When the first pictures of Will Smith's Genie appeared, people were shocked and even slightly outraged that Will Smith looked like, Will Smith. He wasn't blue, and as all fans of the classic Disney Aladdin know, the Genie was blue. Will Smith told people not to freak out and when the first footage of Genie came with an early teaser, we saw the Genie being blue. And then everybody freaked out again. Now, the first full trailer is here, and get ready for everybody to freak out again, because the Genie is blue, and also not blue.
This morning we got out best look yet at Disney's live-action Aladdin and it may set a lot of people's minds at ease, because it looks pretty good. We got to really see Aladdin, Jasmine and Jafar in action. We heard a couple pieces of some popular songs and everything looks good. Except maybe the Genie depending on your perspective.
When He's Blue
The trailer shows us Aladdin making his way through the Cave of Wonders, finding the magic lamp and then rubbing it to release the Genie. As we saw in the last teaser, when he is released, the Genie looks how you might have expected. He's big and blue and looks like a pumped up Will Smith. If you're not a fan of the CGI job, this trailer isn't going to change your mind.
It's here we also get the first part of an actual musical performance, some of the Will Smith version of "Friend Like Me." Smith will remain blue throughout this section. The last time that we see him in full CGI mode is during the "Making Aladdin a prince" scene. After that, everything changes.
When He's Not Blue
We first see Genie looking more like normal Will Smith earlier in the trailer, during the scene where Al is asking Genie if he can be made into a prince. We also seem him looking that way later, after "Prince Ali" has made his way into the palace. This is actually the last we see of Genie in the trailer, so it's possible we could see him transforming back and forth several times throughout the movie, depending on whether or not anybody is looking.
What seems likely, and has been my theory from the beginning, is that Genie has made himself look human as a disguise. This way he can interact with the other characters of the film without raising suspicion.
It's what the Genie actually did in the animated movie during the "Prince Ali" song. Genie performed it, and looked like a normal person, before disappearing and keeping himself hidden from the other characters. This way, Disney gets their money's worth out of having Will Smith in the movie. He doesn't need to stay off-screen the whole time.
Whichever version of the Genie you prefer, you're going to have to deal with the other version to some degree, but this way it seems everybody should get what they want at least part of the time.