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Aladdin (1992)

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Promotional Poster For Aladdin
Directed by Ron Clements
John Musker
Produced by Ron Clements
John Musker
Written by Roger Allers
Ron Clements
Ted Elliott
Terry Rossio
Starring Scott Weinger
Robin Williams
Linda Larkin
Jonathan Freeman
Frank Welker
Gilbert Gottfried
Douglas Seale
Jim Cummings
Music by Alan Menken
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release date(s) November 11, 1992
Running time 90 minutes


budget = $28,000,000
Preceded by The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Aladdin is the thirty-first animated feature in the Disney animated features canon, made and produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation, and released on November 25, 1992 by Walt Disney Pictures and Buena Vista Distribution. It relates a version of the story of Aladdin and the magic lamp from The Book of One Thousand and One Nights. As is usual with Disney film adaptations, many aspects of the traditional story were changed for the movie. It was released at the peak stretch of the Disney renaissance era beginning with The Little Mermaid. It was the most successful film of 1992, with over $217 million ($335,631,000 adj) in domestic revenues and over $504 million worldwide.

It was directed by Ron Clements and John Musker. The musical scores were created by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman (with additional lyrics provided by Stephen Schwartz and Tim Rice after Ashman's death). Menken received the 1992 Academy Award for Original Music Score of Aladdin. The main soundtrack song "A Whole New World" (sung during the closing credits by Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle) won a Grammy Award as well as the Academy Award for Best Song in 1992.

Voice actors included Robin Williams as the Genie. Although this was not the first time in which a major actor provided voice-over work for an animated film, it was the first major American animated feature film in which particular attention was paid to a celebrity cast member, such as a major movie star, in the film as part of its promotion. This has led to a subsequent increased attention to the casts of later productions, such as A Bug's Life and Toy Story, as a major element of animated film marketing.

Aladdin was followed by two direct-to-video sequels: The Return of Jafar (1994) and Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1996), and an animated television series, Aladdin, set between the two sequels.


Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about
the entire movie.

The story takes place in the mystical city of Agrabah, which is based mainly on the medieval city of Baghdad, the home of the 1001 Arabian Nights, and there are some inconsistencies in the time period. The sultan (who is never given a name) of Agrabah is secretly being controlled by his grand vizier, Jafar. Jafar, who is also a sorcerer, wants to be the sultan himself and rule Agrabah; to further his goals, he has spent years searching for the Cave of Wonders, so he can harness the magical power of the genie of the lamp found within. However, Jafar discovers that only one person, a metaphorical "Diamond in the Rough", can enter the cave, or anyone accompanied by that person.

The sultan, meanwhile, is having problems with finding a prince for his daughter, Princess Jasmine, to marry. By mesmerizing him with his magical snake staff, Jafar convinces the sultan that Jafar needs the sultan's ring to find Jasmine a husband. Jafar actually needs the ring to discover the identity of the "Diamond in the Rough."

Jasmine, who does not want to be married off, decides to run away disguised as a peasant girl. In the anarchy of the streets, she is saved by a street urchin named Aladdin, though she doesn't learn his name. Meanwhile, Jafar discovers that Aladdin is the "Diamond in the Rough", and he sends palace guards to "Capture the street rat." When Jasmine asks what happened to her savior, Jafar lies to Jasmine by saying he had been executed at dawn for "kidnapping the princess."

Later, Jafar, disguised as an old man, shows Aladdin a hidden passageway out of the dungeon to free and take him to the Cave of Wonders. Jafar tells Aladdin that if he brings back the lamp, he will be rewarded. The Cave's tiger-shaped head allows Aladdin to enter, but he can only touch the lamp. Inside the Cave, Aladdin successfully finds the lamp, but his pet monkey, Abu, loses control and attempts to take a jewel, causing the cave to melt around them. Aladdin and Abu manage to escape with the aid of a flying carpet named "Carpet". Upon his escape, Aladdin hands Jafar the lamp, and Jafar decides to give him his "eternal reward", preparing to attack with his dagger. Abu saves Aladdin by biting Jafar's arm, and Abu and Aladdin fall back into the cave as it closes.

Aladdin, Abu, and Carpet are all trapped inside the Cave of Wonders. Jafar discovers, to his dismay, that Abu got the lamp from him before they disappeared. Aladdin discovers that the lamp is home to an eccentric, fun-loving genie (simply named "Genie"), who will grant him any three wishes, excluding wishes to force a person to fall in love, to kill someone, to bring someone back from the dead, or to give his master extra wishes.

Aladdin tricks Genie into getting them out of the cave, without technically wishing for him to do so. Once out of the cave, Aladdin gets to know Genie, and asks him what he would wish for if he had the chance; Genie says he'd wish for freedom, but that can only be granted if his master is benevolent enough to free him with a wish. Aladdin promises to set Genie free with his last wish.

Aladdin, who has fallen in love with Princess Jasmine, is disappointed that he can't wish to make her fall in love with him. However, the law states that only a prince can marry a princess, so he wishes to become a prince.

Meanwhile, Jafar, who is worried that the princess might have him beheaded as punishment for supposedly having Aladdin executed, comes up with the idea to convince the sultan to let him become her husband with the help of his parrot, Iago. He later tries to mesmerize the sultan into granting this request with his staff, but is interrupted when the sultan is startled by the noise from Aladdin's approaching consort.

Palace city
With its white towers and golden domes looming over mud-brick buildings, Agrabah fits the Western impression of a Middle Eastern city.
WoodyloganAdded by Woodylogan

As "Prince Ali Ababwa", Aladdin returns to Agrabah and, although offending Jasmine by appearing as another typical rich and self-important prince, eventually wins Jasmine's love by taking her on a romantic ride on the flying carpet. Afterwards, Jasmine tricks Aladdin into admitting he's the street urchin she met in the marketplace. Aladdin however, wants to naturally impress her, so he deceives her by telling her that he really is a prince and had just pretended be a commoner in order to escape the restrictions of palace life, much like what Jasmine did.

Jafar, who is afraid that "Prince Ali", as he correctly calls him, may win Princess Jasmine over, ruining his own plans to marry her, wants Aladdin out of the way. He orders the guards to shackle and gag Aladdin (which isn't a problem, as Razoul, the chief guard, is plagued with a lust for killing). He tells him that he has "worn out his welcome," and a guard hits Aladdin over the head, knocking him unconscious. Aladdin comes to when the guards drop him over a cliff into the sea. They have attached a ball-and-chain, so he sinks very quickly. He hits the bottom, and his turban floats down. The lamp tumbles out and he begins to struggle towards it, but passes out before he can reach it. Unconscious, he slides down towards the lamp, and rolls over, causing it to rub against his fingers. Genie appears, and saves Aladdin, using up his second wish. Aladdin and Genie return to the palace and Aladdin confronts Jafar over trying to have him killed. Jafar uses his staff to try to convince the sultan that Aladdin is lying, but Aladdin, seeing what he is doing, grabs the staff and shatters it. He then shows the sultan that Jafar has been controlling him and plotting against him. The sultan calls for the guards to arrest Jafar, but he manages to escape, and, before doing so, sees the lamp in Aladdin's possession. The sultan is convinced that his troubles are over as Jasmine has finally chosen a suitor.

Iago steals the lamp, impersonating Jafar while he's at it.
WoodyloganAdded by Woodylogan

All seems well, but the weight of his future responsibilities begins to distress Aladdin. He begins to consider going back on his promise to free Genie so he can keep a wish in reserve, which severely offends the spirit. Chastened, Aladdin decides to tell Jasmine the whole truth of the matter. Unfortunately, Aladdin leaves the lamp in his chamber and Jafar sends his parrot Iago, to steal it. Lamp in hand, Jafar becomes Genie's next master, and wishes to become sultan. When the former sultan and Jasmine refuse to bow to him, he wishes to be the most powerful sorcerer in the world. With his new powers, Jafar forces them to bow to him.

Jafar then uses his magic to reveal that "Prince Ali" is merely the street urchin Aladdin and he banishes Aladdin to "the ends of the earth", in one of the palace towers. "The ends of the earth" appears to be Antarctica, the Arctic, or possibly the Himalayas. Luckily, Abu and the carpet were banished with him, and Aladdin is able to fly back to Agrabah, with the intent of reclaiming the lamp.

Meanwhile, Jafar, who is angry that Jasmine does not wish to become his queen, makes a wish for Genie to cause her to fall in love with him. Genie tries to tell him that he cannot grant that wish, but Jafar does not listen. Jasmine, who sees Aladdin sneaking into the palace, pretends that the wish has taken effect, much to Genie's surprise, in order to distract Jafar. She even goes so far as to kiss him, causing Aladdin, Abu, the Genie and even Iago to blanche. At first it seems to be working; Jafar, however, sees Aladdin's reflection in Jasmine's crown and confronts him before he can reach the lamp.

Jafar uses magic to imprison or transfigure all the good characters other than Aladdin himself so they cannot steal the lamp back. Jafar eventually turns himself into a giant cobra and fights Aladdin. When Aladdin appears to be defeated, Jafar tells Aladdin he was a fool for thinking he could defeat "the most powerful being on earth". Aladdin reminds Jafar he is not the most powerful being on earth, and that that honor belongs to Genie, since he gave Jafar his power in the first place.

Jafar decides to use his final wish to become the most powerful genie in the world. Jafar is at first convinced that his new powers will allow him to rule the universe, but he realizes too late that Aladdin tricked him, since as a genie, Jafar is no longer free. Jafar is imprisoned in his own lamp along with Iago. Genie sends them to the Cave of Wonders.

Of course, Aladdin is now no longer a prince and is not eligible to marry Jasmine. Genie insists that Aladdin use his final wish to make himself a prince again, but nevertheless, he keeps his promise and wishes for Genie's freedom. When all seems lost for Aladdin and Jasmine, the sultan decides that, between his loyalty to Genie and his courage in defeating Jafar, Aladdin has proven his worth; the sultan therefore changes the law so that "the princess shall marry anyone she deems worthy" meaning Aladdin and Jasmine can be married. Genie flies away to see the world while the happy couple begin their new life together.

Voice castEdit

Singing Voices

Singer Character
Brad Kane Aladdin / Prince Ali Ababwa
Lea Salonga Princess Jasmine
Robin Williams The Genie

Supervising animatorsEdit

Animator Character(s)
Glen Keane Aladdin / Prince Ali Ababwa
Eric Goldberg The Genie
Andreas Deja Jafar
Mark Henn Princess Jasmine
Duncan Marjoribanks Abu
Will Finn Iago
David Pruiksma The Sultan
Randy Cartwright Aladdin's Magic Carpet
Phil Young and Chris Wahl Guards
Frank Oz Rajah
T. Daniel Hofstedt Gazeem

Academy Awards Edit

Award Person
Best Music, Original Score Alan Menken
Best Music, Original Song ("A Whole New World") Alan Menken
Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing Mark A. Mangini
Best Music, Original Song ("Friend Like Me") Alan Menken
Howard Ashman
Best Sound Terry Porter
Mel Metcalfe
David J. Hudson
Doc Kane

Trivia Edit

  • As with many Disney animated films, there are several references to the company's previous productions:
    • The Genie's head briefly turns into that of Pinocchio.
    • The Genie pulls Sebastian (from The Little Mermaid) out of a recipe book (and the first few notes of Under the Sea are played).
    • Beast, from Beauty and the Beast, can be seen among the stack of the Sultan's toy figurines.
    • The Genie dons a Goofy hat before leaving on his vacation.
    • The Genie's appearance during the "phenomenal cosmic power" scene and Jafar's appearance as a genie are similar to that of the genie in the Walt Disney educational work Our Friend the Atom.
    • When the tiger is changing back to his normal self, his head turns into Micky Mouse's for a split second.
  • Seven different video games based on the movie were produced. Each one released for the Sega Genesis, Sega Game Gear, Super NES (later ported to the Game Boy Advance), Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Sony PlayStation. The PlayStation version is actually an alternate sequel to the film, telling a whole new story compared to the theatrical release or either of its direct-to-video siblings.
  • Robin Williams, the voice of the Genie, also voiced the Merchant. This is because the Merchant was originally supposed to return at the end singing a reprise of the opening song "Arabian Nights", revealing that he himself was at one time the Genie but had transformed into a human. This was changed during production and the Merchant only reappeared at the end of Aladdin and the King of Thieves, singing the "Arabian Nights" reprise that had already been recorded for the original movie.
  • The genie's appearance is similar to that of the genie in the 1940 movie The Thief of Bagdad. That film's villain, an evil vizier named Jaffar, is virtually the same character as Jafar in "Aladdin"-- from his appearance to his manner of speaking to his actions (bewitching the sultan, wooing the princess so he can become sultan himself). The film also features a (human) sidekick to the main character named Abu.
  • The movie was also featured in the video game Kingdom Hearts, mirroring the plot of the movie loosely, but was cut down and altered to fit the game. In Agrabah, Aladdin teams up with Sora to fight off the Heartless invading his home. Princess Jasmine was kidnapped by Jafar and the Heartless, as she was revealed to be one of the Princesses of Heart. Once the Keyhole was sealed, Genie joins up with Sora as a summon under Aladdin's request to help them save Jasmine. A facsimile of Agrabah was also used for Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories for the Game Boy Advance. The world returns for Kingdom Hearts II, although the story involves more elements from The Return of Jafar, with the peddler from the start of the first film replacing Abis Mal.
  • Some of the original songs before the story was rewritten and half of the characters were cut: "Proud of Your Boy" (supposed to be sung by Aladdin to his mother [who was later removed from the story] while she was sleeping), "Call Me A Princess", "Why Me", "Babkak, Omar, Aladdin, Kassim", "Humiliate The Boy" (sung by Jafar, cut as it was considered too cruel for the film), "High Adventure", and "Count on Me" (which was something Aladdin sung to his friends and family), which was changed to "A Whole New World". Rough versions of "High Adventure" and "Proud of Your Boy" can be found in the Special Edition Soundtrack. "Why Me" was recorded in the studio with Jonathan Freeman and can be found on the compilation album Aladdin: Magical Selections.
  • Vocal doubles were used for the singing voices of the three major characters—Brad Kane for Scott Weinger (Aladdin), Lea Salonga for Linda Larkin (Jasmine), and Bruce Adler for Robin Williams (The Merchant), although Williams did do his own singing voice for the Genie.
  • In 2002, Disney's California Adventure opened "Aladdin--A Musical Spectacular," a stage show based on the movie. The show has been quite popular due to the fact that while roughly 90% of it is scripted, the dialogue of the Genie constantly changes to reflect popular culture of the time. The show also carries an additional song by Jasmine that was cut from the movie "To Be Free."
  • While in this film, the Genie only transforms twice into another Disney character; throughout the entire trilogy, he performs such transformations 12 times (not counting a second appearance as Jafar).
  • In The Story of Prince Ahmed and Periebanou, a story found in the 1001 Arabian Nights, "Prince Ali" is the name of a brother of Prince Ahmed, the hero of the story.
  • It has been said that Bill Plympton was originally considered to animate the Genie, as his animated shorts tend to feature many transformations.
  • The Prince bitten by Rajah at the start of the film is addressed by the Sultan as Prince Achmed. Possibly a reference to the 1926 animated film The Adventures of Prince Achmed
  • The design of the Genie resembles that of a character shown in a 1959 Disney Short "Eyes in Outer Space" which can be found in the Walt Disney Treasures: Tomorrowland DVD set. [1]
  • The animated character of Aladdin was originally designed based on actor Michael J. Fox but during production it was decided that he wasn't "appealing enough" and they decided to draw to instead resemble actor Tom Cruise.
  • Aladdin was one of the American Film Institute's 500 nominees for the 100 Funniest American Movies, but it did not make the final list.

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