The Genie appears in many tales but his most famous apperence is in Aladdin. But to discover the Genies roots we must go back to Arbic folklore. Genie (also called Jinn or genii) are spirits in the middle east and Africa.
The term genie comes from the Arabic word Jinni, which referred to an eveil spirit that could take the shape of an animal or person. Jinns are said to have magical powers. In African liturature to the Mande people, genii are spirits who take over the living. The Mendre use magic powers to fight genii who possesos the living.
In ancient Rome the genii was known as a spiret that watched over every man, being responsible for every action and were to be present at birth. Women also have one known as Juno. Some also believe in a evil genii, one that fights controll for man. Later genii became known as spirits who guarded the household or community.
In Islam mythology, the Jinn were said to be controllable by magically binding them to an object such as a lamp or a bottle like in the story of Aladdin. In story books Jinn are classified into four races after four elements; Earth, Air, Water, Fire. These races come in seven tribes each with a king, each king controls his tribe and is controlled by an angel. This angeles name is tourure to the Jinn king and his tribe, much the same way as Jesus' name is tourure to a demon.
Jinn have free will yet could be compelled to perform both good and evil acts, much like Geni did in Walt Disney's Aladdin. Also much like in the movie they can take on many shapes and forms and change their size from bit to little.
In fact the Geni in Disney's Aladdin was suppose to have a minor role but Robin Williams was so funny them made Geni a main character.
You will be missed Geni -- Robin Williams (We ain't ever had a friend like you!)