This fall marks 30 years since the release of Disney’s Aladdin, and we cannot talk about the animated classic without remembering Robin Williams’ hilarious role of Genie. For the new Disney+ series Sketchbook, the character’s lead animator, Eric Goldberg, reminisced on creating the character through teaching viewers how to sketch the magical being right out of the Arabian Nights. He also spoke to CinemaBlend more in depth about making the 1992 movie.
During our conversation, Eric Goldberg talked about how the animators arrived on Genie’s iconic look. Additionally, the Aladdin lead animator spoke about contributing to the late Robin Williams’ legacy on screen with Genie:
When the tragic news of Robin Williams death broke so many hearts almost eight years ago, a lot of Robin Williams fans remembered the actor through his incredible performance as Genie. Eric Goldberg, who was very much a part of bringing Williams' vocals to life through animation, was able to really see how the character touched so many people on that day, despite it being an especially somber time.
To honor Robin Williams’ Genie, Eric Goldberg also recalled returning to the recordings from the actor to give fans more behind-the-scenes peeks of all his funny moments following the actor’s death. As he recalled:
When recalling his time working with Robin Williams’ Eric Goldberg was most dumbfounded by the number of impressions the Ms. Doubtfire actor could pull from when speaking the lines of Genie. He continued with these words:
Eric Goldberg’s stories of Robin Williams remind how special he was in the voice booth, especially for Aladdin as Genie. Many of the moments you see in the movie are as a result of Robin Williams' improvisations. We should also take a moment to appreciate all the work Goldberg put into bringing his funny moments to life through the various animated moments that brought out the performance even further.
Eric Goldberg is one of six animators featured in the Disney+ docuseries Sketchbook (opens in new tab). Each episode sees another Disney animator teaching us how to draw a famous Disney character, along with sharing their personal journey in animation and through the iconic characters they’ve helped bring to life. You can watch the series now with a Disney+ subscription and check out what other new movies and TV shows are on Disney+ this month here on CinemaBlend.
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