Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Aladdin was always a particular favorite of mine, and one that my brother and I enjoyed watching again and again and again. It's one of the few Disney movies that I actually can vividly remember almost every detail of. Overall, Aladdin has a great story and great music. It also has the added genius of Robin Williams as the genie.

This movie has struggles, it has romance, and it has smarts. Aladdin's way of outsmarting Jafar at the end is a fun twist, and he's a likable guy. Jasmine is also very likable and arguably a pretty decent role model for young girls (sexy outfit aside). The morals are pretty clear (tell the truth, be yourself, don't judge others on wealth or appearance). And it's just gosh darn funny. That genie is pretty good for a laugh. There isn't much to not like about Aladdin.

One interesting thing that did come up when we were watching it was the fact that it was considered somewhat racist when it came out. My brother watched it with us, and he told us that in his third world politics class they learned a little about it. Apparently when the movie was first produced it had a line in the first song that went "where they cut off your ear if they don't like your face." This was considered racist against Arabs and they decided it had to be changed. When the movie went to video the line was changed to "where it's flat and immense and the heat is intense."

Now, if you ask me, I think Disney tends to overreact a lot of accusations of racism. It's seems a bit of a stretch to say that Aladdin is racist against Arabs. Sure, maybe it had that one line, but let's face it - that really is what they did there during that time. But Disney tends to be hypersensitive about these things - hence why it's impossible to find a copy of Song of the South. But then again, when so many people in the the world can be crazy with the accusations and seeing racism everywhere, it's bound to affect the media and Disney as well.

The Music
I love the music from Aladdin. It's got lots of good songs so it's really hard to pick one. "A Whole New World" is a classic now. And personally, I always had a particular fondness of Aladdin's song in the marketplace, "One Jump Ahead." But ultimately, the best song in the movie has to go to Robin Williams with "Friend Like Me." Jason and Tommy agreed that it may be one of the best songs in Disney history - I'm undecided on that. But overall there really isn't a bad song in the movie. Though not as high up, "Arabian Nights" and "Prince Ali" are also great songs. This is definitely one of the best Disney soundtracks.

The Villain
Aladdin also has a truly evil villain going for it. Jafar is a creeper who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. He's also pretty insane, which adds a degree of scariness to a villain. Someone who doesn't have the normal limits and ideas of what's right is bound to be more frightening if they choose the path of evil. And he's got one of the best villain sidekicks ever. I would certainly put him in the top five of Disney villains, and consider him a contender for the top. He even spawned his own sequel, The Return of Jafar.

The Disney World Connection
Aladdin finally received its own ride in Walt Disney World in 2001, and that's "The Magic Carpets of Aladdin." It's basically a Dumbo style ride, where you go around and up and down on a magic carpet. The scenery around it is very nice and "Aladdin-y", and there's even a small section of souvenir carts reminiscent of the marketplace. You can also find Aladdin and Jasmine wandering around the parks for pictures and autographs, usually in Morocco in Epcot or by the Aladdin ride. You can also find Abu, the genie, and Jafar.

Jason's rating: 9 out of 10
Becky's rating: 9.5 out of 10

1 comment:

  1. fun fact: The line "where they cut off your ear if they don't like your face" is still in the song if you buy the soundtrack.