Robin Williams

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Posted by bender 04/13/2009 @ 19:09

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News headlines
Robin Williams & His New Valve Hit the Red Carpet - People Magazine
By Arnesa A. Howell Stepping out for the first time since his heart surgery in March, Robin Williams said he was feeling "wonderful," and had his classic funnyman form intact to prove it. "I feel wonderful," the comic told PEOPLE at the world premiere...
Candid Comic: Robin Williams Talks Cleveland - Cleveland News - Fox 8
A Cleveland exclusive: Robin Williams shares details on his recent heart surgery at The Cleveland Clinic to Fox 8 News Entertainment Reporter David Moss. Does a recent story or event have you all fired up? It's your chance to express your feelings--...
Robin Williams Doesn't Take Like For Granted - Showbiz Spy
Robin Williams says undergoing open-heart surgery has taught him not to take life for granted. Since the life-saving operation, the 57-year-old funnyman says he finds everyday activities amazing and he has much more zest for life....
'Night At The Museum' Vs. 'Terminator' -
The stars of Museum pick their sides, as Robin Williams riffed on the competition. "'Mommy, I want to see the terminator,'" Williams said in a child's voice. "'I want to see him get angry at the director of photography....
Top 5 directors in decline - Barry Levinson -
His tales of his Baltimore youth fueled some of his more personal projects, but he also showed a flair for mass appeal comedies with the Robin Williams' smash "Good Morning, Vietnam." He had so much creative juice he set some aside to start the...
Robin Williams sets Oct. 30 date - The Ann Arbor News -
Comedian Robin Williams, who had to cancel several tour dates - including one in Ann Arbor on March 28 - because of heart surgery, has rescheduled the local show. He'll perform at Hill Auditorium on Friday, Oct. 30, at 8 pm Tickets purchased for the...
8 great radio DJs and presenters in the movies - Den Of Geek
Robin Williams has headed to the radio studio since his breakthrough role, in the quiet and underappreciated The Night Listener. But it's his outstanding performance as Adrian Cronauer in Barry Levinson's Good Morning, Vietnam that firmly put him on...
FUW tells tories scrapping milk quota will be devastating - Farming UK
Brynle Williams said Harry and Robin Williams had invested heavily in their farm over the past few years but the problems facing the dairy sector - decreasing farm gate prices and increasing production costs - were making it difficult for them to make...
Florida Lacks Competitive Health Insurance According to Consumer ... - The Ledger
By Robin Williams Adams LAKELAND | A handful of private companies dominate the Florida's health insurance market, stifling competition and causing insurance premiums to grow more than three times faster than wages from 2000 to 2007, according to a new...
Tempe comedian returns to the Valley this summer - (KNXV-TV)
Once described by the Hollywood Reporter as "a combination of Robin Williams and Jim Carrey,” Caliendo's high energy act is sure to feature some of his most well-known targets. On the stage, Frank's high energy act is a blend of observations,...

Robin Williams

Robin Williams.jpg

Robin McLaurim Williams (born July 21, 1951) is an Academy Award-, Golden Globe-, and Grammy Award-winning American comedian and actor.

Rising to fame with his role as the alien Mork in the TV series Mork and Mindy, and later stand up comedy work, Williams has performed in many feature films since 1980. He has won an Academy Award for his performance in the 1997 film Good Will Hunting, as well as being nominated in the 1991 film The Fisher King, and 1993's Mrs. Doubtfire He has also won six Golden Globes, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and three Grammy Awards.

Williams was born in Chicago, Illinois. His mother, Laura McLaurim (née Smith, 1922–2001), was a former model from Jackson, Mississippi. His father, Robert Fitzgerald Williams (September 10, 1906–October 18, 1987) was a senior executive at Lincoln-Mercury Motorship in charge of the Midwest area. Williams was raised in the Episcopal Church, though his mother practiced Christian Science, and he grew up in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan where he was a student at the Detroit Country Day School, and Marin County, California where he attended the public Redwood High School. He has one half-brother, McLaurin, as well as a deceased half-brother, Todd, who died August 14, 2007.

Williams has described himself as a quiet child whose first imitation was of his grandmother to his mom. He did not overcome his shyness until he became involved with his high school drama department.

In 1973, Williams was one of only 20 students accepted into the freshman class at Juilliard. Williams, along with Christopher Reeve, were the only students accepted by John Houseman into the Advanced Program at the school that year. Reeve and Williams had several classes together in which they were the only two students. In their dialects class, Williams had no trouble mastering all dialects quickly, whereas Reeve was more meticulous about it. Williams and Reeve developed a close friendship, and they remained good friends for the rest of Reeve's life. Williams visited Reeve after the horseback riding accident that paralyzed him from the neck down and cheered him up by pretending to be an eccentric Russian doctor (similar to his role in Nine Months). Williams claimed that he was there to perform a colonoscopy. Reeve stated that he laughed for the first time since the accident and knew that life was going to be okay.

After appearing in the cast of the short-lived The Richard Pryor Show on NBC, Williams was cast by Garry Marshall as the alien Mork in the TV series in the hit show "Happy Days".

As Mork, Williams improvised much of his dialogue and devised plenty of rapid-fire verbal and physical comedy, speaking in a high, nasal voice. Mork's appearance was so popular with viewers that it led to a spin-off hit television sitcom, Mork and Mindy, which ran from 1978 to 1982. Although playing the same character as in his appearance in Happy Days, the show was set in the present day, in Boulder, Colorado instead of late '50s in Milwaukee. Mork was an extremely popular character, featured on posters, coloring books, lunchboxes, and other merchandise.

Starting in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, Williams began to reach a wider audience with his standup comedy, including three HBO comedy specials, Off The Wall (1978), An Evening with Robin Williams (1982), and Robin Williams: Live at the Met (1986). Also in 1986, Williams reached an even wider audience to exhibit his style at the 58th Academy Awards show; noting the Hollywood writers strike that year he commented that the Hollywood writer... "is the only man in the world that can blow smoke up his own a--." As a result, Williams has never hosted the AA's again.

His standup work has been a consistent thread through his career, as is seen by the success of his one-man show (and subsequent DVD) Robin Williams Live on Broadway (2002). He was voted 13th on Comedy Central's list "100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time" in 2004.

After some encouragement from his friend Whoopi Goldberg, he was set to make a guest appearance in the 1991 Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, "A Matter of Time", but he had to cancel due to a scheduling conflict; Matt Frewer took his place as a time-traveling con man, Professor Berlingoff Rasmussen.

The majority of Williams' acting career has been in film, although he has given some performances on stage as well (notably as Estragon in a production of Waiting for Godot with Steve Martin). His performance in Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) got Williams nominated for an Academy Award. Many of his roles have been comedies tinged with pathos, for example The Birdcage and Mrs. Doubtfire.

His role as the Genie in the animated film Aladdin was instrumental in establishing the importance of star power in voice actor casting. Later, Williams once again used his voice talents in Fern Gully, as the holographic Dr. Know in the 2001 feature Artificial Intelligence: A.I., the 2005 animated feature Robots, the 2006 Academy Award winning Happy Feet, and an uncredited vocal performance in 2006's Everyone's Hero. Furthermore, he was the voice of The Timekeeper, a former attraction at the Walt Disney World Resort about a time-traveling robot who encounters Jules Verne and brings him to the future.

Williams has also starred in dramatic films, which got him two subsequent Academy Award nominations: First for playing an English teacher in Dead Poets Society (1989), and later for playing a troubled homeless man in The Fisher King (1991); that same year, he played an adult Peter Pan in the movie Hook. Other acclaimed dramatic films include Awakenings (1990) and What Dreams May Come (1998). In the 2002 dramatic thriller Insomnia, Williams portrays a writer/killer on the run from a sleep-deprived Los Angeles policeman (played by Al Pacino) in rural Alaska. And also in 2002, in the psychological thriller One Hour Photo, Williams played an emotionally disturbed photo development technician who becomes obsessed with a family for whom he has developed pictures for a long time.

In 1998, he won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor for his role as a psychologist in Good Will Hunting. However, by the early 2000s, he was thought by some to be typecast in films such as Patch Adams (1998) and Bicentennial Man (1999) that critics complained were excessively maudlin. In 2006 Williams starred in The Night Listener, a thriller about a radio show host who realizes he has developed a friendship with a child who may or may not exist.

He is known for his improvisational skills and impersonations. His performances frequently involve impromptu humor designed and delivered in rapid-fire succession while on stage. According to the Aladdin DVD commentary, most of his dialogue as the Genie was improvised and conversely to all previous animation features, the animation had to be post-produced to synch with Williams' pre-recorded voice-over.

In 2006, he starred in five movies including Man of the Year and was the Surprise Guest at the 2006 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. He appeared on an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition that aired on January 30, 2006.

At one point, he was in the running to play the Riddler in Batman Forever until director Tim Burton dropped the project. Williams had earlier been a prime candidate to play the Joker in Batman. He had expressed interest in assuming the role in The Dark Knight, the sequel to 2005's Batman Begins, although the part of the Joker was taken by Heath Ledger.

He was portrayed by Chris Diamantopoulos in the made-for-TV biopic Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Mork & Mindy (2005), documenting the actor's arrival in Hollywood as a struggling comedian.

Robin Williams has done a number of stand-up comedy tours since the early 1970s. Some of his most notable tours include An Evening With Robin Williams (1982), Robin Williams: At The Met (1986) and Robin Williams LIVE on Broadway (2002). The latter broke many long held records for a comedy show. In some cases, tickets were sold out within thirty minutes of going on sale.

In August 2008, Williams announced a brand new 26-city tour titled "Weapons of Self Destruction". After a six year break from his record breaking tour, Robin decided the time was right to perform again due to the material that could be generated by a presidental election. He was quoted as saying that this was his last chance to make cracks at the expense of the current Bush Administration.

His first marriage was to Valerie Velardi on June 4, 1978, with whom he has one child, Zachary Pym (Zak) (born April 11, 1983). During Williams' first marriage, he was involved in an extramarital relationship with Michelle Tish Carter, a cocktail waitress whom he met in 1984. She sued him in 1986, claiming he gave her herpes without notifying her. The case was settled out of court.

On April 30, 1989, he married Marsha Garces, his son's nanny who was already several months pregnant with his child. They have two children, Zelda Rae (born July 31, 1989) and Cody Alan (born November 25, 1991). However, in March 2008, Garces filed for divorce from Williams, citing irreconcilable differences.

On August 20, 2007, Williams' elder brother, Robert Todd Williams, died of complications from heart surgery performed a month earlier.

On March 4, 2009, it was revealed that Williams was hospitalized due to heart issues. On March 5, it was announced that he needed heart surgery to replace his aortic valve and was postponing his current one-man tour. The surgery was successfully completed on March 13, 2009 at the Cleveland Clinic .

In gratitude for his success with the Disney/Touchstone film Good Morning, Vietnam, Robin Williams voiced the Genie for SAG scale pay ($75,000), on condition that his name or image not be used for marketing, and his (supporting) character not take more than 25% of space on advertising artwork, since Toys was scheduled for release one month after Aladdin's debut. The studio went back on the deal on both counts, especially in poster art by having the Genie in 25% of the image, but having other major and supporting characters portrayed considerably smaller. Disney's Hyperion book, Aladdin: The Making Of An Animated Film, listed both of Williams' characters "The Peddler" and "The Genie" ahead of main characters, but was forced to refer to him only as "the actor signed to play the Genie".

Williams and Disney had a bitter falling-out, and as a result Dan Castellaneta voiced the Genie in The Return of Jafar, the Aladdin animated television series, and had recorded his voice for Aladdin and the King of Thieves. When Jeffrey Katzenberg was fired from Disney and replaced by former 20th Century Fox production head Joe Roth (whose last act for Fox was greenlighting Williams' film Mrs. Doubtfire), Roth arranged for a public apology to Williams by Disney. Williams agreed to perform in Hollywood Pictures' Jack, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and even agreed to voice the Genie again for the King Of Thieves sequel (for considerably more than scale), replacing all of Castellaneta's dialogue.

When Williams re-teamed with Doubtfire director Chris Columbus for 1999's Bicentennial Man, Disney asked that the budget be cut by approximately $20 million, and when the film was released on Christmas Day, it flopped at the box office. Williams blamed Disney's marketing and the loss of content the film had suffered due to the budget cuts. As a result, Williams was again on bad terms with Disney, and Castellaneta was once again recruited to replace him as Genie in the Kingdom Hearts video game series and the House of Mouse TV series. The DVD release for Aladdin has no involvement whatsoever from Williams in the bonus materials, although some of his original recording sessions can be seen.

Of course Robin is going to be featured in Disney's Old Dogs with John Travolta.

Williams is an avid enthusiast of games, enjoying pen-and-paper role-playing games and online video games, recently playing Warcraft 3, Day of Defeat, Half-Life, and the first-person shooter Battlefield 2 as a sniper. On January 6, 2006, he performed live at Consumer Electronics Show during Google's keynote. In the 2006 E3, on the invitation of Will Wright, he demonstrated the creature editor of Spore while simultaneously commenting on the creature's look: "This will actually make a platypus look good." He also complimented the game's versatility, comparing it to Populous and Black & White.

Robin Williams has gone on record as a fan of the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion, and incorporated a scene referencing it in One Hour Photo where he purchases a model kit from it as a gift.

A fan of professional road cycling, he was a regular on the US Postal and Discovery Channel Pro Cycling team bus and hotels during the years Lance Armstrong dominated the Tour de France.

He also enjoys rugby union and is a big fan of former All Black, Jonah Lomu.

Williams is a supporter of eco-friendly vehicles. He currently drives a Toyota Prius, but is on the waiting list to be an early adopter of the Aptera 2-series electric vehicle.

Williams and his former wife, Marsha, founded the Windfall Foundation, a philanthropic organization to raise money for many different charities. Williams devotes much of his energy doing work for charities, including the Comic Relief fund-raising efforts. In December 1999, he sang in French on the BBC-inspired music video of international celebrities doing a cover of the Rolling Stones's "It's Only Rock & Roll" for the charity Children's Promise.

Williams has performed for four years with the USO for U.S. troops stationed in Iraq.

Williams sings a version of "Come Together" with Bobby McFerrin on In My Life, a Beatles tribute album produced by George Martin. He also sings "A Mi Manera (My Way)", on the Happy Feet soundtrack. For the 1993 soundtrack of Mrs. Doubtfire, and the film, he sings a rendition of a fragment of Gioacchino Rossini's "Largo al factotum" from The Barber of Seville.

Williams also appeared in the music video of Bobby McFerrin's hit song "Don't Worry, Be Happy".

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Robin Williams (writer)

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Robin Patricia Williams (born 1953) is an American educator and writer of computer-related books. She is particularly known for her manuals of style The Mac is Not a Typewriter and The Non-Designer's Design Book, as well as numerous manuals for various Mac OS operating systems and applications, including The Little Mac Book.

Williams was born October 9, 1953(1953-10-09), grew up in San Jose and Fremont, California, graduated from Washington High School in Fremont, and then attended Santa Rosa Junior College.

Williams is an author, college instructor, lecturer, and leads The Understanders, a Shakespeare discussion and reading group. She has been a leader in New Mexico computer-related organizations and The Mary Sidney Society.

She is married to John Tollett and has three children.

An autodidact, she has written, designed, indexed, and produced more than fifty computer-related books, translated into twenty-three languages.

Williams spent years studying William Shakespeare, and in 2006 issued her book Sweet Swan of Avon: Did a Woman Write Shakespeare? in which she proposed the writer Mary Sidney as a candidate in the Shakespearean authorship question. She also teaches Shakespeare and leads The Understanders' 16-week discussion groups about individual plays.

The first question I am asked by curious freshmen in my Shakespeare course is always, "Who wrote these plays anyway?" Now, because of Robin Williams' rigorous scholarship and artful sleuthing, Mary Sidney Herbert will forever have to be mentioned as a possible author of the Shakespeare canon. Sweet Swan of Avon doesn't pretend to put the matter to rest, but simply shows how completely reasonable the authorship controversy is, and how the idea of a female playwright surprisingly answers more Shakespearean conundrums than it creates....

All published by Peachpit Press, Berkeley, CA.

Titles by Williams, Robin (writing alone under that name, except as noted).

Titles by Williams, Robin, writing with Tollett, John (and, as noted, others).

With Cohen, Sandee.

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Good Will Hunting

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Good Will Hunting is a 1997 drama film directed by Gus Van Sant and written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, both of whom star in the film.

Set in Boston, Massachusetts, it tells the story of Will Hunting (Damon), a troubled Irish-Catholic young man from South Boston who, although a prodigy, a polymath and an autodidact, works as a janitor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. Will must learn to overcome his deep fear of abandonment in order to learn how to trust and love the people who care about him.

Good Will Hunting was a financial success, earned widespread critical praise and several awards, and launched Damon and Affleck into prominence.

Though Will Hunting (Matt Damon) has a genius-level intellect, eidetic memory and a profound gift for mathematics, he works as a janitor at MIT and lives alone in a sparsely-furnished house in a rundown South Boston neighborhood. An abused foster child, he subconsciously blames himself for his unhappy upbringing and turns this self-loathing into a form of self-sabotage in both his professional and emotional lives.

In the first week of class, Will solves a difficult graduate-level problem taken from algebraic graph theory that Professor Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgård), a Fields Medalist and combinatorialist, leaves on a chalkboard as a challenge posed to his students, hoping someone might find the solution by the end of the semester. When it is solved quickly and anonymously, Lambeau posts a much more difficult problem—one that took him and his colleagues two years to prove. When Lambeau chances upon a mere janitor writing on the board, Lambeau chases him away. However, when Lambeau returns to the board, he is astounded to find the correct answer there. He then sets out to track Will down.

Meanwhile, Will beats a bully named Carmine Scarpaglia half to death, as he harassed Will 15 years ago in kindergarten, and he now faces imprisonment after attacking a police officer who was responding to the attack. Realizing Will has enormous potential, Lambeau goes to Will's trial and intervenes on his behalf, offering him a choice: either go to jail, or be released under Lambeau's personal supervision to study mathematics and see a therapist. Will chooses the latter, even though he does not believe he needs therapy.

Will treats the first five psychologists Lambeau has him see with utter contempt. In desperation, Lambeau finally calls on Sean Maguire (Robin Williams), an estranged old friend and MIT classmate who happens to have grown up in the same neighborhood as Will. Sean differs from his predecessors in that he pushes back at Will and is eventually able to get past Will's hostile, sarcastic defense mechanisms. Will is particularly struck when Sean tells him how he gave up his ticket to see the Red Sox in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series (thus missing Carlton Fisk's famous home run) in order to meet and spend time with a stranger in a bar, who would later become his wife. This encourages Will to try to establish a relationship with Skylar (Minnie Driver), a young English woman he had earlier met at a bar near Harvard University.

This doctor-patient relationship, however, is far from one-sided. Will challenges Sean to take a hard, objective look at his own life. Sean has been unable to deal with his beloved wife's premature death from cancer two years before.

Meanwhile, Lambeau pushes Will so hard that Will eventually refuses to go to the job interviews that Lambeau arranges for him. Will accidentally walks in while Lambeau and Sean are furiously squabbling about the direction of his future.

Skylar asks Will to move to California with her, where she will begin medical school at Stanford. Will panics at the thought. When Skylar expresses sympathy about his past, it triggers a tantrum and Will storms out of the dorm. He shrugs off the work he has been doing for Lambeau as "a joke". Lambeau begs Will not to throw it all away, but Will walks out.

Sean points out that Will is so adept at anticipating future failure in his romantic relationships, that he either allows them to fizzle out or deliberately bails, so he can avoid the risk of emotional pain. When Will refuses to give an honest reply to Sean's query about what he wants to do with his life, Sean shows him the door. Will tells his best friend Chuckie (Ben Affleck) that he wants to be a laborer for the rest of his life. Chuckie becomes brutally honest with Will: he feels it's an insult for Will to waste his potential, and that his greatest wish is to knock on Will's door one morning and find he isn't there.

Will goes to another therapy session, where he and Sean share that they were both victims of child abuse. Finally, after much self-reflection, Will decides to cease being a victim of his own inner demons and to take charge of his life.

When his buddies present him with a rebuilt Chevrolet Nova for his 21st birthday, he decides to go after Skylar, setting aside his lucrative corporate and government job offers. Will leaves a brief note for Sean, using one of Sean's own quips, "I had to go see about a girl." Chuckie discovers that Will has finally gone. Will is then shown starting for California for a new beginning with Skylar.

Affleck and Damon originally wrote the screenplay as a thriller: Young man in the rough-and-tumble streets of South Boston, who possesses a superior intelligence, is targeted by the FBI to become a G-Man. Castle Rock Entertainment president Rob Reiner later urged them to drop the thriller aspect of the story and to focus the relationship between Will Hunting (Damon) and his psychologist (Williams). At Reiner's request, noted screenwriter William Goldman read the script and further suggested that the film's climax ought to be Will's decision to follow his girlfriend Skylar (Driver) to California. Goldman has denied widely-spread rumors that he wrote Good Will Hunting or acted as a script doctor.

Castle Rock bought the script for $675,000 against $775,000, meaning that Affleck and Damon would stand to earn an additional $100,000 if the film was produced and they retained sole writing credit. However, studios balked at the idea of Affleck and Damon in the lead roles. At the time Damon and Affleck were meeting at Castle Rock, director Kevin Smith was working with Affleck on Mallrats and with both Affleck and Damon on Chasing Amy. Seeing that Affleck and Damon were having trouble with Castle Rock, Smith and his producer partner Scott Mosier brought the script to Miramax, which eventually caused the two to receive co-executive producer credits for Hunting. The script was put into turnaround, and Miramax bought the rights from Castle Rock.

After buying the rights from Castle Rock, Miramax gave the green light to put the film into production. Several well-known filmmakers were originally considered to direct, including Mel Gibson, Michael Mann and Steven Soderbergh. Originally Affleck asked Kevin Smith if he was interested in directing, Smith denied saying they needed a "good director", stating he only directs things he writes and he is not much of a visual director. Affleck and Damon later chose Gus Van Sant for the job, whose work in previous films like Drugstore Cowboy (1989) had left a favorable impression on the fledgling screenwriters. Miramax was persuaded and hired Van Sant to direct the film.

Good Will Hunting was filmed on location in the Greater Boston area and Toronto over five months in 1996. Although the story is set in Boston, much of the film was shot at locations in Toronto, with the University of Toronto standing in for MIT and Harvard, and the classroom scenes being filmed at McLennan Physical Laboratories and Central Technical School. The interior bar scenes set in South Boston ("Southie") were shot on location at "Woody's L St. Tavern". The cast engaged in considerable improvisation in rehearsals; Robin Williams, Ben Affleck and Minnie Driver each made significant contributions to their characters. Robin Williams' last line in the film, as well as the therapy scene in which he talks about his character's wife's little idiosyncrasies, were both ad-libbed. The therapy scene took everyone by surprise. According to Damon's commentary in the DVD version of the movie, this caused "Johnny" (the cameraman) to laugh so hard that the camera's POV can actually be seen moving up and down slightly as it shows Damon breaking character by also laughing so hard.

Director Gus Van Sant says in the DVD commentary that, had he known just how successful the movie was going to be, he would have left at least a couple of edited scenes intact that were cut purely for considerations of length. One of these involves Skylar's visit to Chuckie in hopes of shedding light on some of Will's eccentricities that Will himself is unwilling to discuss.

The film is dedicated to the memory of poet Allen Ginsberg and writer William S. Burroughs, both of whom died in 1997.

Good Will Hunting received many positive reviews from film critics: It has a 97% "Fresh" rating according to film review compilation website Rotten Tomatoes., and was nominated for many awards (see below).

According to the box office reports, Good Will Hunting grossed $225 million internationally (twenty-two times the film's budget). Although the film's limited release at the end of 1997 (traditional for likely Oscar candidates) merely hinted at its future success, the film caught on, thanks to good reviews and a strong reception by the American public. The film received international praise, in part due to the acting of Robin Williams and Matt Damon, both of whom were nominated for Academy Awards for the film, with Williams winning. Damon and Affleck won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

While Danny Elfman's score was nominated for an Oscar, only two cues appear on the film's soundtrack release. Elfman's "Weepy Donuts" was used on NBC's The Today Show on September 11, 2006, while Matt Lauer spoke during the opening credits.

Starland Vocal Band's "Afternoon Delight" is also featured in the closing credits after "Miss Misery," but does not appear on the soundtrack.

In Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, a fictional sequel is being filmed called Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season. It features cameos from Gus Van Sant, Scott Mosier, and Matt Damon. Though Ben Affleck has a role in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back as Holden McNeil, he also has a cameo as himself during the filming scenes of Good Will Hunting 2.

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Aladdin (film)


Aladdin is a 1992 animated feature produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation, and released by Walt Disney Pictures on November 25, 1992. The thirty-first animated feature in the Disney animated features canon, the film is based on the Arab folktale of Aladdin and the magic lamp from One Thousand and One Nights. Several characters and plot elements are also based on the 1940 version of The Thief of Bagdad. Many aspects of the traditional story were changed for the film—for instance, the setting is changed from "China" to a fictional Arabian city, Agrabah. It was released at the peak stretch of the era known as the Disney Renaissance beginning with The Little Mermaid. Aladdin was the most successful film of 1992, earning over $217 million in revenue in the United States, and over $504 million worldwide.

The film was directed by John Musker and Ron Clements, both of whom had just finished writing and directing The Little Mermaid (1989). The musical score was written by Alan Menken, with lyrics written by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. Aladdin features the voices of Scott Weinger, Jonathan Freeman, Linda Larkin, Frank Welker, Gilbert Gottfried, Douglas Seale, and, as the Genie of the lamp, Robin Williams. Although this was not the first time in which a major actor such as Williams provided voice-over work for an animated film, it was the first major American animated feature film in which particular attention was paid to a celebrity voice cast member, such as a major movie star, in the film as part of its promotion. This has led to a subsequent increased attention to the casts of later productions, as a major element of animated film marketing. Aladdin was followed by two direct-to-video sequels: The Return of Jafar (1994) and Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1996), and an animated television series, Aladdin, set between the two sequels.

The film begins with a peddler singing Arabian Nights while riding a camel and tells about the story of Aladdin. On a dark night, when Jafar, the Grand Vizier to the Sultan of Agrabah, attempts to access the Cave of Wonders, a magical cave which holds treasures beyond the wildest belief -- above all is a magical oil lamp containing a genie is hidden. He and his talking parrot, Iago, learn that the only one who can enter the Cave of Wonders is the metaphorical "Diamond in the Rough".

Meanwhile, in the palace of Agrabah, Jasmine, the beautiful teenage daughter of the Sultan, must be married before her upcoming birthday, but she rejects every prince she meets, as she wants to be married for true love and not merely for wealth. Later, Jasmine, frustrated with "having her life lived for her," climbs over the palace walls, and sees the marketplace for the first time, where she meets the street urchin Aladdin and his monkey, Abu, and the two young people are seen to be falling for each other. Jafar uses a machine to see that the "diamond in the rough" is Aladdin. Jafar sends a group of guards to capture Aladdin while Jasmine is still with him. Jasmine tells Jafar to release him, but Jafar lies and tells her he is already dead.

Jafar, disguised as an elderly man, releases Aladdin from prison and leads him to the Cave of Wonders. They are told by the tiger-shaped head of the cave to touch nothing but the lamp. Aladdin enters the cave and encounters a magic carpet before finding the lamp. Abu tries to steal a ruby and causes the cave to start collapsing, but the carpet helps them to the entrance. Jafar takes the lamp from them and tries to kill them but Abu takes the lamp back and bites his arm, causing him to knock Abu back into the cave just as it collapses. Jafar laughs in triumph, until he sees that the lamp is not with him, much to his chagrin.

When Aladdin awakens, Abu gives him the lamp which he had snatched from Jafar. After rubbing it, a genie is unleashed, revealing that he will grant Aladdin three wishes. Aladdin dupes the genie into freeing them from the cave without using up a wish. Jafar, having lost the lamp, plans to trick the Sultan into marrying him forcefully to Jasmine, then kill off both of them before Jasmine becomes Queen and executes both Jafar and Iago for no reason.

While contemplating his wishes, Aladdin asks for the genie's opinion. The genie admits he would wish for freedom, since he is a prisoner to his lamp and must follow the orders of the lamp's master. Aladdin promises to wish him free with his last wish. Happily, the genie grants Aladdin his first wish: making him a prince so he can marry Jasmine. They parade to the Sultan's palace, much to Jafar's dismay, but Jasmine initially rejects "Prince Ali" considering him a buffoon like all the others before him. Later that night, Aladdin meets Jasmine, and takes her on a magic carpet ride through the sky. She soon realizes that he is the same boy she met in the streets and that he has lied to her. Aladdin comes up with a story that he sometimes dressed as a "commoner" to escape the pressures of palace life, and she believes him. Aladdin returns her home and they kiss.

Jafar orders the guards to slap Aladdin in chains and throw him off a cliff into the ocean for no reason, and surprisingly, they comply without asking the Sultan first. The lamp falls from inside his turban, and rubs against his limp hands luckily releasing the genie, who then rescues Aladdin as the second wish after liberally interpreting Aladdin's nodding head. Aladdin returns to the palace, smashing Jafar's staff and revealing the vizier's plot to Jasmine and the Sultan. Jafar realizes Aladdin's identity, and escapes from the Sultan's personal bodyguards. Surprised by Aladdin's bravery, the Sultan decides that Aladdin should be King. This made Aladdin stuck in a dilemma as he needs it to use his final wish to become king, but resulting in breaking his promise that he made to Genie to free him. Iago later steals the genie's lamp and brings it to Jafar, who becomes the genie's new master and uses his first wish to become sultan. Jafar then wishes to become a powerful sorcerer and turns Aladdin back to rags, sending him to a blizzard-swept, far-off place.

Aladdin uses the magic carpet to return to Agrabah, where Jafar is keeping the Sultan, the Genie, and Jasmine as his slaves. He offers Jasmine a place as his queen and wife, but she refuses. Jasmine then notices Aladdin coming in the palace, who was about to get the lamp. She tries to make a diversion by tricking Jafar into believing that she's desperately in love with him. Jasmine gives Jafar an extremely passionate kiss, but he sees Aladdin's reflection in her tiara. Aladdin fights Jafar as he transforms into a giant cobra. When Jafar boasts that he is "the most powerful being on Earth," Aladdin tells him that he isn't as powerful as the genie. Jafar uses his final wish to become a Genie and tries to gain control of the universe with his powers - but he forgets that genies are not their own master, they are bound to their lamps and are slaves to the bearer of the lamp. Jafar is instantly sucked into his new black lamp, dragging Iago with him. The genie then flicks the lamp into the Cave of Wonders, to presumably remain undiscovered for ten thousand years.

Aladdin and Jasmine say goodbye to each other now that Aladdin is not a prince so they cannot be married. Aladdin wishes for the genie's freedom, much to the genie's surprise and happiness. Since Jasmine loves Aladdin, the Sultan changes the law so that Jasmine can marry anyone she chooses and she chooses Aladdin. The genie then leaves to explore the world while Aladdin and Jasmine celebrate their engagement.

In 1988, Howard Ashman suggested Disney make an animated musical adaptation of the story of Aladdin. After writing a storyline and songs with partner Alan Menken, Ashman delivered it to directors John Musker and Ron Clements. In 1991, the script was delivered to studio chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, who thought the script "didn't engage", and only approved it after rewrites from Clements, Musker and the screenwriting duo of Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio. Among the changes to the script were the removal of the character of Aladdin's mother, Princess Jasmine was made a stronger character, Aladdin's personality was reworked to be "a little rougher, like a young Harrison Ford," and the parrot Iago, originally conceived as a "British" calm and serious character, was turned into a comic role after the filmmakers saw Gilbert Gottfried in Beverly Hills Cop II. Gottfried was cast to provide Iago's voice. The concept of a calm, serious British bird would later be worked into The Lion King's Zazu.

Most characters' designs were based on the work of caricaturist Al Hirschfeld. Jafar's design was not based on Hirschfeld's work because Jafar's supervising animator, Andreas Deja, wanted the character to be contrasting. Aladdin, designed by a team including supervising animator Glen Keane, was originally made to resemble actor Michael J. Fox. During production, it was decided that the design was too boyish and wasn't "appealing enough," so the character was redesigned to add elements derived from actor Tom Cruise, rapper MC Hammer, and Calvin Klein models. Computer animation was used in a number of scenes in the film, such as the tiger entrance of the Cave of Wonders, the scene where Aladdin tries to escape the collapsing cave, and the texture for the magic carpet.

Musker and Clements created the Genie with Robin Williams in mind; even though Katzenberg suggested names such as John Candy, Steve Martin, and Eddie Murphy, Williams was approached and eventually accepted the role. Williams came for voice recording sessions during breaks in the shooting of two other films he was starring in at the time, Hook and Toys. Unusually for an animated film, much of Williams' dialogue was ad-libbed: for some scenes, Williams was given topics and dialogue suggestions, but allowed to improvise his lines. It was estimated that Williams improvised 52 characters. Eric Goldberg, the supervising animator for the Genie, then reviewed Williams' recorded dialogue and selected the best gags/lines. Goldberg and his crew then created character animation to match Williams' jokes, puns, and impersonations.

Williams also provided the voice of a merchant in the opening scene, which was completely unscripted (the production left Williams a table with props covered with a sheet and asked him to pull out objects without looking at them and describe them in character). The double role originally led to the merchant revealing to be the Genie disguised, but that idea was later dropped (the merchant returned in the ending of Aladdin and the King of Thieves).

Aladdin was praised for its musical score by composer Alan Menken and songwriters Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. Menken and Ashman began work on the film together, with Rice taking over as lyricist after Ashman died of AIDS-related complications in early 1991. The following six songs are featured in the movie.

The compilation Classic Disney: 60 Years of Musical Magic includes "A Whole New World" on the red disc and "One Jump Ahead" on the blue disc. The compilation Disney's Greatest Hits also includes "A Whole New World" on the blue disc.

Eight others were written, but removed from the film (most of them sung by Jafar). The DVD Special Edition released in 2004 includes four songs in early animations tests, and a music video of one of them, "Proud of Your Boy", performed by Clay Aiken. That version also appears on the album DisneyMania 3. Demo versions of these tracks were released on the "Music Behind the Magic" box set. Others included in the DVD are "You Can Count on Me", (replaced by "One Jump Ahead" in the movie), "Humiliate the Boy", and "Why Me?" (both replaced by "Prince Ali Reprise").

Aladdin was well-received by critics, with most praise to Robin Williams' Genie. Warner Bros. animator Chuck Jones even called the film "the funniest feature ever made." However, some criticism was reserved for the couple, Aladdin and Jasmine, and many reviews considered it inferior to its predecessors The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast.

It was the most successful film of 1992, with $217 million in the United States and over $504 million worldwide, being the biggest gross for an animated film until The Lion King two years later. As of 2008, it is the third highest grossing traditionally animated feature worldwide, behind The Lion King and The Simpsons Movie, however adjusted for inflation it is ahead of The Simpsons Movie.

One of the verses of the opening song "Arabian Nights" was altered following protests from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. The lyrics were changed in July 1993 from "Where they cut off your ear if they don't like your face/It's barbaric, but, hey, it's home," in the original release to "Where it's flat and immense and the heat is intense/It's barbaric, but, hey, it's home." The change first appeared on the 1993 video release. The original lyric was intact on the initial CD soundtrack release, but the re-release uses the edited lyric. The rerecording has the original voice on all other lines, then a noticeably deeper voice says the edited line. Entertainment Weekly ranked Aladdin in a list of the most controversial films in history, due to this incident. In 2008, an extended demo of "Arabian Nights" (with original lyrics) was released in "Howard Sings Ashman," the first unedited release in fifteen years.

The ADC also complained about lead characters Aladdin and Jasmine being portrayed, with Anglicized features and Anglo-American accents, in contrast to the other characters in the film, who are dark-skinned, have Arab accents and grotesque facial features, and appear villainous or greedy.

Animation enthusiasts have noticed similarities between Aladdin and Richard Williams's unfinished film The Thief and the Cobbler (also known as Arabian Knight under Miramax Films and The Princess and the Cobbler under Majestic Films International). These similarities include a similar plot, similar characters, scenes and background designs, and the antagonist Zig-Zag's resemblance in character design and mannerisms to Genie and Jafar. Though Aladdin was released prior to The Thief and the Cobbler, The Thief and the Cobbler was started much earlier in the 1960s, its production being mired in difficulties including financial problems, copyright issues (when it was about Mulla Nasruddin in the 1970s), and late production times caused by separate studios trying to finish the film after Richard Williams was fired from the project for lack of finished work. The late release, coupled with Miramax (a Disney-owned studio) purchasing and re-editing the film, has sometimes resulted in The Thief and the Cobbler being labeled a "copy" of Aladdin.

In gratitude for his success with the Disney/Touchstone film Good Morning, Vietnam, Robin Williams voiced the Genie for SAG scale pay ($75,000), on condition that his name or image not be used for marketing, and his (supporting) character not take more than 25% of space on advertising artwork, since Toys was scheduled for release one month after Aladdin's debut. The studio went back on the deal on both counts, especially in poster art by having the Genie in 25% of the image, but having other major and supporting characters portrayed considerably smaller. Disney's Hyperion book, Aladdin: The Making Of An Animated Film, listed both of Williams' characters "The Peddler" and "The Genie" ahead of main characters, but was forced to refer to him only as "the actor signed to play the Genie".

Williams and Disney had a bitter falling-out, and as a result Dan Castellaneta voiced the Genie in The Return of Jafar, the Aladdin animated television series, and had recorded his voice for Aladdin and the King of Thieves. When Jeffrey Katzenberg was fired from Disney and replaced by former 20th Century Fox production head Joe Roth (whose last act for Fox was greenlighting Williams' film Mrs. Doubtfire), Roth arranged for a public apology to Williams by Disney. Williams agreed to perform in Hollywood Pictures' Jack, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and even agreed to voice the Genie again for the King Of Thieves sequel (for considerably more than scale), replacing all of Castellaneta's dialogue.

When Williams re-teamed with Doubtfire director Chris Columbus for 1999's Bicentennial Man, Disney asked that the budget be cut by approximately $20 million, and when the film was released on Christmas Day, it flopped at the box office. Williams blamed Disney's marketing and the loss of content the film had suffered due to the budget cuts. As a result, Williams was again on bad terms with Disney, and Castellaneta was once again recruited to replace him as Genie in the Kingdom Hearts video game series and the House of Mouse TV series. The DVD release for Aladdin has no involvement whatsoever from Williams in the bonus materials, although some of his original recording sessions can be seen.

He is currently working on the film Old Dogs with close friend John Travolta, which is being co-produced and distributed by Walt Disney Studios.

In the scene where Aladdin is attacked by the tiger Rajah on the palace balcony, Aladdin quietly says "Come on... good kitty, take off and go..." and the word "kitty" is overlapped by another, unidentifiable sound, possibly Rajah's snarl. Some people reported hearing "Good teenagers, take off your clothes," which they considered a subliminal reference to promiscuity. Because of the controversy, Disney replaced the phrase with "Down, kitty" on the DVD release. This is left unedited whenever Aladdin airs on Toon Disney, Disney Channel and ABC Family.

Genie's numerous imitations aside, Aladdin features many references to popular culture, especially from Disney's previous works. While the Sultan is making a pile of toy animals, one is Beast from Beauty and the Beast; Rajah's head briefly resembles Mickey Mouse, and the Genie pulls Sebastian from The Little Mermaid out of a recipe book (as the first two bars of "Under the Sea" are played); turns his head into Pinocchio's (complete with growing nose); says "Esalalumbo, shimin Dumbo!" to turn Abu into an elephant; and dons a Goofy hat before leaving on his vacation.

Many in-jokes were also done by the filmmakers, such as a "cameo appearance" from directors Clements and Musker, drawing some characters based on Disney workers, and naming a character "Razoul" after the layout supervisor, Rasoul Azadani.

The Goofy hat, Hawaiian shirt, and sandals that the Genie is wearing at the end of the film is a reference to a short film that Robin Williams did for the Disney/MGM Studios tour in the late 80's. In the film, Williams plays an excitable tourist who is wearing the same clothes.

Other impersonations of the Genie include Arnold Schwarzenegger, Peter Lorre, Señor Wences, Ed Sullivan, Groucho Marx, Robert De Niro, Woody Allen, Carol Channing, Arsenio Hall, Rodney Dangerfield, Jack Nicholson and William F. Buckley.

Aladdin was first released in VHS in October 1, 1993, as part of the "Walt Disney Classics" line. The previews include an exclusive trailer for The Lion King and a VHS trailer for Pinocchio. In its first week of availability, it sold over 10.8 million copies and went on to sell over 25 million in total (a record only broken by the later release of The Lion King). It entered moratorium in April 30, 1994. The movie was also released on laserdisc in 1994. The CAV Japanese version had many extras, such as documentaries, trailers and the book "Aladdin: The Making of an Animated Film".

On October 5, 2004, Aladdin was released on DVD, as Aladdin: Platinum Edition, part of Disney's Platinum Edition line of animated classic DVDs. The DVD release featured a version of the film with retouched and cleaned-up animation, prepared for Aladdin's planned but ultimately cancelled IMAX reissue in 2003, and a second disc with bonus features. It sold about 3 million units, less than any of the other Platinum Edition titles so far. The film's soundtrack was available in its original Dolby 5.1 track or in a new Disney Enhanced Home Theater Mix. The DVD went into moratorium on January 2008, along with its sequels.

The film aired on Disney Channel in the mid-1990s. Then film aired on ABC in January 2005. The film re-aired on Disney Channel on February 14, 2005. The film finally aired on Toon Disney in June 2008. The film once again re-aired on Disney Channel in the same year. Followed by Curious George, the film aired on ABC Family on November 18, 2008, being Disney's first traditionally-animated film to air on that channel and the first non-original film on the same channel to be presented in the high-definition format on ABC Family HD.

Aladdin was followed by Disney's first direct-to-video sequel, The Return of Jafar in 1994. The film saw the debut of a new character, Abis Mal, voiced by Jason Alexander, and all of the original cast, except for Robin Williams, replaced by Dan Castellaneta, and Douglas Seale, replaced by Val Bettin. The plot mainly focused on Jafar seeking revenge on Aladdin. However, this time, with Iago on Aladdin's side, Abis Mal becomes Jafar's new henchman.

Shortly after The Return of Jafar, the Aladdin TV Series was aired on television. The episodes focused on Aladdin's adventures after the events of the second film.

And in 1996, the final sequel to Aladdin, Aladdin and the King of Thieves was released on video. The story concludes as Aladdin and Jasmine are about to be married and Aladdin discovers that his father is still alive, but also the King of all thieves in Agrabah.

The Hercules: The Animated Series episode "Hercules and the Arabian Night" can be seen as a coda to Aladdin's story. Jafar, now in the underworld and still bitter about his many defeats by Aladdin, teams up with Hades, equally bitter about his inability to best Hercules. They set the two heroes up to fight each other by kidnapping their best friends, Abu and Icarus, while making each think that the other is responsible. This works at first, but the two quickly realize that Hades and Jafar are behind it all and defeat them.

Aladdin, Jasmine, Genie, Abu, Iago, Jafar, Carpet, Sultan, and Rajah were also featured as guests in the TV series House of Mouse. In related works to those series, Jafar was the leader of the villains in Mickey's House of Villains. Aladdin makes a brief appearance as well. Aladdin, Jasmine, Jafar, Genie, Abu, and Carpet also appear in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse.

Along with the film release, three different video games based on Aladdin were released, one by Virgin Interactive for the Sega Mega Drive, Game Boy (later ported to the Game Boy Color), PC and another by SIMS for the Sega Game Gear and Sega Master System, and another by Capcom for the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis (later ported to the Game Boy Advance in 2002). The Nintendo Entertainment System had both the Capcom version (but this was released in Europe only) and the Virgin Interactive version (released as "Aladdin 2" in Europe, but as "Aladdin" in America).

The TV series inspired another game by Argonaut Games, entitled Aladdin: Nasira's Revenge and released in 2001 for the PlayStation and PC. Also, in 2004 Vivendi Universal released Disney's Aladdin Chess Adventures, a chess computer game with the Aladdin license.

The Kingdom Hearts series features a playable Aladdin world known as Agrabah. Characters from the film include Aladdin, Genie, Jasmine, Jafar, Iago, Abu, Carpet and the Peddler. In Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, the plotline is loosely related to the storyline of the original film. In Kingdom Hearts II it is a mixture of Aladdin and The Return of Jafar. Genie is also a recurring summon in the series.

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Hook (film)

Hook poster.jpg

Hook is a 1991 family fantasy film directed by Steven Spielberg. The film stars Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Julia Roberts, Bob Hoskins, Charlie Korsmo and Amber Scott. Hook acts as a sequel to Peter Pan's adventures, focusing on a grown-up Peter Pan who has forgotten his childhood. Peter Banning is a successful corporate lawyer with a wife and two children. Captain Hook kidnaps his two children, thus Peter Banning must return to Neverland and reclaim his youthful spirit as Peter Pan in order to challenge his old enemy.

Spielberg began developing the film in the early-1980s with Walt Disney and Paramount Pictures, which would have followed the storyline seen in the 1953 animated film and 1924 silent film. Peter Pan entered pre-production in 1985, but Spielberg abandoned the project. James V. Hart developed the script with director Nick Castle and TriStar Pictures before Spielberg decided to direct in 1989. Hook was shot entirely on sound stages at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California. The film received negative reviews, but was a financial success and nominated multiple times at the 64th Academy Awards.

Years ago, Peter Pan left Neverland and married Wendy Darling's granddaughter Moira. As corporate lawyer Peter Banning, he has entirely forgotten his childhood as Peter Pan. He's successful, but never has time for his wife Moira and children, Jack and Maggie. The family travels to London to visit Wendy, now very old and being honored for her work caring for orphans. Jack and Maggie are kidnapped by Captain Hook, who survived his run-in with the crocodile. Wendy tries to tell Peter of his past, but he does not believe her.

Tinker Bell visits Peter that night, taking him to Neverland. He wakes up among the pirates; then, observing Hook boasting of kidnapping Peter's children to use as bait, Peter reveals himself. Hook is disgusted at his nemesis' ineffectual condition. Hook's henchman Smee concludes that being away from Neverland for so long has wiped his memory clean of the past. Hook is ready to have Peter and his children killed, but Tinker Bell convinces him into giving Peter three days to train for a duel. She takes Peter to the Lost Boys, led by Rufio, who initially do not believe he's Peter Pan. Tinker Bell convinces them that he is Pan, and they re-train him. Peter is hampered by his inability to remember being a boy or how to fly. At the same time Hook decides to "teach" Peter's children to love him as a means of demoralizing Peter when the day comes. Although Maggie does not fall for the ploy, the often-overlooked Jack listens, and with Hook cheering him on at a pirate baseball game (as his father had failed to do), he comes to accept Hook as a father figure.

With the help of Tinker Bell becoming human-sized and kissing him, Peter manages to find his flight-enabling "happy thought": his love for Moira and becoming a father, the reasons he left Neverland. Peter leads the Lost Boys into battle with the pirates. Rufio takes on Hook while Peter rescues his son and daughter. Rufio dies, his last words telling Peter that he wishes he had a father like him. Jack is finally convinced that his father cares for him, and pleads to go home. Realizing that Hook will not stop and that he will return to threaten his family time and again, Peter resumes the duel. It ends when the giant crocodile falls down from his framework and swallows Hook. Peter passes on his sword and leadership to the biggest of the Lost Boys, Thud Butt, and flies back to London with his children. He awakens in his regular clothes at the famous statue of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, and sees Tinker Bell one last time. He assures her that he still believes in fairies, and she leaves. He returns to his family, finally remembering who he is, and appreciating them all as he should.

Kelly Rowan makes a cameo appearance as Peter Pan's mother and Genesis vocalist Phil Collins appears briefly as an English police inspector. Singers David Crosby and Jimmy Buffet appear as members of Hook's pirate crew, and Glenn Close similarly appears as a male pirate who is punished by Hook. Jasen Fisher and James Madio portray Lost Boys.

J.M. Barrie considered writing a story in which Peter Pan grew up; his 1920 notes for the latest stage revival of Peter Pan included possible titles for another play: The Man Who Couldn't Grow Up or The Old Age of Peter Pan. The genesis of Hook started when director Steven Spielberg's mother often read him Peter and Wendy as bedtime story. Spielberg explained in 1985, "When I was eleven years old I actually directed the story during a school production. I have always felt like Peter Pan. I still feel like Peter Pan. It has been very hard for me to grow up, I'm a victim of the Peter Pan syndrome.

Spielberg began to develop the film with Walt Disney Pictures in the early-1980s, which would have closely followed the storyline of the 1953 animated film and 1924 silent film. He also considered directing Peter Pan as a musical with Michael Jackson in the lead. The project was taken to Paramount Pictures, where James V. Hart wrote the first script with Dustin Hoffman already cast as Captain Hook. Peter Pan entered pre-production in 1985 for filming to begin at sound stages in England. Elliot Scott (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Who Framed Roger Rabbit) had been hired as production designer. With the birth of his first son, Max, in 1985, Spielberg decided to drop out. "I decided not to make Peter Pan when I had my first child," Spielberg commented. "I didn't want to go to London and have seven kids on wires in front of blue screens. I wanted to be home as a dad." Around this time, Spielberg considered directing Big, which carried similar motifs and themes with Peter Pan. In 1987, Spielberg "permanently abandoned" Peter Pan, feeling he expressed his childhood and adult themes in Empire of the Sun.

By 1989, Hart and Castle changed the title of Peter Pan to Hook, and took it from Paramount to TriStar Pictures, ran by Mike Medavoy, who was Spielberg's first talent agent. Robin Williams signed on, but Williams and Hoffman had creative differences with Castle. Medavoy saw Hook as a vehicle for Spielberg, and Castle was fired, but paid with a $500,000 settlement. Spielberg briefly worked together with Hart to rewrite the script before hiring Malia Scotch Marmo to rewrite Captain Hook's dialog and Carrie Fisher for Tinker Bell's dialog. The Writers Guild of America gave Hart and Marmo screenplay credit, while Hart and Castle were credited with story. Fisher went uncredited. Filming started on February 19, 1991, occupying nine sound stages at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California. Stage 30 housed the Neverland Lost Boys playground, while Stage 10 supplied Captain Hook's ship cabin. Hidden hydraulics were installed to rock the setpiece to simulate a swaying ship, but the filmmakers found the movement distracted the dialogue, so the idea was dropped.

Stage 27 housed the full-sized pirate ship Jolly Roger and the surrounding Pirate Wharf. Industrial Light & Magic provided the visual effects sequences. Hook was financed by Amblin Entertainment and TriStar Pictures, with TriStar distributing the film. Impressed with his work on Cats, Spielberg brought John Napier as a "visual consultant". The original production budget was set at $48 million, but ended up between $60—80 million. This was also largely contributed by the shooting schedule, which ran 40 days over its original 76 day schedule. Spielberg explained, "It was all my fault. I began to work at a slower pace than I usually do." He also found it difficult to work with Julia Roberts, who was suffering from a mental disorder after her breakup with Dylan McDermott.

The film score was composed by John Williams. The lyrics for tracks 2 and 15 were written by Leslie Bricusse.

Spielberg, Williams and Hoffman did not take salaries for the film. Their deal called for the trio to split 40% of TriStar Pictures' gross revenues. They were to receive $20 million from the first $50 million in gross theatrical film rentals, with TriStar keeping the next $70 million in rentals before the three resumed receiving their percentage. Hook was released in North America on December 11, 1991, earning $13.52 million in its opening weekend. The film went on gross $119.65 million in North America and $181.2 million in foreign countries, accumulating a worldwide total of $300.85 million. Hook was declared a financial success, and is the fourth-highest grossing "pirate-themed" film, behind all three films in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series. In North America totals, Hook was the sixth-highest grossing film in 1991, and fourth-highest worldwide.

Based on 37 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, 22% of the critics enjoyed Hook. Roger Ebert felt "the crucial failure in Hook was its inability to re-imagine the material, to find something new, fresh or urgent to do with the Peter Pan myth. Lacking that, Spielberg should simply have remade the original story, straight, for the '90s generation. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone felt Hook would "only appeal to the baby boomer generation" and highly criticized the sword-fighting choreography. Vincent Canby felt the story structure was not well balanced, feeling Spielberg depended too much on art direction. Hal Hinson of The Washington Post was one of few who gave the film a positive review. Hinson elaborated on crucial themes of children, adulthood and loss of innocence. However he observed that Spielberg "was stuck too much in a theme park world".

Despite the negative reviews, Hook was nominated for five categories at the 64th Academy Awards. This included Art Direction, Costume Design, Visual Effects, Makeup and Original Song ("When You're Alone"). Hook lost the Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film to Aladdin, while cinematographer Dean Cundey was nominated for his work by the American Society of Cinematographers. Dustin Hoffman was nominated the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor (Musical or Comedy). John Williams was given a Grammy Award nomination, with Julia Roberts receiving a Golden Raspberry Award nomination for Worst Supporting Actress.

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Source : Wikipedia