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Robin Williams' real voice from past recordings is being used in new Disney film

Gerrard Kaonga

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Robin Williams' real voice from past recordings is being used in new Disney film

Featured Image Credit: Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images / Disney

The late Robin Williams was able to delight fans with his surprising cameo as Aladdin’s charismatic Genie in Disney’s latest short film.

Despite passing away in 2014, William’s voice is featured alongside a whole host of iconic characters for Disney’s Once Upon a Studio film.

The film, which debuted on Sunday (15 October), celebrates the 100-year anniversary of Walt Disney Animation Studios.

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And while there have been some discussions in Hollywood about using AI to bring people back to life, producer Yvett Merino confirmed that this was not the case with the Genie.

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“It was actually direct lines from past recordings,” Merino told publication Polygon.

“When we do animated recordings on any feature, there are a number of takes. So we were able to find this line that fits so well in our short.”

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In the short film, William’s Genie explosively blasts out of a pad of paper Frozen’s Olaf is drawing on, making him fall to the ground.

Genie then jokes ‘I haven’t seen a fall like that since Rome’ before magically putting Olaf back together.

Disney Animation Studios’ chief creative officer, Jennifer Lee, also confirmed that Disney had spoken to Williams’ estate about his inclusion in the new film and were able to get their blessing - which Merino said was 'so important'.

Robin William's past dialogue has been used to bring the Genie back to life. Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Robin William's past dialogue has been used to bring the Genie back to life. Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images
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“So many of us who work here at Disney Animation were inspired by Aladdin and Robin’s performance. It meant the world that they said yes to his inclusion in the short.

“And [it was] so special that Eric Goldberg, who animated Genie for the [original] feature film, did the animation here as well.”

There's been a lot of discussion about using in AI in Hollywood films.

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However, according to Brad Simonsen, a producer on the short film, the studio has a strict no AI policy.

“We are a flat no on [AI] right now. Matter of fact, you’re not allowed to use AI in the building,” Simonsen told the outlet.

He also highlighted the care that the team were adamant in putting in for the celebratory short film.

The Genie is one of William's most popular and beloved roles. Credit: Disney
The Genie is one of William's most popular and beloved roles. Credit: Disney
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“What Dan Abraham [studio director] and Trent Correy [shorts director and animator] were specific about was, we were hoping to get back the animators [who originally served as lead animators on some of the short’s characters], because in 2D, in hand-drawn, a supervisor actually led for that character,” he added.

“They were the ones who kept that character on model for the whole show. So bringing back those folks who led those characters was a dream."

Fans that missed the short film can watch it on Fubo TV and Hulu+ Live TV.

Topics: Film & TV, Film and TV, Disney, Robin Williams

Gerrard Kaonga
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