Learning About Creating Genie from Eric Goldberg
I am not a great artist at all, as a matter of fact I don’t believe have any talent for drawing or painting at all but I was beyond excited to meet Head Animator of Genie, Eric Goldberg. It was probably one of the most touching interviews we had during this trip because Mr. Goldberg shared his memories of working with Robin Williams with us. He spoke to highly of Williams and brought almost the whole room to tears sharing those memories with us.
Goldberg started drawing at the age of four, he learned by practicing to draw Woody Woodpecker. He would spend hours creating flip books. Genie was Goldberg’s first job at Disney and it was very memorable for him. You could tell when he would talk about his time working on Genie. He described Robin as an animator’s dream, sharing about how funny he was on set. When you purchase your copy of Aladdin the bonus features also include ‘The Genie Outtakes,’ which is pretty much some of the takes that Robin gave when he came in to do his recording for the character. Did you know that Robin Williams is also the narrator at the start of the movie. I didn’t realize that until Goldberg shared it with us.
When Goldberg started drawing and creating different characters he had different influences but he credits Al Hirshfeld with being inspiration for Genie. He said that’s why the character has so many smooth lines and he looks like a continuous line in some areas. He did say though that he wasn’t responsible for Genie’s blue color. Goldberg says he sees himself in Genie, and that the character has a warm place in his heart.
Animators have a very tough job when creating characters, they have to read the script and decide how they are going to bring that character to life through their animations. Goldberg said he’s always learning about the characters he’s created even after the movie has been released. One of our gifts from this trip was a signed lithograph of Genie, Goldberg personally signed them for all the bloggers. Goldberg’s drawings are quite popular, he even has a book out called An Animators Gallery – it contains black and white drawings of all Disney characters.
Before we started our drawing session with Goldbery, he shared special clips and more from his time working on Aladdin and creating Genie. His favorite scene in the whole movie is the one where Genie is dancing with his hands during the ‘Friend Like Me’ song.
While my drawing isn’t the best this was an amazing experience and I would do it all over again just to hear Goldberg talk about Robin Williams and his amazing talent.
Aladdin is releasing from the Disney Vault on Blu-Ray Combo Pack and DVD on October 13th, it’s already available on Digital HD and DMA.
Disclosure: I attended an expenses paid press trip with Disney Home Entertainment in exchange for sharing with my readers, all opinions expressed are my own.