Friday, October 9, 2015

Disney Animation Studios with Aladdin & Eric Goldberg #AladdinBloggers

In addition to visiting Disneyland and chatting with a few of the Tomorrowland geniuses, I also had the awesome opportunity to meet Disney Animator, Eric Goldberg. Mr. Goldberg not only serves as Supervising Animator for Disney Animation Studios but was the creative talent behind the Genie in the movie Aladdin. 

Eric Goldberg, Disney Animator
While sitting in my seat, listening to him talk, I was captivated by his energy, his quick-wit and his obvious passion for animation. He told us the behind the scenes scoop on how the Genie, in Aladdin, came about and what it was like to work with actor, Robin Williams, who was the voice of the Genie. Mr. Goldberg was given an unusual assignment. He was to listen to Robin William's stand-up comedy routines and then animate the Genie using those routines. The actor was so impressed that he accepted the pitch and from then on Genie was Robin Williams! This was great since the script was written with the actor in mind although not yet cast for the part. Impressed by the actor's improv skills, Mr. Goldberg said, "He turned into a game show host, an evangelist and out came all the celebs ~ Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Wayne and George C. Scott." I also found a quote from another interview where Mr. Goldberg said, "We could have just gotten somebody who was technically adept at impressions, but the warmth that Robin brought was something we tried very hard to convey. Sidekicks carry the comedy, yes, but you also have to believe that they care about the main character. You have to believe their sincerity. Without that, you would have a technical exercise, but no heart." Robin Williams was obviously the perfect choice for the role of the Genie.

As a special treat, Mr. Goldberg gave our group an on-the-spot art lesson. We learned how to draw the Genie. I've never been artistically inclined but I have to say, I did pretty good! He also demonstrated his drawing technique and his thoughts and inspiration behind it. Before leaving he also granted us a few photo opportunities and we all left with Aladdin swag and an autographed sketch of the Genie, made out to each blogger individually. The sketch is definitely something I'll treasure forever.

The Genie
Selfies with Eric Goldberg!
Mr. Goldberg is also known for a multitude of other ideas and creativity while animating and directing. He was the Film Director for the Disney movie, Pocahontas and animated for other films including Hercules, Fantasia 2000, Winnie the Pooh, Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen. Most would consider that enough talent for one person, but not Eric Goldberg! The Pennsylvania native (me too!) also provided the voices for characters, Marvin the Martian, Tweety Bird and Speedy Gonzales! Wow! For something new from Eric Goldberg, check out the "tattoos" in the new Disney film MOANA, in theaters everywhere on November 23, 2016.

Disclosure: I was invited on an all-expense paid media trip on behalf of Disney to facilitate this post, however, all opinions are entirely my own.

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