As far as great Disney films go Aladdin is near the top of my list. It came out when I was prime Disney age in the early 1990s. I was old enough to understand the film and not young enough to think I could get away with walking around naked in public. This is the perfect age to enjoy a Disney film.
Technically Aladdin had its own run as a short-lived unwatchable television series so I’m not breaking any rules by writing about it here. Also technically isn’t a movie nothing more than a longer show? Let’s not get into technicalities even though I’m the one who brought them up. My apologies. This paragraph served its purpose as a simple way of mentioning the film spawned a television show I would sometimes watch at 2 in the morning.
Aladdin is one of the few Disney films I remember seeing in theaters when it came out. This was before stadium seating which meant the screen was impossible to see for a wee-lad like myself. I remember the film starting and the eerie opening song that mentions cutting off hands and such playing. Ten minutes into the film it stopped. Someone came in and said a lot more people were coming in so they were going to start the movie from the beginning again. Remember those simpler times when you could inconvenience others because a few families were running late? I hated those days.
From the point the Panther thing in the sand ate the fat guy I was hooked into the film. Jafar was incredibly terrifying and this was way before I knew what a Taliban was. He had a sidekick parrot voiced by Gilbert Gottfried to add to his menacing presence. I always thought parrots were more African or South American species but I didn’t complain. I was just happy to know Gilbert was getting work after being snubbed at the Oscars for his performance in Problem Child.
(The more I look at this the less I think it’s a panther and the more I think it’s Ron Perlman)
The music in this movie was pretty good too. It had a different feel at times from other Disney films since there was an Arabian twinge to it. I’m not sure what I mean exactly by an Arabian twinge and I somewhat worry I’ve offended an already angry part of the world. My apologies.
One of the more memorable characters in the film was Genie voiced by Robin Williams. Something happened in the early 90s and Robin Williams was the greatest kid’s movie star. Aladdin should go near the top of his performances as far as entertaining children goes. Genie was a blue thing that when his lamp was rubbed he would pop out and grant three wishes. Aladdin found this lamp inside the giant sand Panther thing when sent there by Jafar. At this point in the film Aladdin had already met his love interest, the Sultan’s daughter Jasmine who for some reason lives in the Taj Mahal in the Middle East.
(Genie always reminded me of a large blue fart)
Aladdin uses his wishes to basically impress Jasmine as most men would do. He takes her on a magic carpet ride through a “Whole New World” which is a beautiful song. I won’t tell you how it ends in case you have never seen it but considering there were at least two sequels and a television show you can assume Aladdin did not die.
This is a film that still holds up today. On a field trip in middle school we voted to watch this over watching Legally Blonde 2. The girl who had brought Legally Blonde with her for us to watch passed this off as saying we didn’t get Reese Witherspoon’s charm. I think we were just too smart to understand it.