Robin Williams’ Top 5 Roles That Changed Our Childhoods

By: Annie Scaramuzzino

Perhaps the most incredible thing about Robin Williams was his ability to reach people of all ages.

First rising to fame in the late ’70s as the quirky and loveable alien Mork in Mork & Mindy, Williams would once again touch the hearts of a different generation twenty years later with a collection of films that changed many childhoods.

As we continue to wrap our heads around such a profound loss in the entertainment community, we bring you a list of Robin Williams’ top five roles that have made kids, and people everywhere, smile:

1.  Hook (1991)

Synopsis: Now grown up, Peter Pan has become a successful, but work-obsessed lawyer named Peter Banning with no memory of his very long childhood. However, when Captain Hook kidnaps his two children, Peter returns to Neverland, and with the help of Tinker Bell and the Lost Boys, finally remembers the magic.

Why We Loved It: For many of us, Robin Williams was and always will be Peter Pan – the man who proved that you can still be a boy at heart, even after you’ve grown up.

Best Quote: “To live would be an awfully big adventure.”

2.  Aladdin (1992)

Synopsis: When the “street rat” Aladdin falls in love with a princess and discovers she can only marry a prince, he summons the help of a genie to make him a viable suitor. However, the evil Jafar is also after the princess’s affections, as well as the power of the Genie and his magic lamp.

Why We Loved It: Although the film is animated, there was a certain life that Williams brought to his performance that was truly incredible. Between his singing, his one-liners and the fact that he ad-libbed most of his lines, Robin Williams made the Genie one of the most beloved Disney characters of all time.

Best Quote: “But oh, to be free. Not to have to go ‘Poof! What do you need, Poof! What do you need, Poof! What do you need?’ To be my own master. Such a thing would be greater than all the magic and all the treasures in all the world.”

3.  Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

Synopsis: After a falling out with his ex-wife, Daniel Hillard, an eccentric voiceover artist, decides to disguise himself as a Scottish nanny named Mrs. Doubtfire so that he can spend more time with his children. Hilarity and hijinks ensue!

Why We Loved It: When Williams was playing Daniel playing Mrs. Doubtfire, one almost forgot that he was doing any impersonations at all. Completely disappearing into the role of a warm, loving, wise woman, Doubtfire became the nanny that we all wished we had.

Best Quote: “But if there’s love, dear…those are the ties that bind, and you’ll have a family in your heart, forever. All my love to you, poppet, you’re going to be all right… bye-bye.”

4.  Jumanji (1995)

Synopsis: After spending 26 years trapped in a magical board game, Alan Parrish finally emerges when two children pick up where he and his friend Sarah left off. Now, the four unlikely players must finish the jungle-themed game amid challenges which are both dangerous and very, very real.

Why We Loved It: Jumanji was at the forefront of CGI animation was it was released in 1995, and truly unlike anything many had seen before. The film was fun, magical and a little bit scary, and Williams showed a lot of range as the unlikely hero who was forced to assume the role of an adult despite missing his childhood while growing up in the jungle.

Best Quote: “I’m terrified. But my father says you should always face what you’re afraid of.”

5.  Flubber (1997)

Synopsis: On a mission to invent a brand new form of energy, Professor Philip Brainard has already missed his own wedding twice because he can’t focus on anything except for his experiments. As he is about to miss the ceremony for a third time, he creates a rubber-like substance which he dubs ‘Flubber’ – and it turns out to be more trouble than he ever could’ve imagined.

Why We Loved It: As a new incarnation of the ‘absent-minded professor’ Philip Brainard, Williams was able to truly let loose and remind all how much fun we could really have at the movies. While Flubber twisted and turned and bounced off the walls, Robin was right there with him, showing off his slapstick comedy and his silliest of sides that will forever make us laugh.

Best Quote: “I love you with every cell, with every atom. I love you on a subatomic level.”

Rest in peace, Robin Williams. Thanks for making our childhoods a better place.

What’s your favorite Robin Williams film? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 

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