Robin Williams has posthumously reprised his Genie role with his voice appearing in Disney’s new short film.
The beloved actor and comedian, who died in 2014, became the first voice of Genie as he took on the role in the 1992 Disney classic Aladdin.
Now, the actor’s real voice has been used in a new short Disney film called Once Upon a Studio which revolves around Disney’s most iconic characters including Genie.
The big reveal came on Sunday as The Wonderful World of Disney: Disney’s 100th Anniversary Celebration aired on ABC featuring the new film’s debut.
While some fans were left wondering if the company used AI to incorporate the late actor’s voice into the new project, the producer now assured that Williams’ “direct lines from past recordings” were used in the making.
“When we do animated recordings on any feature, there are a number of takes. So we were able to find this line that fits so well in our short,” producer Yvett Merino explained.
“It was so important to us to share our earliest version of the short with Robin’s team. So many of us who work here at Disney Animation were inspired by Aladdin and Robin’s performance.
“It meant the world that they said yes to his inclusion in the short — and so special that Eric Goldberg, who animated Genie for the [original] feature film, did the animation here as well.”
Meanwhile, Jennifer Lee, the Walt Disney Animation Chief Creative Officer, said Genie remains a very important character “to so many of us.”
Speaking of the bitter-sweet project was also Once Upon a Studio director Dan Abraham who insisted Genie had to be a part of the short film.
“I just think that we couldn’t have made this short without Cinderella,” he said. “We couldn’t have made this short without Stitch. We couldn’t have made this short without Robin Hood. And we couldn’t have made it without the Genie. He’s just such a part of our history, our legacy.”
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