FILM 1439: ALADDIN
TRIVIA: During the course of recording the voices, Robin Williams improvised so much they had almost 16 hours of material.
Because Robin Williams ad-libbed so many of his lines, the script was turned down for a Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award nomination.
The Genie's celebrity impersonations are (in order): Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ed Sullivan, Groucho Marx, William F. Buckley, Señor Wences, Robert De Niro, Carol Channing, Arsenio Hall, Walter Brennan, Mary Hart, Ethel Merman, Rodney Dangerfield, Jack Nicholson, and Peter Lorre. For release in India, Disney replaced the game show host with a cricket commentator.
Scheduling conflicts with Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) forced Patrick Stewart to turn down the role of Jafar. He has said in interviews that this is his biggest regret.
While filming this movie, Robin Williams frequently received calls from Steven Spielberg, who at the time was working on Schindler's List (1993). He would put him on speaker phone so he could tell jokes to the cast and crew to cheer them up. Some of the material that he used was material that he was using for this film.
During script and storyboard development, the writers were already considering Robin Williams for the role of the Genie but had not approached him for the project. In order to convince Williams to do the role, Eric Goldberg animated the Genie doing several minutes of Williams's stand-up routines, including parts from his album 'Reality... What A Concept', and screened it for him. Williams was so impressed that he signed almost immediately.
To capture the movement of Aladdin's low-cut baggy pants, animator Glen Keane looked at videos of rap star M.C. Hammer.
In the preview screenings for the movie, nobody applauded after the big song numbers. The animators wanted applause and so somebody stuck the Genie with an "Applause" sign at the end of "Friend Like Me". The joke worked and the sign was kept for the movie.
On what came to be known among the Aladdin animators as Black Friday, then Disney head Jeffrey Katzenberg told the team to scrap virtually everything they'd been working on for months and start all over again. He also refused to move the film's release date. Directors John Musker and Ron Clements were able to completely turn around the film's new plot and screenplay in just eight days.
This was the first major animated film which was advertised on the strength of having a major movie star providing one of its voices (Robin Williams). This has since become the norm with animated features.
Tim Curry, Kelsey Grammer, John Hurt, Christopher Lloyd and Ian McKellen were considered for the role of Jafar.
Though loosely based on the original short story from Arabian Nights, many plot elements are created just for the film: Jafar's desire for Jasmine, framing Aladdin for a crime and having him imprisoned, Aladdin meeting another prisoner (actually Jafar) who helps break him out of prison and tells him of a hidden treasure, Aladdin using the treasure (the lamp) to falsely portray himself as a prince, and to take revenge on Jafar. These plot elements are all quite similar to the plot of Alexandre Dumas père's novel, The Count of Monte Cristo. Appropriately, the novel itself makes reference to the Arabian Nights several times: the treasure of Monte Cristo is compared to that of Ali Baba, the cave in which it is hidden is compared to the one in Aladdin, and the protagonist Edmond Dantes at one point calls himself Sinbad the Sailor.
The color design of the film was inspired by old Persian miniatures and Victorian paintings of the Middle East.
During the "Whole New World" sequence, Aladdin and Jasmine fly over future settings of Hercules and Mulan.