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"Friend Like Me"
Song by Robin Williams
from the album Aladdin: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Released October 31, 1992
Genre Show tune
Length 2:26
Label Walt Disney
Composer(s) Alan Menken
Lyricist(s) Howard Ashman

"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 is also performed by Will Smith in the remake. It 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

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 stated 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".

Synopsis

Friend Like Me
The Genie is a supernatural character – and as such, he often uses anachronisms, such as the neon "Applause" sign at the end of this musical number, as well as various other references to famous media that would have been created centuries after the time period in which Aladdin is set.

After Aladdin releases the Genie from his lamp and the Genie considers that he can give Aladdin almost anything within a limit of three wishes, the Genie proves his nigh-omnipotent power to the skeptical thief with an impressive musical number, stressing that he is a friend unlike any other. This song is similar to the use of contemporary references in "Be Our Guest", performed by the enchanted cutlery of Beauty and the Beast, and "A Guy Like You", performed by the Gargoyles in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The same happens in the live-action remake. The only difference is that Genie didn't ask for the name of Aladdin before the song. This affects the lyrics of the song such as: "Mr. man what's your name?" instead of "Mr. Aladdin, sir."

Charts

Will Smith version

Chart (2019) Peak
position
New Zealand Hot Singles (RMNZ) 33
Scotland (OCC) 49
South Korea (Gaon) 96
UK Singles (OCC) 95

Certifications

Will Smith version

Region Certification Sales
United States (RIAA) Gold 500,000^

xunspecified figures based on certification alone

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