Following Robin Williams’ death earlier this week, fans have been sharing their favorite performances from his long and varied career. For people my age, one of the most memorable of his characters is the Genie in Disney’s Aladdin. That film and Robin’s vocal performance were such a special part of so many people’s childhoods, so it’s extremely touching to see the visual tribute the Walt Disney Company has released following Robin’s death. As you can see, it’s a lovely image of the Genie created out of stars.
The image is made even more heartwarming by the fact that it was done by Eric Goldberg, who was a supervising animator of the Genie on Aladdin, as well as the accompanying caption from Disney chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger. Here’s what he has to say:
“We’re deeply saddened by the loss of Robin Williams, a wonderfully gifted man who touched our hearts and never failed to make us laugh. An incredible actor and a comedic genius, Robin will always be remembered for bringing some of the world’s favorite characters to life, from his zany alien on ABC’s Mork & Mindy to the irascible genie in Disney’s Aladdin. He was a true Disney Legend, a beloved member of our family, and he will be sorely missed. We join Robin’s friends and fans everywhere in mourning, and offer our thoughts and condolences to his family during this difficult time.”
As I’ve followed the public’s reaction to Robin Williams’ passing in the last two days, one of the most common responses I’ve noticed from young people is amazement at just how many of his roles were important to them in their childhoods, from Aladdin to Jumanji to Flubber to Hook. It seems to come to people as a sudden realization, something they didn’t really consider before. Sadly we frequently don’t acknowledge how important people were to our lives — even through pop culture, as insignificant and frivolous as that can often seem — until they’re gone.
This image is a lovely way to commemorate just how much of an impact Robin and his characters have had on so many movie fans over the years.