Grieving fans of Robin Williams have flooded the Internet with touching tributes to the beloved actor and comedian in the wake of his tragic death. Yet the most poignant one of all is this tweet from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
The post shows a still from Disney’s animated movie, Aladdin, with Williams (as the Genie) and Scott Weinger (as Aladdin) hugging against a backdrop of stars, as Aladdin sets Genie free.
Many of us here at AATTP have children, and have hence seen Aladdin. In fact, this writer has seen it over … over… and over… again… But thanks to Robin Williams’ captivating mix of manic hi-jinx, wistful moments, and winking old-school pop culture references, the movie charms adults as well as the kids in their lives.
At one point in the movie, Genie volunteers to stay enslaved so his magic will enable Aladdin to remain a prince and marry Princess Jasmine.
Aladdin: “But Genie, what about your freedom?”
Genie: “Hey, it’s only an eternity of servitude. This is love.”
But in the end, Aladdin does the right thing and frees genie — even if it means losing Jasmine:
“I’m history! No, I’m mythology! Nah, I don’t care what I am; I’m free.”
The final scene shown above resonates because when Aladdin sets genie free, he loses someone precious to him. And in losing Robin Williams, so have we.