Aladdin co-directors confirm that the peddler in the beginning of the movie is in fact, everyone’s favorite Genie of the lamp (voiced by the late, great, Robin Williams). Apparently, after the final editing process a scene in the end of the film, rolling up this stray-hair plot line was unfortunately cut. In an interview with E! News, co-directors Ron Clements and John Musker, confirm that it was always their intention to reveal Genie as the peddler.
In another sit-down, the directors were joined by Aladdin composer, Alan Menken (Oh, to be a fly on the wall in that interview!). In recalling Williams’ portrayal of Genie, the three admitted the Genie character was largely Williams’ true nature and personality.
“Really, the Genie was Robin Williams,” states Clements. “What Robin did, he’d come in and he’d just start playing in front of the microphone. I don’t think we ever worked with an actor that gave more in the sense of that, you know…” Clements added.
It is more than likely my age talking, but to me, Genie was always Robin Williams and Williams will always be Genie. Growing up in the golden age of Disney, this kind of stuff always tugs at my heartstrings. As does finding out that so much of the character we all know and love was just a guy being himself and having a good time doing it. R.I.P.