The Genie first appears in his Peddler form and tells the tale of Aladdin. He explains that on a dark night, a shady man named Jafar seeks the location of the Cave of Wonders and was plotting to use Genie to take control of a nearby kingdom known as Agrabah. Unfortunately for Jafar, only one individual may enter the cave — the "diamond in the rough" street-rat named Aladdin. Jafar manages to manipulate Aladdin into entering the cave to retrieve the lamp for him, but Aladdin's monkey sidekick, Abu, touches a piece of forbidden treasure, resulting in the cave sinking back into the sand and trapping Aladdin inside.
There, Abu reveals to have the lamp intact and hands it over to Aladdin, who accidentally unleashes the Genie. Genie immediately introduces himself as a servant, willing to grant Aladdin a total of three wishes, be they food, riches, or any other form of luxury that sticks within the confines of the genie laws. To ensure he doesn't waste any wish, Aladdin uses reverse psycology to trick Genie into freeing he and Abu from the cave, taking the duo, as well as Genie's Magic Carpet companion, to a small oasis in the desert.
There, Genie realizes Aladdin's trickery, but quickly gets past it to return to his job at hand, awaiting patiently as Aladdin ponders on his wishes. The street rat, out of genuine curiosity, eventually asks Genie what the latter would wish for, which sparks the reveal of the Genie's longing to experience freedom, explaining he can never escape his lamp prison unless his master wishes him out. Feeling sympathy, Aladdin promises to use his third wish to free Genie, though the latter is initially hesitant to agree. Once Aladdin reassures he's telling the truth, hope reigns over Genie, and a promise is set before attention is given to Aladdin's first wish: making him a prince to legally allow a relationship with Princess Jasmine, as only a prince can marry the princess. Along with new attire, Aladdin goes by the name "Prince Ali" when he travels to Agrabah's palace with the accompaniment of an elaborate parade led by a disguised Genie. Jasmine roles her eyes.
Though the front is enough to impress the Sultan, Jasmine is less than amused by Ali's flashy nature, disregarding him as another pompous suitor who sees her as nothing but a prize to be won. That night, Aladdin laments his foolishness, feeling lost as to what more he can do, and asks for Genie's advice. Genie simply advises Aladdin to drop the act and be himself, to which Aladdin scoffs, feeling Jasmine would never want association with a mere street rat. Giving himself a boat of false confidence, Aladdin flies up to Jasmine's balcony on Carpet, making another attempt to earn Jasmine's attention, but fails again as a result of keeping with the "Prince Ali" persona. Genie disguises himself as a bee to advise Aladdin to be true to himself, once again, but is shooed off. However, Aladdin nevertheless apologizes for his behavior and starts to make his leave due to Jasmine's apparent intolerance, but the appearance of Carpet sparks her curiosity. Knowing Jasmine craves the feeling of freedom just as much as he does, Aladdin offers the princess a ride on Carpet, to which she accepts. Afterwards, the two have successfully blossomed a romantic relationship, but this causes trouble for Jafar, who wishes to marry Jasmine for power, himself. Aladdin is kidnapped by the royal guards per Jafar's orders and thrown into the bottom of the sea. He manages to rub the lamp just before he loses conciseness, freeing Genie who forcefully uses Aladdin's second wish to rescue him, carrying him back to land, thus saving his life. Aladdin warmly thanks Genie for his compassion, who responds by admitting to have a growing fondness for the street rat. Genie then takes Aladdin back to the palace, where Jafar's treachery is revealed. Just before he escapes the Sultan's guards, Jafar notices Genie's lamp hidden inside Aladdin's turban, and subsequently sends his parrot, Iago, to steal it. The next day, Genie congratulates Aladdin on his success, as Jasmine has officially chosen Ali as her suitor. Unfortunately, Aladdin feels unworthy of Jasmine's love, due to the fact that his persona is built on a lie. Genie, however, feels happiness and hopeful that Aladdin would now keep his promise and set him free. Because of his aforementioned feeling of guilt, Aladdin believes he's unable to keep up the ruse without Genie, denying the latter's freedom out of desperation. A downhearted Genie laments his feeling of betrayal, before returning to his lamp, leaving Aladdin to think over his choice. With remorse and selflessness having consumed him, Aladdin makes the decision to tell Jasmine the truth, leaving the lamp behind as he leaves to do so, and allowing it to fall into the hands of Iago.
When Genie is summoned once more, he starts to berate Aladdin, only to find that Jafar is now the master of the lamp. Genie is then forced to abide Jafar's first wish to rule on high as sultan, stripping Jasmine's father of his title and transforming to a monstrous size to place the palace upon a high mountain. Aladdin tries to stop Genie, but the latter can only apologize, explaining that he must follow the orders of his new master. Craving dominance through the use of fear, Jafar wishes to become the most powerful sorcerer in the world, which Genie fearfully grants. Jafar uses his new powers to reveal Ali's true identity as Aladdin to Jasmine, before banishing him to the ends of the earth, alongside Abu and Carpet. Though Aladdin cries for help moments before being sent off, Genie can only watch the scene unfold in despair, and just as Jafar assumes control of the world.
Afterwards, Agrabah becomes a wasteland, and Genie can only sit in depressed silence as Jafar continuously tortures the imprisoned Jasmine and former sultan, while believing his only friends to be dead. Fortunately, Aladdin, Abu, and Carpet return, elating Genie, though he warns Aladdin that he won't be able to assist him, being that his lamp was in the ownership of Jafar. Aladdin makes a stealthy attempt to steal the lamp, but Jafar spots him and attacks. Genie watches helplessly as the two adversaries battle, though he cheers Aladdin on throughout. When Aladdin is cornered, he looks to a fearful Genie for help, and gets the idea to trick Jafar into wishing to become an all-powerful genie. Though horrified by the thought of such a cruel man having all the power in the universe, Genie reluctantly grants Jafar's wish. Unfortunately for Jafar, the powers of a genie comes with a price, and the former vizier soon becomes trapped in his own black lamp.
Jafar's magic upon the kingdom and its inhabitants are lifted, and a joyous Genie celebrates the villain's defeat by flinging the latter's lamp to the Cave of Wonders, to ensure 10,000 years of imprisonment. Afterwards, Aladdin apologizes to Jasmine for lying to her, and accepts the fact that they can never be together. Genie watches sadly and urges Aladdin to use his final wish to become a prince again, willing to lose his freedom for the love Aladdin and Jasmine share. Aladdin refuses to continue living a lie, and wishes for Genie's freedom, much to the latter's shock. Genie undergoes a transformation, losing his shackles and misty tail, symbolizing his newfound freedom. Genie is ecstatic, and eagerly sets his sight on seeing the world, but not before bidding Aladdin farewell, claiming the latter will always a prince in his eyes. Genie's words prompts the Sultan to abolish the law separating Aladdin and Jasmine, believing Aladdin has proven himself worthy enough for Jasmine's love.
Genie joyously celebrates the romantic moment before leaving Agrabah to begin his travels, with Aladdin and Jasmine seeing him off as he does so.
He was voiced by the late Robin Williams in his debut.
- Originally, the peddler was going to reveal himself as the Genie in the ending of Aladdin, but the idea was scrapped.
- By October 2015, it was confirmed that The Peddler is indeed The Genie. They share the same voice actor.