“Initially they came in and I was just doing the scripted lines and I asked ‘Do you mind if I try something?’ and then 18 hours of recording later, they had the genie. I just started playing, and they said 'just go with it, go with it, go with it.’ So I improvised the character. I think that in the end, there were something like 40 different voices that I did for that role."
Ron Clements, co-director of Aladdin, confirmed the fan theory that the merchant at the beginning of the film is actually Genie. “[we] had that at the end of the movie, where he would reveal himself to be the Genie… [through] editing, we lost the reveal at the end. So, that’s an urban legend that actually is true.” Source
“I don’t want to sell stuff. It’s the one thing I don’t do,” he told New York magazine.
“We had a deal. The one thing I said was I will do the voice. I’m doing it basically because I want to be part of this animation tradition. I want something for my children. One deal is, I just don’t want to sell anything — as in Burger King, as in toys, as in stuff,” he later said on the Today Show.
Williams’ friend Eric Idle suggested that he “burn the Picasso live as a form of protest.”