Robin Williams’ grandson is learning all about him through Disney’s Aladdin.
The late actor’s eldest son, Zak Williams, 37, decided to keep his father’s memory alive in a unique way with his one-year-old son, Mickey.
Young Mickey never got to meet his grandfather, who took his own life on August 11, 2014, at the age of 63 at his home in California. Robin Williams had recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, with an autopsy later revealing that the actor had been suffering from DLB or diffuse Lewy body dementia.
Speaking to PEOPLE magazine, Zak Williams, who is on the Advisory Board of a new mental health program, said that his son Mickey is slowly getting introduced to his late grandfather through his old movies.
Zak explained how he and his partner Olivia June, have certainly considered how they want to introduce his father into their son’s life. “Certainly through his movies and the cartoons that he participated in is a great way,” he said.
Zak continued to say how Mickey “points at” a cel they have in his room of his dad that has the genie from Aladdin on it. A cel is a transparent sheet of celluloid that can be drawn on and used in the production of cartoons.
The couple said they also have other cels from Robin William’s movies inside Mickey’s room, so he can interact with them and learn about his grandfather as he grows up.
“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,” Zak said.
“We hope that we can celebrate the positive elements and his works and films in a way that there can be appreciation and acknowledgment 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.”
Zak said that becoming a father completely changes a person, adding that it gives you perspective on what it takes to actually show up for another person.
“To be a present and engaged parent requires focus and commitment to time and an effort that… it’s a lot,” Zak explained.
“But the rewards are unlike anything I’ve experienced before.”
“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.”