Disney is set to release the Diamond Edition Aladdin Blu-ray on Oct 13, 2015. The discs will include never before seen special features plus some amazing picture and sound quality. In anticipation of the release I interviewed Aladdin himself, Scott Weinger. All I can say is what an amazing and great guy he is!
Check out the interview below!
Louis Love: Hi Scott, how are you?
Scott Weinger: Good. How are you doing?
Louis Love: Perfect! I’m really excited. My son just turned 7 and I got a review copy for the Aladdin Diamond Edition Blu-ray. We’re going to watch it for his birthday with the family. How are excited are you about this Blu-ray’s release?
Scott Weinger: Let me tell you. I am literally having the exact same experience as you. My son is turning 6 in November and he’s never seen it before. He got to see it for the very first time this weekend, and it’s incredible. The movie has been a big part of my life for a very long time now, but watching my kid watch the movie was maybe the coolest experience yet.
Louis Love: Did he know from the start it was your voice?
Scott Weinger: He’s always known all these years that Daddy was Aladdin somehow, in this confusing way. I was that character. I was me, but also Aladdin. When he was younger, he thought I was a cartoon. In my childhood, sort of like how my little brother asked my mom when we were kids, what the world was like when everything was black and white. It was like that. Now he’s almost 6. Especially because my wife and I are both in the entertainment business. We’re both writers. He understands that people make movies and tv shows now. I think he appreciated that I participated somehow in Aladdin. It really wasn’t until this weekend when he got to watch it with his friends that it really sunk in. “That’s what my Dad did in Aladdin.” It was so cute. They gave him a little toy. Disney was so cool and so gracious to host this little screening for us. My son came home with a little lamp from the movie. I heard him say to one of his friends, “I get to keep this because I’m Aladdin’s son.” I was so proud, I almost burst into tears. It was really cute. It was really awesome!
Scott Weinger: It’s pretty amazing. When the movie first came out on home video, on tape, there was no such thing as special features, I don’t think. Then it came out about 10 years ago briefly before they put it back on DVD. That had special features. I think the blu-ray is so amazing because the capacity is so gigantic. I think I’m sure all the original special features are in there. There’s a documentary on the voices behind all the characters and the making of the movie. Then there is also amazing new stuff, like for example, and I just found out about all this stuff. Eric Goldberg, whose the animator who animated the character of the genie, went back through all the old outtakes and all of Robin Williams’ recording and all his improvisations and found his favorite ones and animated them. You could hear stuff that’s not in the movie. Working with Robin, he was so incredible. A big part of his job as the genie was improvising. It was hilarious. It was a shame that people didn’t get to experience all the things that we experienced and hear all these outtakes. Now you actually get to experience those things because they dug up their favorites ones from all of those piles of tapes, and sorted through it, and picked out their favorite ones. Eric is the guy who convinced Robin Williams to play the part of the genie in the first place, because what he did was, he animated some of Robin’s stand-ups and showed him how it would look to have Robin doing the voice of the genie. To do it like this, to take outtakes from the movie and animate those, people are going to freak out for it. I did a special feature called Genie 101. I walk the audience, because not everyone will know all the pop culture references the genie makes. For example, at the time in 1992, when the Arsenio Hall Show couldn’t be more popular, people freaked out when he did an Arsenio impression. My 6 year old son certainly isn’t going to know who that is. It’s really fun. You can watch with your kids. It’s called Genie 101 and it’s a special feature. It’s me sort of explaining, walking grown ups and kids through sort of an explanation of who these different references are. They’re not going to know the Marx Brothers or Ed Sullivan or references that were old back then. It’s pretty cool that they’re able to do that now.
Louis Love: It’s great cause kids can research and find out who these people are. Can you describe the ride of being a part of this film? Did you have any idea, in ’92, that this was going to be talked about 30 years later?
Scott Weinger: Honestly, it’s impossible as a kid. When the movie came out I was 17 years old. The idea of 30 years or 20 years, it’s just incomprehensible. The idea that someday I’ll be a grown up and I’ll be married and I’ll be a dad, and this will still be a dad. I understood it in some way. I guess I understood it because Disney has such a tradition of making classics stand the test of time. It would have been impossible to appreciate the magnitude of it. Frankly, I’m glad I didn’t quite get it, because it would have affected my performance. I would have felt the weight of it and been nervous. I might have blown the whole audition if I realized what a big deal this is.
Louis Love: My son and I are Disneyland freaks.
Scott Weinger: Me too. I love it!
Louis Love: Oh good. Obviously, you’ve seen the Aladdin show? Correct?
Scott Weinger: Yeah I loved it.
Louis Love: I understand it’s going to be leaving the park and the fans are sad. Do you want to talk about that?
Scott Weinger: It’s my understanding that it’s going away because there is a Frozen show coming. I think there’s a Frozen live show coming, which of course I’m sure is going to be incredible. As a consolation to people who are sad about the live show being gone from Disneyland, I would remind them there’s a huge hit show on Broadway now. Aladdin is on Broadway. It’s pretty great that even though it’s going away from Disneyland, it’s a massive success on Broadway. I have no doubt there is going to be a touring company. I am sure the Broadway show, that is now a Tony winning show, that people freaked out for, is going to be coming soon to a lot of peoples’ towns. It’s sad to see it go from Disneyland, but I’m sure big fans can go to Broadway and check it out.
Louis Love: We’re also addicted to Disney Infinity. Have you played that game?
Scott Weinger: That’s so funny you should ask. I’ve recorded the the game but I’ve never played it. Now my son is sort of getting into video games now. I’ve never played the game, but people love it, right? I understand it’s a pretty cool thing.
Louis Love: You’ve done a lot of stuff outside of voice acting. You’ve done live action too. What do you prefer?
Scott Weinger: It’s so funny. Everything I’ve done, I’m so lucky that I started acting when I was an 8 year old. I’ve been in the business more than 30 years. I’ve had an opportunity to do some many different kinds of things. I’ve done live acting, I’ve done comedy and drama, and I’ve done cartoon voices, animated voices, and now I’ve been a professional television writer now for a very long time. I’m reluctant to pick one as my favorite, because it’s all really a pleasure. I love voice acting but for example, I weirdly had an opportunity to start acting again because of this Full House spinoff. I forgot how much I loved that, being on stage. It’s like shooting an episode of that show is like shooting a little play for an audience. It is so much fun. It would be hard to even say which one is the most fun. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve had a chance to do in the business, so I feel pretty lucky.
Louis Love: You could confirm that you will be coming back for Fuller House.
Scott Weinger: Yes! It’s funny. I’m on strict orders not to divulge the nature of the role, but let’s just say Steve is single and looking to mingle. It’s really fun. Playing this character as a grown up is awesome. It’s really fun.
Louis Love: What’s up next for you as far as Aladdin is concerned? Is there anything in the works for another animated sequel or some more voice overs?
Scott Weinger: I always hear rumors. I still play the part all the time. They’ll call and they’ll say for example, the Disney Infinity is a good example, all these video games. I think that because of the fact the technology advances every year and there’s always new formats. I’ve done video stuff for Kinect. I have no doubt as virtual reality headsets become a big part of life, they’re going to be doing some Aladdin virtual reality. I can’t even begin to imagine the amazing things that are in store. I’m looking forward to hopefully being a part of all that stuff.
Louis Love: Outside of Aladdin, who is your favorite Disney character?
Scott Weinger: Right now my answer is, I’ve always had a crush on Belle from Beauty and the Beast. She’s hot and smart and French.
Louis Love: I can relate to that. That’s awesome!
Scott Weinger : She’s my favorite. She’s the one, besides Jasmine of course, the one I always wanted to date.
Louis Love: Thank you for spending the time here with us, Scott!
Scott Weinger: It’s my pleasure. I hope your kid loves the movie. It looks gorgeous on Blu-ray. You guys are going to love it!