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LOS ANGELES – Live-action Aladdin star Will Smith paid tribute to the original animated Aladdin genie, the late Robin Williams, with a sweet social media posting.

The original Aladdin was part of Disney’s animated renaissance, going on to gross $504 million worldwide largely on the strength of Robin Williams’ verbal acrobatics as the voice of the genie.

As Disney is now releasing classic remakes of its animated catalog in live-action form, and scoring blockbuster hits while doing so, Smith is taking over the genie role originated by Williams in a new version of Aladdin.

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The teaser and official trailer of Alladin’s remake are being officially released and the fans had witnessed the first glimpses of Smith as the blue genie, and it’s safe to say reactions to Smith’s appearance were quite divided.

Will Smith had recently offered up his own tribute to Williams’ work in the original film with an image bringing his genie and Williams’ together (with a shout out to Disney character designer Luigi Lucarelli for creating the new artwork).

Here is the post by Will Smith:

The image is pretty amazing and it’s hard not to wonder, in some other universe, what it might be like to have both versions of the character interact with one another. Even though it was animated, what Robin Williams did with Genie was nothing shy of iconic.

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The character was so strongly done and the performance is nothing short of brilliant. The late actor and comedian threw himself into the role head first in a way that nobody could ever hope to replicate.

Aladdin will be releasing on May 21 and we simply can’t wait to watch the movie.

What about you?