My Aladdin piece for the Ron Clements & John Musker Tribute show at Gallery Nucleus! The show is running till December 6th, so you still have time to check it out if you’re in the LA area! My framed piece along with a limited run of prints are available for sale!
“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
Genie was born in 1957 in California. Her father determined that she was mentally disabled and therefore not worthy of his attention or care. He isolated her from everybody - locking her alone inside a room until she reached the age of 13. While inside this room, he kept her strapped to a toilet or enclosed in a crib. Due to her isolation, she was incapable of communicating or walking when she was finally rescued by Los Angeles child welfare authorities on 4 November, 1970. Her father would beat her with a plank wood each time she attempted to communicate with her family and would bark and growl at her like a dog to intimidate her - this instilled a severe fear of dogs which continued after she was freed. He even grew his fingernails; the sole purpose being so he could scratch at Genie is she ever “misbehaved.” After she was freed, she was often used as a case study for psychologists, linguists, and scientists. She was sent into care and while there seemed to be a series of breakthroughs in the beginning, there were also major setbacks - she was exploited and also abused by those who were supposed to be caring for her - she was sent to an extremely religious foster care home in which she retreated and in 1977, she managed to tell a children’s hospital that her foster parents had physically punished her when she had been sick. Following this, her speech never recovered and nobody knows for sure what became of her other than she was sent to an institute for the mentally undeveloped in Southern California in 2008.