Jeffrey Katzenberg recalls Robin Williams’ brilliance in ‘Aladdin’


Robin Williams may have been best known for his roles in such as movies as “Good Morning, Vietnam,” “Dead Poets Society” and “Good Will Hunting.”

But it was his turn as the fast-talking genie in the 1992 Disney animated movie “Aladdin” that stood apart, recalled Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief executive of DreamWorks Animation and former chairman of Walt Disney Studios.

“I really was blessed to have to been associated with him for a number of his incredible works over the years, from his ‘Mork and Mindy’ days at Paramount to ‘Dead Poets Society,’ ‘Good Morning, Vietnam’ and of course, ‘Aladdin,’ ” Katzenberg said Monday night. “His was truly one of the most brilliant and singular performances in the history of animation.”


Katzenberg worked with Williams on the hit movie that helped revive Disney’s storied animation studio.

“That moment in which he introduced himself to the audience was purely of his imagination,” Katzenberg added. “For me, it was one of the most breathtaking, pure moments of creativity I think I have ever witnessed. Aladdin would not be the classic movie it is without his brilliance.”

He also praised Williams for his contributions to numerous charities, including Comic Relief.

“There were so many ways and so many things he did for so many people,” Katzenberg said. “He really had just a giant heart and that’s what makes me so sad.”

Twitter: @rverrier