Here's How Disney Brought Back Robin Williams' Genie As Part Of Epic New Cartoon

To mark The Walt Disney Company's centenary, the studio unveiled an ambitious new short featuring a host of classic characters – including the Genie.

Disney has now been pushing the boundaries of animation and cinema for a century, and marked the hugely impressive anniversary with a new cartoon to celebrate their accomplishments.

Released on Monday, the eight-minute short Once Upon A Studio sees classic characters like Mickey Mouse, Cinderella and Snow White rubbing shoulders with more modern creations like Moana, Elsa and Mirabelle as they try to take a group photo to mark The Walt Disney Company’s 100th anniversary.

Also featured in the short is the Genie from the Aladdin, who was voiced by Robin Williams in the original Oscar-winning film.

In a short clip, he knocks over Frozen’s scene-stealing snowman Olaf, before declaring: “I haven’t seen a fall like that since Rome.”

This line was actually delivered by the late actor himself, thanks to outtakes unearthed from the Disney archives, with the blessing of the late actor and comedian’s family.

Producer Bradford Simonsen told Variety: “We tried to take [Robin Williams’ estate] on the journey with us to say, ‘We’ve got this very special short that we’re doing. Robin as the genie means so much to so many people and we would really love to involve him’.”

He continued: “Dan [Abraham, the short’s co-director] listened to the outtakes from the original recording and he found those little bites that we could use. We went back to the estate and said, ‘This is what we hope to do. Eric [Goldberg], who originally animated the genie is on the show, and he’s going to be part of it.’ And it was wonderful to see that happen.”

Robin Williams with his character in 1996
Robin Williams with his character in 1996
JOHN T. BARR via Getty Images

Robin Williams’ performance as The Genie is considered one of many game-changing moments for the Disney film studio, and the Oscar winner returned to voice the character on a number of occasions, including the sequel Aladdin And The King Of Thieves.

However, prior to this, he was involved in a dispute with the company over the marketing of his character, due to which he refused to voice the Genie in Aladdin’s first sequel The Return Of Jafar and several other projects.

Once Upon A Studio is available to stream now on Disney+.


What's Hot