Robin Williams starred as the Genie in Disney’s Aladdin 23 years ago. The animated feature was a huge hit for both Disney and Williams. It was a character that was made specifically for the comedian, and he shined as the loveable and hilarious genie from the lamp who helped the street rat get the princess of his dreams.
Disney revealed its plans for the Blu-Ray release of Aladdin earlier this year, but fans received their first look at the new outtakes featuring Robin Williams in new footage from the film on Friday. The cast and crew of the film stopped by Good Morning America on Friday to talk about the release and honor the memory of Robin Williams.
John Musker, the co-writer of the iconic animated movie release, revealed during the GMA interview that the role of the genie was definitely written with the actor in mind.
“We wrote the part with Robin in mind, but we didn’t know if he would do it. Fortunately for us, he did, [but]we were totally walking down the plank. If he said no, we were in big trouble because the whole concept was built around Robin.”
Eric Goldberg, the animator for the film, remembered working with Robin fondly. He said, “Aside from being funny as anything, he was such a warm person. He was the Genie – it was bigger than life.”
Robin Williams left a mark on Hollywood with his career. Since the start with his character of Mork from the popular television series Mork & Mindy, he was a force that demanded attention in any role he took on.
His career began as a comedian, and many of his biggest hits turned into iconic comedies loved by fans around the world. He was more than a funny man, though. His dramatic work earned him just as much praise and attention.
— Movie Quotes (@FineMovieQuotes) October 9, 2015
Robin Williams won an Oscar for his performance in Good Will Hunting, which was released in 1997. Matt Damon spoke about the film and working with Williams when he was promoting his latest release, The Martian, earlier this month. E! Online shared his comments about one moment of his career he will never forget.
“It was the very first day of shooting and Ben and I went to the set. We weren’t working that day and we just saw them rehearse and we were kind of sitting off to the side of the camera…by the time they said, ‘Action,’ tears were just falling down my face. I couldn’t believe it. I was just looking at Robin start to speak and say these words that Ben and I had just worked on for five years and I just looked up at Ben and the same thing, he was just… And Robin was great. After the scene ended, he came over to us and he saw us. He put his hand on our head and just said, you know, ‘It’s not a fluke. You guys really did this. You really did it.'”
Robin Williams died in 2014 at the age of 63, but his memory lives on in all the work he completed before his death. His last film, Boulevard, was released over the summer. The complex featured Williams as Nolan. Boulevard was one of four films set for release in the time following Williams’ death.
Williams’ death did shine a light on mental health issues. His suicide revealed years of depression that was known by those that knew him, but the world did not know that one of the funniest men in the world battled daily with depression.
Saturday, October 10, is the day this year marked as Mental Health Day, and Williams’ passing made people realize that there is more to people than what lies on the surface. There are issues inside that many hide away. Those issues should not be hidden though. Williams left behind children, friends, and fans across the world. His death shocked Hollywood, and those shock waves are still being felt a year later.
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The Genie in Aladdin was just one of many of his roles, but it is definitely one of his best known performances. These new outtakes from the film gives fans another look at the actor many loved and still love to this day.
Williams took on the role and he brought the character to life with his ad-libs. According to Escapist Magazine, Musker commented on the work Robin put into the film. He said, “In this movie, Robin’s Genie transcends time and space. So does Robin Williams. It’s perfect that he played a genie because he’s kind of a genius.”
His improvisational skills gave new life to the character, and those skills made it a character that fans love to this day.
The Aladdin Diamond Blu-Ray will hit store shelves on Tuesday.
[Photo by Michael Caufield/Getty Images for PCA]