aladdin genie

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Will Smith’s CGI Genie in new ‘Aladdin’ trailer quickly becomes a meme



Michelle Jaworski


Posted on Feb 11, 2019   Updated on May 20, 2021, 7:23 pm CDT

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.

It’s so disturbing that you can’t look away.

Will we ever be able to sleep in peace again? Debatable!

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.


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*First Published: Feb 11, 2019, 9:50 am CST