“Please, don’t worry so much. Because in the end, none of us have very long on this Earth. Life is fleeting. And if you’re ever distressed, cast your eyes to the summer sky when the stars are strung across the velvety night. And when a shooting star streaks through the blackness, turning night into day… make a wish and think of me.”- Robin Williams as Jack from Jack (1996)
Although Robin Williams is no longer physically with us, a little piece of him lives inside all of us. Through his amazing characters and wonderful stories over the years, he’s made us laugh, he’s made us cry and he’s made us feel everything in between. We’ve learned so much from this uniquely beautiful soul who had a heart of gold, sparkling blue eyes, and a widely talented vocal range. Without him, life just wouldn’t have been the same. That is why on July 21st, we continue to honor Robin Williams by celebrating his birthday and talking about some of his movies that have impacted our lives in one way or another.
Robin Williams has had quite the career – from comedy skits to television shows to beloved movies. He took on us extraordinary adventures. He was our teacher, our captain, our leader, and most of all, our best friend. Some of my favorite movies of all time have starred Robin, and what better time to discuss these treasured gems than on his birthday. These will be in no particular order, as I love them all!
To me, what makes Aladdin one of the best Disney movies ever is the Genie. He, of course, is voiced by the talented Robin Williams and with his special skills, Genie has become one of the most iconic Disney characters and a favorite of many in animated history. He’s the Big Blue Guy that you just want to hug, and I bet you’ve never had a friend like him!
What Dreams May Come (1998)
That smile and laugh are exactly how I want to remember Robin Williams. It is a familiar look that we’ve seen in many of his films, including What Dreams May Come. Although a somewhat depressing story, the visuals are stunningly beautiful. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Wherever Robin is now, I hope it’s just as wonderous as this, because he deserves it.
The Birdcage (1996)
If you have not seen Birdcage, get on it ASAP! It’s an adorable and hilarious story about a young man who is newly engaged to a beautiful lady who just happens to have uber right-wing parents. Not really a problem, except for the fact that his Dad is gay and his partner is an over the top drag queen. Will they be able to hide the truth and get through dinner?
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
In this family comedy, Robin is the one in drag! EVERYONE knows about Mrs. Doubtfire and has probably seen it a few dozen times. I used to watch it constantly, wearing out the VHS tape like a comfortable pair of Keds. This character is very similar to the late actor in the sense that he makes a living doing impressions and funny voices, but the reasoning behind what he does – dressing like an old woman to act as a nanny to his estranged children – tugs your heartstrings as much as it makes you laugh.
Good Morning Vietnam (1987)
“Good morning, Vietnam!” Robin is known for always making people laugh and in this movie, that’s his primary goal! He is sent to Vietnam to host a hilarious radio show, bringing comedy back into the lives of the soldiers to raise their morale. While most of the people enjoy him, not everyone is a fan of his wise cracks! I love, love, love this story and need to revisit it soon.
Before The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, there was an underrated flick called Jack. Jack – played by Robin – is a young boy with a bizarre condition in which his body ages way faster than the normal rate. At age 10, he already has the body and appearance of a 40 year old, but still retains the mind of a child. Not confusing at all, right? This story is a family favorite and is full of laughs and heartfelt moments that everyone should experience. I really can’t picture anyone else playing this character as well as Robin did.
Everyone loves the magic that Jumanji brings. A young boy gets trapped inside a mysterious board game called Jumanji. Years laters, he is finally released and has to help finish the game in order for all the madness that has been released to go away and bring the world back to normal. It’s fun and unique and is a movie I watch at least once a year!
Good Will Hunting (1997)
Oh Robin Williams, you even made Matt Damon cry with your kindness and gentle words! Good Will Hunting won a few Academy Awards, and it’s no wonder because the performances are amazing. Robin plays a professor who helps an intelligent yet misguided young man embracing his potential and do something with his life.
“To live… To live would be an awfully big adventure!” I absolutely love everything about this movie. It’s my favorite Peter Pan adaptation and is full of magic and adventure. The scene in which they are eating pretend food always seemed so ridiculously amazing to me and left me feeling hungry! Plus, I’m a huge mermaid fan, and even though the mermaid scene is small, I was always happy to see it because they were exactly how I pictured mermaids – beautiful and colorful.
Dead Poets Society (1989)
“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.” That quote is just one of the many amazing lines from Dead Poets Society, and if I had to pick my favorite Robin Williams movie of all time, this would be it. There aren’t enough words to sum up what this movie means to me, but it’s powerful and the story stayed with me forever. CAUTION: If you have not seen this movie, you may not want to watch that clip as it is a scene towards the end of the story. All of the scenes are significant and meaningful, but this one brings tears to my eyes.
Darn, I almost made it through this review without tearing up. Just kidding – I was in tears during most of it, but what can I say… I love Robin Williams and I love all of his beloved, iconic roles and more. Please don’t think that I forgot about The World According to Garp, Flubber, Popeye, Awakenings, One Hour Photo, Death to Smoochy, The Fisher King and other great ones, but I had to narrow it down because a list like that could go on forever!
We miss you Robin Williams… Happy Birthday, my captain, and thanks for giving us movies that not only tickle our funny bones but also touch our hearts.