Disney has certainly taken on a tall order when it comes to remaking some of our favorite and classic animated films.
With their most recent foray into the world of “Arabian Nights” and a Cave of Wonders where magic awaits, Disney took on the seemingly impossible feat of casting an actor to play “Genie.”
After all, Robin Williams made our favorite blue guy what he is — how could anyone possibly top what had already been mastered?
Will Smith has played a variety of roles ranging from the goofy “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” to the more serious struggling father figure in “The Pursuit of Happyness.”
We’ve laughed at his anecdotes in “Hitch” and cried at the conclusion of the heart-wrenching “Seven Pounds.”
But there was perhaps more anticipation leading up to Smith’s portrayal of “Genie” than all his roles combined. Smith even admitted in an interview with Jimmy Fallon that when he was first presented with the idea of playing “Genie,” he didn’t want to touch it.
“Robin Williams smashed that role,” Smith told “The Tonight Show” host. The actor questioned what he would do differently and was unsure at first how he could take on such an iconic character.
It wasn’t until he played around with the song “Friend Like Me” that Smith started to feel comfortable in his new blue skin. Even so, he knew the task would be a huge one.
“I know Genies don’t have Feet…” Smith wrote on Facebook. “But you left some Big Shoes to fill … R.I.P., Robin!”
Since the day Disney’s live-action remake of “Aladdin” hit theaters in May, long-time Disney fanatics have been talking about Smith’s portrayal of Williams’ signature role.
Whatever side of the magic lamp you fall on regarding who played Genie better doesn’t change the fact that Smith’s kindness to fans in real life has remained genuine and authentic.
He may or may not be your favorite “Genie.” Either way he certainly charmed a pair of little girls who spoke with him at the film’s premiere.
A viral video of Smith staying in character on the purple carpet shows exactly the kind of guy he is. When the girls — Emma and Mila — ask him where his magic is, Smith’s response is priceless.
“Where’s my magic?” Smith asked. “When I’m in public I can’t use my magic because people can’t know I’m a Genie.”
The best part might just be when Smith explained that while the girls know he’s a Genie, other people might be scared. And then the actor invited them to meet Princess Jasmine — who also stayed in character.
“Magic is real,” Smith wrote on Facebook. “You just have to know where to look!”
I’d say this sweet encounter certainly proves that! Have you seen the live-action remake of “Aladdin?”
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