Because We Will Always Love the Genie

This is sort of an un-post.

I am still reeling from the tragic demise of the great Robin Williams. The internet has been flooded with touching tributes and heartrending farewells and there’s no way I could out-do any of them, and so I wanted to do a tribute to my single favorite Robin Williams role of all time: The Genie. Williams brought to life a great many roles that, by all accounts, are more dramatically nuanced (The Dead Poet’s Society, Good Will Hunting) or funnier (Mrs. Doubtfire, The Birdcage), but Aladdin’s Genie will always be the most special to me.

Young Me put a great deal of time and effort into crafting the three perfect wishes should I ever encounter my own genie, and Aladdin became and remained my all time favorite Disney movie ever. As far as imaginary best friends go, the Genie was pretty high up there.

And so, to help everyone move past their sadness, here are my favorite Genie moments, taken from the two Aladdin movies in which Williams participated (No offense to Dan Castellaneta and James Monroe Iglehart who have also played the character).

The Genie’s first appearance. I still get a surge of childish giddiness when that lamp first starts to glow and jump about.

“Friend Like Me” is the absolute best song to sing at the top of one’s lungs while driving to work. Seriously. Try it sometime. If you want to get real crazy, try to do all the voices. I swear it will make anybody feel better.

“Prince Ali” is my favorite song from Aladdin. I mean, what kid DOESN’T dream of making an entrance like this? Also, Genie’s fondness for appearing in drag makes its first appearance here (twice).

Not the best song, but man is it catchy. Also, more Genie in drag. It seems that, when it comes to makeovers, he’s a bit less successful when he’s dealing with women…

I have a feeling the “Lifestyles of the Rich and Magical” sequence from King of Thieves was more or less completely improvised. I now can’t watch The Ten Commandments without thinking, “Who’s this parting the crowd, it’s MOSES!”

Also, another sequence that seems to be completely unscripted. I get the feeling they told Willliams to just do as many impersonations as he could fit into the time slot. The Genie as Mrs. Doubtfire is especially delightful, though this whole thing is gold.

The “Code Red” sequence is bonkers. Just…just watch it. Also, I frequently say, “Your back! And your front! You’re both here!” to people when I see them. They never get it.

And so I thank you, Genie, for all the laughs. Now, I’m just going to wait until the end credits for you to pop back one more time and say:

“Made ya look!”

‘Til next week!


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