Friend Like Me

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"Friend Like Me"
Song by Robin Williams from the album Aladdin
Released October 31, 1992
Genre Show tune
Length 2:26
Label Walt Disney
Writer Howard Ashman
Composer Alan Menken

Friend Like Me is a song from the 1992 Disney film Aladdin. It was performed by Robin Williams in his role as the Genie. The song was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 65th Academy Awards and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song at the 50th Golden Globe Awards in 1993.

Production[edit]

The song was originally designed as a Cab Calloway-style big band number. After Robin Williams was cast, it was retooled as a more comedic, pop culture-filled song.

ScreenCrush explains that remnants of the previous version of the film can be seen in this sequence:

Aladdin's original design was younger, more cartoony, and loosely based on actor Michael J. Fox. But Jeffrey Katzenberg wanted the design changed, fearing that Aladdin wasn't a suitable leading man for the beautiful Jasmine. So Aladdin's design was reworked to be less Michael J. Fox and more Tom Cruise. However, animation on the movie had already started, so you can see traces of the old Aladdin design during 'Friend Like Me.'<[1]

Synopsis[edit]

Genie is singing to Aladdin about how he can give Aladdin anything he wants, but he only has 3 wishes.

Critical reception[edit]

Spirituality and Practice describes it as "the big production number of the film".[2]

In a review of the Broadway version of the film, BuzzFeed wrote the "seven-and-a-half minute “Friend Like Me” is easily this season’s best production number, and a jaw-dropping athletic feat."[3] NewYork.com wrote "Rarely does a production number receive a standing ovation in the middle of a show, but “Friend Like Me,” the big song".[4]

In popular culture[edit]

In 1995, Alvin and the Chipmunks recorded a cover of the song for their Disney-themed concept album When You Wish Upon a Chipmunk.[5][6]

References[edit]