A couple of months ago, Entertainment Weekly debuted our first look at the cast of Disney’s live-action Aladdin remake, which led to something of an uproar because Will Smith’s Genie looked more human than a being with “phenomenal cosmic powers.” But now we’ve got our first look at the Genie in CGI blue, which led to a new onslaught of backlash.
The one-minute teaser, which debuted during the Grammys Sunday night, had a lot to offer. It’s the first time we hear Jafar speak, we catch glimpses of Agrabah in the daytime, Jasmine, what looks to be a big musical number, and the moment Aladdin gets caught in the Cave of Wonders. But all of that is eclipsed by the very end of the trailer when Aladdin meets the Genie for the first time.
The dialogue is fairly on the unremarkable side. The Genie is aghast that Aladdin doesn’t know who he is, so he tries to throw out his greatest hits to jumpstart Aladdin’s memory. He sounds very much like Will Smith. But the Genie’s appearance? It kinda looks like a cheap and unfinished CGI nightmare.
Like maybe some other characters you’ve seen before.
One of these was made in 2009 pic.twitter.com/HeSFL4wb82— Amateur Watcher #TPZ (@OhioDavee) February 11, 2019
Aladdin (2019) pic.twitter.com/0Sn5OAP15o— Jeaux Exotic aka The Prize (@JeauxVaughn) February 11, 2019
First look at Will Smith as the Genie in the up coming live action Aladdin pic.twitter.com/yFLxrVJXv2— Xanny DeVito (@trevorstweetss) February 11, 2019
This looks like an auto insurance commercial that comes on at 2 am pic.twitter.com/RNyTNAgMBK— Matt Buechele (@mattbooshell) February 11, 2019
It’s so disturbing that you can’t look away.
“Hello. I’d like to talk to you today about video interpolation.” pic.twitter.com/iMywUVmMSY— Matt MEET THE PRESS IS SANCTUARY FOR LIARS Negrin (@MattNegrin) February 11, 2019
This shows just how dangerous deepfake technology can be, something has to be done. pic.twitter.com/LjManECtNU— Russ Fischer (@russfischer) February 11, 2019
Will we ever be able to sleep in peace again? Debatable!
the bar I’m in had the most VISCERAL reaction of horror to Will Smith in the Aladdin trailer I’m screaming— JP (@jpbrammer) February 11, 2019
Will Smith as the genie looks like what one of those kids from the 90’s Fruit Gushers commercials would look like if they never found a cure for their fruit curse.— Jhonen Vasquez (@JhonenV) February 11, 2019
Will Smith genie is what appears in my room when I have sleep paralysis pic.twitter.com/NzMDOgvkkz— Jenny Nicholson don't talk to me about Sonic (@JennyENicholson) February 11, 2019
According to Smith, who addressed his character’s look after the Entertainment Weekly cover came out in December, the Genie “will be CGI most of the movie.” So whether or not the Genie’s CGI appearance is indicative of how he’ll look for the rest of the film—it’s possible that Aladdin might tweak some things between now and its release—it looks like we’ll be seeing a lot of it.
Kinda makes you nostalgic for the Genie’s human disguise, doesn’t it?
The Genie (and his CGI self) will arrive in theaters May 24.