I’ll admit…there was a period of time that I was too cool for Disney “cartoon” movies.
After “The Black Cauldron,” a lot of their features didn’t interest me. I tried out “The Great Mouse Detective,” and found it rather dull. “Oliver and Company,” didn’t appear to have a lot of heart based on the trailers I watched. My sister’s infatuation with “The Little Mermaid” made me hate it and “Beauty and the Beast” didn’t have Ron Perlman in it…why would I waste my time? (I found out on a later viewing that disregarding “Beauty and the Beast” was a huge mistake.)
There was one that caught my eye and has been the one that I measure against all of the rest. I’ll admit, Robin Williams was the reason I wanted to watch this movie.
I grew up watching re-runs of “Mork and Mindy,” “Popeye,” and later, “The World According to Garp;” along with his HBO stand up specials. He caught fire in the 80s and we watched “The Survivors,” “The Best of Times,” “Club Paradise,” and the movie that made everyone take Robin Williams seriously–ironically–“Good Morning Vietnam.”
I loved “Dead Poets Society,” had an intelligent laugh at an underrated “Cadillac Man,” and adored “Awakenings.” There are a few I have left off the list intentionally, because they are SO GREAT they will get their own spotlight.
“Aladdin,” could’ve been a retread that fell on its face and I still would’ve loved it because of Robin.
It was anything but a retread and DID NOT fall on its face.
I was not a person that was versed in the Arabian Nights stories. I didn’t learn until later that year that it was based on a fable from that folklore. So I thought that it was a very original story for a time. Even after learning that it was an adaptation, the cleverness with which Williams brought the Genie to life made it seem beyond original.
There’ll never be a greater voice performance than the one he delivered for this film. Rumor has it that there was so much ad-libbing on his part, there was 16 hours of unused footage. I’d love to be able to hear that. I’m sure there is plenty of footage that is not fit for Disney’s ears.
I used to get into arguments with people about the greatest Disney animated films. In the 80s it was “The Sword in the Stone,” and “Robin Hood.” Those were re-played and re-played on the Disney Channel over and over. I’m not complaining, I re-watched and re-watched them.
I find that arguing over those things is a waste. Rarely will you ever persuade someone to change their mind about a movie. Your argument was so sound, I will now make that one my favorite.
People like what they like. I prefer “Aladdin” to the rest and I doubt that there will be any animated feature from Disney that will be able to change my opinion.
My friends all loved “The Lion King.” That was a HUGE movie. I watched it and it was good…It just didn’t have “it.”
“It” was Robin Williams.
Unfortunately, no other movies will. I am grateful that I lived in a lifetime where I could wait with anticipation for his next performance that would wow us.