For anyone who grew up in the '90s as a child, you were most likely obsessed with Disney movies, including Aladdin when it was released in 1992.
It became an immediate favorite — and is still one of the many animated Disney films fans can't get enough of today. Seeing as it's been 25 years (yes, it's been 25 years!) since Aladdin first came into our lives, it's time to take a closer look at it.
If you think back to watching the film as a child, you were probably so consumed with the music, the love story between Jasmine and Aladdin and how hilarious the Genie was, you probably missed a lot along the way. It's no secret that children see and experience things differently, so it's understandable that when you watch Aladdin, or any Disney movie, as an adult, you're going to pick up on things you didn't notice as a child.
It's like you're not watching the same film you remember or a particular moment you didn't really understand when you were younger finally makes sense. Aladdin is very different when you watch it when you're older compared to when you were little — and here's how.
When Aladdin begins, we meet a Peddler, who is voiced by Robin Williams. Yes, the actor, who also does the Genie's voice, does the voice of the first character to speak. As a child, you're so entranced by the merchant, his funny lines and when he makes a fart noise with "the famous Dead Sea Tupperware," you're not even paying to attention to how much he sounds like Williams.
As a child, did you really listen intently to what the Peddler was saying? He gives this long speech about the Genie's lamp and the story you're about to hear. I know I was just so anxious about seeing Aladdin and Jasmine that I just wanted him to be done talking.
But after going back and listening to him, what he says actually speaks to the film as a whole. While discussing the lamp, he says, "Do not be fooled by its commonplace appearance. Like so many things, it is not what is outside, but what is inside that counts." That is exactly what the movie is about, especially when it comes to most of the characters. It can also be said of real life. Far too often are people judged for their outward appearance, leading to unfair treatment.
Yes, it's just a kids movie, but really? You're telling me Jasmine (or anyone else) can't tell Prince Ali is Aladdin, aka "the street rat" the palace guards are always chasing? Of course, the point the movie is trying to make here is that a person of wealth and prominence is seen and treated differently than someone who is without. However, it's still ridiculous. Jasmine is really smart and the fact that she doesn't catch on is frustrating.
Save for Aladdin, who isn't fooled for too long by Jasmine's attire, the palace guards and people of Agrabah are clueless. They don't seem too intelligent to begin with, but she doesn't look any different in the marketplace compared to when she's roaming the palace, so how does nobody notice who she is?
I'm not going to lie. I had a huge crush on Aladdin growing up. What's not to love? He can sing. He's cute He has a pet monkey (come on, you know you always wanted a pet monkey as a kid too). He appears to be romantic and he's the so-called hero of the story.
Well, most of that doesn't really ring true once you watch it when you're older. Really, Aladdin is a jerk. First of all, he lies to Jasmine, which is far from romantic. There's nothing like pretending to be a prince and flying around on your magic carpet to get her to fall in love with you, right? Oh, and what's even more hot is that he steals. What. A. Turn. On.
Sorry, not sorry, Aladdin, but you are exactly the type of guy every woman should avoid.
The Sultan is a poor excuse of a father and a leader. He basically sits around all day and plays with toys like a child. If you think about it, he is so clueless and flippant that Agrabah is falling to pieces thanks to him. He could be doing so much more as the ruler of his people.
What's even more awful is how he views his only daughter. She's essentially a piece of property to him, one he is trying to marry off so she can do what a woman is supposed to do — take care of her husband and raise children. He even complains about Jasmine refusing to pick a suitor by saying, "I don't know where she gets it from. Her mother wasn't nearly so picky."
The impressions of famous actors done by Genie most likely don't resonate with kids. He impersonates Jack Nicholson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rodney Dangerfield and Peter Lorre. I just thought he was being silly, not portraying famous actors. Speaking of these actors, it doesn't really make sense how Genie even knows who these people are. If Aladdin takes place a long time ago in history, then could Genie do impressions of people who haven't even been born yet?
Aladdin's body is interesting. And by "interesting," I mean there are two things missing from it. As pointed out by BuzzFeed, Aladdin doesn't have nipples. Did you ever realize that before? Why doesn't he have nipples? What is going on here? Most everybody has nipples, so why doesn't Aladdin? It's one of the movie's biggest mysteries.
Really, most Disney romances are totally unrealistic. That can also be said of the way Aladdin and Jasmine fall in love. You're telling me that after one date (on a flying carpet, no less) and not knowing each other at all, they're just head over heels in love? Also, they're both teenagers, so not only are they having an adult-like relationship, but the way they "fall in love" is beyond odd. It's just a creepy and wrong portrayal of two teens.
Aladdin may be the hero, but he has an awful lot in common with Jafar, the villain. They both lie to Jasmine. They both take what they want when they want. They both want power and respect. They both think they deserve everything on a silver platter. They're both jerks. Need I go on?
Jafar's final wish is to make Jasmine fall in love with him. Yes, children know Jafar is bad and only want Jasmine to be in love with Aladdin, but there's more to Jafar's wish than meets the eye. He takes away Jasmine's ability to decide for herself. She doesn't consent to him, but is forced to fall in love with a man she doesn't really love. The control Jafar issues over her speaks to how women, unfortunately, are treated in real life.
Oh, and let's all remember that Jasmine is a teenage girl, and this creepy old Jafar is trying to get with her. Yeah, that is wrong on so many levels.
Let's face it. Jasmine is the real hero of the movie. She speaks her truth and stays true to herself. She never gives into the men around her. She's an independent woman who refuses to be auctioned off like a piece of property. She controls her own destiny and won't let anyone tell her differently. Aladdin should probably just be renamed Jasmine.
And after all that, you'll once again notice Aladdin is far from perfect and has a long list of flaws. But it will always be nostalgic and a movie that taught audiences a lot — as both children and adults.
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