Like most popular depictions of genies, Disney's Genie was originally a slave. Though he possessed "phenomenal cosmic powers", he was bound to an "itty-bitty living space" and could only use his powers when the owner of the lamp (his master) made a wish; he occasionally does things without granting a wish, but never anything that greatly affects the world around him. He is also bound by three laws; he can't kill anyone, he can't make people fall in love with each other and he can't revive the dead. It is possible, however, that he can do the third one, but that, as he puts it; "It's not a pretty picture. I don't like doing it!". Each master has three such wishes, and cannot exceed this amount by wishing for more wishes. The lamp came into the possession of Aladdin during the course of the first film, and he remained in servitude until Aladdin used his third and final wish to grant Genie his freedom at the end of the film.
As well as largely driving the plot in the first movie, the Genie serves as a comic relief element in each of his appearances. He is shown to have shapeshifting abilities, which allow for many and varied sight gags. The Genie's supernatural disposition permits him to break the fourth wall, as well as parody real-life people and popular culture completely outside of the boundaries of the universe in which he is contained. Robin Williams is responsible for most of these because he improvised many of the lines in the film. The Genie's true name, if he has one, has never been revealed; he answers to being called "Genie", and never says if he does have a real name. Along with Lago, Genie is one of the most well recognized of characters from Disney's Aladdin franchise.
John Musker and Ron Clements created the Genie with Robin Williams in mind, even though Disney studio chief Jeffrey Katzenberg suggested names such as John Candy, Steve Martin, and Eddie Murphy, Williams was approached and eventually accepted the role. Williams came for voice recording sessions during breaks in the shooting of his other two films at the time, Hook and Toys. Unusually for an animated film, much of Williams' dialogue was ad-libbed: for some scenes, Williams was given topics and dialogue suggestions, but allowed to improvise his lines. Aladdin Platinum Edition, Disc 2: Diamond in the Rough: The Making of Aladdin. It was estimated that Williams improvised 52 characters. Eric Goldberg, the supervising animator for the Genie, then reviewed Wiliams' recorded dialogue and selected the best gags and lines. Goldberg and his crew then created character animation to match Williams' jokes, puns, and impersonations.
Genie is the most powerful major character in the Disney universe shown so far. As shown in the first movie, he could break the laws of nature, shape shift into virtually anything, break the fourth wall, warp reality at a whim, lift the palace of Agrabah with no problems, give other people his power, undo the works of any magic, and escape a magically sealed cave. However, he had three limits to his powers (And refuses to accept substitutions, exchanges, refunds and wishing for more wishes); he could not kill, could not make people fall in love, and could not raise the dead (though he states that he can perform resurrections, but simply does not enjoy doing so as the resurrected are implied to be turned into zombies which he describes as "not a pretty picture").
Aside from these three limitations, he was omnipotent. After getting his freedom, his powers were some what reduced (he explains that his "phenomenal cosmic powers" were now only "semi-phenomenal nearly-cosmic powers", and Jafar defeated him during the "You're Only Second Rate" musical number as well as deflecting all of his magical attacks). However, he still has an unlimited amount of magical knowledge, and all his shape shifting abilities. He also has high magic power, but was unable to undo some forms of magic, a weakness with disastrous consequences in the television series, such as when he had trouble turning Jasmine back to normal after she was turned into a rat by a magic mirror. It was revealed in Return of Jafar that he can also flawlessly imitate the voices and appearances of others, as seen when he shape shifts into Aladdin in the ultimately failed attempt to distract Jafar while the real Aladdin grabs the latter's lamp. Genie was shown to have regained his strength in "Aladdin and the King of Thieves" (possibly being that his powers regerated after he fully adapting to no longer being confined within the lamp) where he had no problem with anything he tried. Genie is perhaps the 3rd (possibly 4th) strongest character to be shown in the series, with the only characters shown to be stronger are Fate, Chaos and Jafar.
The Genie made his debut in Aladdin (1992), where he is released from a magical oil lamp by the titular character in the collapsed Cave of Wonders. After he reveals that he can grant three wishes, he is duped into freeing Aladdin and Abu from the cave without using a wish. At a faraway oasis, the Genie is asked by Aladdin what he would wish for. The Genie admits he would wish for freedom, since he is a prisoner to his lamp and must follow the orders of the lamp's master.
After accepting a promise from Aladdin that Aladdin would use the third wish to set the Genie free, the Genie grants Aladdin his first wish: making him a prince so he can marry Jasmine. The Genie goes into hiding after leading a parade to the Agrabah palace. The Genie is released again when Aladdin is shackled, gagged, and thrown off a cliff into the ocean by Jafar's guards. The Genie rescues Aladdin as the second wish after liberally interpreting Aladdin's nodding head. Later, Genie began to lose his respect when he sees that Aladdin has to break his promise by using the wish for Aladdin himself. The Genie's lamp is later stolen and delivered to Jafar by Iago, making Jafar Genie's new master.
The Genie has no choice but to grant Jafar's first and second wish to become Sultan of Agrabah and the world's most powerful sorcerer. He is then made a slave with no purpose in life but to entertain the sadistic Jafar by tormenting the former Sultan. During the final fight between Aladdin and Jafar, the Genie is forced to grant Jafar's final wish to become an all-powerful Genie.
However, the fulfillment of this wish causes Jafar to be imprisoned in a lamp of his own, which the Genie hurls into the desert, freeing Agrabah from his tyranny. While initially more than willing to sacrifice his freedom in order to allow Aladdin to be with Jasmine (saying, "You're not gonna find another girl like her in a million years. Believe me, I know. I've looked."), Aladdin decides to live up to his original promise and uses his final wish to free Genie from his lamp's power. (In this film Genie loses the bangles around his wrists which signifies his freedom from the lamp. In the sequel and all other appearances however, he still has them, possibly now as jewelry.) The now-free Genie leaves Agrabah to explore the world.
In the direct-to-video sequel The Return of Jafar (1994), the Genie returns to Agrabah, deciding that the world is not all that great without his friends to share it with. He tells Aladdin and Jasmine that he is no longer as powerful as he once was because free genies are not as strong as genies bound by lamps. Instead of having phenomenal cosmic powers with an itty bitty living space, he now has "semi-phenomenal, nearly cosmic powers" and is as free as a bird. Despite the fact that he lost some of his power when he was freed, he still appears to be roughly as powerful as Jafar was in the first film after he made his second wish and became the most powerful sorcerer in the world. He can fly, shape shift, conjure things out of thin air, and make them disappear.
That night, when Jasmine gets angry at Aladdin for hiding from her the fact that he brought Iago back to the palace, Genie convinces Iago to help get Aladdin and Jasmine back together. Later, he is confronted by Jafar and imprisoned alongside Abu. Jafar is able to do this because he was still bound by his lamp and thus had access to all the power that came with it. If Jafar had been freed from his lamp by Abis Mal, his power would have been downgraded and he would have most likely been just as powerful as Genie, but no more powerful. Ironically, Jafar wished to become a genie to become even more powerful than he already was, and as we all know it came with a price. If Jafar had been freed he would only have been as powerful as he was before becoming a genie, making his third wish a waste.
After being freed from Jafar's imprisonment by a morally confused Iago, Genie saves Aladdin from being executed by the palace guards, who Jafar had tricked into believing that Aladdin had murdered the Sultan.
Together they decide that Jafar must be stopped once and for all and Genie says that the only way to destroy Jafar is to destroy his lamp. Genie later attempts to discreetly grab Jafar's lamp, but is unable to do so. When Aladdin attempts to grab the lamp in front of Jafar, Jafar blows him out of the thrown room into the palace garden, and Genie saves Aladdin from serious injury by catching him when he falls. He then assists Aladdin in the final battle against Jafar by shapeshifting into Aladdin in an attempt to distract him while Aladdin grabs his lamp. However, Jafar catches on in time to stop Aladdin from reaching his lamp. Fortunately the reformed Iago manages to kick Jafar's lamp into lava, thusly destroying Jafar. While this is happening, Genie saves Jasmine and Abu from a dangerous situation as the ground is closing back up. When he finds out that Iago survived the battle, he celebrates by turning into a firework.
Aladdin and Jasmine are about to wed and the excited Genie spends the morning preparing. He decorates the city and informs the citizens of the special event. He is also Aladdin best man as well as wedding planner, decorator, valet parker and more. During the ceremony, Genie and his friends are attacked by the Forty Thieves. Genie battles with ease having the villains retreat.
After the dust settles, Genie is with the task of rebuilding and reorganizing the wedding. Aladdin learns they were after a scepter that unleashes an Oracle. The Oracle has the answer to every question and Aladdin uses the opportunity to learn the whereabouts of his father. Genie and the others finds out he's the King of Thieves and while Aladdin goes to find him, Genie stays behind to fix up the wedding pavilion.
After time has passed, Jasmine began to worry for Aladdin's safety until Genie comes in and uses a mix of comedy and heart to re insure Jasmine of Aladdin's safety and to cheer her up. He and Jasmine spend time planning the theme for the wedding and different outfits to try. That morning, Aladdin and the others arrive with a mysterious man. Genie is told he's the King of Thieves. Genie, in shock, uses his high tech security system to prepare an attack but is told he's Aladdin's father: Cassim. Genie quickly welcomes him into the family.
That night, Cassim is exposed as the king of thieves and caught attempting to steal the scepter with Iago. After Razoul alerts the Sultan, he has no choice but to put him behind bars. After requesting from Genie his father's clothes, Aladdin breaks Cassim and Iago out and is ready for the punishment but Genie and Jasmine take up for him having the Sultan forgive and forget. Genie tries to ease Aladdin's anger and convinces him to save his father after he's been double crossed by his former henchman. They go off to an island where lies the Hand of Midas. Genie begins to sink the island while Aladdin and the others battle the thieves and save Cassim. After all is good, Genie attends the wedding and watches Aladdin and Jasmine fly off on Carpet.
Live Action Film
TV Show Appearances
The Genie has a major supporting role in the TV Series, set between The Return of Jafar and King of Thieves. In the series, being that his power lowered after his freedom, the villains in the series hold a better chance a succeeding but not extremely. While he beats monsters and saves the day when the heroes are in trouble, he doesn't do everything for them. Because he lost some of his power when he was freed, he can't solve every problem that comes up with the snap of a finger, so it is often up to Aladdin and his friends to do their own fighting and save themselves. However, he is still an indispensable member of the group. There were many, many occasions in the TV series where Genie's magic was crucial for the heroes to win and the situation would have been hopeless without him.
During the course of the show, Genie meets a love interest, a genie named Eden. Unlike Genie, she still has a master . Several episodes revolve around Genie as well as some recurring series plots. In some episodes Genie is being hunted down by the evil sorcerer Mozenrath so that he can use Genie's powers for evil. Other episode plots involve being chased down by a Genie's natural enemy The Mukhtar who later becomes friends with Genie after Genie saves his life while they are working together towards a common goal.
Hercules TV Series
Genie makes a cameo in the Hercules: The Animated Series crossover episode "Hercules and the Arabian Night", in which he punches Pain and Panic back to the Underworld when they are tricked into looking into the lamp by Aladdin (although only his hand is seen).
Genie makes numerous appearances in the series House of Mouse. Genie is usually found with Abu, Iago and Jafar. In Mickey's Magical Christmas, Genie takes part of the ending song and seen on stage with a microphone. Genie was seen poofing out of his lamp during the headcount of all of the guest in the episode "Ask Von Drake". Genie was also seen being trapped in the kitchen with other heroes in Mickey's House of Villains.
Disney's One Saturday Morning
A series of short segments called Great Minds Think For Themselves, played during the first two seasons of Disney's One Saturday Morning, Genie talked about historical characters and events like George Washington Carver and Louis Armstrong. Robin Williams reprised his role for these segments.
Once a Upon a Time
The Genie of Agrabah was a powerful magical being who was imprisoned within the confines of a magic lamp; granting wishes to all who happened to come across it in their travels. One day, while taking a stroll through his kingdom, King Leopold came across said lamp by the side of a river. After curiously rubbing the lamp, the Genie appears to the king, granting him three wishes; with the warning that once a wish is fulfilled it cannot be undone. After realizing that King Leopold desires no wishes because he has everything he wants and seeks only the happiness of those in his kingdom, the two sit by the river's edge and the Genie tells the king of his sorrowful life, and how he has never found happiness while granting wishes for others over the years. When asked by Leopold what the Genie would wish for, he tells the king how he would wish for nothing more than to be free. Wanting to make the genie truly happy, King Leopold uses his first wish to release the Genie from his chains, giving his second wish to let the Genie have his third wish. The genie is both surprised and worried, as over the years he has watched a thousand and one wishes be made only to have them all turn out bad in the end, which is why he vows never to make his final wish. Seeing the Genie as a wise confidant, Leopold invites him back to his palace where he meets the king's daughter Snow White and his second wife Regina, with whom he falls in love at first sight under the queen's apple tree.
During a birthday party for the king, the Genie sees Regina alone and unhappy, while the king, his daughter, and their subjects are all enjoying the king's speech about his daughter and how she looks like his first wife, her mother, who was the "fairest of them all". When Regina is alone outside, the Genie follows, giving her a mirror to show her how beautiful she is as he sees her as the fairest in the land. Some time later, the king finds the mirror and discovers written in her diary that she has found another love and asks the Genie to find the person who gave her the mirror. As the Genie stood under Regina's apple tree, the queen's father,Henry, delivers a box asking him to take it to his daughter as he isn't allowed inside the castle. He takes the box to Regina and as she opens it, she tells the Genie that she is going to kill herself from the bite of a poisonous Agrabahn viper, he stops her and offers to kill the king instead, so that they can be together forever. He then takes the box with the viper to the king's room, opens it and let it slither up to the king's face, telling the king as he lies dying that he was the one who gave Regina the mirror and that he has fallen for her. After telling Regina that he has successfully killed the king and that they can now be together, Regina tells him that she never loved him and only used him to kill King Leopold for her. His heart broken, the genie wishes to be with her forever and to look upon her face always. With this wish and much to his dismay, he becomes trapped as the Magic Mirror, now, ironically, able to look upon Regina forever.
Songs sung by Genie
- A Friend Like Me
- High Adventure
- Prince Ali
- Nothing In The World (quite like a friend)
- There's A Party Here in Agrabah (Part 1)
- There's A Party here in Agrabah (Part 2)
- Father and Son
Genie's lamp was first discovered by Aladdin in the Cave of Wonders. He planned to use his three wishes to help Jasmine and then win her heart, but all of his wishes ended up being wasted on getting him and his friends out of trouble. The first wish was spent on getting rid of a Heartless attack and the second one to rescue Jasmine from Jafar. Eventually, Lago steals Genie's lamp and gives it to Jafar, who forces Genie to show Jafar the Keyhole Agrabah and assisting him in fighting Sora,Donald Duck, Goofy Goof, and Aladdin. After Jafar is udefeated, Aladdin wishes Genie free from his lamp prison. He then becomes a Summon for Sora. Unlike many of the other Summons, he does so of his own free will instead of being summoned from a gem.
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
Genie serves as a fragment of Sora's memory in the Agrabah floor. After Sora defeats Jafar, who is also a fragment of his memory, Genie gives Sora his summon card.
Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days
Genie reappears in Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days in Agrabah where he talks to Roxas and Xion. By this time, Genie and Carpet are on their way to travel the world. Once Genie hears that Agrabah is in trouble he decides not to go on his tour, but sways his decision after Roxas tells him that Aladdin wants to fix the town himself. After Roxas inadvertently helps Aladdin and Jasmine, Genie is thankful to Roxas and leaves once again. This is the only game to date in which Genie does not serve as a Summon.
In the Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days manga, Genie helps Roxas and Xion defeat the Antlion by holding it still to stop its rotating.
Kingdom Hearts II
Genie has much less screen time in the second game. When the party reaches Agrabah, they discover Genie has gone off to see the world along with Carpet. He misses most of the action, but arrives near the end of Sora's first visit and disturbs Pete, who tries to free Jafar from his lamp. Aside from that the only notable achievements Genie does is clearing out a sandstorm for Sora and fixing Agrabah after the Jafar's destruction. He seems to have somewhat more ego here than in the first game, as he complains that one lousy sandstorm is just too easy and that he didn't get to help in the battle against Jafar. Genie once again becomes a summon partner for Sora once the Lamp Charm is obtained. His newest feature is copying Sora's Drive Form and wielding his own copy of the Keyblade.
Kingdom Hearts: Coded
Data Sora visits Data Agrabah and is seen talking with Data Genie. Genie helps Sora throughout his journey to debug Agrabah after Sora recovers his lamp from Iago. This time, Genie becomes Sora's party member instead of Aladdin.
Epic Mickey Powers of Illusions
Disney Land Kinect
Genie accompanies Aladdin in the Mickey's Soundsational Parade Mini game. Like in the actual parade, Genie is seen in front of Aladdin's float. He also appears as an unlockable meet-and-greet character. After he comes out of hiding, Genie asks the player to take pictures of the outfits being worn by the other princesses throughout the park, as he had promised to make a new gown for Jasmine but isn't up to date with princess fashion styles. Later on in the game, Aladdin needs to find the pieces of some scarabs so that he can make a new necklace for Jasmine. After the player recovers the scarabs, they take them to Genie to fix. Unfortunately, when Genie fixed them they turned into flying golden scarabs and flew off. The player then has to go catch them and take them to Aladdin.
- "Oy! Ten thousand years will give you such a crick in the neck".
- "Three wishes, to be exact. And ixnay on the wishing for more wishes. That's all. Three. Uno, dos, tres. No substitutions, exchanges or refunds".
- (looks at a script) "Tonight, the part of Al will be played by a tall dark sinister and ugly man".
- (To Aladdin) "No matter what anybody says, you'll always be a Prince to me".
- “So, what do you wish of me? The ever impressive... the long contained... the often imitated... but never duplicated...".
- GENIE OF THE LAAAAAMP!!! Right here direct from the lamp, right here for very much wish-fulfillment. Thank you!” ― Genie
Oswald The Luckey Rabbit
Timon and Pumbaa
The Queen/The Witch
- Genie was listed #20 in Empire Magazine's The 50 Best Animated Movie Characters. Stating his stroke of genius as the Prince Ali musical number, which sees the Genie perform the main song but also transform himself into crowd members to start a hundred different rumours as Aladdin, disguised as a prince, makes his triumphal entry into the city.
- The Genie's weakness is sealed bottles and containers, which he's easily tricked into.
- Despite not being the main character, Genie's the most famous and also the most popular character in the Aladdin franchise.
- The designers had a hard time creating the Genie, because they wanted him to be a character that could only exist in the realm of imagination, and to do that, they shaped him like a living cloud of smoke.
- Animator Eric Goldberg once said that he always imagined Genie as being Jewish. This could be why Genie sometimes uses Yiddish phrases.
- In Aladdin and the King of Theives, Genie turned into one of his voice actor's (Robin Williams) characters: Mrs. Doubtfire, when trying to cheer Jasmine up.
- His appearance may have been inspired by a type of Djinn known as the Marid. Traditionally believed to be the most powerful classification of Djinn, the Marida (plural form of Marid) are known also as the "Blue Djinn" for their likewise skin texture.
- There is a homage made to the Genie in The Princess and the Frog. As Mama Odie quickly digs through a pile of magical objects during “Dig a Little Deeper”, his magic lamp gets tossed to one side. This makes him one of the four Disney characters referenced in the movie, with Magic Carpet, King Triton and Prince Charming being the other three.
- Robin Williams was allowed to improvise much of his performance, which is pretty unusual in animation. His initial recordings included about 52 separate characters, which Eric Goldberg then took and worked with, picking the funniest bits to animate.
- When Genie is discussing his wish for freedom, he briefly assumes a form resembling Genie Jafar and stands before a similar cosmic background to what Jafar was at the climax of the first movie. Whether this is intentional on Disney's part (i.e., foreshadow Jafar's future), or merely coincidential is unknown. Ironically, the two images have opposite contexts: Genie assumes the form to lament his great power but lack of freedom, while Jafar assumes the form while revelling in his great power. Furthermore, both scenes have the phrase "phenomenal cosmic power and itty bitty living space" spoken, the first by the (blue) Genie and the second by Aladdin himself.
- Genie is one of three characters to break the fourth wall, along with Donald and Mushu. In the Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories manga, after Genie is free, he lists the places he wants to go. He then says "Heck, I could even go behind the page".
- Japanese : Koichi Yamadera (1992 – Present)
- English : the late Robin Willaims (1992/1996 and Disney's Fast Minds Think's for Them seleves), Dan Catsellaneta (1994 – 2006), Jim Mesekimen (2008 – Present)
- Played by in (Live Action) : Will Smith (2019 Live Action Film), James Monroe Iglehart (Musical)
all information on Genie came from http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Genie