'Aladdin' Casts' Robin Williams Memories Remind Us How Timeless The Genie Truly Is
It's been 23 years since the release of Disney's animated classic, Aladdin, but the movie is still a fan-favorite. With songs like "A Whole New World" and the inspirational story, Aladdin resonated with both children and adults alike. However, it's Robin Williams' performance as the Genie that remains the most emotional aspect of the memory. An a series of E! News interviews about making the animated film, the Aladdin cast and crew spoke fondly of Williams' memory.
Linda Larkin, who voiced Princess Jasmine, recalls that she "begged" to work with the actor, saying:
"I only had one scene where we had dialogue together, so they could have recorded me separately…but they wanted to do it with him, because that's better for the film, too. It was the best day of my life, that day—up to that point! When I read the script, I was like, 'This character sounds like Robin Williams.' And when I found out Robin Williams was playing the part, I was like, 'I can't believe I'm going to be in a movie with Robin Williams!'…It was super cool, and he really is a true force. You walk into the room and he immediately makes you feel comfortable. Then, when you record with him, he takes you to places that you probably couldn't go on your own."
Scott Weinger, the voice of Aladdin, cited Williams as his "ultimate hero." Adds director John Musker, "For everything that was in the movie, there are maybe 20 or 30 things that aren't in the movie. He enjoyed doing it, and it was sort of like you couldn't stop him ... I don't think I've ever experienced that with a voice actor where we would feel like, 'We've got so much good stuff. We don't need any more'... It was really amazing to watch."
Of course, Williams as the Genie is an iconic role to this day. Here are 11 reasons the character remains timeless.
1. Joke After Joke
Williams had us cracking up the entire film — and his jokes are still relevant today.
2. Williams' Improvisation Might Have Disqualified The Screenplay From Oscar Contention
An urban myth claims that Williams ad-libbed so much of his dialogue that Aladdin wasn't eligible for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar. This remains unconfirmed, but it highlights how much the actor contributed to the film.
3. "Friend Like Me"
This whole number is unbelievable, from start to finish.
4. The Genie Transcends Age
Williams' humor entertained kids and their parents.
5. Williams Gave So Much
As Musker noted, Williams just kept giving the team material. He was larger than life, much like the Genie himself.
6. He Reminded Us To "Bee" Ourselves
Williams wasn't all humor. He was also the moral compass of the movie.
7. It Was Technically Two Roles
Williams also voiced the street merchant, who was originally going to be revealed as the Genie in disguise.
8. The Jokes Themselves Are Timeless
From Williams' Jack Nicholson impression to the informercial parody in the opening scene, many of these references ring true today.
9. He Represented The Dreamer In All Of Us
Everyone feels trapped in some way or another, and the Genie's optimism is a glimmer of hope we can all use.
10. We Thought Of Him As Our Friend
We wanted the Genie's freedom as much as he did. Pretty poignant for a cartoon, right?
11. The Heart
For all of the laughter Williams gave us, he also brought a ton of emotion. He was the heart of the movie and at its core, the reason we all still love it today.
Here's to Robin Williams, and the part of the Genie that will always live on in our hearts.
Images: Disney (screenshot); Giphy (10)