It’s only been two weeks since Will Smith made his debut as the “genie with abs” in the live-action Aladdin remake, but it feels like the Blue Dude has been with us our entire lives (in our nightmares, mainly). The jokes about the “first Smurf to have a Four Loko” came fast and furious, with many Twitter jokesters commenting on his resemblance to Tobias “Blue Myself” Fünke and Shrek, and Disney is already on the defense about the Fresh Genie of Agrabah.
“We have one of the most anticipated films of the year and are confident that audiences will fall in love with the Genie and all of the characters when it hits the big screen this May,” the studio told USA Today in a statement.
The website also spoke to The Smurfs director Raja Gosnell (because, blue?), who’s glad that Twitter wasn’t as much of A Thing in 2011. “We didn’t have the Twitter world back then that we have now, thank God. But that unveiling was met with levels of horror and gnashing of teeth by the online community,” he said. “There is always going to be some sort of outcry by the keyboard warriors. It was going to be the same thing with the blue Genie from Aladdin.”
Paul Michael Glaser, who directed the Shaq (not Sinbad) genie movie Kazaam, also piped in, criticizing Disney for having Smith’s Genie still be blue, like he was in the animated version. He called it a “bit of cop-out. But even more than that was the big, muscular look makes this Genie more comparable to the animated version. Why does a Genie have to be all of that?” Glaser added, “They missed the boat in terms of trying to really explore what it would be like to rub a bottle and have Will Smith come out of it,” which is my new favorite quote.