|“||What would you wish of me? [as Arnold Schwarzenegger] The ever impressive... [as if trapped in a box]... the long-contained... [as Señor Wences] ...the often imitated, but never... [multiplies himself] duplicated... Genie of the Lamp! [as Ed Sullivan] Right here, direct from the lamp. Right here for your very much wish-fulfillment. Thank you.||„|
|~ Genie introducing himself to Aladdin.|
|“||You ain't never had a friend like me!||„|
|~ Genie singing.|
|“||No matter what anybody says, you'll always be a prince to me.||„|
|~ Genie to Aladdin.|
Genie is the tritagonist of Disney's 31st animated fantasy musical adventure film Aladdin, a supporting character in the first direct-to-video sequel and the action musical adventure comedy film The Return of Jafar, the main character of the cartoon series and the secondary protagonist of the adventure romantic comedy-drama film Aladdin and the King of Thieves.
He was voiced by the late Robin Williams in the first film, who also portrayed, Mork, Popeye, John Keating, Peter Banning, Daniel Hillard, Alan Parrish, Jack Powell, Phillip Brainard, Lance Clayton, Fender Pinwheeler, Ramón and Lovelace. After a contract dispute between Williams and the Walt Disney Company, Dan Castellaneta voiced the Genie throughout the direct-to-video feature The Return of Jafar, as well as the television series, before Williams reprised the role for the final installment, Aladdin and the King of Thieves, as well for the character's own mini-series titled Great Minds Think for Themselves. Castellaneta voiced the Genie in the Kingdom Hearts series of video games by Square Enix and Disney Interactive Studios. In 2008, Jim Meskimen voiced The Genie in the Disney Think Fast video game before Robin Williams died in 2014. In the 2019 live-action remake of the first film, he was portrayed by Academy Award-winning actor, Will Smith, who is best known for playing Agent J in the Men In Black films and Steven Hiller in Independence Day as well as a fictionalized version of himself in TV's The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Oscar (Shark Tale).
As well as largely driving the plot in the first movie, the Genie serves as comic relief in each of his appearances. He is shown to have unlimited shapeshifting abilities, which allow for many and varied sight gags. The Genie's supernatural abilities permit him to break the fourth wall, as well as parody real-life people and popular culture completely outside of the boundaries of the fictional universe in which he is contained. Not only can he make extra-canonical references, but the other characters even know what he is talking about (for example, when he turned his head into Pinocchio's head, complete with his signature elongated nose, to imply that he thought Aladdin was lying about his promise to free the Genie, Aladdin know enough about the story of Pinocchio to push his nose back in). From his appearances in the Aladdin franchise, it seems that Genie can turn himself, and also other people and animals, into anything he pleases. Williams is responsible for most of these because he improvised many of the lines in the film. However, even though Robin Williams is credited with most of this, it is still a trait shared by all genies in the Aladdin universe, including Jafar, after being turned into a genie (as demonstrated in his song "You're Only Second Rate"), as well as a female genie from the TV series that Genie falls in love with.
The Genie first appears in Aladdin where he is the deuteragonist of the film. He is released from a magical oil lamp by the titular character in the collapsed Cave of Wonders. After he reveals that he can grant three wishes, Aladdin knowing that Genie would only grant his wish to get out of the cave, if he used one of his wishes, dupes him into freeing Aladdin and Abu from the cave without using a wish. At a faraway oasis, the Genie is shocked when he finds that Aladdin didn't use his first wish to get out of the cave and reluctantly agrees to let Aladdin's first wish to be spared, but not without a warning. Asked by Aladdin what he would wish for, the Genie admits he would wish for freedom, since he is a prisoner to his lamp and must follow the orders of the lamp's master (Aladdin). After accepting a promise from Aladdin that Aladdin would use the third wish to set the Genie free, the Genie grants Aladdin his first wish: making him a prince so he can marry Jasmine. The Genie goes into hiding after leading a parade to the Agrabah palace. The Genie is released again when Aladdin is shackled, gagged, and thrown off a cliff into the ocean by Jafar's guards. The Genie rescues Aladdin as the second wish after liberally interpreting Aladdin's nodding head. Later, Genie has a falling out with Aladdin when he starts to think he may have to break his promise to use the third wish, out of fear of what will happen should someone find out he isn't royalty.
The Genie's lamp is later stolen and delivered to Jafar by Iago, making Jafar Genie's new master. The Genie has no choice but to grant Jafar's first and second wish to become Sultan of Agrabah and the world's most powerful sorcerer. He is then made a slave with no purpose in life but to entertain the sadistic Jafar by tormenting the former Sultan. During the final fight between Aladdin and Jafar, the Genie is forced to grant Jafar's final wish to become an all-powerful Genie when Aladdin convinces him to do so. However, as they both know, the fulfillment of this wish causes Jafar to be imprisoned in a lamp of his own, which the Genie hurls into the desert, freeing Agrabah from his tyranny. While the Genie is now more than willing to sacrifice his freedom in order to allow Aladdin to be with Jasmine, Aladdin decides to live up to his original promise and uses his final wish to free Genie from his lamp's power, much to the latter's surprise and happiness. Aladdin still gets to marry Jasmine, as the Sultan is touched by the young couple's love for one another, so he changes the law so the princess can marry whomever she pleases. The now-free Genie leaves Agrabah to explore the world.
The Return of Jafar
In the sequel Genie returns to Agrabah, deciding that the world is not all that great without his friends to share it with. He tells Aladdin and Jasmine that he is no longer as powerful as he once was because free genies are not as strong as genies bound by lamps. Instead of having phenomenal cosmic powers with an itty bitty living space, he now has "semi-phenomenal, nearly cosmic powers" and is as free as a bird. Despite the fact that he lost some of his power when he was freed, he still appears to be roughly as powerful as Jafar is in the first film after he makes his second wish and becomes the most powerful sorcerer in the world. He can fly, shape shift, conjure things out of thin air, and make them disappear.
That night, when Jasmine gets angry at Aladdin for hiding from her the fact that he brought Iago back to the palace, Genie convinces Iago to help get Aladdin and Jasmine back together. Later, he is confronted by Jafar and imprisoned alongside Abu. Jafar is able to do this because he was still bound by his lamp and thus had access to all the power that came with it. If Jafar had been freed from his lamp by Abis Mal, his power would have been downgraded and he would have most likely been just as powerful as Genie.
After being freed from Jafar's imprisonment by a morally confused Iago, Genie saves Aladdin from being executed by the palace guards, who Jafar had tricked into believing that Aladdin had murdered the Sultan.
Together they decide that Jafar must be stopped once and for all and Genie says that the only way to destroy Jafar is to destroy his lamp. Genie later attempts to discreetly grab Jafar's lamp, but is unable to do so. When Aladdin attempts to grab the lamp in front of Jafar, Jafar blows him out of the thrown room into the palace garden, and Genie saves Aladdin from serious injury by catching him when he falls. He then assists Aladdin in the final battle against Jafar by shape shifting into Aladdin in an attempt to distract him while Aladdin grabs his lamp. However, Jafar catches on in time to stop Aladdin from reaching his lamp. Fortunately the reformed Iago manages to kick Jafar's lamp into lava, thus destroying Jafar. While this happens, Genie saves Jasmine and Abu from a dangerous situation as the ground is closing back up. When he finds out that Iago survived the battle, he celebrates by turning into a firework.
Aladdin: the Series
Genie has a supporting role in the Aladdin television series, set between The Return of Jafar and Aladdin and the King of Thieves. In the series, being that his power lowered after his freedom, the villains in the series hold a better chance a succeeding but not extremely. While he beats monsters and saves the day when the heroes are in trouble, he does not do everything for them. Because he lost some of his power when he was freed, he cannot solve every problem that comes up with the snap of a finger, so it is often up to Aladdin and his friends to do their own fighting and save themselves. However, he is still an indispensable member of the group. There are many, many occasions in the TV series where Genie's magic is crucial for the heroes to win and the situation
would have been hopeless without him. Despite being freed from the lamp though, Genie still uses it for sleep, and the gang still summon him from it.
During the course of the show, Genie meets a love interest, a genie named Eden. Unlike Genie, she still has a master. Several episodes revolve around Genie as well as some recurring series plots. In some episodes Genie is being hunted down by the evil sorcerer Mozenrath so that he can use Genie's powers for evil. Other episode plots involve being chased down by a Genie's natural enemy the Mukhtar who later becomes friends with Genie after Genie saves his life while they are working together towards a common goal.
Aladdin and the King of Thieves
In the final chapter, Genie is the tritagonist of the film.
Aladdin and Jasmine are about to wed and the excited Genie spends the morning preparing. He decorates the city and informs the citizens of the special event. He is also Aladdin's best man as well as wedding planner, decorator, valet and more. During the ceremony, Genie and his friends are attacked by the Forty Thieves. Genie battles with ease having the villains retreat.
After the dust settles, Genie is with the task of rebuilding and reorganizing the wedding. Aladdin learns they were after a scepter that unleashes an Oracle. The Oracle has the answer to every question and Aladdin uses the opportunity to learn the whereabouts of his father. Genie and the others finds out he's the King of Thieves and while Aladdin goes to find him, Genie stays behind to fix up the wedding pavilion.
After time passes, Jasmine begins to worry for Aladdin's safety until Genie comes in and uses a mix of comedy and heart to re-ensure Jasmine of Aladdin's safety and to cheer her up. He and Jasmine spend time planning the theme for the wedding and different outfits to try. That morning, Aladdin and the others arrive with a mysterious man. Genie is told that the man is the King of Thieves. Genie, in shock, uses his high-tech security system to prepare an attack, but is told that the man is Aladdin's father, Cassim. Genie quickly welcomes him into the family.
That night, Cassim is exposed as the king of thieves and caught attempting to steal the scepter with Iago. After Razoul alerts the Sultan, he has no choice but to put him behind bars. After requesting from Genie his father's clothes, Aladdin breaks Cassim and Iago out and is ready for the punishment but Genie and Jasmine take up for him having the Sultan forgive and forget. Genie tries to ease Aladdin's anger and convinces him to save his father after he's been double crossed by his former henchman. They go off to an island where lies the Hand of Midas. Genie begins to sink the island while Aladdin and the others battle the thieves and save Cassim. After all is good, Genie attends the wedding and watches as he weeps with happiness as Aladdin and Jasmine fly off on Carpet.
During the post-credits scene, Genie appears on the black screen and says "Game over man! Game over!" (a reference to a similar line by the character Hudson from Aliens (1986) before disappearing magically, indicating that the film is the last installment of the Aladdin trilogy.
Powers and abilities
As a genie, Genie is an extremely powerful, immortal being with almost unlimited powers that he uses to break the fourth wall. Among other things, it has proved capable of changing its shape or those of others to change its size, make objects and clothes appear from nothing, fly, give itself superhuman strength, duplicate himself, manipulate reality as it pleases, duplicate itself, give magical powers at will, generate energy rays and many others.
- Phenomenal Cosmic Power: In the context of the original Aladdin, dialogue suggests that Genie was the most powerful being in the universe. As shown in the first movie, he could easily break the laws of nature, shape-shift into anything, break the fourth wall, warp reality at a whim, lift the palace of Agrabah with no problems, give other people his power, undo the works of any magic (though mixing his magic with someone else's had consequences), and escape a magically sealed cave. However, he had three limits to his abilities (and also refuses to accept substitutions, exchanges, refunds, and wishing for more wishes); he cannot kill, he cannot make people fall in love, and he cannot raise the dead (though he states that he can indeed perform resurrections, but simply does not enjoy doing so as the resurrected are implied to be turned zombies in which he describes as "not a pretty picture"). Aside from these three limitations, he was virtually omnipotent. This level of power was carried over into Aladdin and the King of Thieves, where Genie had no problem with anything he tried.
- Semi-Phenomenal, Nearly Cosmic Power: After getting his freedom, Genie stated that he had suffered a reduction in power due to his new freedom, describing his current powers as now being "semi-phenomenal, nearly cosmic power" as opposed to his previous "phenomenal cosmic power". Due to his weakened state as opposed to Jafar's full power, the now-genie Jafar defeated him during "You're Only Second Rate", as well as deflecting all of his magical attacks. However, he still has a nearly unlimited amount of magical knowledge and all his shape-shifting abilities. He also has high magic power, but was unable to undo certain forms of magic; a weakness with disastrous consequences in the television series, such as when he had trouble turning Jasmine back to normal after she was turned into a rat by a magic mirror, or his inability to break a spell cast by Sadira that brainwashed Aladdin into thinking that he was a dragon-slaying knight. It was revealed in The Return of Jafar that he can also flawlessly imitate the voices and appearances of others, as seen when he shape-shifts into Aladdin in the ultimately failed attempt to distract Jafar while the real Aladdin grabs the latter's lamp. In the series, it is often shown that one of his exploited weaknesses (often by Abis Mal and Mechanicles) is that he can be tricked into getting into a bottle but then cannot get out until someone releases him. Items that can affect magic also affect him, such as the magic-eating creature Thirdack, nearly succeeded in eating Genie from the episode "The Citadel". It is also shown in "Sneeze the Day" that guava juice is the only thing that can give genies a cold, which makes their magic uncontrollable and unpredictable (along with dangerous).
- At the end of the original film when Genie was freed, his cuff bands were removed (the marks of his imprisonment of the lamp). However, he still wears the cuff bands in the sequels and TV series because the animators thought he looked better with them on.
- George Wendt, John Goodman, the late John Candy, the late Rodney Dangerfield, Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, the late Phil Hartman and Steve Martin were considered for the role of Genie before Robin Williams was given the role.
- Despite being a protagonist, he bares a physical similarity to Borf, the main villain of the 80s Don Bluth arcade game Space Ace, though Genie has more of a heroic appearance than he does.
- He is also very similar to Discord from the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic series.