Eric Goldberg

How Robin Williams became 'Aladdin's' Genie

How Robin Williams became 'Aladdin's' Genie

In 1991, directors John Clements and Ron Musker gave Disney animator Eric Goldberg an unusual assignment: listen to Robin Williams' stand-up albums and draw the comic, as a genie.

Clements and Musker were making "Aladdin," the musical fantasy that would go on to become the highest grossing film of 1992, win two Oscars and help cement the artistic and commercial renaissance then underway at Disney Animation.

But at the time, the directors were simply trying to sell Disney executives and Williams himself on the idea of casting the actor as the voice of their shape-shifting sidekick.

For a test, Goldberg animated a routine in which Williams riffed that,...

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