One of the voice stars from Disney's animated classic Aladdin, says Genie was supposed to be be green in color, not blue. Disney is celebrating the 25th anniversary this week of Aladdin, which was released in theaters on November 25, 1992. Starring the voices of Robin Williams (Genie), Scott Weinger (Aladdin), Linda Larkin (Jasmine), Jonathan Freeman (Jafar), and Gilbert Gottfried (Iago), as well Brad Kane and Lea Salonga (as the singing voices of Aladdin and Jasmine), the film earned $217.3 million at the domestic box office - which combined with its overseas take of $286.7 million, amassed a staggering $504 million globally.
Naturally, the film has celebrated landmark anniversaries over the years, giving its principal players opportunities to share behind-the-scenes stories from the production. In a new interview for the 25th anniversary of Aladdin, Freeman - who is currently starring as Jafar for the smash Broadway musical based on the animated film - revealed some interesting tidbits about the film, including one about the original color of the character that Williams made a pop culture icon.
Noting how some changes on the film were made on the spot during the production by co-directors Ron Clements and John Musker, Freeman detailed the original look of Genie (captured in concept art for the film - see the image below) during an interview with Oh My Disney. He said:
"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, 'Um, he's not green anymore, he's blue.'"
While Freeman doesn't specifically say why the color of Genie was changed, it's an interesting story nonetheless; and even more interesting to see the story enhanced by artwork of the character in much different guise than fans have come to know over the past 25 years.
Despite the change, there's no doubt that whether Genie was green or blue, Williams made the character golden with his magical energy. It was a performance for the ages, and no doubt one that will have Will Smith looking over his shoulder as he brings Genie to life in director Guy Ritchie's upcoming live-action version of Aladdin. Also starring Mena Massoud as Aladdin and Naomi Scott as Jasmine, the live-action Aladdin is set for 2019 theatrical release.
Source: Oh My Disney
- Aladdin (2019) release date: May 24, 2019