BOOM! Right off the bat, Robin Williams starts off the film Aladdin as the narrator of the story, The Peddler. This is his lesser known role in the #1 Disney movie ever, as rated by Tommy Slotcavage in his blog The Dopest of Disney. Williams’ main character in this Disney classic is Genie of the Lamp.
Genie of the Lamp doesn’t become a main character in this movie until after about 30 minutes. This is when Aladdin rubs the magic lamp, releasing Genie from his prison inside. Williams takes over the screen immediately.
If you have ever seen this movie before, you know how utterly crazy and energetic he is as the Genie. Accents, impersonations, and crazy shouting all randomly flow out of Genie’s mouth.
The role of the Genie may seem like a perfect fit for Robin Williams. This is because it is. The producers of Aladdin made the role of the Genie to convince Williams to join their vocal cast. This was at a time before superstars agreed to do voiceovers for animated movies. The illustrator of Aladdin even drew scenes of the Genie acting out clips of Williams’ old standup routines to court him.
A large majority of the Genie’s lines in this movie were completely improvised during hours and hours of Williams spending time performing in front of a microphone. Many extra drawings had to be illustrated to accommodate Williams’ funny rants.
Williams is not the hero of this movie, but he is entirely lovable. Nowhere throughout the movie does his character mess up or purposefully, willfully hurt another person. He plays a character with no fault. All the Genie wants to be is free, and his fate lies in the hand of his master, Aladdin. At the end of the movie, when Aladdin is faced with the decision whether to use his last wish to free Genie or become an official prince so that he can marry Jasmine (HAWT), Genie is fully supportive of Aladdin choosing Jasmine. However, Aladdin chooses to free Genie, and gets the girl in the end anyways.
You do not need to see Robin Williams in Aladdin to get a feel of his energy and zeal. Though his comedy was not played out in the main role of the film, Williams played a crucial character to the lessons to be learned in Disney movies.
“Never pick a fight with an ugly person, they’ve got nothing to lose.” Robin Williams
P.S. This last quote was not the lesson to be learned from Disney movies, just a funny quote from the legend himself.