*Disclosure: This event and trip to LA was an all expense paid journey sponsored by Disney. All thoughts, experiences and opinions are 100% my own!
As part of my recent trip to LA, I had the opportunity to sit and chat (and draw!!) with legendary Disney artist Eric Goldberg. I think that sometimes it is really easy just to get caught up in all of the Disney magic, and forget that there are actually real people behind all of it. Speaking with Eric Goldberg reminded me of just how much sweat and tears go into these projects, and upon hearing his voice literally crack as he spoke about Robin Williams and the time that they spent together on this film, spoke volumes to me about just how much emotion is behind this film for Eric, and many others, I am sure.
As an artist myself, I loved hearing about Eric’s passion for art from an early age. He shared with us that as a child, he would spend hours creating “flip books” which were sequential cartoon books. He said that no notebook in the house was safe, as he would fill them all with his cartoons. He joked that while the other kids were out playing, he was inside creating flip books. He joked again that when he was in high school, while the other boys were out on dates, he was inside creating flip books. “It’s a wonder that I ever met my wife“, joked Eric.
Below, Eric is showing us some of Al Hirschfeld’s work. This work was the inspiration for some of the lines that Eric used in the artwork for the Genie. As you will notice, the Genie is very curvy (like Hirschfeld’s work) and he definitely created him in this unique style to be that way. It’s so amazing to see how intentional that every little detail is on these projects, and Eric pointed out so many things like that really make you appreciate what goes into these movies that we all love!
Eric is not only talented, he is hilarious. He shared with us the different processes that he went through to bring the Genie character to life for Aladdin. I loved seeing the progression of how he developed this character and hearing him share the different reasons that they did certain things. Like for instance, according to Eric, giving the Genie less clothing, made him more easy to transform. If you have seen the movie, you know that this character is constantly changing into different animals, objects, etc — so by keeping his wardrobe to a bare minimum, it made those transitions easier.
The highlight of the session was getting to actually draw along with Mr. Goldberg. He is SO talented (obviously) but he made it really fun and quite easy, and you could tell that he has every single line of this Genie memorized. Here’s how my Genie drawing turned out:
Meeting Mr. Goldberg was such a treat, and really a highlight of my Disney experiences. Such a humble and truly talented person, I could have listened to him chat about his life for hours. Want to know another fascinating fact about Mr. Goldberg? He was the voice of TWEETY BIRD! Read more about that, and the rest of Eric Goldberg’s resumé here. I bet you’ll be surprised to see just how many of his projects and characters you are familiar with!
I think that this movie holds a special place in the hearts of Disney fans for many reasons. For one, it’s a wonderful story and so many of us remember it from years ago. Two, this film so perfectly captures Robin Williams and his personality as he so amazingly portrayed the Genie.
The Aladdin Diamond Edition DVD will be released on October 13th, 2015!!
This diamond edition has some amazing bonus features, specifically the The Genie Outtakes which feature outtake recordings of Robin Williams as the Genie, so much wondering and hilarious content that is just an amazing tribute to the true talent that he was. This alone makes this dvd worth adding to your collection, but there more bonus features as well, including: Unboxing Aladdin with Disney Channel’s Joey Bragg (he’s one of my very favorite Disney kids, hilarious!), Aladdin: Creating Broadway Magic (with composer Alan Menken and others), Disney Song Selection and more!