DISNEY TAKES ‘ALADDIN’ ON ANOTHER MAGIC RIDE
First “Aladdin” wowed ‘em at the box office. Then those fesity residents of Agrabah flew straight to video with the sequel “Return to Jafar.” Now Aladdin, Jasmine, Iago et al are ridin’ their magic carpet onto the small screen with “Disney’s Aladdin: The Series,” airing on both KCAL and CBS.
(Sixty-five shows are slated for KCAL’s weekday lineup in the 4:30 p.m. time slot. Thirteen different shows will be broadcast on CBS’ Saturday mornings beginning Sept. 17.)
Taking over voice duties for movie Genie Robin Williams is prolific actor Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson). Returning from the movie and video as the “selfish and self-serving” parrot Iago is Gilbert Gottfried (“Beverly Hills Cop 2"). Series regulars Scott Weinger (“Full House”) plays Aladdin, with Linda Larkin voicing Jasmine.
Castellaneta says he was influenced by Williams’ “high energy and fast talking” from the movie, but “Genie also morphs into other things and does other voices. I’d be lying to say that I didn’t get some of the patterns down, but I’m not good at doing Robin Williams’ voice, so it started with him, but something else came out.”
The TV series will serve up some other familiar voices as well: Jason Alexander (“Seinfeld”), James Avery (“Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”), Jonathan Brandis (“seaQuest DSV”), Bebe Neuwirth (“Cheers”), Michael Jeter (“Evening Shade”), Carol Kane (“Addams Family Values”), Keith David (“Platoon”), Tim Curry (“Rocky Horror Picture Show”), Nancy Cartwright (“The Simpsons”), Matt Frewer (“Doctor, Doctor”), Ron Perlman (TV’s “Beauty and the Beast”), Malcolm McDowell (“A Clockwork Orange”), Rene Aberjonois (“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”), rapper/actor Ton Loc (“Posse”) and “Just Say Julie” Brown.
Castellaneta likes “that this is a fantasy-adventure show, not one of the many karate ‘kilbot’ animated shows.”
As for Gottfried, he’s confident he may have a part in the show’s possible success: “Everything that was fun in the movie is in the series. It’s got adventure and romance and comedy . . . and most importantly, an obnoxious parrot!”