I was invited on a press trip to Disney Movie Studios. All opinions are my own and may differ from yours.
Fun Facts We Learned About the Aladdin Genie From Eric Goldberg!
I’m sure by now you have heard that Aladdin is coming out of the vault and will be released on Blue-ray Combo Pack on October 13, 2015. If you have Disney Movies Anywhere, you can already watch it there.
A few weeks ago, I headed to LA for a Disney Press Event. While we were there, we had the pleasure of watching a presentation by Eric Goldberg, legendary Disney animator. And boy was it a very interesting one if I might add.
Eric Goldberg was teaching us how to draw Aladdin! I don’t think I did too bad. Eric has never taught anyone to draw the Genie and we were the first. We were going to be drawing a lot of S curves.
As most of you know (or may not know) the voice of Genie was the late Robin Williams. Eric Goldberg talks about what it was like working with him.
Aladdin is a story about a poor boy from the streets and a beautiful girl from the palace. Brought together by one incredible wish! But the evil sorcerer has learned about his magic power and tries to steal it away.
Fun Facts We Learned About the Aladdin Genie from Disney Animator Eric Goldberg:
There were other facial development people working on the Genie before he even got on the show. Eric was drawing Genie’s with horns, vests, turbins and all sorts of trappings. They found that the more they stripped off the Genie…the better he got!
Eric did not make him blue. The production designer, Richard Vanderwind, he decided the Genie was going to be blue because he had a colorscript. Did you ever notice that the good characters are in cool shades of blue and all the bad characters are reds and darks. It sends a subliminal key as to how you are supposed to react to these characters.
Eric turned to one of his artistic heroes..Al Hirschfeld! He loved his work for many years and always wanted to animate something with that kind of style to it. How beautiful and organic it is and how one curve leads all the way around and he tried to suffuse the characters with that.
While in NY rolling out Aladdin to the press, Eric had never met Al Hirschfeld. On a whim, he opened up the phone book and he was listed in the phone book. So he cold called him and told him he would love for him to come down and see the presentation. But even though he was in 80’s, he still had a deadline to make.
He eventually did get to meet Al and Dolly. They sat right next to him at a screening. Al was a strong stickler for artistic unity and sometimes didn’t see that. He gave Aladdin his best compliment and said “It all looked like it was drawn by one hand!” That was a huge compliment.
Even Pinocchio made his way into the movie.
A lot of people ask which came first, the voice or the design? The answer is YES! John and Ron have a talent for writing in the voice of the actor they want to cast. They hadn’t cast Robin Williams yet but wrote the script for him.
When they hired Eric to do the Genie, he was so excited that he locked himself out of his rental car and they had to call security.
They wanted Eric to animate the Genie to some of Robin’s comedy routines. When they brought him in, it was one of the great honors of Eric’s life to make Robin Williams laugh.
Aladdin is the most improvisational animation film he ever worked on. Robin gave them so much material in the 4 – 4 hour sessions. He’s not what you would think. He doesn’t bounce off the walls all the time. He’s quiet but when the mic was in front of him he would give 198% and it all came out.
As a tribute to Robin, Eric sat and listened to all 16 hours of material and plucked what he thought were the funniest takes. They appear on the Blu-ray as the Genie’s outtakes. Aladdin comes out on Blu-ray on Oct. 13th. It showcases Robin’s genius, he was so brilliant. Robin was an incredibly nice guy and good sport.
Eric was honored to be asked to make this drawing as a tribute to Robin Williams. The nicest thing about Robin is that his genius will live on!
It was a very interesting presentation and so glad that I was able to be there.
We received a special gift from Eric signed by him and addressed to each of us. It is gorgeous and can’t wait to hang it in our new home.
Topic: Fun Facts We Learned About the Aladdin Genie From Eric Goldberg!