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Tom Cruise and His $1.4B Top Gun 2 Co-Star Jennifer Connelly Inspired $504M Disney Movie That Was Later Remade With Will Smith

Tom Cruise and His $1.4B Top Gun 2 Co-Star Jennifer Connelly Inspired $504M Disney Movie That Was Later Remade With Will Smith

The world of cartoons and animation became part of our treasured childhood memories thanks to the pioneering effort of the iconic production house Disney. Over the decades, the company has been instrumental in bringing to life some of the most loved narratives and fairy tales through their animated features.

The world of animation requires innovation and creativity to envision the characters who need to be brought alive through drawing and design. For a popular Disney film, the team of talented artists who set about imagining the look of the protagonists, had two Hollywood stars Tom Cruise and Jennifer Connelly’s features in mind as inspiration.

Also Read: “Your film reached a billion but you’re still jobless”: Aladdin Star Mena Massoud Leaves Twitter After Insulting Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’

Tom Cruise And Jennifer Connelly Inspired Aladdin

Based partly on the Middle Eastern folktale The Thousand and One Nights, Aladdin follows the story of an endearing street urchin, his monkey partner Abu and their adventures with Princess Jasmine in the fictional city of Agrabah. The film was rich in the colours and culture of the Middle East that attracted western audiences to its narrative.

Alladin
A still from Aladdin

Part of creating an authentic look for the two protagonists involved basing their features on existing Hollywood actors. After extensive research , the animators, after considering actors like Michael J Fox,  decided to use Tom Cruise and Jennifer Connelly as models to create the looks of  their characters Aladdin and Princess Jasmine. Speaking of the reasoning behind their decision, designer Glen Keane said,

I originally was thinking of him like a Michael J. Fox character, short in stature but with a big ego and lots of dreams. In all [Cruise’s] poses, I noticed there was a confidence, a look in the eyebrows, that gives him intensity and at the same time a smile that has kind of an impish look like he’s got something up his sleeve.”

Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise and Jennifer Connelly were inspirations for Aladdin and Princess Jasmine

For Princess Jasmine, animator Mark Henn incorporated aspects of Jennifer Connelly’s appearance like her prominent eyebrows to create the appearance. Interestingly he also added traits of Connelly’s sister Beth for other nuances of the character.

Also Read: “It’s gonna earn more”: Halle Bailey’s The Little Mermaid Already Defying Expectations, Predicted to Earn More Than Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent and Will Smith’s Aladdin

The Controversy Of Robin Williams’ Genie In Aladdin

The 2019 film Aladdin was highly anticipated not just for the recreation of its timeless story but also for superstar Will Smith who played the role of the Genie. In the 1992 original animation, another big Hollywood A-lister Robin Williams portrayed the marquee role. Unfortunately, his stint as the Genie was marred by controversy between the comedian and Disney.

Robin Williams
Oscar winner Robin Williams played the Genie in the 1992 animation film Aladdin

As per his contract, Williams required the studio to not use his name for the marketing of the film as his next animated feature Toys was to release a month after Aladdin, With Disney failing to comply with the Jumanji star’s request, Williams responded by refusing to reprise his Genie role for the sequel The Return of Jafar. After a public apology by Disney, Williams agreed to be part of the Aladdin world again for the second sequel Aladdin and the King of Thieves in 1996.

Also Read: Will Smith Reportedly Returning for Aladdin 2 as Hollywood Gradually Forgives Actor for Slapping Chris Rock

Source: Cheatsheet

Written by Sharanya Sankar

Sharanya is a mom, bookworm, and cinephile. Having completed her Masters degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, writing is one of her passions. When she is not running behind her 11 and 9 year old, she spends her time watching and blogging about movies. She enjoys a range of genres from Indian mass entertainers to Hollywood and world cinema. Her interests also include analyzing pop culture in movies and music.