Film Critics and More React in Shock and Disbelief to Will Smith’s ‘Aladdin’ Genie

Smith says he plans to bring "hip-hop flavor" to the legendary Disney character.
Walt Disney Studios

Will Smith told Entertainment Weekly last December his version of the Genie in Guy Ritchie’s upcoming live-action “Aladdin” would “stand out as unique even in the Disney world,” and the 50-year-old actor certainly wasn’t lying. Disney finally unveiled Smith’s CGI-infused blue genie in a special trailer that aired during the 2019 Grammy Awards (see photo above) and it didn’t take long for shock and disbelief to erupt on social media in reaction to the footage.

The look of Smith’s Genie was widely mocked by film reporters and general “Aladdin fans,” with comparisons ranging from Tobias in “Arrested Development” to the thumb people in “Spy Kids” and the invisible “Bird Box” monster that makes people kill themselves when they look at it. Smith told EW he was going to bring a previously unseen “hip-hop flavor” to the character, who was famously voiced by Robin Williams in Disney’s 1992 animated movie.

“Whenever you’re doing things that are iconic, it’s always terrifying,” Smith told EW about taking on the role. “The question is always: Where was there meat left on the bone? Robin didn’t leave a lot of meat on the bone with the character… I started to feel confident that I could deliver something that was an homage to Robin Williams but was musically different. Just the flavor of the character would be different enough and unique enough that it would be in a different lane, versus trying to compete.”

Disney will release “Aladdin” in theaters nationwide May 24. Check out the best reactions to Smith’s Genie below.

Daily Headlines
Daily Headlines covering Film, TV and more.

By subscribing, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

PMC Logo
IndieWire is a part of Penske Media Corporation. © 2023 IndieWire Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.