Tag Archives: Disney’s Aladdin

Robin Williams (1951-2014)

Like the rest of the world, I was deeply troubled to hear of the untimely death of Robin Williams on Monday. My brother and I were huge Mork & Mindy fans — Mrs. Yeti and I even made a pilgrimage to the old Victorian house they used on the show in Boulder, Colorado! — and I have always had a soft spot for Williams' later dramatic work as well. Expecially The Fisher King! I think of that gorgeous dance sequence every time I'm in Grand Central Station…truly magical shit!

But perhaps my favorite film in the Robin Williams cannon of awesomeness is Disney's Aladdin. Having watched it dozens of times with Greta over the years, I can honestly say that the movie only gets better with repeated viewings, and the songs are still some of the best Disney jams ever.

But the true standout in the film is that crazy-ass genie with the heart of gold. If ever a part was tailor made for an actor, it was that. Funny, sad, self-deprecating and completely lovable, Williams' voice performance as the genie might just be his best work ever.

And though I'm still terribly sad about his death — and the horrible details of it all — I gotta tell ya, the magic of that amazing genie will live on forever. It really is a performance for the ages.

While listening to another beautiful tribute to Williams on SiriusXM's EWRadio this afternoon, Greta finally asked me who died. And though I spared her the details, I told her that a very famous actor named Robin Williams had died rather suddenly and that the whole world was sad about it. She asked me what movies he made and I told her that she would probably know him best as the genie from Aladdin to which she replied: “Wow, he was a good actor with his voice too!”

Truer words were never spoken. RIP you sweet, sad man…you will be sorely missed.

 

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Movie Night with Greta

Mrs. Yeti had to work late tonight so Greta and I did what we always do on those rare Sunday nights when we’re alone, we headed to our favorite old school video store, Odyssey Video in North Hollywood, for some dollar movie madness. Yep, that’s right, not only is there still an independent video store (or a video store period!) in the valley, but, Odyssey also stocks loads of cool movies and has 99¢ rental nights on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Not bad, huh?

So, Greta and I head over there to rent Aladdin — which we don’t own on DVD and will probably have to buy on Blu-Ray when and if it’s ever released from the dreaded Disney vault — but it was checked out. Next on our list was the cinema classic Monster High: Ghouls Rule, which just came out last week. Unfortunately, they didn’t even carry that gem of a title, so, we set about looking for something else we could both agree on.

Forty-five minutes later (!) we settled on Kung Fu Panda 2, which, shockingly, neither of us had seen. I have actually spent much longer picking out the right movie with my brother, but, trust me, forty-five minutes in a video store with a very opinionated toddler can seem like a lifetime. We fought, made-up, cried, laughed, the full spectrum of human emotions in one visit to a cramped video store in North Hollywood. It was awesome.

And though I would have preferred if we’d gone with my first choice, a lovely Blu Ray of Mars Needs Moms, Greta’s first choice (or, you know, third choice after Aladdin and Monster High weren’t there) was the live-action version of Bratz. Blech, even I couldn’t handle that torment. So, after much spirited debate — the guy who runs the store kept chuckling at our “negotiations” — we finally settled on Kung Fu Panda 2. And man, am I glad we did because that movie rocked!

Not only was it a million times better than the first Kung Fu Panda (which I also loved, by the way), but, the backstory at the heart of this movie was very sweet and tremendously moving. I know it’s just an animated movie, but, wow, they did some really great stuff with the story this time around. I think my favorite thing was the way they deepened the already very strong relationship between Po, the titular panda, and his adoptive father. I’m not kidding, man, I was weeping in spots. Lord knows I’m a sucker for father-child stuff, but, this movie earned every punch it pulled, pun intended. I haven’t been that moved in a while, really beautiful stuff.

And the action’s not so bad either. Greta got so wrapped up in the spectacle of it all that she started Kung Fu chopping everything in site. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but, she was so moved by the father-child relationship in the movie that she kept telling me how much she loved me. So, who am I to complain?

Anyway, if you happen to have a real-life, non-chain video store in your neighborhood, support them by checking out Kung Fu Panda 2, or hell, even the Bratz movie, for yourself. I guarantee you’ll like it, even if you’re not a sappy old stay-at-home-dad like me…

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