Robin Williams may no longer be with us, but his legacy as a comedian and an actor will never be forgotten. And while we may never get to see another new Robin Williams movie, there is still plenty of archival footage of the mad genius that has never been seen by the public. Some of that video has arrived today in anticipation of Aladdin making its Blu-ray debut.
It’s been 23 years since Aladdin hit movie theaters across the country, becoming an instant hit and reestablishing Disney as an animation power house. The 1992 classic also made waves as one of the first feature length animated movies to have a big star voicing one of the characters. Robin Williams stole the show as the genie, performing mostly improved lines that come at machine gun speed. A nightmare for any animator, but a real treat for audiences.
The Aladdin Blu-ray is arriving this week, on Tuesday, October 13. The film is not celebrating any anniversary, but the disc does come with some cool new special features. One of them will be never-before-seen outtakes from Robin Williams’ voice recording session. A tease of the video has arrived, and it shows the iconic comedian firing on all cylinders, delivering the type of routine that fans have come to expect from this always moving bolt of hyper electricity in the form of a man.
The video made its appearance on Good Morning America. John Musker, who co-wrote and directed the movie, appeared on the show to talk about his experiences in making this Disney classic. He has this to say about working with Robin Williams as he brought the Genie to life.
“He was the Genie, he was bigger than life. We didn’t know if he would do it. And fortunately for us, he did. We were totally walking down the plank. If he said no, we were going to be in big trouble because the whole concept was built around Robin. Fortunately he agreed to do it, and he worked so hard. We would record in four-hour sessions. He would be going four hours straight. We would have practically four hours of recording and by the end he was just drenched. He would have so much energy and so much passion”
It isn’t mentioned who might have replaced Robin Williams had he decided not to voice the Genie. It’s hard to imagine anyone else in the role. And as it is true today, there was no one in 1992 that could have matched his improvisational reflexes and lightening quick mind. Perhaps, the movie wouldn’t even exist at all had he declined the offer from Disney.
These outtakes show Robin Williams’ endless variations on the dialogue that he was asked to record. And he never delivered a line the same way twice. It’s said that the movie could have a whole new Robin Williams dialogue track, and still have enough good material left over to fill hours worth of cassette tapes. Watching the video, its hard not to miss Robin Williams. Luckily for fans, he will come roaring back to animated life this October when Aladdin finally gets the blu-ray treatment. Take a taste of these amazing outtakes, and then be sure to get your own copy this week.