The cast and crew of one of Disney’s most famous classics Aladdin reunited at this year’s D23 Expo. On the panel, the cast and crew spoke on the production of Aladdin and the impact it has had on so many people. Sharing stories on the panel were Ron Clements and John Musker (directors/writers/producers), Eric Goldberg and Mark Henn (animators), Linda Larkin (voice of Jasmine), Scott Weinger (voice of Aladdin), and Brad Kane (singing voice of Aladdin).
Clements and Musker opened the panel speaking on the early stages of the film’s production. They commented that the movie was a risk – coming just after Beauty and the Beast, a classic fairy tale retelling, Aladdin seemed to be something more humorous with a, “more irreverent tone.”
Still this tone gave the movie the a new spirit which can also be seen in its animation. Largely influenced by cartoonists like Al Hirschfeld, the creators mentioned how the film took on a brand new style both in story and in art. Goldberg further commented on the way he animated in a creative, playful way: for example, “Never Had a Friend Like Me” was initially criticized because test audiences weren’t responding to the song’s ending – so Goldberg inserted a straightforward applause sign at the end!
The voices of the characters also shared their experiences auditioning and voicing Aladdin and Jasmine. Special behind the scenes clips were shown, illustrating how much passion these voice actors felt, and still feel, for their characters.
Of course, an Aladdin panel would be remiss without mention of Robin Williams, and the panelists spoke at length about how much impact he had on the film’s creation. The creators mentioned how he gave all into his voice acting, and left everyone in stitches with all the extra jokes he inserted while recording.
Additionally, in tribute to his work, the panelists announced that Eric Goldberg has animated a new set storyboard for never before seen outtakes of Robin Williams’ recordings. These storyboards and recordings will be available on the new Aladdin Blu-ray, released this year on October 13th!
Among reminiscing, anticipation for future projects (including Moana, which will also be directed by Clements and Musker!), and even a surprise guest (Nick Pietro signing “A Whole New World” with Brad Kane!) the panelists successfully captured the classic love that so many have for this well-known movie.
Renew your love for Aladdin on Blu-ray, available on October 13, 2015.