The Genie returns once again in the short film “Once Upon A Studio,” marking Disney’s 100th anniversary. Originally appearing in Disney’s classic Aladdin, the Genie is back for the studio’s 100th anniversary, and using some movie magic is once again voiced by Robin Williams.
Williams died in 2014, so how could Disney have done this without AI? She returned to the archives to find unused voice lines from the original film and asked permission from the Williams estate to use them.
“We tried to take them on the journey with us to say, ‘We have this very special short film that we’re doing.’ Robin as the genie means a lot to a lot of people and we really love getting him involved,” producer Bradford Simonsen said in an interview with diverse.
The beloved character was A huge The film was a huge hit when Aladdin debuted in 1992. So, as part of Disney’s 100th anniversary celebrations, it was necessary to bring the character back, and only Williams’ dazzling magic would do the trick.
“So, [director] Dan [Abraham] “He listened to snippets of the original recording and found these little clips that we could use,” Simonsen said. “We went back to the property and said, ‘This is what we hope to do.’ Eric [Goldberg], who originally animated the genie is in the show, and will be a part of it. “It was great to see that happen.”
Once Upon A Studio uses a combination of live action footage, hand-drawn animation, and CGI animation to recreate 543 classic Disney characters. Some of the most popular characters include Mickey Mouse, Elsa and Anna from Frozen, Winnie the Pooh and friends, and Peter Pan.
The short sees these iconic characters come to life at Disney Studios once everyone goes home for the night, with their shenanigans highlighting Disney’s long animation history. “Is that all, they’re all gone?” Mickey whispers in the film’s trailer. Characters soon begin to emerge from their frames and artwork once the coast is clear, setting the stage for a bit of nostalgia to celebrate 100 years of animation.
Simonsen explained that each character should feel as if they just stepped out of their movie. “It was necessary to feel it, so the audience response will be profound,” he said. “We used our animation research library where we pulled model sheets for the animators to work on. We had Eric Goldberg who had the history of the studio, and we ran tests to make sure everything worked together behind the scenes.
“Once Upon a Studio” premiered on ABC on October 15, and is available on Disney+ starting October 16.
Want to read more about Disney? Check out our pick of the 25 best Disney animated movies and celebrate Disney’s 100th anniversary by watching the best movies on Disney+.
Ryan Liston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow it Twitter.
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