- Directed by John Musker and Ron Clements
- November 25, 1992
- Aladdin-Scott Weinger
- Genie-Robin Williams
- Princess Jasmine-Linda Larkin
- Jafar-Jonathan Freeman
- Iago-Gilbert Gottfried
- Abu-Frank Welker
- The Sultan-Douglas Seale
- Razoul-Jim Cummings
- Gazeem-Charlie Adler
- Prince Achmed-Corey Burton
A kindhearted street urchin and a devious vizier vie for a magic lamp which can make their grandest dreams come true.
I have not seen Aladdin movie in very many years. I have just never sat down to rewatch it since shortly after it came out. I have had many opportunities but never partook of them just, well, because.
So this particular discussion is of my first viewing of Aladdin in probably close to 15 years and the film is still just fantastic. It has a great story and stunning visuals and catchy songs yet the story is simple and to the point. Our hero isn’t overly perfect or overly flawed. He is just a normal guy trying to make his way.
I’ve heard a few people complain about the issues they have with the romance between Princess Jasmine and Aladdin. It’s either because Aladdin massively lied to Jasmine or the pair falls in love over the course of three days and they’re getting married by the end of the film. Have you ever watched a Disney film?
Aladdin is a romantic film for crying out loud! This isn’t any sillier or more impossible than a Lifetime movie where the career driven, job obsessed woman returns to her small town or has to travel to some small town and falls in love with a dashing handyman over the course of a couple of days and they are talking a future. Calm down!
Jafar has to be one of the most genuinely dangerous Disney villains. He is frightening for a Disney film and unnerving for any other movie. He is just about as evil as you get. Disney pulled no punches here. From the design to the execution, Jafar came off as pure evil willing to do anything to take the power he craved.
Robin Williams performance as Genie is iconic and is often credited with the current default of celebrity voice actors in films. Here Williams gives his stage performance but put in animated form. If you’ve ever seen his comedy, you understand what I mean. I’m sure there are bits and pieces of it floating around on YouTube that you can check out. As a matter of fact any number of Tonight Show interviews will adequately demonstrate what I’m talking about.
Gilbert Gottfried just puts on his performer voice as Iago. I’ve heard Gottfried has a different speaking voice than what he generally uses in public. And truthfully his performance is very Gilbert Gottfried of the time. He didn’t try at all here. And that’s part of the reason this film works. Robin Williams and Gilbert Gottfried both stick with what made them known. I’m not saying they are playing themselves but they’re doing what fans appreciated about their performances.
And the animation. Aladdin is utterly beautiful. It’s a combination of hand-drawn and very early CGI that works hand in hand to tell the story. The magic carpet (which is a character too) escape from the cave is particularly breathtaking with only one moment that bothers me. It’s just some rocks that don’t quite blend with the other animation. That’s me being nitpicky but this is me saying it’s still a fantastic sequence. It is a visual roller coaster ride and I remember seeing it in theaters and being blown away. Although I was sitting down, I could feel the motion. That’s how well it was done and that’s why it is still good today.
The songs are catchy. There’s a good reason “A Whole New World” became a hit. I bet you’re hearing it in your head right now just as I mentioned it. But that’s not the only song. The song “Arabian Nights” is probably bouncing in your head now that I brought it up. That’s a sign of great music and how good the songs are here.
Aladdin doesn’t waste any time with fluff. It gives the set up and begins the story. With a few lines and some short scenes, you know what the situation is. They do not try to stretch things out unnecessarily. The more older films I watch, the more I realize clear and concise and to the point set up is becoming an ever increasingly lost art.
The film proceeds towards a conclusion from almost the start. Aladdin doesn’t meander around for a little while before deciding it’s hit it’s run time and needs to wrap things up. Jasmine’s escape from the palace is what sets everything in motion. At least when it comes to how the film ended. Sure Aladdin may have still been picked out by Jafar to get the lamp but the basics of his character which caused him to get trapped in the cave were there long before the film ever started. But him encountering Jasmine is what caused him to want to become a prince which sent him on his final confrontation with Jafar.
Aladdin is a not only a classic piece of animation but a classic piece of Disney animation. With great songs and a great story, it is most certainly a must see not only for children but for adults as well!