-- “Aladdin” changed the landscape of major motion picture animation forever, and now, fans are getting their first look at never-before-seen clips from the Disney vault that feature the Genie, the character played by the late Robin Williams.
The clips are outtakes that show Williams’ unmistakable comic genius in the recording booth as he voices the Genie, and they arrive as the 1992 Disney film is being digitally re-released.
The iconic character of the Genie was brought to life by supervising animator Eric Goldberg. He shared fond memories of Williams.
“Aside from him being funny as anything, he was such a warm, person,” Goldberg said of Williams.
Williams committed suicide last year. A coroner’s report said the beloved 63-year-old actor had Lewy Body Dementia, a common but difficult to diagnose condition that may have contributed to his decision to commit suicide.
“He was the Genie, he was bigger than life,” John Musker, the film’s writer/director, said of Williams.
Ron Clements, who also wrote and directed the movie; composer Alan Menken; Scott Weinger, the speaking voice of Aladdin and Brad Kane, the character’s singing voice; Linda Larkin, the speaking voice of Jasmine and Lea Salonga, the character’s singing voice; and Jonathan Freeman, the voice of Jafar, all appeared live.
“Oh it was amazing working with Robin. Absolutely incredible,” Menken said on “GMA.”
“Yeah, we wrote the part with Robin in mind,” Musker added. “We didn’t know if he would do it. And fortunately for us, he did. We were totally walking down the plank. If he said no, we were going to be in big trouble because the whole concept was built around Robin.”
Clements explained “there was nobody else that could be the Genie.”
“Fortunately he agreed to do it, and he worked so hard,” Clements recalled. “We would record in four-hour sessions. He would be going four hours straight. We would have practically four hours of recording and by the end he was just drenched. He would have so much energy and so much passion.”
“Aladdin” was released last week on digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere. The “Aladdin: Diamond Edition” Blu-Ray combo will be available on Tuesday.