There’s a very good reason why Robin Williams, who tragically passed away last year after battling depression for much of his life, is so revered as a comic genius.
In role after after role, he poured his heart and soul into the characters he played, investing them with so much energy, life and of course, humour that you kept expecting them to leap off the screen and manically make themselves at home next to you.
That kind of vivacity cannot easily be mimicked or replaced which is why so many people, including myself, are feeling his loss so keenly.
Thankfully, his vast body of endlessly entertaining work remains, including Disney’s animated classic Aladdin, which is being re-issued on Blu Ray with a whole heaps of extras including footage of Robin Williams recording the Genie’s voice in the studio and having a huge amount of improvisational fun doing it.
The footage was screened on Good Morning America recently in a segment that included interviews with a number of the cast and crew and illustrated, as Cinemablend notes, why Robin Williams was integral to the success of many movies, not just Aladdin:
“Aladdin owes much of its success to the inclusion of Williams’ Genie. While the film certainly features a many musical numbers and fantastical elements that worked well, the comic presence of Williams is what made the film a quintessential classic. The actor had that effect, lending his chops to a number of other comedies during that decade, such as Mrs. Doubtfire, Hook, and Jumanji. His seemingly endless supply of energy and improv skills created a comedic style that defined family-friendly comedies of an entire generation. On the other hand, he had a knack for real, raw pathos that allowed him to also become one of the best dramatic actors of his day.”
You owe it to yourself to watch the comic master in action, and of course, to go out and buy the Blu Ray (not a Disney plug trust me; I just love the film) and see how profound an influence one of the greatest comic geniuses who has ever lived had on the film.