Okay, so this one might be tough to write.
I know I've done my fair share of poking fun at Disney and how they influence our view of fairy tales. However, for everyone out there, even old-school written page fairy tale geeks like me, there is that one Disney animated movie. The one that you ate up like candy when your were a kid. The one you remember going to see in theaters no matter how long ago it was. The one where your parents thought you might end up wearing out the VHS tape. For some folks I know, it was Beauty and the Beast. For my sister, it was The Little Mermaid. For me, it will always be Aladdin. I loved that movie. I loved the songs. I loved the animation. I loved how clever Aladdin was. I loved how feisty Jasmine was. And I really, really loved that hilarious Genie. Looking back now, I know that the Disney movie wasn't that much like the original tale from the Arabian Nights. But I still loved that movie.
Now I go into my Twitter feed and find out that the man who voiced that big, blue, lovable, hilarious Genie has died. Not only that but from suicide that may have been brought on by depression.
Dammit. Just dammit.
Sorry, I usually don't get so upset when celebrities die, but this is kind of a big one for me. It's up there with when I was a kid and Jim Henson died. (I seem to be drawn to celebrities who do lots of funny voices. It may explain why I do so many voices in my storytelling).
Aladdin wasn't Williams's only foray into the world of fairy tale and children's literature characters, either. He played the Frog Prince on an episode of Shelly Duvall's Fairy Tale Theatre and was a grown-up Peter Pan in Hook.
It is such an awful shame that the world has lost such a terrific actor and comedian to suicide. Depression is a very serious mental disorder, but there is help for those who seek it out. It may not have been able to help Robin Williams, but there are many that it can help.
To echo one of Aladdin's last lines in the movie, "Bye Genie, we're gonna miss you."