Looks Like Aladdin’s Gilbert Gottfried Isn’t Happy About Being Replaced By Alan Tudyk

Iago in the original Aladdin

Along with a brand new trailer for the new live-action Aladdin, yesterday revealed that the character of Iago, the villainous parrot of antagonist Jafar, will be voiced by Disney's go-to voice talent Alan Tudyk. In the original animated classic the character was portrayed by Gilbert Gottfried, and it appears that Mr. Gottfried isn't too thrilled with being overlooked for the live-action remake, as he's been retweeting several comments from fans who are various degrees of irate over the decision to not bring him back.

The spectrum of fans who are angry that Gilbert Gottfried isn't returning to the role of Iago covers quite a range. Some are confused, others are F-bomb dropping irate. Gottfried has had no problem over the last day retweeting angry fans, including the ones who are swearing up a storm over the decision. If nothing else, Gottfried seems to appreciate the support he's getting from fans. Clearly, his performance in the original Aladdin was quite important to a lot of people.

Many seem to feel that Gottfried's performance is on par with that of James Earl Jones in The Lion King. Some of the tweets point out that Jones is returning to the role of Mufasa for the new remake, and so, as precedent, Disney is certainly willing to bring the original voices back for the new versions.

Certainly, bringing Gilbert Gottfried back would have been a big nostalgia move, but that might also be exactly the reason it didn't happen. With Will Smith coming in to voice the iconic Genie, that character, and thus the entire movie, is going to have a very different tone and feel. Recasting another voice actor would have the effect of causing those watching the new film to remember the old one all the more while they watch it, and that might not be the best way to go. Letting the new Aladdin stand on its own and be its own thing is likely the best way to achieve success.

It's also far from clear just how much Alan Tudyk does as far as his voice of Iago. We saw Iago in the new trailer, but we have yet to hear him speak. Iago is the only animal character to be fully voiced in the animated version, and we know that the live-action movie will give Jafar a new henchman character, so the movie might just make Iago a non-speaking parrot (beyond the speaking actual parrots can do) to match Jasmine's tiger Rajah and Aladdin's monkey Abu a little better in a movie that's supposed to be more "real."

Alan Tudyk did voice the chicken Hei-Hei in Moana, who never said a word and just spent the entire film clucking, so bringing Tudyk in to record parrot squawks would not be the craziest thing he's ever done.

What do you think? Should Disney have brought Gilbert Gottfried back to voice Iago? Let us know in the poll below.

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Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.