The 2022 movie Three thousand years of nostalgia, starring Idris Elba as the Djinn and Tilda Swinton, presents its own version of the Djinn myth, or genius. Another recent Djinn to appear in the media is What we do in the shadows when Nandor accidentally summons a very deadpan Djinn who quietly grants his many silly wishes, but at a cost.
These are just the latest interpretations of the Djinn, or genie, and there have been dozens of interpretations of genies on TV and in movies. From hilarious and whimsical animated characters to more powerful and dynamic beings in extended fantasies, IMDb users have recognized these genius-themed movies and TV series as some of the best.
ten Joan (1973-1975) – 6.0
Streaming on Crackle
jeannie is an animated spin-off of the classic sitcom I dream of Jeannie, featuring pre-star wars Mark Hamill as Corey Anders, a teenager who finds Jeannie (Julie McWhirter) on a California beach.
Although the series is a spin-off of I dream of Jeannie, the only connecting factor is the premise and the titular character. Still, Jeannie is more of a teenager and has a comic apprentice named Babu. The series also caters to younger audiences, instead focusing on high school situations.
9 Adam Green’s Aladdin (2016) – 6.2
Stream on the official adamgreen YouTube channel
Written and directed by songwriter Adam Green, it’s a modern comedy take on Aladdin featuring the talents of Macaulay Culkin, Natasha Lyonne and Alia Shawkat (known for Development stopped).
The genie in this version is called Mustafa (played by Italian artist Francesco Clemente), who interacts with Aladdin similarly to Siri, and has a lamp that acts as a 3D printer. Other modern story updates include Aladdin as an indie rock singer and a princess as a reality TV star. However, despite its bright and whimsical vibe, this version of Aladdin not suitable for children.
8 Monster High: 13 Wishes (2013) – 6.7
Streaming on Amazon Prime
monster raised features a number of characters based on supernatural creatures and classic horror characters. In this anime monster raised movie, Howleen tries to become popular with the help of a genie who grants 13 wishes.
There are two geniuses in this movie, Gigi Grant and her ghost sister Whisp. Whisp is Gigi’s living shadow and surrogate sister, however, the two had a falling out after Gigi left the lamp to help Howleen. This eventually causes Whisp to become antagonistic and sabotages people’s wishes with egotists.
seven Under the Shadow (2016) – 6.8
Streaming on Netflix
Under the Shadow is a Persian-language horror film, which focuses on a mother and daughter haunted by a djinn in the 1980s during the warring cities.
The Djinn in this movie is very sinister and behaves more like a ghost or demon rather than the traditional wish-granting depiction they normally get in pop culture. In this psychological horror, they are able to possess people and haunt dreams like ghostly apparitions, bringing a more malevolent side to the myth.
6 The Genie Family (1969-1970) – 6.9
Available on Blu-ray
The Genie family is an anime series that centers on a Japanese family who gets two genies after their son Kan finds their bottles. This is a very comical take on the geniuses, with the two having very different distinct personalities.
Hakushon, the older male genius, is very clumsy and Akubi, his daughter, uses her trickster skills by deliberately interpreting wrong wishes. The two are even summoned in an unusual and comical way, which is whenever the holder of the bottle sneezes or yawns.
5 Aladdin (2019) – 6.9
Broadcast on Disney+
The live-action remake of the 1992 Disney animated film starred Will Smith as the now-iconic Genie. Although Smith isn’t as memorable as Robin William’s portrayal in the 1992 film, he brings his own unique twist to the role.
The Genie becomes human at the end of the film, and it is in this form that he narrates the film, which adds an extra presence to the role. Smith’s Genie also has her own love for this version in the form of Jasmine’s handmaiden, Dalia (Nasim Pedrad).
4 The Genius Below (1996-1998) – 7.3
Stream on Twisted Lunchbox – Australia’s Best Kids TV YouTube Channel
Serial The genius belowPenelope Townes, a snobby and aristocratic teenager, is magically transported from her estate in England to an inherited ranch in the Australian Outback by two Australian geniuses, Bruce and his son Baz.
Bruce and Baz come from an opal necklace that Penelope finds rather than a more traditional lamp. However, like many genies, they twist the wishes they are forced to grant, which they do with a wave of their hand. To further add to the intrigue, Bruce falls in love with Penelope’s mother, which creates an unusual dynamic.
3 The Thief of Baghdad (1940) – 7.4
Broadcast on HBO Max
The Thief of Baghdad is considered a classic of the fantasy genre for many moviegoers. The evil Grand Vizier Jaffar has King Ahmed and the thief Abu removed from Baghdad, and now Ahmed must return to the princess.
Initially, the all-powerful Genie does not get along with Abu at all when he is first released and, in fact, attempts to kill him. Still, Abu uses his wiles to trick the genie into his command. This is a more classic take on the genius myth, including moral lessons about being careful with wishes, whether it’s wasting them or how the wish is worded.
2 I Dream of Jeannie (1965-1970) – 7.4
Streaming on Amazon Prime
The classic sitcom I dream of Jeannie focuses on American astronaut Captain Tony Nelson (Larry Hagman) finds Jeannie (Barbara Eden, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Television Actress in a Comedy or Musical) while stranded on a desert island, and she follows him home to Florida.
Although Jeannie constantly wants to please her, Captain Tony Nelson releases Jeannie on the first day out of the lamp and never takes advantage of her. This creates a more unique and ahead of time Genie and Master relationship. Jeannie and Tony’s romance is also surprisingly slow, and the two don’t get back together until the final season.
1 Aladdin (1992) – 8.0
Broadcast on Disney+
There’s no doubt that the most famous genius in popular culture is Disney’s goofy genius. Aladdin. Voiced by the late Robin Williams, the Genie can be considered one of the greatest Disney creations of all time.
William’s fourth wall-breaking genie also has a softer, sensitive side and genuinely cares about Aladdin’s happiness. He has many memorable moments, including his musical numbers “Friend Like Me” and “Prince Ali”. But that’s not the film’s only genius. At the film’s climax, the villainous Jafar uses his dying wish to become a genius himself.
Next: 10 Movies To Watch Before Three Thousand Years Of Nostalgia