I remember after he passed, there were what seemed like a million dedication videos for Robin from people who got to work with him. People would say how much he would be missed, how much he inspired everyone, and how much he made them laugh. I remember watching one in particular, where they pointed out that every time he came on the show, Robin would introduce himself to every person backstage, wanting to hear their stories. I couldn't help but tear up when I heard this, because I felt like he would've been the kind of person who would talk to every single person in the universe about their stories and dreams, if such a thing were even possible. That level of kindness is a rarity.
This extraordinary man would've turned 64 today. And though he never had the opportunity to speak to us face-to-face, I feel like he did just that with each character he brought to life. Over the years, I've set out to gather some of the wonderful moments we saw him in on screen where he taught us something valuable. I felt like there would be no better time to share them than today.
1. Dead Poets Society - Change Your Perspective
In Dead Poets Society, Robin plays the role of a poetry teacher by the name of John Keating. During one of Keating's classes, he reminds us that we must change our point of view, and constantly look at things in a different way.
My favorite moment: When Todd recited his poem in front of the class.
My favorite quote: "No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world."
2 & 3. Hook - Relax and Have Fun & Always Make Time for Your Kids
Robin plays the role of Peter Pan in Hook. There are a couple of important lessons you can take away from this one, even before Peter goes to Neverland. Firstly, although working hard often pays off and will get you far in life, you should never forget how to relax and have fun. And secondly, you only have so much time with your young ones. Always make time for them while they still want you around to watch every single little thing that they do. It really shapes them as individuals.
My favorite moment: When Peter confronts Hook to save his kids.
My favorite quote: "Oh, no. To live... to live would be an awfully big adventure."
4. Aladdin - Tell the Truth
Robin is the voice of Genie in this animated Disney movie. All Disney movies are gems, packed full of life lessons, so it should be no surprise that there's one to be told here! In one particular scene, Genie reminds us that we should tell the truth and be ourselves.
My favorite moment: When Aladdin uses his final wish to free Genie.
My favorite quote: "Oi! Ten thousand years will give you such a crick in the neck."
5. Mrs. Doubtfire - Stand Up for What You Believe In
In the first scenes of Mrs. Doubtfire, we see Robin's character, Daniel, doing voice over work for a cartoon bird. The bird is smoking a cigarette, and the director isn't very happy with some improv dialogue that Daniel adds. Daniel then goes on to say that it is morally irresponsible for a kid's cartoon to have smoking in it. After talking back and forth, Daniel decides, "I've got to do, what I've got to do," and proceeds to walk out of the studio. The important lesson here is how we should stand up for what we believe is right, even if sometimes that means walking away from something you enjoy doing.
My favorite moment: The mishap at the birthday dinner/interview.
My favorite quote: "No, he was hit by a Guinness truck. So it was quite literally the drink that killed him."
6. Jumanji - Stand Up to Your Fears
In one of the final scenes of Jumanji, we see that the villain of the movie has pinned Robin's character, Alan, into a corner. When the villain asks Alan if he's scared, he says that his father used to tell him to always face what you're afraid of. It was because of Alan facing his fears, that Jumanji came to an end. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we need to be courageous, and stand up to our fears, no matter how frightening it might be.
My favorite moment: When Alan finds out it's 1995.
My favorite quote: "26 years buried in the deepest darkest jungle, and I still became my father."
7. Jack - Make Your Life Spectacular
Robin plays the role of a 10-year-old boy (yes, you read that right) named Jack, who has Werner syndrome, which is a rare syndrome in which the person prematurely ages. There's a point in the movie where Jack becomes discouraged, and leave class. But not before his teacher tells him this:
"You were a shooting star amongst ordinary stars. Have you ever seen a shooting star, Jack? ... It's wonderful. It passes quickly, but while it's here, it just lights up the whole sky. It's the most beautiful thing you'd ever want to see. So beautiful, that the other stars stop and watch. You almost never see one because they're very rare. But I saw one."
When Jack finally graduates from high school, he gives a wonderful valedictorian speech, tying in the words his teacher told him from before, and with it, he reminds us that life is fleeting, and that we should make our lives spectacular.
My favorite moment: The graduation speech, seen above.
My favorite quote: "... I do know who I wanna be like. I wanna be like the giant. The big guy. My best friend, Jack."
8. Good Will Hunting - Imperfections Are Lovable Traits About Those We Love
In Good Will Hunting, Robin plays the role of a psychology professor, Sean Maguire. In one of the sessions between Sean and Will, they were talking about this girl that Will likes. Will didn't want to take another step forward in the relationship just yet because in this moment, Will views her as perfect, and he's afraid that if he continues, he'll find all of her imperfections and realize she's not perfect at all. We're reminded that these "imperfections" are much better than what we make them out to be.
My favorite moment: When Sean tells Will about the 1975 World Series.
My favorite quote: "Real loss is only possible when you love something more than you love yourself."
I hope you've enjoyed reliving some of Robin's wonderful moments with me, and I hope that you've taken something away from his extraordinary legacy. Now go do what I did, and binge watch his movies! I promise you won't regret it.
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