By Christian DiMartino
Back in the ’90s when I was a little Christian, I did not really watch Disney movies. Occasionally I would put on The Aristocats or The Rescuers, but for the most part I was drawn to some of Robin Williams movies, like Jumanji, Flubber, and even The Birdcage (a strange movie to watch as a kid but I was not like most). When I was a kid, Robin Williams was the man. So, that is partially why his recent passing is so difficult for me to accept.
As I sit here typing this, I am honestly at a loss for words. It has been a few days since Williams passed away, and I have not quite come to terms. I grew up with Robin Williams. His films were a part of my childhood, so losing him, in a way, is sort of like losing a family member. Obviously, I did not know him personally. Yet, I was so used to a world with Robin Williams that the thought of a world without him just did not seem right.
Williams was first introduced to the world in 1978, when he played Mork during a brief stint on Happy Days. A few years later, the Mork character received his own spinoff show called Mork and Mindy. From then on, his fame only grew, in roles such as Good Morning, Vietnam and Dead Poets Society (for which he scored Oscar nominations). Williams did a variety of family films, such as Hook, Flubber, and Jumanji. He did plenty of voice work, in films such as Aladdin, Robots, and Happy Feet. In 1997, Williams took home the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Good Will Hunting, but his acting range went beyond just comedic and dramatic roles, which is part of what made him such a fascinating actor.
Yes, he did comedies, dramas, and voice work, but yet, here and there he would release the dark side. By the dark side, I am referring to his work in One Hour Photo, and Insomnia. Those performances were examples of what made him so interesting, because he was a wild card, full of surprises. He would go from playing a friendly robot to playing a psychotic author. I truly believe he was capable of anything. He did not always make great movies, but he usually gave a pure, strong performance.
Williams made films that appealed to most. As a kid, I loved his movies. When I grew up, I learned to appreciate some of his films, such as Mrs. Doubtfire, even more. He was not just a part of my childhood though; his films were a part of other students childhoods also.
“I loved him in Jumanji,” said senior Allison Burkhart. “It was just something I remember from my childhood and I just love his acting.”
“When I was a kid Mrs. Doubtfire was my favorite because my mom liked it, so we would always watch it together and quote from it,” said junior Trevor Mason.
“My favorite Robin Williams movie is probably RV because his character reminds me of the way my dad acts,” said freshman Emily Bible.
“My favorite Robin Williams movie when I was younger was Hook. Every time I went to my grandparents’ house we’d put in the VHS copy and rewind it from the last time we were over there. I liked it because I really liked Peter Pan and it was really cool to revisit that world and all the funny and quirky characters. The best part was always Robin because he reinforced the idea that maybe you could be a kid forever,” said senior Brett Yeaton.
Williams was an entertainer; he lived to entertain. He lived to entertain and in doing so he brought so much joy. He brought so much happiness to the world that it truly saddens me to hear that he himself was not happy.
On Monday, Aug. 11, the world lost a wonderful member. Williams may be gone, but his movies still live in my heart, and will continue to bring joy and laughter for years to come.