Ultimate 90’s Blogathon Kickoff: Robin Williams Triple Feature

Welcome to Ultimate 90’s Blogathon! 

Ultimate 90's blogathon

We’re officially kicking off the blogathon.  It will run for the next few weeks from Monday to Saturday both here and on my awesome co-host, Drew from Drew’s Movie Reviews. Today, we kick off together with our own reviews. We will be alternating reviews here and over there from all of our fantastic participants. A huge thanks is in order for all the reviews we’ve seen. There are some great selections to look forward to. Over the next few days, I will be creating a page on the menu for Ultimate 90s Blogathon and will update the posts as they go so if you miss any, just head over there to find it.

Let’s get this started!

I was born in the mid 80s, meaning I did most of my growing up in the 90’s. Its where I can relate the most and also why this blogathon means so much more to myself. The 90’s was filled with iconic actors and roles/characters and some great movies. My childhood wouldn’t have been the same with this actor though. Life wouldn’t have as many laughs and happiness going on in our house. Robin Williams was a great comedic actor taking on fun and inspiring roles and there are so many that it is hard to choose from. It is why I decided to choose three that meant the most to me, be it memories of spending time with my family or just movies that I can’t get enough of today. These are iconic roles that he took on. I’m sure it will differ for each of you. I know Drew and I both had different choices as well. So will you. If you are a fan, share which of his movies you loved and which would be in your Robin Williams triple feature. Now, for my choices and they are in no particular order!

Aladdin (1992)

aladdin

Director: Ron Clements & John Musker
Voice cast: Scott Weinger, Robin Williams, Linda Larkin, Jonathan Freeman, Frank Weller, Gilbert Gottfried

When a street urchin vies for the love of a beautiful princess, he uses a genie’s magic power to make himself off as a prince in order to marry her. – IMDB

Aladdin is a true Disney classics. It left us with not only a princess movie which it does have a male protagonist as a focus, many renowned songs including the wildly catchy Prince Ali or the uber romantic A Whole New World but also a fast talking somewhat silly genie voiced by Robin Williams. Aladdin is fun and fast-paced. It has a villain, Jafar with his goofy sidekick. The Sultan is kind of a clueless father with a pretty pure heart that really has the best intentions for his daughter, Princess Jasmine. While Jasmine is not one of my favorite princesses but she is strong-willed and I love tigers so her pet tiger Raj stole my heart. However, the showstopper is the dynamic and enthusiastic and incredibly funny Genie. Robin Williams uses his many voices to give this character life and makes him interesting to watch with a lot of fun moments.

Aladdin doesn’t only have a love story. Its more than that. It looks at greed and power. It has sneaky creatures and misguided authority. There is ignorance among some characters and only seeing and judging the physical appearance than the true nature. The dialogue itself is sharp and comedic and fun thrown in with hints of emotions as we learn out characters and how they change. The vibrant characters are not limited to their main players but even Raj and Abu, Aladdin’s pet monkey shows companionship and teamwork. Wrapped up in a fun package but still full of excitement and tells an adventurous story, Aladdin is excelled by Robin Williams but also is one of the great Disney offerings in the 90’s.

Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

mrs. doubtfire

Director: Chris Columbus
Cast: Robin Williams, Sally Field, Pierce Brosnan, Lisa Jakub, Harvey Fierstein, Matthew Lawrence, Mara Wilson

After a bitter divorce, an actor disguises himself as a female housekeeper to spend time with his children held in custody by his former wife. – IMDB

The lengths that a desperate father would go to be with his children brings a lot of great moments, both comedic and heartwarming as he transforms himself into a housekeeper. Mrs. Doubtfire is an iconic role in itself. She was a feisty housekeeper that tried to classy but also stood her own because she was actually a he. Whether is Mrs. Doubtfire dancing around cleaning the house or burning up her breasts or even throwing a fruit at the back of Pierce Brosnan’s head, it all adds to how fantastic this character is. At times, we even forget about the man under the transformation.

Stepping out of Robin Williams iconic role, a cornerstone of 90’s child actors was Mara Wilson who plays the youngest child. Mara Wilson did a few roles in the 90’s, like Mathilda and Miracle on 34th Street. She is one of those unforgettable child actors that was so cute and smart. Of course, we also had our James Bond of the 90’s, Pierce Brosnan as their mother’s new love. And mom is played by Sally Field. Lots of big well known names here. The kids are incredibly fun to watch and everyone delivers a great performance paired up with some amusing and entertaining dialogue that really touches us and tugs some heartstrings at the end. Its really hard to not love. Mrs. Doubtfire is a film that I watch over and over again and still remains as entertaining every single time.

Jumanji (1995)

jumanji

Director: Joe Johnston
Cast: Robin Williams, Jonathan Hyde, Kirsten Dunst, Bradley Pierce, Bonnie Hunt, Bebe Neuwirth, David Alan Grier, Patricia Clarkson

When two kids find and play a magical board game, they release a man trapped for decades in it and a host of dangers that can only be stopped by finishing the game. – IMDB

Jumanji is irreplaceable. It is adventurous and dangerous. There are scary things that can be summoned from the board game. Jumanji itself is a pretty eerie concept of having a board game that is alive on its own and has created a whole world of its own to thrive for its players. However, Jumanji is a Robin Williams favorite because he plays Alan Parish who comes back after twenty odd years of being trapped in Jumanji’s jungles and need to pick up the courage to get back into the game to finish it and hopefully reverse all the damage already done. Movies that feature someone in the past going to the present or the present going to the past will embrace changes from the sudden decade shift and usually, hilarity ensues. That is the winning formula of this movie.

Jumanji does also boast some great performances from Bonnie Hunt who plays as the girl who ran off in fear when Allan was sucked into Jumanji and has to finish the game also. Her fear and denial are the things that make her funny but we do see her character development as she finds the courage to be more. Kirsten Dunst plays the little girl, Judy who just moved into the old Parrish house with her aunt and starts the game without knowing that she is only continuing a previous game. Her brother, Peter, played by Bradley Pierce is a rather quiet character. Everyone in this movie learns to face their fears and find a deeper courage to keep going on and persevere towards your goal. There is a family theme as well. This action adventure keeps us on our toes as we watch each of them roll the dice and wonder what else can come out of this game. Even if I’ve seen it before, I still sit at the edge of my seat anxiously waiting for what happens as if I didn’t know before.

What 90’s Robin Williams movie do you like?

Remember to head over to Drew’s Movie Review to look at this Ultimate 90’s Blogathon Kickoff review HERE!

Christmas Marathon: My Christmas Must-See Flicks!

Yesterday was pretty much a snow day.  Everything was called off and other than shoveling snow, doing chores and drafting blogs, its the best time to snuggle up with some hot tea/water and watch some Christmas classics.  I may not have gone through this whole list but it did spark the inspiration for a Christmas must-see list! Its pretty much movies I watch every year during Christmas 🙂 Last year, I reviewed them all so I’ll just link them all back to their respective reviews so you can just click through and read it if you’d like.

1) A GARFIELD CHRISTMAS

garfield christmas

I love Garfield and I love Odie.  This little short animated flick is fun and all about family love during Christmas.  Its meaningful and totally great.  I tend to kick off my Christmas marathon with this one. If you’d like the review, you can check it out HERE!

2) DISNEY CLASSIC HOLIDAY STORIES/MICKEY’S CHRISTMAS CAROL

classic holiday stories

Classic Holiday Stories is a pretty cool one with 3 features: The Small One, Pluto’s Christmas Tree and Mickey’s Christmas Carol. If I have no time, usually I always watch Mickey’s Christmas Carol.  Its a great Disney version of A Christmas Carol all Disney-fied.  I love it! It has the whole Disney crew and just so much fun to watch 🙂

You can see my review HERE!

3) DR. SEUSS’ HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS!

how the grinch stole christmas

I’m a HUGE Dr. Seuss fan.  I’ve written a few posts related to it already, you could search it up if you’re interested.  So, it goes without saying that my go-to Christmas movie has to be How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  I don’t read it as much as say, Green Eggs and Ham or The Lorax but this animated flick is one of my faves.  It has some catchy songs and pretty fun to watch with the awesome narrator and all 🙂

Check out the full review HERE!

4) A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS

charlie brown christmas

Who doesn’t watch this for Christmas? Its a classic! Thats really all I have to say.  Every single time I watch this I want to sing O Christmas Tree.  And then I have a blast when Schroeder and Lucy talk about Beethoven 🙂

You can check out my review HERE!

5) MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1994)

miracle on 34th street

I haven’t watched the original but I promise that I will this year so expect it probably some time soon 🙂 But this one seriously rocks. Why? Mara Wilson is adorable. She’s one of my most fave child actresses.  She doesn’t act anymore now that she’s older but still, she was fantastic.  Plus, Richard Attenborough is fantastic as Kriss Kringle. I totally buy that he is Santa Claus! Watching this one warms my heart 🙂

Check out my review HERE!

6) WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING

Whilesleepingposter

While You Were Sleeping is one of my feel good Christmas movies.  Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman are amazing together.  The chemistry is fantastic and the whole family they used is great.  Warm moments, happy moments, mixed in with some funny ones as well. Love it SO MUCH!

You can check out my review HERE!

7) LOVE ACTUALLY

love actually

Love Actually was the first movie that had these multiple rom-com storyline and probably the only one that was actually great.  It had a really great cast and it was a nice balance between funny, cute, happy, weird (*ahem* Bill Nighy’s character) and just the whole deal.  Its just so great! Lots of wonderful moments and just pure awesomeness! 🙂

Check out last year’s review HERE!

8) ELF

Elf

Elf is a must-see mostly because its my boyfriend’s most favorite.  Why its so low on the list is because this is somewhat the order I watch my movies and we always watch Elf on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve depending on work and holidays that year and in between our family parties and all.  I’m not normally a Will Ferrell fan but I am one when I watch Elf and plus, there’s Zooey Deschanel and I have the biggest girl crush on her, especially now that I love her as Jess in New Girl 🙂

Check out my review HERE!

9) POLAR EXPRESS

Polar Express

Polar Express is a fave for both me and my boyfriend so we usually put either this (or Elf) on Christmas day/eve.  Similar to the deal with Elf.  Just depends how we feel.  Polar Express has a great story about believing, a fantastic job by Tom Hanks and has beautiful animation, packed with some fun and sweet songs.  Its one of the ultimate Christmas movies that I always find time to watch. 🙂

FINALLY…

I still have one more but I have opted to do a separate post for it which should be up later this week.  How about a few honorable mentions which rotate every other year: Alvin and the Chipmunks  (REVIEW), Serendipity(REVIEW), and Home Alone (REVIEW).  This year, I decided to put in Rise of the Guardians (REVIEW) into the mix.  Not sure if I’ll get to it but its a pretty festive one as well 🙂

What are your must-see flicks on Christmas? Did I cover some of them? Are there others you would add?

Christmas Marathon: Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

miracle on 34th streetLast night, a story about the whole concept of belief in Santa Claus was the next up.  Thats right, its…

MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1994)

(I only own this version and I have never seen the old one)

Director: Les Mayfield

Cast: Richard Attenborough, Elizabeth Perkins, Dylan McDermott, Mara Wilson

I’m guessing that the majority of you have already heard of this one, whether it be the 1947 version or this one.  If you haven’t, then please go see it.  Its a very nice story about a 6 year old girl called Susan (Mara Wilson) who has doubts about Santa Claus.  Her mother Dorey Walker (Elizabeth Perkins) is the director of special events at a big department store Coles and she is the one who puts together the annual Santa Claus parade, so she also doesn’t believe in this as the Santa is just an imposter she hires.  That is until she hires Kriss Kringle (Richard Attenborough) as Santa Claus after the other Santa that she hired had an accident.  At the same time, Cole’s is facing a takeover from Shoppers’ Express who is their competition and they intervene to taint Kriss Kringle’s name to bring down Coles.  Its then they set off Kriss Kringle’s temper and he injures the previously employed Coles Santa and is deemed mentally unstable.  Susan’s mom asks her boyfriend, Bryan (Dylan McDermott) to defend Kriss and set out to prove that there is a Santa Claus.

Miracle on 34th Street is possibly one of my favorite Christmas movies.  Its about belief based solely on faith.  Santa Claus may not exist as we grow older but its part a childhood experience to have had it.  It is someone who takes care of a child’s happiness.  He can make the most impossible of things happen.  Whether Kriss Kringle is actually Santa Claus didn’t matter as much as the fact that he was viewed as him and that his existence was acknowledged.  I think that is very magical.  This movie is very fun to watch because most of the time, adults view an old man who thinks his Santa Claus and talks about flying reindeers and invisible workshops crazy.  Its the idea to preserve that belief to keep a bit of the naivety that we love for children for as long as they can have it.

Another reason this movie is that I love Mara Wilson as a young actress.  I first saw her in Mrs. Doubtfire and she is just adorable but yet acts so smart all the time.  It makes her very enjoyable to watch.  She’s the typical fun little girl with lots of questions and trying to find answers all the time.  Another actor I like a lot is Richard Attenborough.  Many of us will know him as John Hammond in Jurassic Park.  For the record, I thought he really looked like Santa Claus and represented him really well.

With this movie coming in, it rings in Christmas better even than any other holiday based romantic comedy.  This brings in Santa Claus, our belief, our faith and is perfect for the whole family.  Its a wonderful Christmas flick and should definitely be viewed if you haven’t yet.

On that note, has anyone seen the 1947 version? I’ve heard that its better. Is it? Why do you like it more? Does either of the version ever show up on your Christmas movies?