street musician and his son — Spider performs a Groin Attack on the musician and does some rather unpleasant things to his instrument, and then tips the kid with a hundred dollars before storming off. Another time, a little girl has to pawn her teddy bear to pay for her medicine. Spider goes into the shop, buys the bear back, and gives it to her. D'aaaaaawww.
  • Rorschach, from Watchmen, is a clear-cut Anti-Hero and also one of the main prototypes of the '90s Anti-Hero. Nevertheless, he's got a soft spot for kids. For example, he'll call his former landlady a whore to her face... but not in front of her children. (Though that's tied up with his own childhood trauma and the assholes who called him 'whoreson' — and the fact that he hadn't realized until that moment that, unlike his mother, she cared about them.) Indeed his Start of Darkness was a Freudian Excuse combined with what he did when he realized just what one perp had done to the kidnapped little girl he was trying to rescue.
    • In the prequel mini-series Before Watchmen: Minutemen, there's Silhouette, a badass lesbian vigilante whose mission in life is protecting children — and destroying all those who exploit and abuse them.
  • Wonder Woman adores children, partially because she was raised on an island where she was the only one and had never seen one outside of pictures prior to leaving the island. If a child is threatened, she can be scarier than Batman and this was true even back when she was the only member of DC's big three with a true no-killing rule—Bats and Supes were reluctant to kill but did not have an outright rule against it at their start like Wondy did. An example of her caring for children is Donna Troy's most familiar origin story; she was a lone undocumented child Diana rescued from a fire, and then took to Paradise Island for treatment. As there were no records of the toddler and no one to claim her Diana's mother adopted her and Donna became Diana's little sister and eventual sidekick.
  • Wonder Woman (1942): The "Wonder Woman of History" feature for Annie Jump Cannon presents her love of children as the only thing to overtake her love of her astronomy work, with her allowing any kid who asked to treat her as an honorary aunt.
  • Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed: Diana argues with her mother about the refugees still in the water until she realizes some of them are children. At that point, she unhesitatingly disobeys the queen and in so doing forever loses her home as she leaves the barrier to rescue them. Once she's at the refugee camp, she spends much of her time playing with the children and continues to be protective of and friendly with kids in New York. She gives a nice summary of her mindset:
    When the rules are wrong you have to break them. Especially when little ones are in trouble.
  • X-Men:
    • Wolverine has a tendency to take on a mentor/big-brother role to the younger members of the team. Starting with Kitty Pryde, then Jubilee, and then X-23 and Armor, as well as a team up with the Power Pack and 5-year-old Katie Power. All his mentoring storylines were combined into Rogue for X-Men. Case in point, when his rivalry with Cyclops boiled over in Schism and they came to blows, it was over the issue of getting the younger X-Men involved in combat (most specifically, involving Laura and Elixir in X-Force); with Cyclops willing to allow it but Wolverine dead-set against it. In the wake of the event, Wolverine took his half of the X-Men and re-established the school for young mutants that the group originally had been.
    • Emma Frost was a villain for years. The main thing that led to her Heel–Face Turn, and her chief saving grace, is that she cares deeply about any children placed in her care — partly because her own childhood was lousy, but mainly because she feels overwhelming guilt for the death of the Hellions, the Hellfire Club's answer to the New Mutants, who were under her command when they died. She even snapped and killed her older sister, Adrienne, after she caused the death of Synch, one of Emma's students from Generation X.
    • X-Men (2019) revealed Exodus to be one of these in a bit of Character Development that made a lot of his actions in earlier stories (rescuing Luna Maximoff in Blood Ties (Marvel Comics)note , attempting to abduct the infant Hope Summers in Messiah Complex, attempting to convert a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier into an "ark" for newborn mutants right before that) make a lot more sense. As a seat holder on Krakoa's governing Quiet Council, he seems to hold a role roughly analogous to Minister of Education for the island's younger mutants.
    • Cable and his younger half-brother Nate Grey are both toweringly tall, muscular, and immensely powerful psychics. They cut often intimidating figures, being perhaps the only two mutants who Apocalypse fears and/or respects, having been raised in dystopias that he ruled. It leaves both of them a bit gruff, and in Nate's case, downright weird at times, to the point where everyone is a bit scared of them (except their mother). However, even at their most stand-offish and scary, they are very fond of children and very good with them - and more to the point, incredibly protective of them.
  • Pol Pitron from Yoko Tsuno makes an excellent babysitter. Just ask Poky, to start.
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    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): A couple cases in this Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) fanfiction. "Young ones" being threatened is one of the things that can outrage the Titan Thor to wrath. Vivienne Graham used to babysit Ilene's twin daughters, whom are clearly very fond of her.
  • In The Apprentice, the Student, and the Charlatan, Nova Shine gets along really well with the foals of Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns. Twilight notes how tender the moment is, considering they came here for vastly more anger-inducing reasons.
  • Avengers: Infinite Wars;
    • Being a father himself, Scott is shown to be a caring and encouraging individual to the Jedi younglings.
    • While protecting soldiers from the Separatists and gathering supplies, Pietro also takes time to collect a few toys for the children, and Hope later convinces a couple of clones to help her protect a Twi'lek child during the mission to Ryloth despite the additional challenge.
    • During Wanda's time on Dathomir, Merrin and her friend Ilyana are the only Nightsisters to be openly accepting of Wanda's presence, culminating in Wanda essentially adopting them after their mothers are killed.
    • When the Avengers "adopt" the infant Mara Jade and Grogu, Mara is soon considered to be essentially Natasha's daughter, while Grogu is defined as "the collective Avengers baby".
  • In The Beast Of Gusu, Wei Wuxian is very good with children and loves spending time with them. The Lan children warm up to him quickly, even in his wolf form, and lovingly call him “Brother Wolf”. This later helps show the Lans that were not aware of his shift that he’s not a Savage Wolf.
  • In The Chaotic Three, Yoda is shown to be truly glad when Aayla returns from Tatooine safe and alive, and reflects in private that he has become attached to all the Jedi younglings he has trained over the centuries.
  • In Cheating Death: Those That Lived: Mercy Gregor is a Career, but with a twist: she adamantly refuses to hurt children, considering them innocent. This is enough to cause her to break from the pack and ally with several of the younger tributes (including a Tribute from District 6) after being thrust into a Games where all the tributes reaped were 12-year-olds. She also ends up giving her life to protect several orphans from a pack of Reaper Mutts during the Second Rebellion.
  • Child of the Storm:
    • A number of characters could be said to be this, but none so much as the Winter Soldier, of all people. Super Soldier and master assassin he might be, but even prior to his Heel–Face Turn he holds onto the fact that he Wouldn't Hurt a Child like his life depends on it, performs a Heel–Face Turn to save the life of a teenage girl and ruffles the hair of a little girl who hugged him after he saved her friend.
    • Joshua, a.k.a. Jesus, in the second book Ghosts of the Past, who's gentle, kindly, and helps talk Harry through a lot of his problems, specifically stating - when Harry notes that he could be doing more important things - that he will never have anything more important to do than comfort a child in pain. Considering who he really is, this is not particularly surprising.
    • Doctor Strange, too, while not as overtly as the other two; does tend to be considerably nicer and more honest to children than to adults, and generally drop almost all the creepy of his Creepy Good personality around them. Threatening to hurt a child reliably wakes his Papa Wolf tendencies - not something you want to do with someone who considers genocide an acceptable means of keeping up his reputation as The Dreaded.
    • The third book, The Phoenix and the Serpent, has Indian deity Sunniva - who for all her easygoing Cloudcuckoolander tendencies is outraged to find a 15-year-old Asgardian Walking the Earth alone (as Asgardians live for several thousand years, this amounts to basically little more than a toddler). The narration from her point of view promises the yet unknown parents all kinds of nasty first thing off. Later, when she gets friendly with him, she finds out he's been abused - which really wakes her Mama Bear:
    Oh, if this matter had not been properly dealt with [...] to her satisfaction, then it didn't matter if she would have to reach through the Gates of Time or the Veil of Death; she would have words with whoever was responsible. That, or with their shrivelled souls over the smouldering atoms of their corpes. She wasn't picky.
  • The Conversion Bureau: Conquer the Stars has Major Firebird, who is said to be a surprisingly good babysitter.
  • A Diplomatic Visit: Swift-Pad values children and cares for them greatly; his Establishing Character Moment is when he meets Apple Bloom and is friendly and joking with her. It's later explained that this is a trait of most wolves.
  • Equestria Girls: Friendship Souls: The Fourth Espada is considered dangerous and unstable even by other Arrancars, but he has a soft spot for orphaned children. ...Or rather, the orphaned children of Hollows. It's unclear how he feels about human kids, though given how he saved the half-dead Human Sunset Shimmer from being killed when she ended up in Hueco Mundo and even makes trips to the human world to get her supplies, it can probably be assumed he feels similarly about that too.
  • In The Good Hunter, Cyril does not see himself as one, but Sasha believes he is this played straight. Yes, he is an Anti-Hero who does not like to be around people, children even less, because they remind him too much of his hardships during the Night of the Hunt. Nevertheless, he is definitely not a Child Hater and treats children with patience rather than contempt. From how some children under Sasha's care have latched onto him, as well as how he takes two sibling orphans to safety, both of whom would become his apprentices later on, Sasha's statement may not be too far from the truth.
  • Harry Potter and the Mind, speaking of Alastor Moody, said that "little children saw through the crust and thought him wonderful — mostly because he talked to them as equals and took them seriously when other adults dismissed them".
  • Elise the Indominus Rex from It's not the Raptor DNA is very gentle and caring around children, which is part of what brought her aggression level index down to green. Justified by Elise having a human mind due to the human DNA used in her creation.
  • In Lovehammer Inc, the Primarch Angron has become memetic across the Imperium as a friend to all children, as a result of a wildly successful cartoon about his thinly fictionalised exploits and of Princess Serenity popularising stuffed toys of him.
  • In the Darkwing Duck fanfiction series, Negaverse Chronicles, the Negaverse version of Quackerjack definitely qualifies. Even after he goes crazy, harming kids angers him and he likes to make kids happy when he encounters them.
  • The Non-Bronyverse has TD, who gets along extremely well with children and genuinely loves teaching Cheerilee's class, despite how much he hates being in Equestria.
  • In Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, Gym Leaders Whitney and Skyla are portrayed as very fond of kids. The former comes across a group of kids about to play a softball game with an uneven number of players and offers to fill the last spot, while the latter flies all the way to Lentimas Town to deliver Christmas presents.
  • In Walking in Circles, Evelyn Trevelya loves children. On her third encounter with Solas, she was trying to coax an elven child out of his hiding spot and then protected him from Grieves. Her main job in the tower is to teach the younger apprentices, including secretly preparing them to survive their Harrowing. And when she becomes Herald, children in Haven flock to her with gifts of flowers and herbs which she accepts unlike everything else that she turned away. It’s deconstructed later when her love for children and seeing the younger mages being slaughtered or Tranquilized is what pushes her to side with Solas in his plan of taking down the Veil.
  • The Many Dates of Danny Fenton: 14-year-old Danny Fenton will snap at people who harm small children, as Cree, Vicky from The Fairly OddParents, Mindy's parents and Katie from Animaniacs discover.
  • A Rabbit Among Wolves: When Team RWBY visit a school as part of a PR mission for Beacon, only Ruby interacts well with the children. Somewhat justified as Ruby is the youngest of her peers and can more easily relate to them.
  • In most of ColdFusion180's X-Men: Evolution fics, Sabretooth, despite being a dangerously violent Blood Knight, is often depicted as secretly fond of children, to the point that he'll seriously main anyone he catches abusing them and heals sick ones with his regenerative blood.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Book of Life:
    • Jorge stated that Manolo will often give a lot of his things/donate to kids at the orphanage.
    • After returning to San Angel, Maria is helping the orphanage.
    • La Muerte is fond of all beings, especially children. Then there's her scenes with the detention kids as Mary Beth.
  • Aladdin. Right after having risked his life and evaded all the royal guards in order to steal a loaf of bread, he sees a pair of starving orphans. Without a moment's hesitation, he goes over and hands them the loaf, likely the only food he was going to get that day. Then he steps in to defend them from a boorish and arrogant prince about to whip them. These moments establish that even if he is a thief, he really is only doing it to survive and actually has a kind and brave heart. The TV series continues to demonstrate that both he and Jasmine have a clear soft spot for, and a protective streak towards children.
  • Filk in A Bug's Life. This isn't surprising, seeing how strong his friendship with Dot is. Flik is the one who speaks up for her when Hopper tries to feed her to Thumper, and later on, he rallies up the Blueberries to all use the fake bird to drive out the grasshoppers.
  • Subversion in Cats Don't Dance; while Darla Dimple's PR machine touts her as a lover of children and animals, the real Darla is anything but.
  • Kronk from The Emperor's New Groove. This could be partially attributed to the fact that he's really a child at both heart and mind. He's also a Gentle Giant and a chipmunk scout leader.
  • In Hoodwinked!, Kirk is this sort of guy. He drives a truck around, selling schnitzel on a stick, and leads several children in a big singing number, cut off by his truck being discovered vandalized.
  • In Monster Mash (2000), Frank is shown to be fond of kids. The opening narration shows him befriending a little girl, he smiles when a human baby kisses him during the monsters' trial and he enjoys playing with Stella and Spike Tinklemeister when he's trying to scare them.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame opens with Clopin entertaining some children with the story of Quasimodo's backstory, and at the end of the film, he is seen carrying a little girl as he reprises the opening song.
  • The Incredibles:
    • In his glory days, Mr Incredible had a fan club consisting of kids, of which Buddy was a member, and tried to let Buddy down easy that he didn't want him as his Kid Sidekick, only flat-out rejecting him when Buddy wouldn't take no for an answer and then inadvertently aided in Bomb Voyage's escape.
    • Thunderhead, Edna points out, was also good with kids. He, along with a male roommate, was a foster parent for five children.
  • Wonder Woman in Justice League: War has robbed an ice cream man to make a child happier.
  • Monsters University: Frank McCay, a Scarer at Monsters Inc., takes a moment before starting work to greet the children visiting on a field trip. He's the one who inspired young Mike Wazowski to become a Scarer and attend Monsters University by giving him the iconic 'MU' hat.
  • Mulan proves to be good with children in Mulan II when she interacts with young girls. Surprisingly, she does not agree with Shang when he says that the more children they will have, the better.
  • Rise of the Guardians:
    • Deconstructed with the Guardians. It is their duty to protect and bring happiness to children (which they do), but they all have such busy lifestyles (especially Toothiana and Sandman, who are working every day constantly) that they struggle to relate to children as individuals, as shown when a young girl accidentally ends up in the Easter Bunny's base.
    North: We are always working on bringing joy to children. We have no time for... children!
    • Played straighter in regards to Jack. He might be invisible to all children, but he still spends a lot of time around them and, aside from a few moments of Angst, seems to truly like them.
  • Zootopia: Judy has a soft spot for kids as she quickly falls for Nick's scam at the ice cream shop when she sees his elephant-loving "son" with dreams of becoming one (actually a disguised Finnick) that she not only buys the Jumbo Pop for Finnick but also takes him by the hand and gives him a ZPD sticker while encouraging him to pursue his dream. This even causes her to discover that she was scammed when she sees Finnick later on her shift and excitedly goes to greet him. Much later on in the film, what inspires her to take the case of Emmitt Otterton is seeing his wife pulling out a picture of their two kids.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In An American in Paris, the neighborhood children like to hang around Jerry Mulligan, as he gives them bubble gum and teaches them English.
  • Balibo:
    • Shackleton and Malcolm are shown happily playing with the local children at the Portuguese fort.
    • Roger is quite kind to Juliana, teaching her how to flip an Australian coin and generally being rather polite to her.
  • The Big Red One. The Grizzled Veteran played by Lee Marvin has nice moments with children on several different occasions, even refusing to execute a Hitler Youth Child Soldier who killed one of his men.
  • The Blue Yonder: In 1927, pilot, inventor, and engineer Max Knickerbocker and his partner and fellow engineer Henry Coogan are quite friendly to Jonathan before either realize that he's actually Max's grandson from 1985. From the dialog, it's implied that Jonathan isn't the first kid to cross paths with Max and he's kind and generous.
  • Children's Party at the Palace has Mary Poppins and the actually real Queen Elizabeth II. Both are shown to be very friendly and caring towards children during the theatrical production.
  • Christine: Christine adores children and volunteers her time doing puppet shows at the children's hospital. She also expresses a strong desire to have children of her own someday, and this is why learning she's going to need an ovary removed as it has a cyst (which will make that more difficult) is very depressing for her.
  • In Color Me Perfect, the mentally disabled woman Dina is very popular with kids due to her childlike personality, imagination, and storytelling skill. After gene therapy makes her a genius, she becomes much stricter and less friendly with the children. Once she goes off the formula, she seems to get her old fondness for kids back, judging by her new career path as a special-ed teacher.
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy:
    • Despite being a grittier reboot, it preserves this trait. Unlike most of the adults, children aren't afraid of Batman, instead admiring him as a hero figure. Batman doesn't seem to mind them, either. In Batman Begins, he gave away one of his gadgets when a boy said that "No one would believe [him]" about meeting Batman.
    • In The Dark Knight, he rescued and then chastised his younger copycats for trying to fight crime without adequate armor, then bowed his head in grief towards Gordon's son when Gordon was supposedly killed.
    • The Dark Knight Rises: This trope may also apply to Bane. After all, he sacrificed his own well-being to save a young Talia Al G'hul from an angry prison mob so she can escape and right before he blows up a football field, he remarks on a child's "lovely, lovely" singing voice, and allows him to finish singing before commencing his attack.
  • In at least one of the lucha films starring El Santo, he's given this title. It's also shown in movies that don't drag out the phrase, for instance in La Venganza De La Momia ("The Vengeance of the Mummy"), where Santo adopts a boy who has just lost his last relative to the mummy.
  • Gamera is the Trope Namer because this is one of his titles.
  • In one scene of Hard Boiled, the main character holds a baby in one arm and sings a lullaby to him while gunning down incoming Mooks with his other arm.
  • Hitman (1998): The protagonist may be an expert assassin and fighter, but he sure has a soft spot for children. During a scene in an amusement park, he befriends a boy and helps the child win a prize at a coin-toss stand thanks to his Improbable Aiming Skills. Another child approaches, so he wins a second prize for the kid as well. A few seconds later, a whole horde of children have gathered behind our hero, who then progressively strips the stall of every available toy and prize for the kids around him, and the stall's owner is NOT amused.
  • Mr. Duncan from Home Alone 2: Lost in New York owns a truly amazing toy store, and donates the Christmas Eve proceeds to the children's hospital.
  • Ian Malcolm from the Jurassic Park movies. He outright says that he loves kids, being a father of three himself, and will go all Papa Wolf when a child he cares about is in danger.
  • In L: change the WorLd, L, normally an antisocial loner, spends the last week of his life taking care of two children and trying to create an antidote for the virus one of them carries. Pet the Dog moments abound.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: The children of Hobbiton are delighted at the sight of Gandalf passing through to the point of rushing and converging in the hopes of seeing him set off his fireworks. Gandalf happily obliges them.
  • Several heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Tony Stark seems to have an affinity for kids; he's notably more patient and less acerbic around them. There's a throwaway gag where he helps a kid in Iron Man 2 (Word of God that it's Peter Parker), he bonds with Harley Keener in Iron Man 3 and he's a mentor (as well as an indirect father figure) for a teenage Peter Parker. Taken to its logical conclusion when he becomes an excellent father to his daughter Morgan.
    • Groot, from Guardians of the Galaxy (2014): while on Knowhere, when a group of impoverished kids approach the heroes in the hopes of getting a little money, Groot offers one little girl a blue flower that he grew on his body. The little girl's face practically lights up like a Christmas tree.
    • T'Challa. Towards the end of Black Panther (2018), he calls forth one of his jets to amaze the local children in Oakland. It helps that T'Challa has a Wouldn't Hurt a Child mentality.
    • Carol Danvers is much friendlier to kids than she is to other adults (save Maria Rambeau and Nick Fury), possibly owing to having an unpleasant upbringing. She's an Honorary Aunt and close friend to Maria's daughter Monica, and she quickly bonds with the Skrull children who took refuge in Mar-Vell's laboratory. She's also very pleasant to Peter Parker (a sixteen-year-old boy) during the Final Battle of Endgame, which is substantially nicer than we see her when interacting with the other Avengers.
    • Stephen Strange forms close bonds with the aforementioned Peter Parker and America Chavez (both teenaged heroes).
    • Professor Hulk, in contrast to his previous self, has children run up to him for selfies in Avengers: Endgame.
  • Miss Meadows: Miss Meadows is a grade school substitute teacher who shows great affection for children generally, not just her students, and is very protective of them.
  • Mr. Magorium. When you're a magical old man with an equally magical toy store that's bigger on the inside, that's to be expected.
  • Smith from Shoot 'Em Up seems to have a soft spot for infants. Why else would he go through all that trouble for one baby?
  • Referred to in Tongan Ninja
    Action Fighter: I once knew a man who was good with children. They called him... Children Man! Do you know him?
    Gun Man: Yes, I kneecapped him and killed him.
    Action Fighter: Nice.
  • The titular protagonist of The Toxic Avenger film series is shown helping out children at one point in just about every movie. It's especially notable in the third film, where Satan tries to get to Toxie by forcing him to give up lest he kill a busload of children.
  • X-Men Film Series: Professor Charles Xavier shelters, educates, and counsels young mutants, most of whom have been rejected by society. James McAvoy encapsulates his character's benevolence in the "En Sabah Nur: Setting the Stage for Apocalypse" documentary on the X-Men: Apocalypse Blu-Ray.
    McAvoy: He's a teacher who takes in waifs and strays, and people that the rest of the world doesn't have a place for.
  • Of course there is the Grandfather of them all Kris Kringle from Miracle on 34th Street, you can see all his attention go into a laser-sharp focus whenever there's a kid trying to talk to him, even trying to dismiss any adults around. Indeed it can be said that his goal in the movie is turning other adults and even corporations into figures such as this.
  • Aunt Roo from Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? seems like this - she hosts a Christmas party for ten local orphans every year and talks often about how much she loves children. Then she kidnaps Katy as a Replacement Goldfish for her dead daughter.
  • In Wild in the Streets, Max starts as one, and even prefers the company of three-year-olds to people his own age. By the end of the movie, he's become Drunk On Power and lords his status over the children he meets, causing one of them to vow, "We're going to put everyone over ten out of business."
  • Owen, the manager and owner of the Water Wizz water park in The Way, Way Back, is a bonafide Manchild who wanders the park in a bathrobe and playfully teases everyone around him. Even so, he is sensitive to 14-year-old Duncan's problems and teaches 10-year-old Peter to not be ashamed of his lazy eye.

    Literature 
  • Crime fiction author Andrew Vachss, also a real-life attorney who represents abused children, frequently writes about vigilante protagonists who mete out vengeance against child abusers. The most popular of his vigilante characters is the titular character of the Burke novels.
  • Damon Runyon's characters are criminals, or at least on the shady side, but they have a soft spot for children. In "Little Miss Marker", they do their best to care for a little girl left in their hands, to the length of kidnapping a famous doctor at gunpoint to tend to her when she's down with a deadly disease. In "Gentlemen, the King!" three New York hardboys who have been recruited to kill a European king not only abort the mission instantly when they find that the King in question is a child but spend time making friends with him...and end up killing the man who hired them.
  • 2666: Epifanio initially comes off as this with regards to Lalo Cura, but it doesn’t last.
  • Adventure Hunters: When Artorius isn't working, he hangs out at an elementary school and tells the children about his adventures.
  • Amaranthine Saga:
    • This is a noted trait of Argent Mettlebright, which astonishes people who do not know him well. To most, he is an aloof, dryly sarcastic, and intimidating Noble Demon. To children, he is gentle, patient, and protective. An act of kindness to a child results in his being enslaved for multiple centuries, but he still does not regret the kindness. Later, he adopts a foundling and agrees to turn his home into an orphanage, as well as quickly winning over every young child to cross his path. He even has a soft spot for multiple members of the Smythe family that he might otherwise despise, seemingly because he has fond memories of them as children.
    • Kip and Ash in Tamiko and the Two Janitors chose to spend their unlimited life spans working in an elementary school, playing with children at recess, and gently modeling life skills. In different guises, they have been adored by generations of children.
  • Bree Pym proves to be this in Aunt Dimity and the Lost Prince. Not only does she help entertain Lori's seven-year-old twins when the family is suffering a bit of cabin fever (thanks in part to newly revealed talents for juggling, acrobatics, and sleight-of-hand magic, she befriends a poor family from a nearby town and invites them to visit her cottage near Finch on a regular basis.
  • Esther Summerson from Bleak House has this trait. She is characteristically "fond of being confided in by children". (Her own childhood was emotionally abusive.)
  • Bone Street Rumba has a couple of these. Gordo is loved by children and loves them in return. They think of him as a giant fat playmate. Carlos, the protagonist, is very protective of children.
  • Jerin Whistler in A Brother's Price is noted for his patience and sweetness but also discipline in dealing with his numerous younger siblings; he was sort of promoted to parent after his father's death and handled it well. They start crying and are inconsolable when they hear he's going to leave and get married, and he distracts them by recruiting them to help make pound cake and maple ice cream. He's also good with the young princesses, not letting them walk all over him but still befriending and teaching them. His skill with children is considered a major plus for him as prospective husband material by his future wives.
  • Holden Caulfield, the 17-year-old protagonist from The Catcher in the Rye, loves kids and desperately wants to preserve their innocence and protect them from the world. The title of the book comes from a fantasy Holden has where he's in a rye field with thousands of children playing and he stands near the cliff at the end of the field in order to catch the kids who come too close to the cliff or are in risk of falling off.
  • Angel in the Charlie Parker Series, who is always the first to run and help a child in trouble, and never has any problem gaining their trust.
  • Discworld:
    • Nanny Ogg loves children and they (for the most part) love her, without much effort or forethought on her part. Much to the consternation of Magrat, who puts in effort (and research) to be a friend to all children, but sucked at it. (At least until she had one of her own.)
    • The last King of Ankh-Morpork, Lorenzo the Kind, possibly. After a description of how Samuel Vimes' ancestor killed him in Men at Arms, it is mentioned that his official portrait showed him surrounded by kids and "he was very fond of children". Given that later books portray him as a Complete Monster, however, this may be either a lie or a horrific euphemism. (Discworld Roleplaying Game says that his "private depredations were so unspeakable that people actually did not speak of them".)
  • Fitz Kreiner, from the Doctor Who Expanded Universe Eighth Doctor Adventures: Deadpan Snarker, chain-smokes, has Perma-Stubble, is a Lovable Sex Maniac or at best a Chivalrous Pervert... you know the type. Also, in one story, happily gets a job working at a home for kids who mostly have special needs (or are at least about as screwed-up as he is), and in another puts up with a very creepy Waif Prophet type following him around and talking endlessly. He's far more avuncular than paternal, though, and is horrified when a Delivery Stork nearly brings him a baby... but it's just carrying a bomb. Whew. Crisis averted.
  • Razza from Don't Call Me Ishmael! gets along great with his girlfriend Sally’s little siblings, who adore him, and he helps to coach the younger students' football teams at school. It helps that he is very entertaining.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • "Gentleman" Johnny Marcone is a ruthless and highly ambitious mafia boss, who is usually all about business and profit. Every book he's in has at least one mention of his evil acts and a reminder of how he's a cold, ruthless man who earned his place at the head of Chicago's crime scene. Harm a child on his turf, however, and he will spare no expense in tracking you down and murdering you until you die. You should count yourself lucky if he stops there.
    • Harry Dresden himself. He considers becoming a vampire of the Red Court to stop the war between them and the White Council of Wizards, but the vampire who offered fed on children (since said vampire was planning to betray him anyway, this is something of a moot point and soon the vampire was squashed by a falling satellite). Also, he named Ivy. His response to a little girl in Changes (his daughter) being kidnapped:
      Wizards are subtle and quick to anger.
      Fuck subtle. *blows open door*
    • Michael also. The closest he has ever come to killing someone in cold blood was someone who kidnapped his daughter. Harry has to step in.
  • Amos Burton from The Expanse series. Despite being some manner of messed up in his head that makes him extremely blasé about killing and death and not entirely understanding 'morality', Amos is universally friendly to children and will never, ever, harm one. He befriends multiple children and teenagers over the course of several novels and harming children in any way is the fastest way to get on his bad side. It's more or less stated outright that his own horrible childhood is one cause of it.
  • Annie from Eye of a Fly works at the Day Care Center, where she does most of the childcare. She's popular with kids due to her storytelling skills. In the end, she's killed in a Heroic Sacrifice saving a boy from being hit by a truck.
  • Xan the witch in The Girl Who Drank the Moon, who dedicates herself to saving the babies the people of the Protectorate inexplicably leave in the woods to die once a year. (The Protectorate are under the impression they're sacrificing a child to the evil witch so she won't attack them.)
  • In the Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) official novelization, Madison Russell shows this trait when she briefly takes a moment to flash a terrified child a reassuring smile amid the Boston exodus.
  • Gone with the Wind: Roguish, charming Rhett Butler is established as this — he's very fond of Scarlett's first two children and utterly devoted to the one he himself has with her.
  • Hagrid of Harry Potter. Sure, the fact that he's a Nightmare Fetishist Fluffy Tamer tends to freak people out, but he is rather fond of children. Put another way: you know Hagrid would never try to hurt your kid but you can't blame people for wondering if he's really the best person to be teaching a class on magical zoology.
  • Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar: Tarma, from the Vows and Honor series. According to Kethry, children have run up to Tarma for protection while their merc unit is storming a town... and gotten it. She is probably one of the top three non-magical badasses in the series and has a voice like a chain smoker, a face like an angry hawk, and a bond with her goddess that renders her effectively asexual. She rides a really scary-looking horse and is always accompanied by a sentient being who looks like a giant wolf. And she still has an instant rapport with children, whether for playing, protection, or nurturing. Fortunately, Kethry produces plenty of kids for her to help raise during their teaching careers.
  • In the Island in the Sea of Time books, Swindapa loves kids, even going so far as to adopt a pair of orphans at the end of the first book and expressing a desire to adopt some more in the second book. This has caused some tensions with her partner Marian, who's older and not entirely keen on having a litter of kids underfoot.
  • Alan Grant, the paleontologist hero of Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park, is fond of children, pointing out that you couldn't find another group more enthusiastic about dinosaurs. As a result, he gets along well with Tim and Lex from the start. In the movie, this is inverted, and Grant is specifically not fond of children, so as to give him a character arc as he bonds with Lex and Tim. He later gets along well with the kids as seen in the third film.
  • The protagonist of Lone Huntress was adopted by a Bruiser with a Soft Center because Brock couldn't say no to the little orphan girl. Lisa grows up to become this as well, learning more than just how to fire a Ray Gun from her adoptive father.
  • In the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle loves kids and really understands them. Similarly, in the follow-up book that features her great-niece, Missy Piggle-Wiggle, Missy Piggle-Wiggle is equally good with children. Not long after she arrives to take charge of the upside-down house, the house is soon humming with children who come over regularly to hang out or play.
  • Otherland. The Other, the apparently rogue AI operating system of the titular network, has a remarkable affinity for children and seeks them out wherever its sphere of influence touches on the wider 'Net. Unfortunately, its idea of "playing with" these children has the nasty, inadvertent consequence of Mind Raping them into comas.
  • In The Painted Veil, it is revealed that Walter is fond of babies, which makes him more sympathetic in Kitty's eyes and causes her to realize that maybe she has misunderstood him.
  • Please Don't Tell My Parents You Believe Her: The Gerty Goat animatronic loves all children unconditionally, even those who have grown up to be adults. Penny occasionally weaponizes this by convincing Gerty that an opponent "needs more hugs".
  • Pride and Prejudice: Jane Bennet. It comes with being The Ingenue and a Proper Lady. She was asked to take care of her little cousins when their parents went travelling in the summer.
  • Rainbow Magic: Rachel and Kirsty are very kind to younger children, as is Bailey the Babysitter Fairy.
  • Redwall: Blaggut from The Bellmaker adores the Abbey's children and is loved by them in return, though the adults start out not trusting him.
  • Adrian of Renegades loves spending time with children and will always stop by to help one in need, even if the child isn't particularly keen on it (like Magpie, whom he's trying to reform from a thief into an upstanding citizen). At one point, he stops a search he's conducting when he stumbles upon a group of children at a birthday party and ends up drawing them all gifts.
  • In The Secret of Platform 13, the narration notes that "Nanny Brown wasn't a particularly nice woman, but she loved babies." She went along with Mrs. Trottle's kidnapping plot partly because she was blackmailed, and partly because, well, someone had to take care of that kid, and she knew that Mrs. Trottle was too horrible to be trusted with the job. (Though, in her defense, Mrs. Trottle herself turns out to be a Mama Bear.)
  • The hero of Richard Adams' novel Shardik is nicknamed "Plays With the Children" by the other members of his tribe.
  • Son of the Mob: Uncle Pampers tends to hang out with the little kids whenever the mobsters and their families get together. Vince speculates that part of the appeal is that little kids are the only ones who don't feel uncomfortable around him due to not knowing what he does for a living.
  • Star Wars Legends: Although he may not seem like it at first, Shatterpoint reveals that Mace Windu actually has a soft spot for kids, is very kind to a few who were in danger, and if you mess with them, he will not be pleased.
  • Tortall Universe: The Stormwings are monstrous immortals that look like harpies with steel wings. Their entire raison d'etre is to defile the bodies of those killed in battle so that no one can pretend that war is glorious. They stink to high heaven, they have an aura of fear and they feed off of the fear they cause in others. Many individuals have a real soft spot towards children of any species. They even take 10-year-old Maura for a joy ride by hanging onto the ropes of a swing that she's sitting on. Rikash reluctantly explains "It is hard for us to bear young. That being the case, we value others' young, particularly when they are neglected. Affection has led me to indulge Lady Maura more than is wise." In a later book, they perch around a square where a mob is rioting in order to feed off the fear... and then swoop down to save children who were about to be trampled.
  • Janet The Bunny Queen from Rosemary Wells' "Voyage To The Bunny Planet" really cares about young bunnies. She would usually drag and comfort the sleeping bunny who needs a visit to the Bunny Planet after a terrible or bad day they would have. When the young bunny is asleep, she would cradle the sleeping bunny and take them to "Bunny Planet" and shows them "The Day That Should Have Been" which takes shows them a more positive and sweet dream the bunny would have.
  • The Wheel of Time:
    • When Mat is infected by a Hate Plague Rand notices that the only people that Mat was not suspicious of were children. Later on, after he gets cured, Mat saves Olver from getting beaten and tries to hire a local innkeeper to take care of him. Mat ends up all but adopting Olver after he follows him.
    • Takes a dark turn in the character of Mesaana. While the other Forsaken were out leading armies against the forces of the Light during the Age of Legends, Mesaana spent her time setting up schools for children in conquered territories. However, it was there that she taught them the values of the Shadow and encouraged them to turn on their own families. Three thousand years later, people still cringe in horror at tales of "Mesaana's Children".
  • In Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, Mr. Badger is this. We see him giving shelter to two hedgehogs caught in a storm on their way to school when he first appears, and at the end, his Shrouded in Myth reputation that lets mother weasels scare their children into behaving is unjust.
  • In The Witchlands, scary Implacable Man Aeduan turns out to be surprisingly great with kids and is the only person the Wild Child Owl will listen to.

    Music 
  • The Billy Joel song "Leningrad" tells the story of Viktor (an actual person whom Joel met while touring the Soviet Union in 1987), a former member of the Red Army who, after seeing the horrors of war, became a clown, and found happiness bringing joy to children.
  • Roger Miller's "King of the Road":
    I know every engineer on every train,
    All of the children and all of their names
  • A significant part of Eminem's persona is his love of children, due to experiencing child abuse growing up (which is usually made in his music into a Hilariously Abusive Childhood). He's a Papa Wolf to his own children, often expresses protectiveness towards child fans in his songs (such as telling them not to fight in the War On Terror in "Square Dance"), and intends for his Slim Shady character to be escapism for kids going through what he went through. Note that his work strongly averts Children Are Innocent, instead arguing that kids are just as exposed to all of the horrors of the world as adults, and should have the power to use Vulgar Humor, swear and fight back against bullies and abusive adults.
  • One major factor in Devin Millar’s persona is that he loves his younger fans. He makes them the focus of his music. Also his mascot is a crossdressing teenage boy named Jack.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible: Jesus was both Messianic Archetype (he's the Trope Namer) and a Friend to All Living Things. He preached that Children Are Innocent. In one parable used in many churches to warn against the risk of corruption by self-righteous adults, the children of a Crapsack World joyfully greet the Christ with cries of "Hosanna! Hosanna!" (savior), only to be reprimanded by their ignorant parents. Jesus rejoices with the children and firmly reminds the adults that they have attacked what is good and right in humanity. Although Jesus of this time brutally whipped exploiters, many English speakers first hear of this trope as part of his life.
  • St. Nicholas of Myra, the Patron Saint of Children. Santa Claus was based on him originally, and he qualifies too, obviously.
  • In Classical Mythology, the twins Artemis/Diana and Apollo are the protectors of young girls and boys, respectively.
  • Buddhism has Budai or Hotei, the famous fat, laughing Buddha, who favors children and is always followed by a gang of them. There is also the bodhisattva Ksitigarbha, known as Jizo in Japan, where he is the protector of the souls of children, including even aborted fetuses.
  • The Alan, a birdlike trickster spirit from the Philippines, is said to be a Friend to All Children; they oftentimes take in lost or abandoned children and raise them as their own. Other times, they turn reproductive waste into children and then raise them as their own. Our Monsters Are Weird...

    Propaganda 
  • The cover image of a 1933 German children's book called Kinder, was wißt ihr vom Führer? ("Children, What Do You Know About the Führer?") shows a smiling Adolf Hitler lifting up a little girl while two young boys look on.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • A stereotypical trait of masked luchadors, thanks to Fray Tormenta, who wrestled matches to make money for an orphanage and, to a lesser extent, Atlantis, who remained a friend of los ninos even after becoming a rudo.
  • El Generico, being a luchador parody. In an inversion to Fray Tormenta, he left pro wrestling to take care of orphans in Mexico, even though the cartel wanted him dead.
  • Johnny Magnum on the Funkin Conservatory's !Bang! TV, being that he's a children's and youth minister (among other things) when not wrestling and kids go to see his matches.
  • Hulk Hogan, the most requested person from the Make-A-Wish foundation during the 1980s.
    • And following in his footsteps, John Cena, who has a record for filling Make-A-Wish requests that may never be topped.
  • Tigre Metálico proves this is not limited to tecnico luchadors, being somewhat of an oddball among the rudos for his efforts to make children smile, before the match starts at least.
  • CHIKARA 2007: Incoherence after Delirious and Hallowicked defeated Team F.I.S.T. (Icarus and Gran Akuma) to become CHIKARA Campeones de Parejas starting with children from the audience coming to the ring to celebrate with them.
  • Jorge Alonso of Caged Heat Radio loves kids. In keeping with his Butt-Monkey status, kids don't always love him back, but he doesn't let it discourage him.
  • Bray Wyatt played with this trope for Nightmare Fuel - very effectively - in his feud with John Cena. When you consider Cena's main target demographic, it's probable that Bray did this just because he knew it would mess with Cena's head.

    Roleplay 
  • In Embers in the Dusk, Seamus Lin, the Last Saint of the Emperor, spent as much time as possible in orphanages, and even his tomb had been placed in a psyker city to allow children a relatively safe haven where they can have a relative reprieve from the risks of Chaos.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Crimestrikers, Arcana the Draconic Humanoid is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold whose gentle, compassionate side always emerges whenever she interacts with kids (or as she calls them, "wee ones").
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Tinker gnomes build auto-gnomes, Clockwork Creatures resembling gnomes which have three directives, one of which is to protect children. While whoever thought this up had good intentions, the species of the children was never specified, which can cause problems when the tinkers have to deal with races they regard as enemies. (Especially since an auto-gnome's first directive is to defend gnomes from assault by non-gnomes, and tends to malfunction if it has to deal with a situation where its directives contradict.)
    • Very little is known of the mysterious Zaphikiel, the mightiest of the Hebdomad and one of the most powerful of celestial beings. One thing that is known about him is that he takes custody of the souls of murdered infants and those that died as a result of miscarriage, faithfully protecting what he sees as innocence in purest form.
  • Pathfinder: Auwaz couatls are extremely fond of children, going to great lengths to help lost kids return home or to help them escape abusive households.

    Theatre 
  • Jerusalem gives us Johnny Byron, a former daredevil and local legend who lives in a trailer in the local woods, and is seen as a sort of modern-day Pied Piper. Local teenagers spend most of their free time hanging out at his place, getting drunk, doing drugs, and generally having fun; he regales them with mad stories of his former exploits and supposed encounters with real-life giants. This is portrayed as being a sort of tradition, with several characters in their late twenties and early thirties discussing how they used to be the kids who hung out at Johnny's place. Subverted in two ways, though: firstly in that Johnny's sheltering of the kids is not always seen as wholesome (naturally); and secondly in that it is revealed the kids don't really care about him as a person and mock him behind his back for being a crazy loner unable to pay taxes.

    Theme Parks 
  • Weeki Wachee Springs is a Florida Theme Park famous for its mermaid show. Their YouTube channel includes a series called "Tail Mail," which encourages young children to hand-write letters to the mermaids, who then read them.

    Web Animation 
  • In RWBY, Volumes 7 and 8 imply Jaune is that. He's chosen to take care of kids in their morning school course and, in turn, they look to respect him. This becomes useful later in evacuation situations, where the kids are the first to take his orders seriously.
  • In Shrapnel, Reznya, a merciless hunter killer, has a soft spot for children. This also extends to teens & adults she knew from when they were kids.

    Webcomics 
  • Dee and Dum from Alice and the Nightmare claim that working with kids is the best part of their job, although Alt Text suggests that it's not entirely true. Their students certainly like them, though.
  • Merlow from Court of Roses is very good with the children at the Bardic Festival, easily capturing their attention with stories and fart jokes.
  • Rolan from Ears for Elves is adored by Donny and many other kids and greatly enjoys talking with any child around (possibly because he can act like a child himself), though some adult elves are prejudiced against him and don't want him near their children.
  • Von Pinn from Girl Genius isn't necessarily fond of kids, but as a completely frightening construct designed to protect her charges, she cannot bring herself to harm children, even if they stand in the way of her duty. When Bangladesh Dupree tries to get around this and kills the girl standing in the way of their pursuit of Agatha, Von Pinn nearly takes her head off.
    • Oh, she's fond of kids. Monster Nanny terrifies the living daylights out of them, but all of them know she loves them. Tarvek and Gil are particularly voluble on the subject.
    • The reason she is so unhinged in the first place is that she failed to save Agatha's brother when Castle Heterodyne was attacked.
  • Anya, the Children's Librarian in Groovy, Kinda is a legend with her storytimes. The children love her so much that their parents (and the folks who run the orphanage) are willing to overlook her 15-year-old boyfriend, Jacob.
  • Grrl Power: Deus is a mildly creepy version. He's not a pedophile or anything, it's just the violent glee with which he is happy to help children.
    Galatean Girl: My mom says you killed the evil tyrant and now we have food and houses and television, so I made this for you! [offers him a clay bowl]
    Deus: Angel, I would kill a thousand tyrants for you.
  • Cale in Looking for Group used to be this, up to a particular Sadistic Choice. And although no more a friend to children than any other living being, Richard's rare, curse-breaking Pet the Dog was a self-sacrifice in defense of a child.
  • Manly Guys Doing Manly Things:
    • One of the Big Daddies from BioShock is presented this way. He applies for a job at a daycare center, happily plays with the children, and is clearly upset to see them go when their parents come. It's rather adorable, up to a point.
    • Also, Commander Badass himself. Great with kids of all ages, including Manchild Jared.
  • Marilith:
    • Marilith when she started out in her less than lawful career, used to pay to feed an African child every time she killed someone. Eventually she could no longer afford to; now the kids are banded together into something of a war group to find out what happened to her. She also arranged the capture, and suggested rape, of a date rapist. The girl he hurt is not all that old. It's also one of the few times she negotiates on prices. She is also partnered with her possibly Stockholm Syndromed ex-mark, who is either young or has fantastic genes.
    • Christi is also intent on saving Marilith's partner; being an orphan, she is sensitive to the plights of children.
  • Adrestia in morphE would rather have her throat slit than attack a child. Her character profile makes specific mention of her soft spot for kids.
  • In No Rest for the Wicked, Red. She has a Slasher Smile and is Ax-Crazy, but her reaction to a woman being burned to death for killing children is "Not cruel enough." Later, when they track down the actual killer, she disposes of her.
  • In Pacificators, we have Daryl Smithson and Muneca Powell. The latter one, despite being an Ice Queen, really does care a lot about children, so much that she turns into a Mama Bear if you ever threaten a child (it doesn't matter whether the said child is bratty or evil).
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Emil, who has more than a few traits of Jerk with a Heart of Gold, is quite doting towards his three Bratty Half-Pint younger cousins. In return, his cousins are very happy to get a surprise visit from him and very disappointed when he has to leave almost as soon as he came.
  • Quentyn of Tales of the Questor is particularly sweet and tolerant of a very young child who pulls on his whiskers and twists his tail, thinking him a cat. (he quickly makes her a harmless toy that occupies her hands)
  • Unsounded: Duane is protective of children and tries to keep them happy when they're around him. In his living days, he was extremely protective of his squad of Child Mage soldiers and was a devoted dad. He is even kind to two-toe children when most people see two-toes and less than human pests.

    Web Original 
  • Two examples from Felarya:
    • The naga Fiona loves children and is often seen venturing to jungle villages to play with the local kids. In fact, she's earned the in-universe nickname of "The Kind Naga". Felaryan nagas are typically man-eaters.
    • Katrika (also a naga) is far more predatory than Fiona, but children and their families are completely off the menu. She'll even comfort children who've lost their families to predators.
  • SCP-1810 of the SCP Foundation loves children and will take care of any distressed or lost child it comes across. Which would be heart-warming, except its flawed understanding of humans and the fact that it will do horrific things to non-children if it thinks it will make a child happy renders it creepy.

    Web Videos 
  • The Autobiography of Jane Eyre: Jane, who finds kids "a gazillion times better than most adults".
  • In Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, one of Dr. Horrible's reasons for refusing to fight a self-proclaimed nemesis in the City Park is that "there's kids in that park." Also, when told he has to kill someone to enter the Evil League of Evil, he's offered the suggestion of a child who is destined to become President of the United States. Dr. Horrible replies that he's not going to kill a kid.
  • Doctor Steel loves children (he's a toymaker, after all). He even created a theme song for a fictional kid's show called "Smokey, The Kid-Loving Trout" (Smokey's Theme), and his episodes of The Dr. Steel Show are modeled after children's television shows.
  • Harley Morenstein, of Epic Meal Time fame, draws the line at dead baby comedy and gives apple pies to kids when he was shopping at McDonald's.
  • The Nostalgia Critic has declared himself the defender of all children. He even gets along with Enfant Terrible Evilina, who he's been known to babysit. Santa Christ seems to qualify as well, being a blending of the two biggest examples of this Trope possible.
  • In TableTop, Wil is shown to be one. He was much more chill when playing with the kids in the Catan Jr. episode at least, no salt at all.
  • Matt, Pat, and Woolie of Two Best Friends Play like to claim that they're not fond of children, but often end up becoming attached to younger characters in the games they play. Matt and Pat ended up becoming protective of both Clementine and Ellie, and during their playthrough of Beyond: Two Souls (which they made no secret about their disdain for), all three of them proceeded to freak out when it looked like a homeless Jodie was about to give a man a blow job for $10.
  • Linkara of Atop the Fourth Wall always welcomes the idea of children and families being portrayed positively in comic books, and one of his BIGGEST peeves is a child character being killed or otherwise endangered solely for the sake of shock value or plot contrivance.

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventures of Sam & Max: Freelance Police: This is a defining trait of Sam and Max in this adaptation. Although they rarely interact with kids in the rest of the series, here, they get along great with kids. Perhaps, like the creators of the cartoon themselves, Sam and Max realized that kids would love their antics, as long as they're toned down a little.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • One of the hints that Zuko is a good guy pre-Heel–Face Turn is that he's good with kids. This follows him post-redemption arc and into his reign as Fire Lord, especially once he finds out that he's got a much younger half-sister to whom he's an excellent brother. He's also implied to be an outstanding father and grandfather in The Legend of Korra (see below).
    • Aang is really good with kids, too, as part of his All-Loving Hero schtick.
    • This trope applies to Iroh, as well. In flashbacks, he is shown to have had a loving, playful relationship with his own son, Lu Ten, and in "The Tales of Ba Sing Se," he gets two key moments that highlight this aspect of his personality: First, he sings "Leaves from the Vine" to help calm down a fussy toddler; later, he advises a group of kids playing earthbender soccer to own up to their accidental destruction of a window (though when the irate homeowner reveals himself, Iroh retracts this statement and tells the kids to retreat).
      • His conversation with Toph Beifong in "The Chase" also demonstrates this.
    • Korra absolutely adores Tenzin's kids, and acts as a Cool Big Sis figure to them. They adore her right back. It may be partly due to the fact that she's the reincarnation of their grandfather Aang, but still.
  • Batman: The Animated Series: Particularly in an early episode, "The Underdwellers," near the very end. Bats is threatening the episode's villain, the Sewer King, who "took in" a large number of abandoned and orphaned children, only to abuse them and teach them to steal:
    Batman: "I don't pass sentence. That's for the courts. But THIS time... THIS time, I am sorely tempted to do the job MYSELF."
  • Modo from Biker Mice from Mars is extremely fond of children. This is used against him in the 10-Minute Retirement episode "Modo Hangs It Up".
  • In the DuckTales (1987) / Darkwing Duck universe, the nephews, Webby, Doofus, Gosalyn, and Honker all have a positive relationship with Launchpad McQuack. In spite of his imposing stature, he is rarely anything but gentle and friendly with the kids, and would put his life on the line rather than let anyone or anything harm them.
  • Sergeant Rita Torres in Exosquad shows her tender side when interacting with the Martian Exoscouts (who were abandoned on Mars since the war outbreak) in the second season.
  • Uncle Pockets from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends; as a "professional imaginary friend", he'd like people to believe he never became too attached to all the kids who he's been with over the years, but as Mac found out, he was far closer to all of them than he admitted.
  • Turanga Leela from Futurama. While she's tough and no-nonsense, she has a soft spot for children, particularly orphans since she was one herself. When she begins making money from a children's show she created, she uses most of the money to buy books and toys for a group of orphans and wants the show to be a reminder to them that they can achieve their dreams too.
  • The protagonist of Archer oddly enough. For all his faults (including misogyny, alcoholism, rudeness, and egotism) he's great with kids, most notably his own.
  • Gargoyles: Lexington is shown to have a very close, big-brother relationship with Alex Xanatos.
  • Soos of Gravity Falls clearly loves kids; his two best friends are twelve years old (Soos himself is in his twenties), he'd give his life to protect them, and he's outright stated he wants seven children when he gets married. It makes sense that Soos himself has a bit of a childish personality — he loves the local Suck E. Cheese's without a hint of irony, always jumps in when asked to participate in a game or activity that the kids have come up with, and is hooked on video games.
  • Justice League:
    • Batman comforts Ace, a sort-of Dark Magical Girl with massive powers, who was dying of a terminal disease and only had hours to live. She had asked him to stay by her side because she was scared of dying alone... and he did. In "Injustice for All", he gently coaxed a little girl to come with him in order to escape a burning building.
    Little girl: I'm scared.
    Batman: Don't be. It's going to be all right.
    • The Flash, being Fun Personified, loves kids a lot himself. He spends every Christmas hanging out with kids at an orphanage in his hometown and giving them toys, and often steps out of fights to protect kids from collateral damage made when fighting bad guys.
  • King of the Hill: Hank Hill is shown to be really good with kids in several episodes, including one where he becomes the substitute shop teacher at his son's school and is very popular with the kids because his teaching style is informal, educational, and fun. In another, he stops some kids from getting into a makeout party by using old-school party games, and they end up legitimately having fun, causing the neighbors' wives to remark that his reliability and skill with kids are very attractive traits. Naturally, the only kids he seems to have trouble getting along with are Bobby and Caleb from "Hank's Bully" who keeps taunting Hank while the lenient parents stand idly by saying that Caleb is just expressing himself until Hank gets fed up and has Bobby start annoying Caleb's parents who ultimately lose it and start getting tough with their son.
  • In the Kung Fu Panda franchise, especially the non-film productions, Po prides himself as being loved by children. As such, he proves to be an excellent teacher. In an episode of Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness, he makes a despicable Royal Brat change her ways, before discovering the horrific reason why she feels she must drive everyone away. Even Tigress shows a caring side for young children every now and then as a young goose named Zan looks up to her as a big sister mentor figure while looking for his parents in "Kung Fu Day Care"; one of the panda girls in Kung Fu Panda 3 is fond of Tigress, after Po gave her his Tigress action figure.
  • The Mask: The Mask cares about children because some of them are Trolls like him so anyone harming one will make him go Papa Wolf on them, in one episode while chasing Lonnie The Shark who then dropped a baby The Mask is shocked at what just happened and turns around to save the baby and, in another episode when he was framed for robbing the Little League he starts to think that he might have gone crazy than usual which actually got him worried so he lets himself go to prison because of it but he found out it was Pretorius who did it not him so he freed himself from prison having not to worry now because of it.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Fluttershy is this as part of her being a Friend to All Living Things. In fact, threatening young ponies is a good way to anger her, as the unlucky cockatrice from "Stare Master" found out.
    • Pinkie Pie also counts; she's acted as a Cool Big Sis for Spike and Apple Bloom, chaperoned the local kids on "Nightmare Night", adores Mr. & Mrs. Cake's infant twins Pound and Pumpkin Cake and frequently plays with and watches over them, and during her Image Song "Smile, Smile, Smile" she goes out of her way to make kids happy.
    • Princess Luna, after seeing how much the kids enjoy Nightmare Night, un-canceled it. She also helps watch over the fillies and colts of Equestria's dreams, coming into them and helping them deal with nightmares. She's done this on separate occasions for each of the Cutie Mark Crusaders, helping them overcome their doubts to become better ponies. Also in "A Royal Problem", she becomes depressed after she learns she inadvertently caused local school fillies to be unable to raise enough money for a field trip. She even has a nightmare about it later, with one of the fillies tearfully asking her "Why don't you want us to go on our field trip?" It scared her so badly that her teeth start to fall out.
    • Rainbow Dash counts as well, surprisingly. Even though Word of God says she wouldn't be the best big sister, she tries her hardest to coach Apple Bloom through various activities such as karate, kite flying, juggling, and "Ultra Pony" roller derby. She is also genuinely concerned for Scootaloo's welfare in "Sleepless in Ponyville" and ends up adopting her as her surrogate little sister at the end of the episode. She's not the best role model, but she certainly tries.
    • Countess Coloratura, despite having the image of a "demanding diva", has stated that her favorite part of every event she goes to is meeting with the schoolponies. This is also used as part of her Secret Test of Character set up by her and Applejack: when her manager Svengallop actually believes she would cancel her contest with the schoolponies, she realizes he doesn't understand the real her at all.
    • Protagonist Twilight Sparkle counts as well. She's eager to act as a mentor to the Cutie Mark Crusaders and is very kind and accommodating to her younger fans. In one episode, her problem is that she wants to both spend time with her baby niece and read to sick children at the hospital.
  • Oh Yeah! Cartoons: Dan Danger is frequently able to overcome the perils he faces in spite of his cowardice thanks to Ruthie reminding him that failure to face his fears would mean letting down the children that look up to him.
  • The first sign that Amity from the The Owl House is a lot nicer than she usually presents herself is when it's revealed that she regularly reads to children at the local library.
  • In the Phantom 2040 series: Hubert Graft, a monstrous cyborg who hates the heroes, stops the fight in one episode when a kid gets in danger. He rescues the child, as the heroes look in confusion. "This war should not include children."
  • The Raccoons: Bert claims in "Stop the Clock!" that there wasn't a kid he didn't like, and although he and Bentley sometimes have their disagreements, he still considers him a friend. Also, in "The Headline Hunter!", he enjoys a picnic with a little girl, even if he was initially annoyed that she was the only person to bid on him in the Bachelor Auction earlier in the episode.
  • Recess:
    • Miss Grotke tends to be more forgiving and lenient towards the students of Third Street School than the rest of the faculty.
    • And the movie reveals that, believe it or not, Principal Prickly was one back in the 1960s when he first got into teaching. He even wanted to hold his classes outside on the playground and was horrified when he learned that Phillium Benedict wanted to get rid of recess.
  • While the titular character of Samurai Jack seldom encounters children, there are some episodes that make it perfectly clear that he cares about them and is willing to lend a hand when they're in need.
    • In "Jack is Naked", Samurai Jack spends most of the episode chasing after what he thinks is a white rabbit that stole his clothes and sword. After he gets his stuff back, he learns that they were really stolen by an orphan girl with a bunny backpack who only stole his belongings because she was desperate for something she could sell for food money. When the girl states that she figured Jack's clothes and sword were more valuable than robot slug tusks, Jack helps the girl out by retrieving a pair of robot slug tusks. The girl thanks Jack and assures him that now she'll never go hungry again.
    • He rescues dozens of them from mind-controlling music in "Jack and the Rave". As the fifth season shows, the same children - now adults - still remember and revere him as a savior.
    • In "Jack and the Haunted House", Jack encounters a little girl and defends her from a shadow-like monster. He also frees the girl's family and doesn't leave until the monster tormenting her is destroyed.
    • "Jack and the Baby" begins with Jack rescuing a captured infant before he is eaten by some ogres planning to have him as their dinner. On the journey to get the child back to his parents, Jack does everything he can to ensure the child's well-being, even milking various animals so that he can feed the baby and getting him to sleep by telling him the story of Momotaro.
    • Played for Drama in an episode of Season 5, as he is so emotionally destroyed at having failed to save the lives of a group of children from a madman that it's the final push he needs to resign himself to suicide. Fortunately, Ashi finds him in time and reveals that the children are in fact alive and safe, which snaps him back from his Despair Event Horizon.
  • The Simpsons: Moe, a bitter bartender, actually reads to children in his spare time — which he tries to hide — and is very fond of Maggie, and becomes her babysitter.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Ahsoka Tano, right from her introduction in the Pilot Movie was shown to be quite good with children. She started by calling Jabba's son Rotta, an infant Hutt cute and showing genuine care for him. This trait of hers culminated during the Young Jedi arc, where she repeatedly put her life at risk to protect the six Jedi younglings under her care.
  • Ash Firin from Superjail! may be a horribly burned pyromaniac with a creepy voice, but when he met a little girl who was brought into Superjail by mistake, he instantly gets attached to her, throws the inmate who wanted to burn her into the incinerator and starts being his parental figure. He also inadvertently named her Cancer (pronounced San-sehr) mistaking the medical bracelet in her arm for her name.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures:
    • Fowlmouth, a side character, swears a (bleeped out) blue streak in every known context except in the presence of babies. He believes that swearing in front of babies is crude.
    • Aside from getting even with the antagonists, Buster Bunny also helps out kids who have been or may have been victimized by them. Such examples include the short, "Ruffled Ruffee" (part of "Music Day"), wherein he saves a bunch of kids from being bored to death by the titular arrogant children's entertainer, and the short, "Buster's New Bike" (part of "Son of the Wacko World of Sports"), wherein he exposed Bicycle Bob as a con-artist bicycle salesman who sells shoddy bikes to kids. Also, in the short, "Turtle Hurdle" (part of "The Wide World of Elmyra"), he interrupts the segment to warn the kids watching the show NOT to attempt what Elmyra had just done (telling her dad to suddenly stop the car in the middle of the busy road so she can run out in traffic to save her pet turtle).
      Buster: Hi kids! I just have one thing to say. Please, please PLEASE don't ever ever EVER get out of a car and cross a busy highway or street!
  • Max on Total Drama is an EVIL mastermind who wants to Take Over the World! In his audition tape, however, he says he's busy with babysitting. And when there comes a challenge on the show where the contestants have to carry napping babies through sound-sensitive areas, Max is surprisingly good at calming his baby down. It is consistently giggling in Max's presence, too.
  • Transformers: a recurring theme to all Autobots, in most continuities they tend to have kids hanging out with them.
  • Uncle Grandpa takes kids on fun and surreal adventures, even if they didn't want to in the first place.
  • As mentioned above, Young Justice (2010) has Batman being more of a fatherly figure to Robin and the rest of the team than Superman. He's also been implied to be close to Captain Marvel, being the only Leaguer to know that he was ten years old. The tie-in comics show Batman giving him an opening to confess his secret, and while he isn't always patient with Billy, he'll explain things to him and didn't glare when Cap hugged him.
  • Zeta in The Zeta Project. When he saw a child learn to ride a bike and the joy it brought her mother, he knew he could never kill anyone because life was precious. Hence his peaceful and nonviolent nature.

 
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A race with Gamera

While taking a mini-submarine out for a ride, two boy scouts come across the kaiju-sized Gamera, who challenges them to a playful race.

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