Robin Williams' daughter, Zelda was pleasantly surprised by the new Disney filter on Instagram this week. The app matches users with the character they are most similar to, and Zelda Williams was unsurprisingly matched with her father's character, the Genie from Aladdin. Fans loved the clip so much it soon went viral.
Like many other users this week, Williams stared into her front-facing camera while a roulette wheel of Disney characters flashed by. The frame on her forehead eventually came to a stop on the smiling blue face of Genie from the original Aladdin, and Williams laughed in obvious recognition.
Williams' father was one of the first well-known comedians to lend his voice and charisma to a Disney animated movie in the 1990s, when the medium was undergoing a bit of a renaissance. According to a video essay by YouTuber Lindsay Ellis, it was a groundbreaking performance that still has echoes in the industry to this day, both on and off-screen.
Fans laughed along with Williams when she posted her video, but they also continued to mourn. Robin Williams passed away in August of 2014 as a result of suicide, after decades of battling mental health and substance abuse issues. The actor was also suffering from Lewy body dementia and Parkinson's Disease.
"That's awesome. Divine intervention for sure," one fan tweeted at Williams.
Y’all... pic.twitter.com/Q2xAR17zV7— Zelda Williams (@zeldawilliams) December 30, 2019
"I felt this," a third person wrote.
Williams has been carrying the torch for her father for years now, but at times she has chaffed against the attention of fans, going through phases of social media inactivity. The 30-year-old made a lot of fans' day by her serendipitous use of the Disney filter.
The now-viral video filter is taking off on Instagram, where it was created by user Arno Partissimo. It scans a user's face and then selects a Disney character that best matches, and fans are left to decide whether it matches their appearance, personality or some other aspect of themselves.
Fans are debating how accurate the filter really is online, and as with anything relating to Disney and childhood media, the debate is getting heated.
So I tried the which Disney character are you filter on IG
Y’all got me so fucked up pic.twitter.com/hnWzdVNSUn— LVNKMOB THOTimoto (@tsujNAMI) December 31, 2019
Some argue that the selection is simply randomized, while others think they have spotted potentially problematic biases in it. One user, for example, found that the app repeatedly matched him with the Disney princess Mulan, writing: "y'all got me so f—ed up."