Aloha my wonderful merfolk!
Today’s post is a little bit different to any other post I have done. Today, as it is Aladdin week, I want to pay tribute to someone who was one of my favourite actors. Someone who starred in a lot of the films I grew up watching.
Today, I want to remember Robin Williams and explain why his death hit me so hard.
Trigger Warning: This post deals with suicide and mental health struggles. If this topic is something that can trigger or upset you, then please do not read this post. If you wish to read the happier parts about his movies, then I shall put a line of this symbol prior to the triggering paragraph: ***
On August 11th 2017, it will be three years since Robin Williams tragically took his own life after a long battle with depression. I heard the news of Robin’s passing an hour before I was due to sit one of my university exams. The news broke me but I knew I had to carry on.
Robin Williams was a big part of my childhood and of course my adult life too. He played starring roles in some of my favourite films growing up. He has also had some wonderful television roles:
Although some of the more adult jokes in this film were lost me as a child, I adored it. Not only did it star Mara Wilson who to me, was Matilda, it also had Robin Williams in it as the dad. The movie is fun and silly and is still one of my cheer up films. The film also had some pretty awesome 90s tunes thrown in there.
I remember owning this movie on a double VHS set. I loved the idea of a grown up Peter Pan going back to Neverland. Rufio’s death still makes me cry and the scene with the multi-coloured food fight always made me want to join in. It all looked so pretty.
This was the other movie on my double VHS and it was one I watched over and over and over again. I loved this movie and cartoon television show that went with it. Another amazing role for Robin Williams
Although not my favourite Robin Williams movie as a child, I did own this on VHS and I did watch it a lot. I even remember having a toy from the movie from McDonalds.
This movie might have a really heavy environmental message that gets shoved down your throat, but as a kid you don’t really notice it. I adored this film. From the fairies, to the rain forest to Tim Curry playing the villain. Robin Williams of course plays Batty, a fruit bat who had been tested on by humans, and he even got his own song. You can listen to it here.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Aladdin week without mentioning this amazing movie. For me, Robin Williams IS the Genie. When I was younger, Aladdin was a relatively new Disney film, only a coupe of years old. It was the best Disney film for me and I would watch it over and over again. I even had the Aladdin sequels, although we all know Robin Williams only came back for King of Thieves. The ad-libs, the jokes, the impressions; Aladdin had it all and it’s all thanks to Robin Williams and his mad talent of being able to make people laugh.
This was a film I discovered as a teenager but it is one that has found its way into my heart. It’s such a sweet movie and of course, Robin Williams is just as funny as he has always been.
Again, this was a movie that came out when I was slightly older; I think I was about 12 perhaps when this film was released? However, I took this film to my heart as it’s super fun and silly and just a general feel good animation.
Night at the Museum
This is a set of movies rather than just one, all released during my teens and early twenties. Robin Williams plays Theodore Roosevelt; one of the museums many wax models.
Friends is one of my favourite television shows of all time and Robin Williams starred in one episode. He plays Tomas who is sitting on the Friends sofa in Central Perk discussing how he thinks his wife is cheating on him. This gets some funny reactions from the Friends.
Whose Line is It Anyway?
My childhood was shaped with Robin Williams movies. The morning I found out he had passed away, a little part of that childhood died with him. What makes the situation a little too close to home, is the fact he suffered badly with depression. I have my own battles with my mental health and it reminded me that not everyone can continue to be strong and fight the dark cloud. It reminded me that if you need help, to ask for it. That I don’t have to be alone in my battle. It made me sad that Robin Williams was forever making people laugh, when on the inside, he felt worse than some people can even begin to imagine.
I admire Robin Williams for taking the darkness in himself and projecting it out as positivity, into humour, into a way to make other people feel better.
It came out during the autopsy that he was suffering from a strain of dementia and that his diagnosis might have been the final thing that convinced him that the world was better off without him in it. I wish he had found the help he needed. I wish he could have seen the light at the end of the tunnel and held on. I will miss his magic but his memory will live on in my heart and memories.