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How Disney Brought Back Robin Williams’ Genie for the Animated Short ‘Once Upon a Studio’ — Without Using AI – Variety | used a combination of traditional animation techniques and the skillful talents of their animators.

Disney Animation Studios recently delighted fans by bringing back Robin Williams’ beloved character, Genie, for the animated short film, “Once Upon a Studio.” However, what’s even more remarkable is that the studio accomplished this feat without relying on artificial intelligence (AI). Instead, they utilized old recording tracks and enlisted a talented team of creatives to make it happen.

“Once Upon a Studio” is a heartwarming tribute that celebrates 100 years of enchanting stories and magic from Disney. It features a variety of iconic characters, including the timeless Snow White and the mischievous Peter Pan. However, the highlight of the short film is undoubtedly the return of Genie, immortalized by the late Robin Williams in the classic animated film “Aladdin.”

Bringing Genie back to life proved to be an intricate process that required not only technical skill but also immense creativity. Rather than resorting to AI to recreate his character, the team at Disney Animation Studios turned to the wealth of existing recording tracks featuring Williams’ voice. By carefully selecting and combining these tracks, they were able to capture the essence and spirit of his iconic portrayal of Genie.

However, this endeavor was by no means a one-person job. It truly took a village of creatives at Disney Animation Studios to accomplish the seamless integration of Genie into the animated short. The team meticulously studied Williams’ performances as Genie, ensuring that every line and vocal nuance aligned perfectly with the character’s personality and comedic timing.

Additionally, animators meticulously hand-drew Genie’s movements, capturing his flamboyant gestures and larger-than-life presence. By intertwining the audio recordings with these carefully crafted animations, the team successfully revived Genie’s infectious energy, making him a highlight of “Once Upon a Studio.”

The decision to rely on traditional recording tracks and a dedicated team of artists rather than AI has proven to be a resounding success. Fans have been thrilled with the nostalgic return of Robin Williams’ Genie and have praised Disney Animation Studios for their commitment to honoring the original performance.

“Once Upon a Studio” serves as a testament to the power of collaboration and the dedication of Disney Animation Studios to preserving the magic of their beloved characters. As the short film continues to delight audiences, it reminds us of the enduring legacy of Robin Williams’ iconic portrayal and the boundless creativity that can be achieved without relying on artificial intelligence.

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