Robin Williams, beloved actor, comedian, philanthropist, and Bay Area resident, would have been 65 years old today.
And if for some reason you're not able to take the whole day off to watch a film festival made up of his greatest hits, then drive back and forth through the tunnel that now bears his name -- what, you have a job, or something? -- the next-best thing might just be this YouTube video explaining the history of (and some lesser-known drama surrounding) Williams' unforgettable turn as the Genie in Disney's Aladdin.
Though it's technically a kids' movie, it's hard to disagree with our narrator that Aladdin is the most Robin Williams-like role Robin Williams ever played. Genie captured Williams' mania, his lightning-quick mind, his unbelievable gift for impressions -- but also his tenderness and compassion. Who wouldn't want a friend like him?
All of which makes it that much more fascinating to learn how contentious the part became for Williams. He apparently took a pay cut to voice the role in order to thank Disney for Good Morning, Vietnam and Dead Poets Society, and then wound up locked in a bitter, years-long standoff with the company over how the character was used to market the film. All things considered, it's good to know he made peace with the role (and maybe the people behind it) before he died.
Oh, and if you are putting together that film festival: Toys is underrated. Do with that what you will.