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It's next to impossible to discuss Disney's Aladdin without bringing up the Genie. The most popular character to come out of the movie, Genie played no small part in the massive success of Aladdin, thanks to a comic performance from the late great Robin Williams. The Genie is known far and wide by Disney fans, but his bright blue form was originally supposed to be a different shade. Animation tends to change a lot and according to the voice of Jafar, Jonathan Freeman, Genie was originally supposed to be green.
Sometimes changes happen, like right then, you know. For example, the Genie was not always blue...and I'd forgotten about it, and I recently saw an old piece of footage of me working in the studio, and I'm actually doing a scene where I'm talking about, 'You big, green boob' or something like that, and you see Ron Clements sort of walk into the frame, like very sort of quietly and taps me and says, 'By the way, he's not green anymore, he's blue.
It's the 25th anniversary of Aladdin and in celebration, the YouTube account Oh My Disney sent Alexys Gabrielle to the Aladdin Broadway show to chat about all things Aladdin with Jonathan Freeman, who played Jafar in both the movie and the Broadway musical. Freeman revealed some interesting behind-the-scenes details about the movie, such as how he came up with the Jafar voice. In discussing how often the film would change -- even in the middle of recording sessions -- Freeman told an anecdote about how Genie was originally green. But at some point, they changed it to blue because, well, blue is way better. You can see an early sketch of Greenie down below.
Good call on the blue, Aladdin decision makers! Genie has a relatively simple design, but it's one that's latest for 25 years now. It's tough to picture the character looking like anything else. A live action Aladdin movie is on the way, and it'll be interesting to see how they'll depict Will Smith as the classic character. Will they go the Broadway approach and just have a costume, or is Will Smith going full blue with makeup?
Viewers will have a whole new world -- I mean way -- to watch Aladdin when the live-action adaptation hits theaters on May 24, 2019. Directed by Guy Ritchie, the movie stars Mena Massoud with Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Marwan Kenzari, Navid Negahban, and Nasim Pedrad. For more Disney releases, hit up our Disney upcoming release guide.