Jafar in the deleted song "Humiliate the Boy"
|First appearance||Aladdin (1992)|
|Created by||Andreas Deja|
|Voiced by||Jonathan Freeman (U.S.A.)|
Féodor Atkine (France)
Éric Gaudry (Quebec, speaking)
Philippe Leduc (Quebec, singing)
Joachim Kemmer]] (Germany)
Jorge Santos (Latin America, speaking)
Armando Gama]] (Latin America, singing)
Joaquín Muñoz (Spain, speaking)
Xavier Ribera (Spain, singing)
Akira Takarada (Japan)
Conception and creationEdit
In the earliest version of film production, Jafar was to be loud and agitated, while Iago would've been a British parrot and would've calmed Jafar down. However, the filmmakers realized that a cooler Jafar was better, so they made Iago the loud, agitated one. Jafar, like many other characters in Aladdin, is based on a character in Richard Williams' unfinished animated film The Thief and the Cobbler. In this case, he is analogous to the latter film's villain ZigZag, who was voiced by Vincent Price.
Patrick Stewart was originally offered the role of Jafar, but scheduling conflicts with Star Trek: The Next Generation forced him to turn down the role. He has said in interviews that this is his biggest regret in his career, and in the top three of biggest regrets of his life.
Jafar's name seems to be derived from a character named Jafar or Giafar (Arabic: جعفر) in tales of the Arabian Nights, who is the Vizier to the 9th century Abbasid Caliph Harun al-Rashid; this character in turn was based on a real-life vizier, Ja'far bin Yahya Barmaki. Harun and Giafar were the protagonists of many stories in Arabian Nights, but Giafar was never presented as a villain. Harun did have the real Ja'far bin Yahya Barmaki beheaded after a dispute arising from allegations that Ja'far had engaged in an affair with the Caliph's sister. The original tale of Aladdin, a Syrian story not originally attached to the Arabian Nights, features two characters who correspond to Disney's Jafar. One is an unnamed vizier who is jealous of Aladdin but does not serve as a real villain; the other is the major antagonist, an evil magician from the Maghreb in North Africa who introduces Aladdin to his magical lamp.
Jafar is given the fairly accurate nickname of "Señor Psychopath" by the Genie character near the climax of the first film. Like numerous other clinically-diagnosed psychopaths, Jafar wears a metaphorical mask of normalcy throughout the film, establishing himself as a cool-headed, stereotypically-British schemer and gaining the trust of those around him, despite his rather untrustworthy physical appearance. Even with this mask, Jafar's psychopathic tendencies tend to seep through and become apparent to the viewer, particularly in the opening sequence, where Jafar displays no remorse in sending Gazeem the Thief to his death in the Cave of Wonders, simply proclaiming that "Gazeem was obviously less than worthy" in a rather dry tone of voice. The deleted song "Humiliate the Boy" also establishes Jafar as an emotional sadist, getting a laugh out of seeing "another fellow's dreams turn into nightmares one by one" and treating the Genie in an especially harsh manner. It is not until Jafar gains control of the Genie's lamp that he shows his true colors, becoming more short-tempered with his subjects after usurping power from the Sultan. It is this impulsive behavior that leads to his downfall, as he uses his third wish to become an omnipotent genie, unaware of the life inside the lamp that he now has to endure.
Jafar is usually shown to be somewhat comedic, even in his times of evil and cunning, proclaiming "Ewww..." when contemplating beheading, or constantly mispronouncing Aladdin's alias' name. This, however, doesn't keep Jafar from having a sub-par sense of humor himself, spurting several puns in a row in the film's climax ("Don't toy with me!" "Get the point?" "I'm just getting warmed up!"). This comical humor does not carry over in the film's direct-to-video sequel, which aimed to make Jafar more sinister and ruthless.
Jafar is tall and thin, wears a long, twisted goatee, and is almost always depicted in flowing robes of black, dark red and other moody colors, giving him an overtly villainous appearance. When he is granted true magical abilities, upon wishing to become the world's most powerful sorcerer, his outfit's angular qualities become more exaggerated, his hat and his wardrobe's shoulders growing into elongated spikes. His golden, cobra-headed staff is also granted unnatural life, its mouth opening to spit spells. His appearance further, and most drastically, distorts when he wishes to become an all-powerful genie, after which he transforms into a massive, red-skinned entity with talons, glowing yellow eyes and an immense, muscular physique, a direct contrast to the good Genie's soft, blue appearance. In the direct-to-video sequel, Jafar has the ability to change from this fearsome genie form back into his familiar (and human) sorcerer attire, which is notably less conspicuous. Jafar has a pet parrot named Iago, who normally perches on his shoulders or his staff, and who eventually switches sides in The Return of Jafar.
Despite his magical aspirations, Jafar is actually incapable of performing any supernatural feats during the majority of Aladdin. He is shown to be scholarly and learned in arcane lore, his secret chamber filled with strange devices and stacks of tomes, and, as such, he operates more on the level of an alchemist throughout the film’s duration than an actual magician. Instead of casting spells, he relies on previously prepared potions capable of producing magical phenomenon, dropping a vial of red liquid on the floor, for example, in order to create a cloud of smoke. He also relies heavily on certain relics in his possession, such as his snake-headed staff which is capable, through its enchanted ruby eyes, of hypnotizing people. A gigantic hourglass which he keeps in his study also serves as a crystal ball for him, granting him the ability to see the outside world. He is also a master of disguise, assuming the appearance of an old beggar man in order to gain Aladdin’s confidence. He operates largely through his underworld connections, such as with the thief, Gazeem, as well as his position of authority within the palace, which places the entire Royal Guard under his command.
This inability to perform real magic is primarily what drives Jafar to search for the Genie’s magical lamp, and after achieving it, his second wish is to become the world’s most powerful sorcerer. After he makes this wish, he is noticeably able to perform a radical assortment of spells on a mere whim, such as physically manipulating physical bodies, levitating objects, spitting fire, materializing weaponry from thin air and, most impressively, shapeshifting into an enormous serpent. During this stage, he is never again forced to rely on his talismans, potions, or disguises.
In The Return of Jafar he is depicted as being a genie of almost unlimited power, easily defeating the Genie with a musical number ("You're Only Second Rate") and imprisoning him in a magical orb. Though he seems to be bound by the same rules as the Genie (most notably being unable to kill) Jafar easily finds ways around these limitations, such as transporting the bandit Abis Mal underwater when he wishes for sunken treasure and threating to let him drown.
His most recent appearance, Hercules and the Arabian Night, he has lost his status as a genie. However, he is still able to perform magic with his staff, although it is not as good as when he was the world's most powerful sorcerer. Here he is able to summon giant monsters, fire nonfatal blasts of red energy, and freeze things in blocks of ice. It seems likely that this magic was provided by Hades when he revived Jafar.
In the first film, Jafar tries to use Genie's powers to take over Agrabah, first wishing to become the sultan, and then the most powerful sorcerer in the world. After battling Aladdin with his questionable sense of humor, Jafar transforms himself into a giant cobra in an attempt to kill Aladdin, but just as Jafar is squeezing him to death, Aladdin tricks Jafar into using his third and final wish to become an all-powerful genie himself and the strongest entity in the Disney universe. In Western culture, genies are almost always portrayed as being confined to small oil lamps until they are released to do a human's bidding; Jafar is therefore trapped by his own selfish wish for power.
Jafar is more a present part of the plot than other Disney villains, especially during the era in which he was created, with proportionately more airtime than most other Disney villains. Many scenes featuring Aladdin are mirrored with scenes featuring Jafar, back to back, in which one can see Jafar's interactions with other characters, giving the viewer a more "personal" experience with the villain. His unique characteristics compared to most Disney villains are probably the reason that he lived at the end of his movie, at the same time arguing with Iago ("Get your blasted beak out of my face!" "Oh, shut up, you moron!" "Don't tell ME to shut up!").
In The Return of Jafar, the now-genie Jafar is released by Abis Mal, and, after cunningly making Abis-Mal waste his first two wishes, threatens Abis into helping him. His plan included kidnapping (and in some instances, replacing) the royal family and framing Aladdin for the Sultan's "death," which would have caused him to be beheaded, but (with help from a reformed Iago) the heroes manage to escape. When Jafar discovers this, he opens up a fissure into the earth in order to destroy Aladdin and the others. Believing to have won, Jafar is surprised to see Iago genuinely helping the heroes and shoots down his former ally with a fireball as Iago grabs the lamp. A mostly-dead Iago manages to kick the lamp into one of the lava pits, melting the lamp into nothingness. With a scream of anger and fear, Jafar disintegrates in a burst of light and disappears.
Jafar later made one more attempt at revenge in an episode ("Hercules and the Arabian Night") of Disney's Hercules TV-show spinoff, where he is temporarily revived by Hercules's arch-enemy, Hades, although he lost his status as an all-powerful immortal genie when he died. The two villains team up to get rid of Aladdin and Hercules by having them fight against each other, but their plan fails and Jafar ends up dead again when Hercules snaps his staff in half, and has not at this point made any reappearances in the official Aladdin continuity.
As far as Jafar's family goes, he has a fraternal twin sister named Nasira who tried bringing her brother back to life in the game Nasira's Revenge. Jafar's sister is very similar both in appearance and actions as Maleficent. She respects Jafar and the sibling bond between them is very strong.
Like the movie, Jafar turns into a giant Cobra. When Mickey finds a lamp, he rubs it assuming it'll help, but Jafar instead changes into a Genie. Jafar then responds by calling Hades and Chernabog to help the rest of the villains. Mickey eventually defeats him with the rest of the villains after killing the dragon version of Maleficent.
Kingdom Hearts seriesEdit
Jafar's Japanese voice actor in all these games is Akira Takarada. He is voiced by Jonathan Freeman in the English version of the games.
Jafar debuted as one of the members of Maleficent's inner circle. He planned to use the Heartless and take over Agrabah. Jafar kidnapped Princess Jasmine, one of the seven Princesses of Heart. Aladdin tried to save her by using a wish, but Iago then steals the lamp and gave it to Jafar. Jafar tried to kill Sora by sending the Pot Centipede Heartless after him while made his way to the Cave of Wonders. He used his magic to control the Cave of Wonders Guardian. Inside the Cave of Wonders, Jafar made his first wish to show Agrabah's Keyhole. Then, at Jafar's boss fight, he made his second wish to make Genie crush Sora and the gang. Genie then reluctantly fights alongside Jafar against Sora and friends. During this fight, Jafar typically stands on one of the stone blocks located around the area and attacks from above with a continuous beam of fire and a large ice storm in the center area of the room, occasionally drifting down for a more personal assault with his staff. After he is damaged enough in these confrontations, he turns into a ball of light and floats away, then resumes human form to continue the cycle again. In addition, when hit with Gravity magic, Jafar forms a protective shield around himself. After a brief moment of peace, Jafar makes his third wish to become a powerful genie and sinks into an underground lava filled chamber in which his boss fight takes place, throwing large spheres of lava at the party. His only vulnerable point is his lamp (carried by Iago), and following his defeat, Sora pulls him back into his lamp, but discovers too late that Jasmine is gone, having been taken away by Riku. After his defeat, Hades (meeting with Maleficent, Captain Hook, and Riku) comments that Jafar would have succeeded if Riku had assisted. Maleficent, however, explains that Jafar was beyond help and was consumed by his own hatred. She also warns Hades not to follow the same path. In the Kingdom Hearts manga, Jafar is somewhat afraid or intimidated by Maleficent, but quickly disregards her once he transforms into a genie.
Jafar appears in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories with the Heartless to take over a facsimile of Agrabah created from Sora's memories. In order to get the lamp, he tricks Aladdin to get the lamp so he could make Jasmine marry him. Jafar's first wish is to get Jasmine back. Then, he makes his second wish to make Genie protect him from a sneak attack, which was actually planned by Aladdin to have Jafar waste the wish. Jafar's third and final wish is to become a genie. He teleports the gang to a room filled with lava and attacks by throwing magma rocks, shooting lasers and pounding his fists. He is unique in that he is the only boss that cannot be directly attacked; the player must attack Iago, who carries the lamp, when the platforms rise to an appropriate height. In the end, Jafar is defeated.
In Kingdom Hearts II, Jafar's lamp is found by the Peddler, making him a target for Pete, who intends to make Jafar into a Heartless under his control. But Sora and gang manage to take the lamp and seal it in hope Jafar would never reappear. But that is not to be when the Peddler discovers the lamp's hiding place and releases Jafar. After forcing Iago to keep Sora occupied with a magical clone of himself, Jafar kidnaps Jasmine. But Sora, Donald, Goofy, Aladdin and Iago escape the ruins and appear at the Palace to save Jasmine, with Iago taking the fireball that Jafar aimed at Aladdin. Jafar then takes to the skies in another attempt to destroy Agrabah, having Sora pursue him into the sky on the magic carpet, where Jafar used his genie-powers to alter reality against Sora. However Sora destroys him, his mystical body damaged enough to explode, and Jafar's lamp is no more.
|Films||Aladdin | The Return of Jafar | Aladdin and the King of Thieves|
|Adaptations||Aladdin (TV series) | Disney's Aladdin (video game) | Aladdin, Jr.|
|Soundtrack||Aladdin (soundtrack) | A Whole New World|
|Main Characters||Aladdin | Princess Jasmine | Genie (Aladdin) |Iago|
|Villains||Jafar | Abis Mal | Mozenrath | Mirage | Mechanicles | Saleen | Saluk | Amin Damoola|
|Minor Characters||Arbutus | Chaos | Eden|