I did some really awesome things on my trip but meeting Eric Goldberg was super beyond cool. He is the creative mind behind many amazing Disney characters. He is a legendary Disney Animator! It was like talking to the creator of my childhood or something. We were told that we would get to watch a cool presentation from him and learn more about how he created the Genie. Aladdin Diamond Edition is out on blu-ray and Disney Movies Anywhere now! He was so funny. As soon as we walked into the room I knew it would be my favorite part of the trip. He was super jovial and incredible charismatic. He told us something that has stuck with me since then. He has been doing this for so many years but he says every new character means something and you learn from it.
‘If I ever stopped learning, I would hang up my pencil. You learn something new with each character’ – Eric Goldberg
He credits Al Hirschfield with being a huge influence on him. You can see it in the rounded curves. Every bit of work has amazing detail put into it. You can tell how many little details go into each sketch. He taught us how to draw a sketch of Genie. It was easy than I expected and yet still hard since I am a terrible artist.
His sketch is at the top. Mine is the bottom one. I don’t think I did too terribly badly. He ran through a few sketches he did of the Genie and he was so funny. He even did the voices of him and other characters. He talked about Robin Williams often during our interview. He was telling us a story of being a child and making sketchbooks all the time. He made the joke that he wasnt sure how he ever met his wife because he was always home drawing. He had us all rolling in our seats.
He didnt make the Genie blue. He is blue because good characters are cool shades of blue and bad characters are shades of red and darks in Aladdin. Watch it again and see if you notice that. Also he said people often ask him which came first, the voice or the design? And his answer is YES. He said John and Ron have a talent for writing the voice of the actor they want to cast and he was so beyond excited when he was asked to do the Genie that he locked himself out of his car. He was very excited to work with Robin Williams.
We got to listen to some funny old clips of Robin Williams. He did hours of film for them to create the Genie. If you have gotten the new Aladdin Diamond Edition, a major part of the bonus clips are the outtakes from Robin Williams. Eric Goldberg went through and helped chose those. He did a beautiful little tribute to him which I tweeted a picture of. I almost cried. I think some people did cry.
— Kat Balog (GoS) (@genofsavings) September 22, 2015
After that we all took a group shot with him. We found out he has a book out. You should totally check it out. An Animator’s Gallery: Eric Goldberg Draws the Disney Characters (Disney Editions Deluxe). Then they told us they had a surprise for us. So be sure to look below the group shot and see my awesome surprise. I haven’t found a frame for it yet but it is up on my mantle.