Robin Williams Is Returning As Genie In New Disney Animated Short

Robin Williams can be heard as Genie once more in the short Once Upon A Studio.

By Britta DeVore | Published

robin williams movie

It’s almost been nine years since the world lost one of the greatest comedians and performers of our time when Robin Williams tragically took his own life and now Disney is revealing their plans to bring his voice back to life as his beloved big blue character, Genie. The House of Mouse set the stage with their latest film at the Annecy Annual International Animation Festival by premiering the short which is titled Once Upon A Studio. During the nine minutes of magic, the speedy look at Disney through the years will bring back a slew of fan-favorite characters including the wish-granting Genie from Aladdin.

According to Variety, festivalgoers referred to the mash-up as a “Night at the Museum with Disney characters” as voices from the studios’ lengthy history were heard throughout the film. Unsurprisingly, Frozen star Josh Gad, who lends his talents to the snowman, Olaf, is one of the many names taking part in the event, and, in an Instagram post that you can see above, he confirmed that Robin Williams would be heard as Genie in the short. According to Gad’s post, which features a picture of the loveable snowman meeting the magical Genie, old recordings of the late Hook actor will be used to bring the magic to the screen.

For those audiences who are pumped to know that Robin Williams’ Genie will be returning to a screen near you, sadly, there isn’t yet a release window for Once Upon A Studio. However, the rumor mill is already churning with the belief that audiences heading to the theater for Disney’s upcoming animated feature Wish will see it as part of the opening sequence. Releasing in theaters later this year in November, Wish features vocal performances by Chris Pine, Ariana DeBose, and Alan Tudyk in a colorful and musical piece about the adventure of wishing upon a star.

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Along with the big reveal of Robin Williams’ Genie making a return to the big screen via the short Once Upon A Studio, the Annecy Annual International Animation Festival also brought audiences a burst of excitement when it was unveiled that the ever-popular Spider-Verse franchise would be receiving its own short feature. Currently dominating at the global box office, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, the sequel to 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, has been a major win for Sony Pictures. Now, a short based around the world of Miles Morales will also be making its way to the big screen through The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse Story, which will see Miles battling his biggest opponent yet – his mental health.

There’s no doubt that Disney will have audiences flocking to theaters to catch the magic that will be Once Upon A Studio whether it be screened before a feature-length presentation or on its own. Bringing the magic of Robin Williams’ Genie back to fans around the world will be a thrilling one as the last time we heard the late performer’s voice was through posthumous releases including Absolutely Anything, A Merry Friggin’ Christmas, and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.