For its 100th anniversary, Disney released the short film “Once Upon A Studio” and brought back their most beloved animated characters for the occasion. Among them Djinni from “Aladdin” including the voice of the late Robin Williams. But how?
The founding of the Walt Disney Company is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, and to mark the occasion, the mouse company had a little surprise for fans – namely the short film “Once Upon A Studio” on Disney+, in which there is a reunion with many iconic characters from the history of the animation studio.
For this purpose, a large part of the top-class voice cast of the respective films was also brought back, who here have recorded a few special sentences for their beloved Disney characters – including, among others, Idina Menzel as Elsa and Josh Gad as Olaf from “The Ice Queen”. However, the contribution of one very special fan favorite may have left many Disney followers wondering.
Because the blue Genie from “Aladdin” was voiced by none other than Robin Williams in 1992. However, the actor passed away in 2014 and thus could not personally return as his iconic Disney character. Filmmakers Dan Abraham and Trent Correy, however, have made sure that Williams will still be part of the short film.
As Dan Abraham told Entertainment Weekly, they went through more than 16 hours of archival footage of outtakes of Williams as Genie until they found the perfect two sentences to give the genie her expression in the scene: “We got the go-ahead very early on. We told them what we were going to do, and they were like, ‘Yep, that sounds great.’ Using his original dialogue was very important to us. “
ANIMATION DESIGN OF THE JINNI WAS HEAVILY INFLUENCED BY ROBIN WILLIAMS
The second step in bringing Genie and Williams back successfully consisted of animation designer Eric Goldberg, whose first job at Disney in the early 1990s was to animate Williams’ iconic character for the animated classic. At the time, the designer had been inspired by the actor to animate the character. So he was present at the first voice recordings of Robin Williams as Genie and could often hardly stifle his laughter. But he wanted to animate Genie “as broadly as Willams’ voice was,” he revealed to Entertainment Weekly. Goldberg, like many other designers*, was eventually asked to bring his beloved Disney characters back to life for the anniversary short film.
Robin Williams was dubbed for decades by German voice actor Peer Augustinski, who, like Williams, passed away in 2014. For “Once Upon A Studio,” Romanian voice actor Vlad Chiriac took over the dubbing of the magical genie.