The tragic passing of Robin Williams last year marked the loss of a modern comedic legend. Williams created so many memorable characters over the years that picking favorites is no easy feat. Now, new outtakes have been released showcasing one of Williams’ most iconic characters: Genie from Aladdin. Check the video out below for yourself.
Showcased on ABC's Good Morning America, the outtakes are a part of the Aladdin Blu-ray release scheduled for next week. They show Williams behind the scenes, going off the rails – as was his typical style – in the recording booth, lending his manic energy to the character of Genie. The rough footage showcases a myriad of characters, caricatures, and impressions Williams utilized that never even made it into the movie, despite the fact that they’re most certainly funny enough to be of interest to fans.
The GMA segment also features an interview with the cast and crew of Aladdin in which they state that the role of Genie was always written with Robin Williams in mind – which makes sense, as no other comedian could have inhabited the role in such a complete way. Much of what Williams brought to the character involved losing the script and letting the comedian just go off and do his own thing.
Aladdin owes much of its success to the inclusion of Williams’ Genie. While the film certainly features a many musical numbers and fantastical elements that worked well, the comic presence of Williams is what made the film a quintessential classic. The actor had that effect, lending his chops to a number of other comedies during that decade, such as Mrs. Doubtfire, Hook, and Jumanji. His seemingly endless supply of energy and improv skills created a comedic style that defined family-friendly comedies of an entire generation. On the other hand, he had a knack for real, raw pathos that allowed him to also become one of the best dramatic actors of his day.
Williams’ death last year came as a shock to the world. The actor battled depression for years, rarely letting on to these demons that existed beneath the surface. His three children as well as his wife and two ex-wives carry on his memory.
If you haven’t checked out the video above, it’s certainly worth a watch. It simultaneously serves as a somber reminder that Robin Williams is no longer with us, as well as a joyous memento of a comedic genius. Aladdin hits Blu-ray next week with even more of this footage.