Does Robin Williams save a sinking ship here, doing his stand-up routine in the guise of the all-powerful Genie, or does he intrude upon an otherwise earnest Disney fairy tale that would have been better off without him? I change my mind every time I see Aladdin. The Alan Menken-Howard Ashman musical numbers suggest the movie would have been fine on its own, yet the animation itself – dominated by a washed-out, burnt-orange color scheme – is somewhat lacking by Disney standards. And while there’s no doubt Williams brings a new level of energy to the picture when he comes on the scene, I’m not sure this Middle-Eastern folk tale is enhanced by Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson impersonations. Williams works best, in fact, in a quieter scene, when Aladdin asks the Genie what he would wish for. The comic hits a note of true longing when he says, “My freedom,” then gets in a good joke that actually makes sense within the context of the movie. Genies have “phenomenal cosmic powers,” he boasts, and “itty bitty living space.” Say this for Aladdin: unlike other Williams vehicles, which try to squeeze him into an ill-fitting lamp, this one gave the comedian plenty of room to roam.