It’s been just over a week and we are still getting over a great loss in the comedy world as Robin Williams, one of the greatest comedians of all time, passed away following an apparent struggle with depression. In his honour, we here at 3GEM thought that it would be a nice way to remember one of our idols by sharing our thoughts on Robin Williams and give out our top ten of his movies.
10. Flubber (1997)
We start off the list with a kid classic. Flubber, the wacky green ball that has never-ending energy, was one of my favourite movies as a kid. It was so bizarre and havoc was at every turn, which pretty much described a kid’s life. Robin Williams is the anchor in all of this as the strange professor who creates Flubber, and no actor would have suited better than the funny man himself.
9. Insomnia (2002)
In a surprising twist, Robin Williams doesn’t show his usual happy-go-lucky attitude in this movie. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, as he plays the villain in this Christopher Nolan film. When Will Dormer (Al Pacino) is sent to a northern city to investigate the murder of a young teenage girl, he is quickly taunted by the killer Walter Finch and dragged into insomnia due to the non-setting sun. Robin’s dark side in this movie feels strange in a good way as it adds a surprising twist. The way he plays this role is empowering. A great theatrical treat for anybody who might have missed this gem in the early 2000’s.
8. Hook (1991)
It’s been so long since an adaptation of a classic movie was done right. Nowadays we have movies that focus solely on the graphics engine or the CGI effects instead of telling the wonderful stories that those classic films have brought us. Hook, on the other hand, reinvents the familiar Disney tale of Peter Pan with a modern twist. Robin Williams plays Peter, a middle aged lawyer who must venture to Neverland and save his children from the fierce Captain Hook, and his fading youthfulness in this re-imagined fairy tale.
7. Jumanji (1995)
When I first saw this movie as a kid, I was actually terrified of it. The game Jumanji had me so scared that it took me many years to be able to watch and enjoy this classic movie. The board game that comes to life is one of Williams’s wackiest cinematic works. With things flying left and right, animals attacking, vortexes opening, it’s no wonder it took me a long time to learn and appreciate this one. But hey, you have to win the game to beat it.
6. Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)
Goooooooooood morning, Vietnam! This is a drama/comedy that tells the tale of a radio DJ who tries to brighten up the moods of the soldiers in the Vietnam war, only to have his jokes and careless attitude get him into trouble time and time again. A true feel-good movie with so much emotion and energy makes this one of Williams’s earlier classics.
5. Patch Adams (1998)
I consider Patch Adams to be Robin Williams’s true masterpiece. It follows the story of a medical student who reaches out to kids and tries to treat patients with the best medicine known to man: humour. It is such a truly heartwarming story that my 7-year-old mind couldn’t even watch the movie without shedding a tear. It’s true what they say. Laughter is the world’s best medicine.
4. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Maybe Robin Williams’s best known work, Mrs. Doubtfire was a smash hit at the box office, and for good reason. It had a great story that drew everybody in with its serious demeanor as well as the trademark Robin Williams funny moments that makes Mrs. Doubtfire some of his most acclaimed work. Maybe deserving of the title as his best performance, Mr. Williams truly gave it all twice over in his double roles in Mrs. Doubtfire.
3. Aladdin (1992)
Aladdin is rightfully one of Disney’s most beloved movies of all time. It has an enticing love story between two opposites, Aladdin and Princess Jasmine. It has great art and music that bring out the colourful Indian culture, and it has a great cast of voice actors to tie the whole thing together. Of course, nobody can forget Robin Williams’s part in the movie as the flamboyant Genie. His antics alone could have made him the star of the movie, but what is most iconic about his role in Aladdin is how he made Genie feel alive, grew into his character throughout the movie, making anybody in the audience have a connection with the Disney classic.
2. Good Will Hunting (1997)
Robin Williams wasn’t always the person in the spotlight, and we are okay with that, as he did a terrific job in supporting roles. That is exactly what he did in Good Will Hunting. One of my personal favourite scripts of all time, Good Will Hunting is about a young boy named Will Hunting (Matt Damon) who has a great intellectual gift but is stuck in the underbelly of the world with a bad reputation. Days after solving mathematical equations at MIT where he works as a janitor, he comes in contact with a therapist (Williams) who pushes Will to pursue something more with his life. A great script mixed with great actors makes Good Will Hunting a very good movie indeed and Williams’ participation in the movie got him an Oscar for “Best Actor in a Supporting Role”.
1. Dead Poets Society (1989)
We reach the top of our list with one of the most inspirational roles that Mr. Williams has ever done, Dead Poets Society. Williams plays the role of a new English teacher, John Keating, who encourages every of his students to go against the school “rules” and to express themselves, find their own creative footprint, and “seize the day”. Nobody can forget the iconic moment where all the students rise on their desks and say “O Captain! My Captain!” to show their support towards Mr.Keating and his point of view on teaching.
Whether you agree with our list or not, there is no denying Robin Williams’s contribution and dedication to the cinematic world. His passion and devotion to the silver screen will have him remembered as one of the art’s best and greatest comedians. His easygoing demeanor and likeable character always put a smile on this fan’s face and everyone around him. May you rest in peace, Mr. Williams. From everybody here at 3GEM and everyone from around the globe, we salute you for all the joy you brought us. O Captain! Our Captain!