Robin Williams was, what many would call, an amazing man. He was funny, sweet, and made an entire generation smile while watching his movies. He knew how to pull emotion from you,with a voice both boisterous and loud, and he is a man that won't soon be forgotten.
To celebrate his life, not only on the day of his birth, but everyday, here are some of his most touching moments on screen.
7. Tink, make my kids glow-Hook
I know this seems like an odd choice, but even when I was a child this line always hit me right in my core. For the duration of the film he always seemed to be reaching for something. He was always working hard at his job, and then he got caught up in the Lost Boys fun and games forgetting why he was there in the first place. But in this moment, he is looking at his children. He is seeing all of his hopes and dreams and, in essence, his happy thoughts. They are what he works for and what gives him purpose, what made him want to grow up. In that simple look and delivery he is able to convey all that. I still get chills when I hear that simple line.
6. His reaction to Weebo's Death Video-Flubber
There are no words needed in this scene. He is just a scientist appreciating his work that gave so much to him, including her life. Sure, she was a robot. Yes OK, this plot point was flimsy at best. But this was a sweet moment where a mad scientist could appreciate his work and everything that it had given him. It was just him and Jodi Benson reacting to each other. Let's all admit it, as kids it was adorable.
5. Jumanji!- Jumanji
I mean, I don't think that there was ever a better actor to play a man-child than Robin Williams. In this movie he played Allan Parrish, a boy who got trapped in a board game, only to be released when a couple of siblings continued the game. Only once the game had finished could everything return to the way it was, and Allan's nightmare could finally end.
He had been forced to live in the jungle,forced to finish the game, and I think one of the greatest mysteries to me is why that hunter was so gung-ho after him anyway. With a final roll of the die he finally reaches "Jumanji" and his nightmare is over. The pure joy and relief in his face is something to behold as he realizes that it is FINALLY all over.
4. Right to humanity- Bicentennial Man
In this movie, Robin plays the robot Andrew, an AI meant to take care of a family. As time goes on, he becomes increasingly human to the point where he is more human than robot. He petitions the court numerous times to be considered human, showing them time and time again the lengths that he goes to as he himself believes that he is human. He finally decides to be put to "death" and just as he is dying, the council announces that he has been declared human. The final sequence of that movie is entirely beautiful.
3. Jack Graduates-Jack
Jack is a 10 year old boy who grows at an alarming rate. At age 10, he has the body of a 40 year old, meaning that he grows older at 4x the rate that other human beings do. For the duration of the film, you come closer to the realization that this guy won't be living that much longer, and may not, in fact, even be able to make it to his high school graduation at this rate.
Against all odds he makes it to his graduation, becoming valedictorian. His speech discusses the importance of life and not wasting a minute of it, and he proudly states to his mother that "he made it".
2. Oh Captain My Captain- Dead Poet's Society
Robin plays John Keating who is trying to teach his students to live their lives the way they want to. Carpe diem, "seize the day". One of the poems that they learn is "Oh Captain, My Captain" by Walt Whitman. Keating leads them through the difficult times of high school, becoming both mentor and friend to the boys and they start to call him "My captain." When one of them tragically commits suicide, Keating is incorrectly blamed and gets fired from his job.
As he is leaving the classroom one final time, his students stand on their tables like he had during their first day ofclass, and all say "Oh Captain my captain." The look on his face is timeless, and is one of the greatest moments in cinematic history in my opinion.
1. I don't care what I am, I'm free!- Aladdin
I think this line is most poignant now that he is gone. Genie had spent most of his life in the lamp, or being in the service of others. While it is clear from the get go that he enjoys entertaining (he introduces himself through an extravagant song and dance number) he does have a sadness in him thanks to his curse to forever be a slave. Much like people with depression are usually hindered in their life thanks to their sadness or anxiety, the Genie was hindered by his own unfortunate curse.
He finally has a true friend in Aladdin, who uses his third wish to set the Genie free from his tether to the lamp. The joy and happiness in his voice is indescribable, as he is no longer constrained by this power.
No matter what movie or character he plays, Robin Williams succeeds in bringing out feelings in you. Happiness, laughter and sadness all are quick to surface, but whenever there is a Robin Williams performance you know someone is finding enjoyment in it.