Robin Williams' One-Year-Old Grandson Is Learning About Late Grandfather From 'Aladdin'
The late actor Robin Williams was beloved by many. From young children who grew up watching him voice the Genie in Disney's Aladdin, to older folks who were familiar with his '70s and '80s-era comedy, Robin Williams is one of those rare actors who crossed generations.
Now, in a heartwarming moment, Robin's son Zak is showing how he's keeping his father's memory alive and teaching his own son Mickey about his grandfather, through Robin's work in Aladdin.
Speaking with People magazine, Zak, 37, discussed how he's teaching his one-year-old son McLaurin Clement about his grandfather, in order to keep his memory alive. He explained:
"His mom [Olivia June] and I have certainly considered how we want to introduce my son's grandfather, my dad, into his life. Certainly through his movies and the cartoons that he participated in is a great way. My son, Mickey, points at a cel that we have in his room of my dad that has the genie from Aladdin."
What a creative and personal way for Mickey to learn about his grandfather by being surrounded by drawings of the iconic Genie from Aladdin, who will forever be linked to Robin. Animation cels are the transparent sheets that filmmakers use to create cartoons, and the Genie isn't the only one Zak and his wife Olivia have in Mickey's room. They told People: "He's got a collection of photos and animation cels throughout our home that he sees on a daily basis. I think it's being mindful and introducing the elements and stories about him slowly."
But Robin's iconic roles on Mickey's walls aren't the only thing connecting the two — Mickey's full name McLaurin was actually his grandfather's middle name, as he was named after him.
Zak spoke about the family connection further in the same interview: "We hope that we can celebrate the positive elements and his works and films in a way that there can be appreciation and acknowledgement of him both as an entertainer, but also as a family man, and parent and grandfather to my son. So, the key thing would be for us to introduce it slowly and meaningfully. Taking an opportunity to share stories and his values in a way that we hope can be appreciated and embodied."
Tragically, Robin Williams took his own life at the age of 63 in August 2014. Recently, Zak partnered with mental health organization Inseparable, which aims to change policies in the US healthcare system that will enable Americans to get access to healthcare during the coronavirus pandemic. It's amazing to see that Robin's kind nature lives on in his son and undoubtedly his grandson, too.
Speaking about becoming a father, Zak told People that fatherhood, "completely changes [you]," before adding: "What was new to me was the amount of effort required to show up for a little human. It's been the most rewarding thing I've experienced to date."Al Bello / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images
What do you think about how Zak is raising Mickey to learn about his amazing grandfather? Let us know in the comments and be sure to pass this on to your loved ones.
If you or anybody you know is struggling with thoughts of taking their own life, we urge you to visit befrienders.org to find your local suicide prevention hotline.