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Genie (Aladdin)

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GenieRobinwilliams aladdin
First appearanceAladdin
Created byRoger Allers
Ron Clements
Voiced byRobin Williams
Dan Castellaneta
Characteristics
Notable aliasesGenie of the Lamp

Genie is a fictional character from the Disney animated features canon movie Aladdin, as well as related series and sequels. For the original movie, his voice was provided by Robin Williams, though it was later taken over by Dan Castellaneta, after a contract dispute between Williams and the Walt Disney Company. Castellaneta continued to voice the Genie throughout Aladdin the Series, as well as the direct-to-video feature The Return of Jafar, before Williams reprised the role for the final installment of the franchise, Aladdin and the King of Thieves. Castellaneta also voiced Genie in the Kingdom Hearts series by Square Enix and Buena Vista Games.

Like most popular depictions of genies, Disney's Genie was originally a slave. Though he possessed "phenomenal cosmic powers", he was bound to an "itty-bitty living space" and could only use his powers when the owner of the lamp (his master) made a wish. Each master had three such wishes. The lamp came into the possession of the character Aladdin during the course of the first movie, and remained in servitude until the end of the movie, when Aladdin used his third and final wish to grant Genie his freedom.

As well as largely driving the plot in the first movie, the Genie serves as a comic relief element in each of his appearances. He is shown to have incredible shape-shifting abilities, which allow for many and varied sight gags, and the Genie's 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 fictional universe in which he is contained. Robin Williams is responsible for most of these because he improvised many of the lines in the film.

Along with the character of Iago the parrot, Genie is one of the most well recognized of characters from Disney's Aladdin franchise.

Reduction of Genie's PowersEdit

After the first movie, Genie's Phenomenal Cosmic Powers were reduced to Semi-Phenomenal, Nearly-Cosmic Powers as he admitted in The Return of Jafar and the TV series. Evidence of his power reduction can be observed by comparing the first Aladdin movie to the Aladdin TV series.

In the first movie, Genie's powers were a brand of magic that never fails. He was all-powerful and able to do anything except three forbidden things: murder, making one fall in love, and raising the dead (although he explained that he simply does not enjoy doing the third). He was considered the most powerful being on Earth, and was able to get out of the collapsed cave of wonders, lift the palace in to the sky with his bare hands, and undo the work, causes, and results of magics from other sources by mixing them with his magic. He was possibly the most powerful entity in the Disney universe.

However, Genie's magic fails very often in the TV series, he is too foolish to take full advantage of his powers while mortals who only temporary possessed some of them (such as Iago and Mozenrath) were able to take better advantage than him, and he appears to be somewhat clumsy in using his powers; becoming trapped inside of objects such as common bottles, failing to stop the palace from falling from the sky in one episode, and failing in mixing magics to undo the magic of other sources. His foolishness and clumsiness sometimes result in his defeat, humiliation, or even intimidation by a less powerful villain.

Genie's physical and mystical abilities were reduced, as well as his wisdom, intelligence, and personality. In the first movie he has complete self-confidence, gives good advice, and shows no foolishness, unlike in the TV series where he has very little self-confidence and is usually out-smarted and needs Aladdin's mortal wisdom to save him. The logic behind Genie's reduction was most likely to make Aladdin's adventures more challenging by keeping Genie from making any problem irrelevant.

Ironically, this reduction is neither obvious nor mentioned in Aladdin and the King of Thieves, since he never gets beaten, humiliated, or intimidated, and his magic never fails. He was able to defeat the Forty Thieves when the palace guards failed to do so, multiply himself to countless soldiers of a modern-day military while using a Code Red Order, and rebuild the completely destroyed wedding pavilion in one night. His wisdom, intelligence, and personality appeared to be similar to that in the first movie. It is notable that this coincides with Robin Williams voicing the Genie again.

SongsEdit

The list of songs Genie sings follows.

  • He sang "Friend Like Me" as his intro in the first movie, to tell Aladdin he's no joke, and to tell Aladdin his powers.
  • He also sang "Prince Ali" in the first movie as an intro to Aladdin's Prince Ali alias. He was dressed as a Bellboy having running through the streets introducing Prince Ali, as well as being a commoner, a goat, a cheetah, and a woman, having commented on Price Ali's 'accomplisments'.
  • In the second movie he sang "Nothing in the World Quite Like a Friend" when he returned from his journey to see the world. In this song he told of his tales around the world and as well said that nothing in the world is better than a friend.
  • In the third movie he sang "Father and Son" where he told of the things that Aladdin can now do with his father, and in the opening scene of the movie he sings "There's a Party Here in Agrabah," a song with scenes showing the preparation for Jasmine and Aladdin's wedding.

Kingdom Hearts seriesEdit

Kingdom HeartsEdit

Genie's role in the first Kingdom Hearts game is mostly the same as in the film, as his lamp is found by Aladdin. The general difference is that all of Aladdin's wishes are wasted to get him out of trouble: the first wish was spent on getting rid of Heartless attacking and the second one is to rescue Jasmine from Jafar. Eventually, Iago steals Genie's lamp, forcing Genie to show Jafar the keyhole of Agrabah and assisting him in fighting Sora, Donald, Goofy and Aladdin. After Jafar is defeated, Aladdin wishes Genie free from his lamp. He then becomes a summon for Sora.

Kingdom Hearts IIEdit

Genie has much less screen time and much less to do with the plot in the second game. Like in The Return of Jafar, he goes off to see the world along with Carpet. He misses most of the action, but arrives near the end of Sora's first visit and disturbs Pete when he is about to free Jafar from his lamp. Aside from that the only important things he does is clear out a sandstorm for Sora and fix Agrabah after Jafar wrecks it. He seems to have somewhat more ego here than in the first game, as he complains that one lousy sandstorm is just too easy and that he didn't get to help in the battle against Jafar. Genie once again becomes a summon partner for Sora, but his newest feature is copying Sora's Drive forms and wielding his own copy of the Keyblade.

TriviaEdit

  • An earlier draft of the script for the original movie had the Genie becoming human at the end, and becoming the shopkeeper/narrator from the beginning of the movie (also voiced by Robin Williams). This idea was canceled when it became clear that potential sequels were more viable with the Genie character intact. However, during the scene where Aladdin was introduced as a prince, Genie had turned into a human-like form.
  • The Genie's gold bracelets were used in the first movie as a symbol of his enslavement to the lamp, serving as his shackles which fell off upon his release (similarly, when Jafar is turned into a Genie it is the appearance of his own gold armbands that apparently bind him to his own lamp). Despite this, Genie is shown to be wearing his gold armbands (or similar ones) in every subsequent appearance, with the exception of the Return of Aladdin mini-series published by Disney Comics. However, in one episode of the Aladdin series, he commented that, "The only thing I'm a slave to is fashion" when asked about this. In addition to the bracelets, his gaseous "tail" was shown to be a symbol of his imprisonment as well, a constant connection to his lamp, as such, he constantly appears with feet in the subsequent movies, although the tail does return occasionally, usually when he is flying.
  • Genie also appears at some of the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts as a meetable character. He is less common than Aladdin or Jasmine, but he's more frequent than Jafar and Abu.
  • Genie is known to shape-shift, but a theme that ties most his forms together is that they are either blue or have his trademark beard.
  • Throughout the three feature-length Aladdin movies, Genie transforms 13 times into another Disney character (not counting brief transformations into Jafar, Iago, and Aladdin in The Return of Jafar). These characters include Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket, the White Rabbit, Pumbaa, Pluto, Pocahontas, Ariel, and Mickey Mouse. He also transforms into Forrest Gump and Mrs. Doubtfire in the third movie. He also used magic to change Jasmine's clothes into the garments of other Disney princesses Snow White and Cinderella.
  • The casting of Robin Williams as the Genie paved the way for the widespread casting of live-action celebrities in voice acting roles. In particular, Aladdin was the first time that a voice actor had been used in marketing as a means of attracting an audience.
  • The Genie is the mascot of DisneyQuest, an "indoor interactive theme park" located in Downtown Disney at the Walt Disney World Resort.
  • Although freed from his lamp, Genie now considers it his getaway place. If the lamp were destroyed, Genie would still remain with his powers because he's freed, unlike Jafar.
  • One of the bonus features on the 2-disc Special Edition for Aladdin is called "Genie's World Tour," shown in a series of postcards that he sends to Jafar and Iago in their lamp
  • In November 2006, when Alaska Airlines added another 737 to its fleet, it had the Spirit of Disneyland scheme with the Genie as the mascot.
  • He is voiced by Istvan Miko in the Hungarian version, who is also the regular Hungarian voiceover for Robin Williams.
  • Popular independent animator Bill Plympton was slated to design Genie, but he turned down the position.
  • Genie is the only animated character ever to win an MTV movie award (for best comedic performance through Robin Williams)
  • He has a genie girlfriend by the name of Eden.
  • In the first movie, Genie's magical powers were usually represented by silver sparks. In the second movie and the TV series, they were usually represented by blue sparks. They seem to change in the last movie, being yellow sparks when Genie changes a physical object, blue when he changes his form or vanishes/appears, and silver when he creates something from thin air using magic alone. Sometimes his magical powers are represented by red sparks during songs in all three movies.
  • According to the first and second Disney Aladdin movies, Genie has seen the whole world after Aladdin freed him. This is a bit strange, since he never even heard of many places he and Aladdin been to in the TV series.
  • As the series went on, Genie seemed to developed some sorts of friendly rivalries with Iago and Carpet.
  • The one thing Genie fears the most, is what other free genies fear; a Muktaar. A race of creatures well known for hunting genies. However, he overcomes his fears later on once they become friends.


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