Disney dropped a new trailer for the live-action Aladdin movie on Sunday, finally giving us our first look at Will Smith's Genie in action. For the love of all that is holy, please put him back in the lamp.They saved the big Genie reveal for right at the very end of the minute-long clip like some cruel trick, presumably to lull us into a false sense of security with a few nice shots of Jafar and Jasmine and the Prince Ali parade or whatever.
Oh, look, there's that giant tiger head in the desert, you think, lost in the nostalgia of seeing your childhood memories of Aladdin turned into three-dimensional reality. There's Abu! There's Jafar's serpent staff I once had a toy replica of!But suddenly, Aladdin picks up that fateful lamp, blue smoke purls from its mouth and, good lord, no—something is terribly, irreparably wrong. Who is that lumpy Avatar on the screen? What's going on with his face? This is nothing like you remembered. He opens his mouth to speak and, in a single instant, the few remaining strands of your childhood innocence die.
Robin Williams's genie was magical. He was a delight. His jokes filled you with a joy that your puny child brain could barely fathom. He could transform himself into anything he dreamed of—he was a cheerleader, he was a talk-show host, he was a flight attendant, he was a fashion designer. He represented all the possibilities of the world laid out before you. You could be those things, someday, when you were older. The world was your lamp, just waiting to be rubbed.But now, here we are, three decades later. Robin Williams is gone, the fun-loving genie of your youth is a distant memory, and this is what you're left with: Some kind of bulbous, CG monstrosity borne from the depths of the Uncanny Valley. Deeply, deeply disturbing stuff.This is adulthood. This is growing up. The 1992 Genie was the gilded dream of what the world might have in store for us. Will Smith's Genie is reality. And it hurts. Oh, god, it hurts. Twenty-seven years will give you such a crick in the neck!Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.