Aladdin in Genie Land

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  1. Aladdin: How Disney found its leading characters - BBC News
  2. That Shelf
  3. Most Read in Culture
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Williams came for voice recording sessions during breaks in the shooting of his other two films 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.

Eric Goldberg then reviewed Williams' recorded dialogue and selected the best gags and lines. Goldberg and his crew then created character animation to match Williams' jokes, puns, and impersonations. Robin Williams supplied the character with an unconventional method of voice acting which proved to be groundbreaking, resulting in universal acclaim and Genie becoming one of the most iconic and influential characters in the history of animated films.

However, Williams did not return for The Return of Jafar or the animated television series due to disputes with the Disney company.

Aladdin: How Disney found its leading characters - BBC News

While negotiating for the part of Genie in Aladdin , Williams agreed to work for less than what the studio offered and made a non-written agreement with Disney to not overexpose his involvement in the promotion for Aladdin so not to create competition between other Robin Williams-led films being released at the time. However, Genie was the most prominent character in Aladdin marketing, overshadowing even the main characters in such materials as posters and trailers.

This went completely against what Williams had agreed to, and the actor vowed to never work with Disney again. As such, Dan Castellaneta was called in to voice the Genie in Aladdin spin-off projects. A couple of years after the dispute between Williams and Disney, Disney under different leadership made a public apology to Williams, which was sufficient enough for Robin to reprise his role as Genie in Aladdin and the King of Thieves and select subsequent appearances specifically, educational projects. Robin's final performance as the Genie was Disney's MathQuest With Aladdin , released in —not including projects that utilize archived recordings.

For the next decade, Castellaneta would continue to voice Genie in video games, theme park attractions, and merchandise. In , renowned impressionist Jim Meskimen who is particularly famous for his Robin Williams impression was brought on as the new official voice of Genie, and has voiced the character in every appearance since. Following the passing of Robin Williams in , Meskimen released a video on his official YouTube channel confirming that he will continue to voice Genie as a means of honoring Williams's legacy,.

Genie is full of life and bursting with positive energy. Though he is amongst the most powerful beings in the universe, Genie is benevolent, easygoing, and friendly; so much so, that he primarily uses his abilities as a means to amuse both himself and those around him. According to the filmmakers' commentary, Genie's energy is a direct result of his imprisonment; his years of isolation have left him teaming with vigor, so whenever he's given a chance at freedom, his first instinct is to go wild with his powers by cracking jokes and entertaining whatever audience he has.

He is also inviting, as when he first met Aladdin, Genie immediately introduced himself as a friend to rely on and emphasized the fact that his purpose was to magically enhance Aladdin's life by any means necessary so long as it didn't interfere with the three rules of wishing. Though he was generally devoted to whomever held temporary ownership of the lamp, Genie has always had a will and mind of his own, outside the bounds of a stereotypical genie slave.

As seen during his time as Jafar 's lackey, Genie's job did not require him to agree with his masters' morals. It did, however, force him to adhere to their three commands without question, no matter how vile they may have been. Nevertheless, Genie was still able to provide advice to masters that were willing to listen.

In the original film, he served as a mentor figure to Aladdin, often giving the latter advice and encouragement when needed, as seen when he urged Aladdin to tell Jasmine the truth about not being a prince. As mentioned, Genie did not offer himself as a mere slave, but rather as a supportive friend to his masters. Genie's friendship with Aladdin proved that he was capable of forming genuine relationships with masters, though it wasn't until Aladdin that Genie was treated as anything beyond a mere slave by his superiors. This tied to Genie's dream of being freed from the lamp. Though manic and explosive, Genie is also compassionate, wise, and serious when he feels it's necessary.

He understands human emotions to a profound degree, and takes matters such as love, trust, and being true to yourself quite seriously. Genie's more sincere moments are indicated by his tone, which changes from wily and exuberant, to low and soft when he wants to get a serious point across. Despite this, he still tries to lighten even the darkest moments with a dose of comedy, an example of this being the climax of the original film, where Genie transformed into a cheerleading squad to root for Aladdin during his battle against Jafar.

By the time of Aladdin and the King of Thieves , Genie is now freed, but continues to show genuine love and support for Aladdin and his endeavors.

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He is still every bit comedic and lighthearted, but never holds his tongue when it came to objections towards Aladdin's more controversial choices. He is nevertheless shown to assist Aladdin, magically, whenever asked to. On a dark night, a shady man named Jafar seeks the location of the Cave of Wonders, plotting to use Genie to take control of a nearby kingdom known as Agrabah. Unfortunately for Jafar, only one individual may enter the cave, the "diamond in the rough", who turns out to be a street rat named Aladdin. Jafar manages to manipulate Aladdin into entering the cave to retrieve the lamp for him, but Aladdin's monkey sidekick, Abu , touches a piece of forbidden treasure, resulting in the cave sinking back into the sand and trapping Aladdin inside.

There, Abu reveals to have the lamp intact and hands it over to Aladdin, who inadvertently unleashes the Genie.

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Genie immediately introduces himself as a servant and a friend, one willing to grant Aladdin a total of three wishes—be they food, riches, or any other form of luxury that sticks within the confines of the genie laws. To ensure he doesn't waste any wishes, Aladdin tricks Genie into freeing him and Abu from the cave, which Genie falls for, taking the duo, as well as Genie's Magic Carpet companion, to an oasis in the desert. Genie leads the parade during " Prince Ali ". There, Genie realizes Aladdin's trickery but quickly gets passed it to return to his job at hand. Aladdin, out of genuine curiosity, asks Genie what the latter would wish for.

Though shocked by such a selfless question, Genie takes the opportunity to express his longing for freedom. He explains that he cannot escape his lamp prison unless his master wishes him out. Feeling sympathy, Aladdin promises to use his third wish to free Genie, though the latter finds this hard to believe. Once Aladdin reassures he's telling the truth, an optimistic Genie takes Aladdin's word for it and a promise is set.

Next, Genie returns his attention to Aladdin, who confesses that he is in love with Princess Jasmine. While lamenting that only a prince can marry a princess, Aladdin settles on his first wish: to become a prince.


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Along with new attire, Aladdin is given the alias "Prince Ali" and travels to Agrabah with the accompaniment of an elaborate parade led by a disguised Genie. Though the front is enough to impress the Sultan , Jasmine is less than amused by Ali's flashy nature, disregarding him as another pompous suitor who sees her as nothing but a prize to be won. That night, Aladdin laments his foolishness, feeling lost as to what more he can do. He asks for Genie's advice, though he merely advises Aladdin to drop the act and be himself, to which Aladdin scoffs, feeling Jasmine would never want to be associated with a mere street rat.

Aladdin flies up to Jasmine's balcony on Carpet, making another attempt to earn the princess' attention, but fails again as a result of keeping with the "Prince Ali" persona. Genie disguises himself as a bee to couch Aladdin but is shooed off. Aladdin nevertheless apologizes to Jasmine for his behavior and starts to make his leave, though the appearance of Carpet sparks her curiosity. Knowing Jasmine craves freedom just as much as he does, Aladdin offers the princess a ride on Carpet, to which she accepts.

During the ride, the two successfully spark a romantic relationship, but this causes trouble for Jafar, who wishes to marry Jasmine for power. Aladdin is kidnapped by the royal guards per Jafar's orders and thrown into the bottom of the sea. He manages to rub the lamp just before he loses consciousness. A panicked Genie forcefully uses Aladdin's second wish to rescue him, carrying him back to land, thus saving his life.

Aladdin warmly thanks Genie, who responds by admitting to having a growing fondness for the street rat. Genie then takes Aladdin back to the palace, where Jafar's treachery is revealed. Just before he escapes the Sultan's guards, Jafar notices Genie's lamp hidden inside Aladdin's turban, and subsequently sends his parrot, Iago , to steal it. The next day, Genie congratulates Aladdin on his success, as Jasmine has officially chosen Ali as her suitor. Unfortunately, Aladdin feels unworthy of Jasmine's love, due to the fact that his persona is built on a lie.

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Genie, however, feels happiness and hopeful that Aladdin would now keep his promise and set him free. Because of his aforementioned feeling of guilt, Aladdin believes he's unable to keep up the ruse without Genie, denying the latter's freedom out of desperation. A downhearted Genie laments his feeling of betrayal, before returning to his lamp, leaving Aladdin to think over his choice. With remorse and selflessness having consumed him, Aladdin makes the decision to tell Jasmine the truth, leaving the lamp behind as he leaves to do so, and allowing it to fall into the hands er, wings of Iago.

When Genie is summoned once more, he finds that Jafar is now the master of the lamp. Genie is forced to grant Jafar's first wish to rule on high as sultan by stripping Jasmine's father of his title and placing the palace atop a high mountain. Aladdin tries to stop Genie, but the latter can only apologize, explaining that he must follow the orders of his new master. Jafar then wishes to become the most powerful sorcerer in the world, and uses his new powers to reveal Ali's true identity to Jasmine.

To ensure Aladdin doesn't interfere again, Jafar banishes the street rat to the ends of the earth, alongside Abu and Carpet. A helpless Genie can only watch the scene unfold in despair, and just as Jafar assumes control of the world. In the dystopian Agrabah, Genie sits in depressed silence as Jafar continuously tortures Jasmine and her father.

Fortunately, Aladdin, Abu, and Carpet return, elating Genie, though he warns Aladdin that he won't be able to assist him. Aladdin makes a stealthy attempt to steal the lamp, but Jafar spots him and attacks. Genie watches helplessly as the two adversaries battle, though he cheers Aladdin on throughout.

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When Aladdin is cornered, he looks to Genie and gets the idea to trick Jafar into wishing to become a genie, himself. Though horrified by the thought of such a cruel man having all the power in the universe, Genie reluctantly grants Jafar's final wish. Unfortunately for Jafar, the powers of a genie come with a price, and the former vizier is quickly imprisoned within his own black lamp. Jafar's magic upon the kingdom and its inhabitants are lifted, and a joyous Genie celebrates the villain's defeat by flinging the latter's lamp to the Cave of Wonders, to ensure 10, years of imprisonment.

Afterward, Aladdin apologizes to Jasmine for lying to her and accepts the fact that they can never be together. Genie watches sadly and urges Aladdin to use his final wish to become a prince again, willing to lose his freedom for the love Aladdin and Jasmine share. Aladdin refuses to continue living a lie, and wishes for Genie's freedom, much to the latter's surprise.

Genie undergoes a transformation, losing his shackles and misty tail, symbolizing his newfound freedom. Genie is ecstatic, and eagerly sets his sight on seeing the world, but not before bidding Aladdin farewell, claiming the latter will always be a prince in his eyes. Genie's words prompt the Sultan to abolish the law separating Aladdin and Jasmine, believing Aladdin has proven himself worthy enough for Jasmine's love. Genie joyously celebrates the romantic moment before leaving Agrabah to begin his travels, with Aladdin and Jasmine seeing him off as he does so.

In honor of their engagement, Aladdin and Jasmine share a lavish magic carpet ride. As they fly off into the night, a zestful Genie in the form of a moon watches over them. In the direct-to-video sequel The Return of Jafar , Genie returns to Agrabah, deciding that the world is not all that great without his friends to share it with. He tells Aladdin and Jasmine that he is no longer as powerful as he once was because free genies are not as strong as genies bound by lamps. In the animated version, Robin Williams breathed life into the fast-talking wish-maker, turning him into the heartwarming and critically lauded comedic core of the film.

So in stepped one of the funniest forces in entertainment: Will Smith. None of that ringing a bell? Time was running out for Ritchie as the start of production loomed and the internet caught wind of the challenge to find his two leads: the affable, quick-thinking, optimistic dreamer Aladdin and the indomitable, independent, benevolent Princess Jasmine. Massoud jetted off to the England set to learn how to properly sing and dance, as well as perform stunts for the film such as riding a camel and scuba diving when Aladdin gets thrown off a cliff. And this time, Jasmine actually has a female counterpart to bounce her ideas and dreams off of, not just her pet tiger Rajah who will still be in the movie.

As Ritchie and his team considered Morocco for location shooting, they realized it might actually hinder them from creating the fictional Agrabah. The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.

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