Aladdin (1992 film)
|Directed by|| John Musker|
|Produced by|| John Musker|
|Written by|| John Musker|
|Starring|| Scott Weinger|
|Music by|| Alan Menken|
|Editing by||H. Lee Peterson|
|Distributed by||Buena Vistas Pictures Distribution|
|Release date(s)||November 11, 1992|
|Running time||90 min|
|Gross revenue||$504.1 million|
|Followed by||The Return of Jafar|
Aladdin was a 1992 animated Disney film that is the fourth movie in the “Disney Renaissance” it was the most successful movie of 1992, and made more money than Beauty and the Beast. However, it was not nominated for Best Picture, and no animated movie would get that honor again until “Up” in 2009.
The movie begins with a thief named Gazeem giving Jafar the piece of a golden bug which brings forth The Cave of Wonders. Jafar tells Gazeem to give him the magic lamp, but the treasure inside is all his. Gazeem goes inside the cave, but since he's not worthy, he dies. Jafar chooses to be patient, and find the one who's worthy.
We see who that man is in Aladdin who like Gazeem, is a thief, but we see that he's charitable as he gives some of the bread he risked his life stealing to poor children. Meanwhile, at the Sultan's Palace, Prince Achmed gets rejected by Princess Jasmine, which angers the Sultan. Jasmine says she doesn't want to be forced into a marriage despite the law saying so. The Sultan says Jasmine getting married is more than just about the law, but also that he won't be around forever, and he wants to see the right man keep his daughter safe. Jasmine then decides to sneak out and explore the streets of Agrabah in a disguise.
After another steal, Aladdin then notices Jasmine, and develops feelings for her which annoys his monkey sidekick Abu. Jasmine then takes an apple, and gives it to a poor child, which angers the owner, and is about to cut Jasmine's hand off as she failed to pay for it. Lucky for her, Aladdin sweeps in, and saves her. The two run to Aladdin's house, which has a nice view, but then the guards find them, and arrest Aladdin, but Jasmine reveals who she is, and demands Aladdin's freedom. Despite this, the guards have orders from Jafar to arrest Aladdin.
Jasmine then talks to Jafar about what happened, and he lies saying it was to protect her. Later, Jafar is pressured to get the lamp and fast as if he fails, Jasmine will either fire or kill Jafar. At the prison, Jafar then disguises himself as a hunchbacked old man, and gives Aladdin his freedom in exchange for a task. Get the lamp. Unlike Gazeem, Aladdin is deemed worthy, so he gets to explore the Cave of Wonders. He is told he can't touch anything except the lamp. Aladdin does what he's told despite the temptations, and in encounters a flying carpet. He finds the lamp, and takes it, but Abu takes a jewel, which causes the cave to collapse. The carpet saves Aladdin, and he and Abu fly to the entrance, but a rock falls on the carpet, and Aladdin is holding on the edge, and asks Jafar (Who's still in disguise) for help, and he says he'll help if Aladdin gives him the lamp, he does, but Jafar betrays him, which gets Abu to attack Jafar, and steal the lamp back. Much to Jafar's horror.
Aladdin now apparently stuck in the cave for the rest of his life, rubs the lamp, and the Genie appears. The Genie tells Aladdin he can grant him three wishes, but he can't wish for certain things such as more wishes and love. Aladdin tricks the Genie, and asks to get him out of the cave, which he does, but thanks to Aladdin not directly wishing for it, it doesn't count. Aladdin's first real wish was to be a rich Prince so he can legally marry his crush Jasmine. At the Sultan's Palace, Jafar is more worried about himself as the lamp is impossible for him to get. But his pet parrot Iago gives him an idea. He marries Jasmine, and after the Sultan dies, he can kill Jasmine, and Agrabah is his to rule. Jafar likes that idea, and plots to hypnotize the Sultan into doing that. But before he can, Aladdin under the persona Prince Ali Ababwa comes into the Kingdom with a musical number, which makes the Sultan overjoyed. After the song, Aladdin is confident in his ability to win Jasmine over, which Jafar interjects and tells the Sultan it's a bad idea. Jasmine walks in on the conversation, and calls out the three men for discussing what to do with her.
Aladdin then talks to her in private, and like Achmed, Jasmine rejects Aladdin, but then he shows her the magic carpet, and gives her a ride around the world, which gets Jasmine to approve marrying him. After the ride, Jafar kidnaps Aladdin, and tries to drown him. The Genie saves him quickly, but that costs Aladdin his second wish. It appears Iago's plan worked, and the Sultan was ready to force Jasmine to wed Jafar, but Aladdin comes back, and breaks Jafar's staff, which breaks the hypnosis. Jafar is then fired, and the Sultan approves the marriage between Aladdin and Jasmine.
Aladdin is feeling down as he wants the Genie's guidance on going through life, as he's not really a Prince, despite him promising to spend his last wish on the Genie's freedom. The Genie is upset, so he goes back to his lamp. Iago then tricks Aladdin to get out of his room, and he steals the lamp, and gives it to Jafar. Jafar uses his first wish to become the Sultan, and due to Jasmine not bowing to him, Jafar uses his second wish to become the most powerful sorcerer in the world. He then reveals Aladdin's identity as a street rat, and sends him away.
Aladdin with the help of the magic carpet returns to Agrabah to face Jafar, and it ends with a climatic battle where Jafar turns into a snake, and is strangling Aladdin to death, be he points out that he'll never be as powerful as the Genie, which hurts Jafar's ego, so he uses his final wish to become a genie himself. He gets his wish granted, but is sent into a lamp, and he drags Iago with him.
Jafar's lamp is sent into the desert, and Aladdin keeps his promise and frees the Genie despite him knowing he'll not marry Jasmine as he's not a Prince. To his surprise, the Sultan changes the law saying that Princesses can marry who they choose. The Genie congratulates Aladdin, and goes on a vacation, and that ends the movie.
Scott Weinger as Aladdin
Robin Williams as the Genie
Linda Larkin as Jasmine
Johnathan Freeman as Jafar
Gilbert Gottfried as Iago
Frank Welker as Abu
Douglas Seale as the Sultan
Lyricist Howard Ashman proposed the idea as when he was a kid, he was in an Aladdin play where he was the title character. He and Menken were working on the songs for a while, but he and Menken had to put the project on a pause to do the music for Beauty and the Beast. By the time it was done, Ashman died of AIDS, and the story that was complete was rejected by Studio Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg, and since he wouldn't push back the release date, the new story was completed in eight days.
Of the things cut, the most notable was axing Aladdin's mother who Katzenberg called out by name to remove. Others include Jasmine being more bratty, the Genie being able to grant unlimited wishes, and the Genie revealing himself as the merchant narrator at the end. Due to the story changes, many of Ashman's songs were cut such as “Arabian Nights reprises” “Call Me Princess” “Why Me?” “Humiliate the Boy” and the most notable “Proud of Your Boy” which according to people close to him, was Ashman's favorite song to work on, and is what the right wing group “The Proud Boys” named themselves after. Due to the cut songs, Disney brought in Tim Rice to write the rest, and one of the ones he wrote won the Oscar for Best Original Song “A Whole New World.” Only three Ashman songs stayed in the final project. “Arabian Nights” “Friend Like Me” and “Prince Ali.”
Telling the truth is promoted in a very positive light as Aladdin lies his way though the second act, but ultimately decides to keep his promise to the Genie, and tell Jasmine the truth. (Although his wish was to be a rich Prince, and due to it being said that a Genie's magic is more powerful than Jafar's, Aladdin should still legally be a Prince despite Jafar revealing who Aladdin is)
Family values are mixed, as on one hand, the Sultan cares for Jasmine, and wants to know she'll be safe with the right man after he's gone, and in the original draft, one of Aladdin's motivations was to make his mother proud of him hence the song “Proud of Your Boy.” Although due to the that being cut, that should be taken with a grain of salt. On the other hand, the Sultan is shown to be weak, as after Jafar orders that the main characters bow to him, the Sultan is about to, but Jasmine has to stand up and tell Jafar off.
Feminism isn't as much of a problem as it is in Beauty and the Beast, as Jasmine can be accepted in rejecting Achmed as he was portrayed in a negative light prior to meeting her, and it being said Achmed wasn't the first Prince to seek Jasmine, so all of them are implied to have been like Achmed, and Jasmine doesn't rule out marriage at all, saying she wants it to be for love, but it still defies the Sultan's law.
Sequels and Prequels
Much like The Little Mermaid, Aladdin got a TV series, but it was going to open with a three parter about Jafar's return. Michael Eisner ordered to have those three episodes edited into a feature presentation called “The Return of Jafar.” It was the first ever straight to video movie, and it was very successful, which launched the idea of straight to video movies into the mainstream. Aladdin got the TV show, which ran from 1994 to 1996 with 86 episodes which was the longest run of any Disney Renaissance show. Both the show and Return of Jafar got back everyone from the first movie except Robin Williams as the Genie who left due to problems with Disney, Douglas Seale as the Sultan, and Lea Salonga as Jasmine's singing voice. The three were replaced by Dan Castellaneta, Val Bettin, and Liz Callaway respectively. As a finale for the show, Disney released another straight to video sequel called “Aladdin and the King of Thieves” where Aladdin meets his father. Castellaneta recorded his lines for the Genie, but Robin Williams managed to return for his role, so Castellaneta was replaced.
In 2011, Aladdin much like Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid got a Broadway Musical. Alan Menken composed the songs, but said he wanted the cut Ashman songs to be in the play, and most of them were including “Proud of Your Boy” which got much appraisal.
In 2019, Aladdin got a live-action remake, which got over $1b, but many fans were disappointed as “Proud of Your Boy” was absent, Marwan Kenzari's performance as Jafar, and the climax not being as good. Some plot points were changed as well. Such as Jasmine becoming the Sultan rather than Aladdin.
However, due to them being produced by the defunct DisneyToon Studios and for being just soulless and poorly made moneygrab straight-to-video films with nothing of the original spirit and heart of the original classic, the animated TV series and the sequel movies are not considered canon by The Walt Disney Animation Studios nor by fans.