Throwback Thursday: Robin Williams made me a very happy kid

By Joanna Mendoza

Time for a sobfest. Jack, starring Robin Williams, is one of my all-time favorite movies. (Photo courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures)

Time for a sobfest. Jack, starring Robin Williams, is one of my all-time favorite movies. (Photo courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures)

My childhood wouldn’t have been complete without Robin Williams. One of my top 5 favorite movies starred him as a 10-year-old trapped in a 40-year-old man’s body. And then, of course, there’s the Peter Pan and Genie of it all.

I did like some of the mature and heavy dramas Mr. Williams starred in, at least the ones I’ve seen (topping the list are Patch Adams and Dead Poets Society). But I have a feeling in my gut that it will be the kiddie movies I will forever treasure. Below are my favorites:

6. Hook (1991)

The first live-action Disney fairy tale I ever saw. And, as they say, the first time will always be special.

5. Jumanji (1995)

This is what an adventure movie should feel like! I wanted so badly to buy my own Jumanji boardgame after seeing this, but I had to settle for something I already had. I was already 11 at the time and it would’ve been boring as hell, but I desperately wanted my Monopoly pieces to come to life.

4. Father’s Day (1997)

I saw this movie on VHS, sometime after the Billy Crystal-hosted 1998 Oscars. I thought him being paired with Williams (whom I considered to be the American equivalent of our very own Dolphy at the time) was genius. I still do. Sadly, it can’t ever happen again.

3. Aladdin (1992)

Of this period of greatness in Disney’s history, Aladdin remains my top pick. The songs. Lea Salonga. The flying carpet. But mostly, I like Aladdin because it’s the only videogame I’ve ever finished. It’s not much, but I consider it a feeling-retro-gamer’s bragging right.

2. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

This was the first movie that made me cry buckets of tears. I also remember this as being the first Hollywood movie I saw in a theater.

1. Jack (1996)

Until Jack Dawson came along, Jack Powell was the only Jack in my life. Both of them had such expressive eyes. Jack Powell’s were even more impressive though, because those eyes really sold the 10-year-old thing. Every time I looked into his eyes, I felt that he really was 10 and not 40. I watched this movie again and again with my sister, which is another reason I always look back on Jack fondly. R.I.P. Mr. Williams. Thank you for having made so many kids happy.


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