No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world - Robin Williams
Today (or rather, yesterday, depending on what country you are in), Robin Williams died. I'm not going to go into the details of his death or how it happened, but I want to say that I am saddened by this.
Of course, I know Robin Williams was a great performer and he brightened everyone's lives, and that a lot of people of my generation (and, on reflection, probably the generation before), grew up with Robin Williams on the screen regularly. But, for me and my family, it feels a little more sad.
My mum loves Robin Williams - and always has - so I feel that Robin Williams was one of our role models. We were always putting on his movies to watch on the VCR, sitting down to watch them when they were on TV, and more recently, on DVD.
You know how whatever music your parents liked seem like the soundtrack of your childhood because that's what you heard? Well, it's the same for Robin Williams on the TV.
The first time I saw Robin Williams, I had no idea who he was. I was only about 4 or 5 and he was on Sesame Street demonstrating that a shoe was not alive. (Side note: I love watching celebrities on Sesame Street, and I have done it lots because I was an Au Pair for a while, so the first thing I looked up after I learned he died was Robin on Sesame Street. I watched this clip - and actually remembered watching it when it was on TV the first time!)
The first Robin Williams movie I watched was Aladdin (which I didn't see for at least 3 years after it came out; I refused because I wasn't interested - and I'm still not interested in Arabian stories). But when me and my 2 siblings each received a Disney video one christmas, I finally did see it. I got Snow White, my brother Aladdin and my sister The Lion King. (Funnily enough, out of the 3, Snow White is my least favorite - I can take it or leave it. I LOVE The Lion King, and I believe this a major part of the reason why I'm a cat person, but I like Aladdin too. I now have The LIon King and ALaddin on DVD; I had to wait for them and grab them when I could).
Mrs Doubtfire was the first PG movie I ever saw. We got that video another christmas, although this time it was from our Auntie and Uncle. While I believe Mrs Doubtfire is a great movie (and I was also influenced during my childhood by my mum's love of Sally Field), it's not my favorite Robin movie. I will watch it more for Mara Wilson and Sally Field than for Robin Williams.
Which brings me to Jumanji. Great movie, but don't remember heaps of it. I was old enough (8) to not be scared, but this wasn't my favorite movie either. I did like watching Bonnie Hunt and Kirsten Dunst (yes, I have ben a fan of hers since then - thanks to Little Women) in this movie though. The only reason I have seen this a few times and not just once is because it's one of my mum's favorites.
Jack I've seen once, and I really liked that movie. I think Robin Williams was really good at playing a kid, and I was intrigued by the idea of growing 4 times faster than everyone else. Now that I'm a writer, I look back on stuff like that and see a writer personality emerging, even though there was no way I would have said I wanted to be a writer back then.
I have no idea if I've seen all of Flubber. I know I've seen parts of it when I was older, but who knows.
One of my favorite Robin Williams movies is Patch Adams, and I believe it's one of his best movies. Mum loves this one too. If I could, I would still be trying to be a social worker, and it fits in with why I love this movie. It teaches courage and doing what is right. Also, whenever I think of this movie, I think Monica Potter, who I love. Patch Adams was the only thing I'd seen her in until Parenthood (which I was first interested in because of Lauren Graham) - and when I saw/read Monica Potter I knew exactly who she was - thanks to many viewings of this movie.
I will always remember the night we saw Bicentennial Man. Our family went to the drive in to see Inspector Gadget, Erin Brokovich and then Bicentennial Man. I was 12 but my sister (whose name is Erin) was only 7, and I rememer my parents regret over taking us to go see Erin Brokovich because of the language. I wasn't so bad, but Erin especially. This is a great movie, although not quite one of my favorites (although good enough for repeated viewings if I had the DVD).
RV and Night At The Museum. RV was eh. Definitely not one of his best. i wouldn't watch it again. I've seen Night At The Museum 1 and 2 while babysitting (only because I was being paid for it) and I was surprised how much I liked them. They are similar to Jumanji though, except Jumanji's better.
August Rush is probably my other favorite Robin Williams movie. It's so well made! Although it's not my favorite character of his. I like August Rush for the music, the plot and the rest of the actors - Keri Russell especially. Again, this plays into my social work instincts.
Okay, last one: The Big Wedding. Loved this one. But this one has so many good actors (and he's not a major lead), so you can forget that he was in this movie. I love the whole ensemble cast. Susan Sarandon, Diane Keaton, Robert DeNiro, Katherine Heigl (who is my favorite actress ever!), Amanda Seyfried, and Christine Ebersole are all people I love.
The only Robin Williams movie that I have seen that I haven't mentioned is Hook, and that's because it was made when I was 4, but I didn't see it until a few years ago. Again, not my favorite movie, but I'm not into pirates.
Rest in peace, Robin Williams. You will be missed.