Aladdin (1992)

Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker
Written by the two above and apparently 18 other people. I did read that Robin Williams improvised so many of his lines that they couldn’t get an academy nomination for the script.
(number 330)

I had to laugh in the first few moments, as my relatively new DVD has a changed lyric right at the start. ‘Where they cut off your hand if they don’t like your face’ has become ‘where it’s flat and immense and the heat is intense.’ PC gone mad? I’m not sure of the benefit of this line change since they still have lots of talk of beheadings and the bit where Jasmine nearly has her hand cut off for stealing.

Loving memories of Robin Williams, Rest In Peace, dude.

I watched this movie many many times in the 90s, I played the video game on Sega Mega Drive, my sister and I sang along to the soundtrack. But I haven’t seen it too much in the last few years. I wasn’t aware that Abu causes so much of the conflict. He’s always stealing stuff even in the midst of them trying to escape the guards, he is the one who touches a forbidden treasure in the cave of wonders which sets off the whole drama.

The story is centred mostly around who will marry Jasmine. Jasmine’s entire modus operandi is that she wants freedom and independence, and sadly this is something she never really gets. She gets the freedom to marry the man she loves but she has to stay in the palace which she was trying to escape. It’s sort of annoying. In the main love theme Aladdin shows her the whole world, promises it to her but there’s no evidence that she gets any more than that. On the other hand ‘A Whole New World’ is an excellent song and brilliant to karaoke duet to.

The big bad guy is Jafar, forerunner to Scar – smooth and English accented. His sidekick Iago is hilarious and voiced by Gilbert Gottfried which always makes me think of this video…

Aladdin has a massive self esteem problem, which is the core of the conflict of the climax of the movie – he doesn’t believe he can tell Jasmine who he really is without her hating him. He continues to lie to her so that Jafar has power to reveal it all in a shocking way. One of those classic romantic stories where if they’d only communicated then there’d be no problem apart from the evil sorcerer, anyways.

The bit where Jasmine gets redone into an ‘evil’ red outfit used to make me feel sort of weird, but I think it’s because it’s a really sexual sequence. Very Slave Leia, she’s in red and chains and she seduces Jafar as a distraction. A bit uncomfortable in a kid’s movie! Although it’s still not a patch on the Esmerelda/Frollo shiz from Hunchback.

Does it make me love the people? Yes. Aladdin is a little two dimensional but he has an appealing confidence and mischevious nature which we are conditioned to adore and Jasmine is sweet and good with just a little spunk to her.

Bechdel test: Nooooooo. There’s just one named female character, Jasmine. Literally every other character who has a name is a male. Even the magic carpet is referred to as a ‘he’ and it’s just a freaking rug that moves. I guess this really was Disney trying its best to appeal to only boys.

Best line:
Genie: I’m in the mood to help you dude!

State of Mind: Just as good today as it was back then, although as ever, more women would be appreciated.

Watched movie count

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