- “What would you wish of me: The ever-impressive, the long-contained, the often imitated, but never duplicated...
Genie of the Lamp!”
- ―Genie introducing himself to Aladdin
The Genie is the tritagonist of Disney's 1992 animated feature film Aladdin. He is a comedic, larger-than-life spirit (a "jinni") who acts as a servant to whoever holds ownership of the magic lamp in which he resides. Genie possesses phenomenal cosmic power that allows him to grant wishes, shape-shift, and transcend space and time; however, he is burdened to remain bound to his lamp for eternity unless granted freedom by a master.
The Genie is loosely based on the Genie of the Lamp featured in the One Thousand and One Nights folk tale Aladdin. The figure in the tale, while important, was portrayed as a mere slave while the Disney interpretation was greatly expanded into an identifiable character personality, the most notable difference being the Disney genie's ultimate wish to be free.
Genie was originally a slave imprisoned within his lamp, which, itself, was sealed away in the Cave of Wonders for 10,000 years. Though he possesses "phenomenal cosmic powers", he is bound to an "itty bitty living space" and can only use his powers when the owner of the lamp (his master) makes a wish; he occasionally does things without granting a wish, but never anything that greatly affects the world around him. He is also bound by three laws; he cannot kill anyone, he cannot make people fall in love with each other, and he cannot revive the dead. It is possible, however, that he can do the third one, but as he puts it, "It's not a pretty picture. I don't like doing it!". Alternatively, it could mean that while he can revive a person's corpse, he cannot bring them back properly. Each master has three wishes, and cannot exceed this amount by wishing for more wishes. After enduring 10,000 years of imprisonment, the lamp comes into the possession of Aladdin during the course of the first film, and Genie remains in servitude until Aladdin uses his third and final wish to grant Genie his freedom at the end of the film.
As well as largely driving the plot in the first film, Genie serves as a comic relief element in each of his appearances. He is shown to have shape-shifting abilities, which allow for many and varied sight gags. His supernatural disposition permits him to break the fourth wall, as well as parody real-life people and popular culture completely outside of the boundaries of the universe in which he is contained. Robin Williams is responsible for most of these because he improvised many of the lines in the film. Genie's true name (if he has one) has never been revealed; he answers to being called "Genie" and never says he has a real name.
The production of Aladdin was greatly influenced by the creation and development of the Genie. As the first character to be conceived, the Genie's design would set the stage for the other characters, as well as the film's art direction on the whole. Eric Goldberg was assigned as the Genie's supervising animator. When designing the Genie, Goldberg looked to the artwork of the famous caricaturist Al Hirschfeld for inspiration. The Genie was originally going to be purple, but the color theme of the film established that red represents "evil" while blue represents "good"—thus, the Genie was given blue skin.
In terms of characterization, Eric Goldberg has always imagined Genie as being Jewish. This relates to Genie's occasional use of Yiddish phrases. Songwriters Alan Menken and Howard Ashman envisioned the Genie as a big, bombastic entertainer. They looked to famous 1920s, Harlem jazz musicians such as Cab Calloway and Fats Waller for inspiration. This is mainly evident in "Friend Like Me," in which the Genie actually imitates Calloway's dancing and vocalizations.
At one point, the Peddler that opens the movie was going to reveal himself to actually be the Genie at the end of the movie. However, the filmmakers were convinced that the audience would already be leaving by the time the reveal came, and it was ultimately cut. However, there is still evidence of the Genie and Peddler's connections, such as both characters having blue clothing, red sash, bushy eyebrows and beard ending in a curl, the fact both characters had only four fingers in contrast to everyone else who had five, and the fact both were voiced by Robin Williams.
John Musker and Ron Clements created Genie with Robin Williams in mind as they believed a zany, shape-shifting, chaotic character perfectly matched Williams' comedic sensibilities. Despite this, Disney studio chief Jeffrey Katzenberg did suggest names such as John Candy, Steve Martin, and Eddie Murphy, Williams was approached and was initially hesitant. To persuade the comic, Eric Goldberg, the supervising animator for Genie, created bits of animation of the Genie and synced them with audio dialogue from Williams' stand-up routines. Williams was said to have loved Goldberg's work so much that he signed on immediately.
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. It was estimated that Williams improvised 52 characters. 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.
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. 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 as 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 him 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 1997—not including projects that utilize archived recordings). For the next decade, Castellaneta would continue to voice the Genie in video games, theme park attractions, and merchandise. In 2008, 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 2014, Meskimen released a video on his official YouTube channel confirming that he will continue to voice Genie as a means of honoring Williams' legacy,
Genie is full of life and bursting with positive energy. Though he is amongst the most powerful, chaotic 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 is 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 did not interfere with the three rules of wishing).
Though he was generally devoted to whoever 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, he was still able to provide advice to masters that were willing to listen. In the first 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. His friendship with Aladdin proved that he was capable of forming genuine relationships with masters, though it was not 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 mischievous, 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. His 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. He is still every bit comedic, chaotic, and lighthearted, but never holds his tongue when it comes to objections towards Aladdin's more controversial choices. He is nevertheless shown to assist Aladdin, magically, whenever asked to.
Powers and abilities
- Phenomenal Cosmic Power: In the context of the original Aladdin, dialogue suggests that Genie was the most powerful being in the universe. As shown in the first movie, he could easily break the laws of nature, shape-shift into anything, break the fourth wall, warp reality at a whim, lift the palace of Agrabah with no problems, give other people his power, undo the works of any magic (though mixing his magic with someone else's had consequences), and escape a magically sealed cave. However, he had three limits to his abilities (and also refuses to accept substitutions, exchanges, refunds, and wishing for more wishes); he cannot kill, he cannot make people fall in love, and he cannot raise the dead (though he states that he can indeed perform resurrections, but simply does not enjoy doing so as the resurrected are implied to be turned zombies in which he describes as "not a pretty picture"). Aside from these three limitations, he was virtually omnipotent. This level of power was carried over into Aladdin and the King of Thieves, where Genie had no problem with anything he tried.
- Semi-Phenomenal, Nearly Cosmic Power: After getting his freedom, Genie stated that he had suffered a reduction in power due to his new freedom, describing his current powers as now being "semi-phenomenal, nearly cosmic power" as opposed to his previous "phenomenal cosmic power". Due to his weakened state as opposed to Jafar's full power, the now-genie Jafar defeated him during "You're Only Second Rate", as well as deflecting all of his magical attacks. However, he still has a nearly unlimited amount of magical knowledge and all his shape-shifting abilities. He also has high magic power, but was unable to undo certain forms of magic; a weakness with disastrous consequences in the television series, such as when he had trouble turning Jasmine back to normal after she was turned into a rat by a magic mirror, or his inability to break a spell cast by Sadira that brainwashed Aladdin into thinking that he was a dragon-slaying knight. It was revealed in The Return of Jafar that he can also flawlessly imitate the voices and appearances of others, as seen when he shape-shifts into Aladdin in the ultimately failed attempt to distract Jafar while the real Aladdin grabs the latter's lamp. In the series, it is often shown that one of his exploited weaknesses (often by Abis Mal and Mechanicles) is that he can be tricked into getting into a bottle but then cannot get out until someone releases him. Items that can affect magic also affect him, such as the magic-eating creature Thirdack, nearly succeeded in eating Genie from the episode "The Citadel". It is also shown in "Sneeze the Day" that guava juice is the only thing that can give genies a cold, which makes their magic uncontrollable and unpredictable (along with dangerous).
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. 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.
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. 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 take 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 him.
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. 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 a 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. 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 spells upon the kingdom and its inhabitants are broken, and a joyous Genie celebrates the villain's defeat by flinging the latter's lamp to the Cave of Wonders, to ensure 10,000 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 1994 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. Instead of having phenomenal cosmic powers with an itty bitty living space, he now has "semi-phenomenal, nearly cosmic powers" and is as free as a bird. Despite the fact that he lost some of his power when he was freed, he still appears to be roughly as powerful as Jafar is in the first film after he makes his second wish and becomes the most powerful sorcerer in the world. He can fly, shape-shift, conjure things out of thin air, and make them disappear.
That night, when Jasmine gets angry at Aladdin for hiding from her the fact that he brought Iago back to the palace, Genie convinces Iago to help get Aladdin and Jasmine back together. Later, he is confronted by Jafar and imprisoned alongside Abu. Jafar is able to do this because he was still bound by his lamp and thus had access to all the power that came with it. If Jafar had been freed from his lamp by Abis Mal, his power would have been downgraded and he would have most likely been just as powerful as Genie, but no more powerful. Ironically, Jafar wishes to become a genie to become even more powerful than he already was, and it came with a price. If Jafar had been freed, he would only have been as powerful as he was before becoming a genie, making his third wish a waste.
After being freed from Jafar's imprisonment by a morally confused Iago, Genie saves Aladdin from being executed by the palace guards, who Jafar had tricked into believing that Aladdin had murdered the Sultan.
Together they decide that Jafar must be stopped once and for all and Genie says that the only way to destroy Jafar is to destroy his lamp. Genie later attempts to discreetly grab Jafar's lamp but is unable to do so. When Aladdin attempts to grab the lamp in front of Jafar, Jafar blows him out of the throne room into the palace garden, and Genie saves Aladdin from serious injury by catching him when he falls. He then assists Aladdin in the final battle against Jafar by shape-shifting into Aladdin in an attempt to distract him while Aladdin grabs his lamp. However, Jafar catches on in time to stop Aladdin from reaching his lamp. Fortunately, the reformed Iago manages to kick Jafar's lamp into lava, thus destroying Jafar. While this happens, Genie saves Jasmine and Abu from a dangerous situation as the ground is closing back up. When he finds out that Iago survived the battle, he celebrates by turning into a firework.
Genie has a major supporting role in the Aladdin television series, set between The Return of Jafar and Aladdin and the King of Thieves. In the series, being that his power lowered after his freedom, the villains in the series hold a better chance of succeeding but not extremely. While he beats monsters and saves the day when the heroes are in trouble, he does not do everything for them. Because he lost some of his power when he was freed, he cannot solve every problem that comes up with the snap of a finger, so it is often up to Aladdin and his friends to do their own fighting and save themselves. However, he is still an indispensable member of the group. There are many, many occasions in the TV series where Genie's magic is crucial for the heroes to win and the situation would have been hopeless without him. It is also shown throughout various times in the show that he tries to hide his identity as a Genie to ensure that no one tries to abuse his power like "Do the Rat Thing" where Aladdin says he never wants to misuse his powers again, in "Never Say Nefir" where he took on a human appearance, in "Fowl Weather" where he hides from a young orphan boy, and in "Moonlight Madness" where he transforms his tail into a pair of legs while he has a food fight with Iago and Abu in the marketplace where many bystanders are.
During the course of the show, Genie meets a love interest, a genie named Eden. Unlike Genie, she still has a master. Several episodes revolve around Genie as well as some recurring series plots. In some episodes, Genie is being hunted down by the evil sorcerer Mozenrath so that he can use Genie's powers for evil. Other episode plots involve being chased down by a Genie's natural enemy the Mukhtar who later becomes friends with Genie after Genie saves his life while they are working together towards a common goal.
Aladdin and Jasmine are about to wed and the excited Genie spends the morning preparing. He decorates the city and informs the citizens of the special event. He is also Aladdin's best man as well as a wedding planner, decorator, valet, and more. During the ceremony, Genie and his friends are attacked by the Forty Thieves. Genie battles with ease having the villains retreat.
After the dust settles, Genie has the task of rebuilding and reorganizing the wedding. Aladdin learns they were after a scepter that unleashes an Oracle. The Oracle has the answer to every question and Aladdin uses the opportunity to learn the whereabouts of his father. Genie and the others find out he's the King of Thieves and while Aladdin goes to find him, Genie stays behind to fix up the wedding pavilion.
After time passes, Jasmine begins to worry about Aladdin's safety until Genie comes in and uses a mix of comedy and heart to re-ensure Jasmine of Aladdin's safety and to cheer her up. He and Jasmine spend time planning the theme for the wedding and different outfits to try. That morning, Aladdin and the others arrive with a mysterious man. Genie is told that the man is the King of Thieves. Genie, in shock, uses his high-tech security system to prepare an attack but is told that the man is Aladdin's father Cassim. Genie quickly welcomes him into the family.
That night, Cassim is exposed as the king of thieves and caught attempting to steal the scepter with Iago. After Razoul alerts the Sultan, he has no choice but to put him behind bars. After requesting from Genie his father's clothes, Aladdin breaks Cassim and Iago out and is ready for the punishment but Genie and Jasmine take up for him having the Sultan forgive and forget. Genie tries to ease Aladdin's anger and convinces him to save his father after he's been double-crossed by his former henchman. They go off to an island where lies the Hand of Midas. Genie begins to sink the island while Aladdin and the others battle the thieves and save Cassim. After all, is good, Genie attends the wedding and watches Aladdin and Jasmine fly off on Carpet.
During the post-credits scene, Genie appears on the black screen and says "Game over man! Game over!" (a reference to a similar line by the character Hudson from Aliens (1986) before disappearing magically, indicating that the film is the last installment of the Aladdin trilogy.
In a series of short segments called Great Minds Think For Themselves, played during the first two seasons of Disney's One Saturday Morning, Genie talks about historical characters and events like George Washington Carver and Louis Armstrong. Robin Williams reprised his role for these segments.
Genie makes a brief cameo appearance in the Quack Pack episode "Ducks By Nature" on the television set that Huey, Dewey, and Louie are watching.
Genie makes a cameo in the Hercules TV series crossover episode "Hercules and the Arabian Night," in which he punches Pain and Panic back to the Underworld when they are tricked into looking into the lamp by Aladdin (only his hand is seen).
Genie makes numerous appearances in the series House of Mouse, usually found with Abu, Iago, and Jafar. In Mickey's Magical Christmas, Genie takes part in the ending song and seen on stage with a microphone. Genie is also one of the guests yelling "No!" after Goofy offered more stew in Goofy's Menu Magic as was as being one of the guests shoved at one of the tables with other Disney characters in House of Scrooge. Genie was seen poofing out of his lamp during the headcount of all of the guest in "Ask Von Drake." In "Big Bad Wolf Daddy," he was seen in the crowd during the eponymous character's finale number. Genie is also seen being trapped in the kitchen with other heroes in Mickey's House of Villains.
Genie is featured prominently in two animated shorts featured on the Platinum and Diamond Editon releases of Aladdin—Inside the Genie's Lamp and The Genie World Tour. In the first, Iago escapes Jafar's lamp and enters Genie's, which happens to be the opposite of "itty bitty living space", as it was described. In the latter short, he teasingly sends a magical postcard containing photos from his trip around the world to Jafar's lamp inside the Cave of Wonders.
In 2004, Genie appeared in a commercial promoting the Make-A-Wish foundation.
Genie makes a non-speaking cameo in the form of a silhouette during the finale of The Lion King 1½, joining several other Disney characters in watching the film.
An emoticon version of Genie appeared in the Aladdin entry of the As Told by Emoji short series. In the short, his lamp prison was stylized as a smartwatch.
In Ralph Breaks the Internet, Jasmine's tank top features stylized artwork of Genie's hand.
Genie appears in the 2019 live-action adaptation of Aladdin, the Genie is portrayed by Will Smith, with his appearance alternating between his classic blue-skin and a human form of African ancestry as a disguise to blend in. This version is significantly less wacky than in the original film, having a more relaxed and sarcastic personality. In the remake, wishes must be done with more specific words, or else the Genie could give something different than was intended, something Aladdin later uses to trick Jafar into becoming a genie. Additionally, in this version, the Genie states clearly that his power comes from the lamp as well as himself, with the result that he becomes human when freed from the lamp. Genie is also portrayed as forming a romance with Jasmine's handmaiden Dalia, to the point that he asks her to join him in traveling the world after he is freed from the lamp. The start of the film features a plot twist featuring a human Genie telling Aladdin's story to his and Dalia's children, a reference to a deleted concept from the original film in which the Peddler from the start would reveal himself as the Genie.
While trapped inside the Cave of Wonders, Abu reveals that he stole the lamp back from Jafar. Aladdin notices the lamp is a bit dusty and gives it a rub. This causes the lamp to release a powerful Genie who can grant him three wishes, as long as he is holding the lamp in which Genie introduces himself to Aladdin who has never made a friend like him before. Aladdin wishes to escape from the Cave (though he makes a wish without holding the lamp, keeping his three wishes intact), and both he, Genie, Abu, and Carpet find themselves in the middle of the desert. After seeing Genie's potential, Aladdin wishes to become a prince in the hopes that he can attract Princess Jasmine's attention. Genie transforms him into Prince Ali, turns Abu into an elephant, and parade to the Sultan's Palace, where the Sultan welcomes him. Arriving there, the Sultan introduces Aladdin to Princess Jasmine where the Genie tells him to find ways to get her attention.
While Aladdin and Jasmine ride on Carpet to explore the world around them, the couple arrives back to Agrabah where Aladdin tells the Genie that "Prince Ali" is actually Aladdin where the Genie tells him to tell the truth who he really is. After Jafar pushes Aladdin out of his tower and falls into the sea, Abu and Carpet arrive with the lamp, and Aladdin manages to rub it before drowning. Genie appears and rescues Aladdin who does the wish for him due to him being unable to speak underwater. Aladdin, however, manages to get back to the Palace where he stops Jafar from putting Agrabah under control where "Prince Ali" is once again revealed to be Aladdin.
Talking with the Genie again, Aladdin tells him that the people in Agrabah say that "Prince Ali" is actually Aladdin and after discussing the lie he did with Jasmine, Genie becomes very upset and disappointed for Aladdin's claim to which he feels upset about himself in pretending to be a prince. Jafar, wearing a robe, takes the lamp from Aladdin where he takes Genie to be his new master. During Jafar's first wish, he plans to become the Sultan of Agrabah. After granting his first wish, Jafar becomes the Sultan of Agrabah. When Hakim sends the guards to arrest the vizier, Jafar rubs the lamp and tells the Genie that his second wish is to become the powerful ruler of Agrabah just as Aladdin, Abu, and Carpet notice this just as Jafar sends everyone to the dungeon. Jafar then tells everyone that "Prince Ali" is actually Aladdin just as he banishes him to a frozen wasteland. Just as Aladdin is banished to a frozen wasteland, Genie and Carpet notice Jafar preparing to kill Jasmine, Dalia, and the Sultan under his tyrannical rule in forcing them to bow to Jafar much to Genie's worry.
Later after the Sultan stops Jafar from destroying Agrabah, he then becomes enraged and creates a violent storm to destroy Agrabah where during the confrontation against Aladdin and Jafar, Genie turns Jafar into a powerful genie just like him by using his final wish to become a powerful genie. Just as Jafar prepares to destroy Agrabah, he soon ends up getting chained with gauntlets to which Aladdin tells him that he didn't do this. Soon as Jafar and Iago are sucked back into the lamp, the Genie banishes them to the Cave of Wonders while Aladdin apologizes to Jasmine for lying to her and everyone in Agrabah. The Genie then arrives and is reunited with Aladdin where he explains to him that he must marry a princess he loves to which Aladdin chooses Princess Jasmine to be his wife. Aladdin uses his final wish to set the Genie free; later, Aladdin finally marries Jasmine in front of a large crowd as Jasmine finally found a prince to marry just as Genie attends the marriage between Aladdin and Jasmine. Genie is then seen dancing with all the palace inhabitants during the credits.
Aladdin video games
In the video game adaptations of Aladdin, Genie's role is more or less the same as in the film.
In the popular RPG franchise, Genie plays a recurring role, originally featured as a major character in the world of Agrabah, reliving his role from the original film during the adventures of the heroic Sora, Donald Duck, and Goofy as they travel throughout Disney worlds to defeat enemies known as the Heartless, whom Genie is able to take out with great ease, being that his power was so immense. Since his debut in the original Kingdom Hearts, Genie has regularly been featured as a "summon" for Sora, a Disney companion who aids Sora during his adventures outside the respective worlds they originate from. The role would continue in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II (which he played a considerably smaller role in). Alongside Carpet, though in Agrabah, Genie would also be featured in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days during the adventures of the character Roxas. A data version of Genie would also appear in Kingdom Hearts coded.
In the first game, Genie utilizes magic in a technique known as "Showtime", in which he casts random magic like the Thunder, Gravity, and Stop families. He retains this ability in Chain of Memories (and its remake, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories), though in this game the level of Showtime determines how many spells of these three spell types Genie will randomly cast before leaving. In Kingdom Hearts II, he wields a replica of the Keyblade and can also replicate Sora's Drive Forms, using Limits associated with the Forms to attack enemies on Sora's whim. The only exception is Sora's Limit Form as that form was originally introduced in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix.
Genie is a non-playable character in the game, serving as its host.
Genie accompanies Aladdin in the "Mickey's Soundsational Parade" mini-game. Similar in the actual parade, Genie is seen in front of Aladdin's float, and in addition, He also appears as an unlocked meet-and-greet character in Adventureland. After he comes out of hiding, Genie asks the player to take pictures of the outfits being worn by the other princesses throughout the park, as he has promised to make a new gown for Jasmine but is not up to date with princess fashion styles, which occurs after getting the blaster from Buzz Lightyear in Tomorrowland. Once done, he directs the player to Aladdin to get some dates for Jasmine, which then causes her to spawn close by. Later on in the game, Aladdin needs to find the pieces of some scarabs so that he can make a new necklace for Jasmine. After the player recovers the scarabs, they take them to Genie to fix it. Unfortunately, when Genie fixes them, they turn into flying golden scarabs and fly off. The player then has to go catch them and take them to Aladdin.
Genie makes an appearance in the Disney INFINITY trilogy as a townsperson. In the 3DS version, he will grant a player three wishes. One is an Emblem, the second is to power up all characters, and the third is 200 coins. There may be more wishes. He is also mentioned by Jasmine and Aladdin when they get leveled up, which Jasmine states that she believes there are more people that have magic like him, and Aladdin says that he will soon be as powerful as Genie.
At the start of the Aladdin storyline, Genie is making his return to Agrabah. Aladdin, Jasmine, Abu, and Carpet throw a welcoming party in his honor, much to Genie's surprise and delight. The party is crashed by a vengeful Jafar, who plots to consume the Kingdom in a curse. Genie tracks down Jafar's whereabouts, which is in an obvious alchemy lab in the center of the land. Though nearly foiled, Jafar unleashes the curse in the form of scarabs, though Genie is able to use his magic to destroy them, with Aladdin's help. With Jafar defeated, Genie requests that they continue with the party. This confuses Aladdin, as most of Jasmine's preparations had been destroyed, but Genie remedies this issue with his magic.
In this version, Genie replaces the Peddler famous for singing "Arabian Nights"; harkening back to the original concept of having the Peddler reveal to be him at the end of the first film. As such, he performs "Arabian Nights" and disappears until his iconic introduction in the Cave of Wonders.
Like in the original, Genie provides heavy comedy and fast-paced dialogue throughout the story, some of which include pop culture references, self-aware humor, and fourth wall jokes. Notably, in the extended Broadway version of "Friend Like Me", he adds a medley of popular Alan Menken songs (the man behind the music of both versions of Aladdin) including Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and Pocahontas.
On the day that the news arrived that Robin Williams had died, James performed the song "Friend Like Me", with the rest of the cast, at the end of the show as a tribute to the legendary actor.
Genie appears in the water spectacular in World of Color at Disney California Adventure. In the middle of the show, following Aladdin and Jasmine, he sings "Friend Like Me" in dazzling light and water sparks. He also appeared as a puppet in the pre-show, Carnival of Color. The puppet was later reused in the Paint the Night parade, along with Tigger and Lumiere.
Genie also appeared as the main attraction of Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular, formerly played at Disney's California Adventure and currently aboard the Disney Fantasy cruise ship. In the show, Genie plays out the same role in the film, and each actor channels Robin Willams' original performance by incorporating pop culture references and mixing the jokes into nearly every show to reflect current events in the world and entertainment.
In Disneyland's Fantasmic!, Genie has his own scene, singing "Friend Like Me" to Sorcerer Mickey. He shapeshifts into Donald Duck, Goofy, and even transforms Mickey into Pinocchio as an homage to the Pinocchio-themed scene that originally occupied that part of the show before its 2017 update.
In SpectroMagic, Genie appeared in the band unit of the parade, conducting Goofy, Chip and Dale, and the Golden Harp. Genie's part was initially taken on by Roger Rabbit, but issues with Amblin led to Roger's replacement.
Genie was one of the heroes that Mickey Mouse called out to help in the former castle show Cinderella's Surprise Celebration. He fights off Jafar, who had been called by the Evil Queen in her attempts to take over the kingdom.
Genie is also an unofficial mascot of DisneyQuest. Upon entering at ground level, one is brought by an elevator (here called a "cybrolator", containing a short & humorous animation of Genie welcoming you) up to the center of the third floor (the "Ventureport"), where one's visit begins. He is also heard on the end-of-day closing announcements. When a game or attraction is down, a sign reading "The Genie has spotted a technical problem..." is displayed.
In Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, Genie guides the park guests during their quest to defeat Jafar in Adventureland. Genie also assists the guests in the final battle but is tied to a chair and gagged by Jafar's magic. After Jafar is defeated, Genie is freed and rejoices in the defeat of his foe alongside Merlin.
Genie can also be seen in a poster in the queue area of Mickey's PhilharMagic.
For meet-and-greets, he can sometimes be found with Aladdin and Jasmine in Adventureland.
In the Tokyo DisneySea version of Fantasmic!, Genie gets a full sequence based on "Friend Like Me".
At this 3-D film and live-action hybrid show, The Magic Lamp Theater, at Tokyo DisneySea, Genie has come into the service of the magician Shaban, but he and his lamp are locked away when Shaban grows jealous of his power. Now, the magician's apprentice Assim, who actually found the lamp in the first place, seeks to release Genie and give the audience a real magic show.
Genie also appeared in the show Springtime Surprise performed at Arabian Coast and is a centerpiece of a topiary of himself holding Duffy in his hand located near the entrance to the port-of-call. His likeness can also be found in the same park; some of which have him appearing as other Disney characters such as Ariel from The Little Mermaid.
The current version of the Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade: DreamLights includes the Genie float. LED lights on the Genie's skin change into various Disney characters (Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Tigger, etc.).
At the Walt Disney Studios Park, Genie appears in Mickey and the Magician, where he is summoned from the lamp by the show's titular star and performs a Broadway-inspired rendition of "Friend Like Me".
Genie appears in Mickey and the Wondrous Book in Storybook Theater. After he performs "Friend like Me", he tells the guests that a genie's life is like all wishes and no play. Suddenly, he hears a trumpet playing on the next page of the Wondrous Book, and he feels a blast. He then tells Mickey to follow the music beyond the Cave of Wonders.
Genie also stars in his own segment during Ignite the Dream, performing "Friend Like Me" after being released from the lamp by Mickey Mouse.
In Disney Believe, Genie is the lead Disney character and the leader of the "magic makers" that help a practical father believe in magic. Genie first appears inside the father's home and informs him about the journey he's about to venture on. In the end, Genie and the magic makers celebrate the father's new imagination.
- Genie is 65,000 years old.
- In addition to "Friend Like Me" and "Prince Ali," Genie was to have a third song titled "To Be Free"—a ballad in which the Genie expresses his desire to be free from his lamp. The song was cut as Alan Menken believed having three songs for Genie would be overkill. However, the melody still exists in the film's score as Genie's theme, and can be found on the soundtrack as "To Be Free."
- "To Be Free" would later appear as a solo for Jasmine in Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular.
- Before Robin Williams was cast, George Wendt, John Goodman, Eddie Murphy, John Candy, Rodney Dangerfield, Dan Aykroyd, Phil Hartman and Steve Martin were also considered to voice him.
- Genie's weakness is sealed bottles and containers, which he is, unfortunately, easily tricked into.
- The designers had a hard time creating Genie because they wanted him to be a character that could only exist in the realm of imagination, and to do that, they shaped him like a living cloud of smoke.
- In Aladdin and the King of Thieves, Genie turned into one of Robin Williams's characters, Mrs. Doubtfire, when trying to cheer Jasmine up.
- There is a homage made to Genie in The Princess and the Frog. As Mama Odie quickly digs through a pile of magical objects during "Dig a Little Deeper", his magic lamp gets tossed to one side.
- Robin Williams was allowed to improvise much of his performance, which is pretty unusual in animation. His initial recordings included about 52 separate characters, which Eric Goldberg then took and worked with, picking the funniest bits to animate.
- When Genie is discussing his wish for freedom, he briefly assumes a hyper-masculine form as he demonstrates his control over the cosmos. This is a bit of foreshadowing, as Jafar reprises this action after he transforms into a genie and seizes control of the universe during the climax of Aladdin. Ironically, the two images have opposite contexts: Genie assumes the form to lament his great power but a lack of freedom, while Jafar assumes the form while reveling in his great power. Furthermore, both scenes have the phrase "phenomenal cosmic power and itty bitty living space" spoken, the first by the (blue) Genie and the second by Aladdin himself.
- Even though Genie said that one of the natural limitations of a genie is that they can't bring people back from the dead, it's implied that Genie can bring people back from the dead, but he just simply doesn't like doing it.
- Genie once made a speaking cameo appearance in The Simpsons episode "Mypods and Boomsticks", where he talked to Homer Simpson, which was intended as an inside joke, as Dan Castellaneta also voices Homer.
- Genie's Goofy costume worn at the end of Aladdin is a nod to Robin Williams' costume worn in the 1989 Disney short, Back to Never Land.
- Genie was appeared in Sing Along Songs: Let's Go to Disneyland Paris, He was in Following the Leader segment as well.
- Genie is mentioned in Once Upon a Time though, in respect for Robin Williams, the Genie doesn't appear. When Aladdin steals a Genie's Lamp from Mr. Gold's pawnshop, Jasmine asks whether the Genie is inside, to which Aladdin replies that he is free and has moved on.
- Despite having been freed, Genie continues to wear his gold cuffs in the sequels and television series. Some storybooks such as Jasmine's Royal Wedding, however, stay true to the original film's ending by featuring Genie without the cuffs.
- In truth, Genie granted only two wishes to Aladdin, becoming a Prince and Genie's freedom, since the boy was unconscious when Genie saved him from drowning; however, due to their "no more extra" agreement before, three wishes are still counted.
- Genie sometimes changes color depending on his mood. For example, in the episode "Sneeze The Day" he turns green when he is feeling sick.
- Genie was listed #20 in Empire Magazine's The 50 Best Animated Movie Characters. Stating his stroke of genius as the "Prince Ali" musical number, which sees Genie perform the main song but also transform himself into crowd members to start a hundred different rumors as Aladdin, disguised as a prince, makes his triumphal entry into the city.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 "Watch Alan Menken Play Through the Writing of Aladdin’s Epic ‘Friend Like Me’" (October 2, 2018).
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Aladdin, Platinum Edition DVD: Audio commentary
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Aladdin, Platinum Edition DVD: Pop-Up Fun Facts
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Aladdin: Platinum Edition, Disc 2: Diamond in the Rough: The Making of Aladdin
- ↑ Marvel's Aladdin, issue #8