Aladdin (1992)
January 19, 2015 7:22 PM - Subscribe

A princess, Jasmin, and a genie, Genie, both wish for more freedom than the constraints of their roles in the world allow. Jafar, grand vizer to the princess's father, has already reduced the sultan to a puppet, and now sets his sites on becoming the princess's and the genie's new -- and likely less-than-benevolent -- master. To escape his clutches, Jasmin and Genie pin their hopes of freedom on the genie's current master and a wanna-be suitor to the princess, a relatively humane street-urchin-turned-prince named Aladdin. Will Jasmin and Genie succeed in avoiding Jafar's machinations? Will they ever be free?

Original Trailer

Variety: “Aladdin” overcomes most story flaws thanks to sheer technical virtuosity, a trademark of Disney-animated features since sinking into the darkness of “The Black Cauldron.” Meticulously designed, each frame offers an explosion of color, with a mix of looks and animation disciplines.

The New York Times: The fundamentals here go beyond first-rate: animation both gorgeous and thoughtful, several wonderful songs and a wealth of funny minor figures on the sidelines, practicing foolproof Disney tricks. (Even a flying Oriental rug is able to frolic, sulk and move its thumb, which has evolved out of a tassel.) Only when it comes to the basics of the story line does "Aladdin" encounter any difficulties.

The 1992 film received numerous awards. For his vocal work as Genie, Robin Williams won a special award from the Golden Globes. For Aladdin's theme, "A Whole New World," Alan Menken Tim Rice received Golden Globes for Best Original Song and the song itself won a Grammy for Song of the Year.
posted by rue72 (14 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
This was my favourite Disney movie growing up. I knew all the lines, and my cousin knew all the songs, so between us we could practically perform the entire film. I do think it's great, but I don't know if that's nostalgia speaking.

The one thing that does bug me about this film is that the Genie can apparently accomplish anything, so why, when Aladdin wishes to be a prince, is he a fake prince? There's a whole dilemma about not being able to free the Genie because he'll stop being a prince, which is just poor service if you ask me. The genie brought this problem on himself really.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 11:57 PM on January 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


My favourite Disney movie. I've watched it so many times I believe I can pick where Tim rices shit influence usurps ashmans superior lyrics. Mind you it still represents the zenith of a sadly too short musical partnership that doesn't get the credit it deserves.

More broadly, I love how the central theme of the film - people trapped in the roles society ascribes to them - repeats for all the man characters. Aladdin wants people to see he's more than a street rat; jasmine is effectively a prisoner in the role of Princess; the genie is stuck in the lamp; even jafar - evil though undeniably competent - is trapped in the role of vizier, to an ineffectual and useless sultan.

It is his act of disruption, determination to not accept the role mapped out to him, that kickstarts the whole narrative and mirrors Aladdin's journey and thoughts in many ways. And, mirror like, he is the one who ends up as sultan. Beautiful symmetry, and a ferocious economy of storytelling.
posted by smoke at 3:16 AM on January 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


Last summer the first real Broadway show I ever saw on Broadway itself was Alladin, and if you're a fan of the movie, I would highly suggest seeing it on stage in New York.

It was non-stop entertainment that mirrored the movie well, and the Genie on stage is better than Robin Williams, playing it with less dated references, impressions, and more heart. The engineering of the rapid set changes and costume changes is amazing as well, it's basically 2 hours of non-stop action on stage.
posted by mathowie at 11:33 AM on January 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have such mixed feelings about this: it's an iconic Robin Williams performance, but the flip-side of that is that his performance overshadows the rest of the movie: it splits it into "bits with the Genie in" and "all the other bits in between."

Also, mathowie's note about "dated references": yes, it's absolutely solidly rooted in the early 90s, both by the references and by it being That Kind Of Hyped-Up Robin Williams performance. It feels a lot less timeless than other Disney movies of the period -- The Lion King still feels current today (because Hamlet, right?) while Aladdin feels very much a product of its time.

But oh, the freeing-the-Genie ending; yes, it had heart.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:30 PM on January 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, a bonus link: Boing Boing on The time Disney duped Robin Williams. “You realize now when you work for Disney why the mouse has only four fingers–because he can’t pick up a check.”
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:32 PM on January 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


Jafar is one of my least favorite Disney villians because he is irredeemably stupid. He spends who knows how long tracking down a magic lamp with a genie, and his three wishes are "Give me power!" "No, wait, give me MORE power!" and "No wait, give me ALL THE POWER!" Seriously, dude? Did you not give one second's thought about how you'd use the lamp once you got it?
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 2:13 PM on January 20, 2015 [9 favorites]


I had never seen this movie until a few months ago. Now, thanks to my two year old daughter, I have seen it many many times. And, to be fair, it is quite watchable over and over, with the same songs being played over and over. It's also amusing to watch her stomp up the stairs for bath time shouting, "Make way. Prince Aliiiiiii."

Did you know that the lyrics from the opening number were changed between theatrical release and DVD release?
posted by Elmore at 4:10 PM on January 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Love this movie. Saw it with my sister and my Mom, one of the last Disney movies we kids were in the right age range to enjoy together. (I still watch Disney and Pixar movies with my Mom, screw age discrimination, but it's not quite the same thing as seeing them as a kid.)

This along with Mork and Mindy reruns on TVLand is what I most fondly remember Robin Williams for.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:26 AM on January 21, 2015


Can't talk about Aladdin without mentioning the Sega Genesis version!
posted by Rhaomi at 7:15 PM on January 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


The one thing that does bug me about this film is that the Genie can apparently accomplish anything, so why, when Aladdin wishes to be a prince, is he a fake prince? There's a whole dilemma about not being able to free the Genie because he'll stop being a prince, which is just poor service if you ask me. The genie brought this problem on himself really.

This bugs me too but I attribute it more to Aladdin being a dumbass who doesn't understand what he got when he made that wish. Dude, you said "make me a prince". So that's what you are now. You're not pretending anything. It's not a lie.
posted by wabbittwax at 6:37 AM on January 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Look, magic has rules. Just like in Cinderella, or Bedknobs & Broomsticks.

Aladdin has the best pantomime animation since...well, anything. The carpet is an amazing character, so much personality for being a rectangle without eyes or a face.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 3:11 PM on January 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think Aladdin thought of himself as pretending because he grew up a street rat?

I'm not sure Genie could make him a prince in the true sense. If he could, that would mean changing the past. Make him a legit prince. born into royalty. If that happened, would Jafar have pegged him to get the lamp? He wouldn't be a Diamond in the Rough if he was born a prince. He also would have grown up to be one of the arrogant pigheaded princes that Rajah bit in the butt.

What Genie did was give him all the things a prince has, in order to give the illusion that he was a prince.

Also, the TV show that came after this movie was one of the better spin off shows.
posted by royalsong at 7:18 AM on January 23, 2015


Did you know that the lyrics from the opening number were changed between theatrical release and DVD release?

This was supposed to happen, but apparently didn't. I have the DVD, and it most definitely says "cut off your ear if they don't like your face".

Can't speak to the blu-ray.

The OST and the piano songbook also has the original lyrics.
posted by dmd at 6:05 AM on January 24, 2015


The VHS tape had the altered lyric.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 9:09 AM on January 25, 2015


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