Aladdin (1992 Disney film)

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Aladdin is a 1992 American animated musical fantasy adventure film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The film is the 31st Disney animated feature film and was the fourth produced during the Disney Renaissance. It was produced and directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, and is based on the Arabic folktale of the same name from the One Thousand and One Nights. The voice cast features Scott Weinger, Robin Williams, Linda Larkin, Jonathan Freeman, Frank Welker, Gilbert Gottfried, and Douglas Seale. The film follows Aladdin, an Arabian street urchin, who finds a magic lamp containing a genie. He disguises himself as a wealthy prince, and tries to impress the Sultan and his daughter.Lyricist Howard Ashman first pitched the idea, and the screenplay went through three drafts before then-Disney Studios president Jeffrey Katzenberg agreed to its production. The animators based their designs on the work of caricaturist Al Hirschfeld, and computers were used for both finishing the artwork and creating some animated elements. The musical score was written by Alan Menken and features six songs with lyrics written by both Ashman and Sir Tim Rice, who took over after Ashman's death.Aladdin was released on November 25, 1992, to critical and commercial success, becoming the highest-grossing film of 1992 with an earn of over $504 million in worldwide box office revenue. Upon release, it became the first animated feature to reach the half-billion-dollar mark, and was the highest-grossing animated film of all time until it was surpassed by The Lion King (1994). Aladdin was also the last film by Disney to be entirely based on a fairytale or folklore until the release of Tangled (based on Rapunzel) in 2010, 17 years later. Aladdin garnered two Academy Awards, as well as other accolades for its soundtrack, which had the first and only number from a Disney feature to earn a Grammy Award for Song of the Year, for the film's "A Whole New World" sung by Regina Belle. The film's home video VHS release also set a sales record and grossed about $500Template:Nbspmillion in the United States. Template:Nobreak success led to various derived works and other material inspired by the film, including two direct-to-video sequels, The Return of Jafar (1994) and Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1996); an animated television series of the same name; and a Broadway adaptation. A live-action film adaptation was released on May 24, 2019.

Plot[change]

The film starts with a street peddler, guiding us through the streets of the fictional Arabian city of Agrabah, which is based mainly on a medieval city in the Middle East, the home of the 1001 Arabian Nights, and there are some inconsistencies in the time period. After trying to sell us on his wares, he pulls out an old oil lamp, claiming it "once changed the course of a young man's life. A young man who like this lamp was more than what he seemed: A diamond in the rough." The peddler then begins to tell us a tale, beginning on a dark night, where the Sultan's Grand Vizier, Jafar, meets with a thief named Gazeem, who hands over half of a gold scarab beetle, of which Jafar has the second half. Putting them together, the beetle flies off, before causing a giant tiger's head to rise from the sand: A place known as the Cave of Wonders. Jafar summons Gazeem to enter, instructing him to retrieve a lamp inside. However, upon approaching the Tiger's Head, it speaks that only one may enter: "One whose worth lies far within: the Diamond in the Rough!" Gazeem still attempts to enter upon Jafar's orders, but upon entering the tiger's mouth, it bites down on the thief, closing off the entryway before instructing Jafar again to seek out the Diamond in the Rough it was referring to. It is then that Jafar realizes he needs to find the Diamond in the Rough in order to enter. Jafar seeks to become sultan himself and become the new ruler of Agrabah. The next day, on the streets of Agrabah, a street urchin named Aladdin is struggling to steal a loaf of bread, along with his pet monkey, Abu. After outwitting the palace guards led by their captain, Razoul, the two settle down to eat their spoils, but are put off from satisfying their stomachs by a couple of hungry children. Aladdin and Abu give the two their bread, but are then sidetracked when a royal prince marches through the streets, and claims Aladdin to be nothing but "a worthless street rat." Aladdin and Abu then retire to their abode, with Aladdin promising his friend that someday, things will be better and people will see him for what he really is instead of as a public menace. The Sultan, meanwhile, is having problems with finding a prince for his daughter, Princess Jasmine, to marry, especially when the last suitor, whom is the same one who insulted Aladdin earlier, leaves after Jasmine's pet tiger Rajah bites into his pants. The Sultan talks to Jasmine, who claims she is tired of living her life being cooped up behind walls. The Sultan goes to consult with his adviser, Jafar. By mesmerizing him with his magical snake staff, Jafar convinces the Sultan that Jafar needs the Sultan's blue diamond ring to find Jasmine a husband. Jafar actually needs the ring to discover the identity of the "Diamond in the Rough." Jasmine, who does not want to be married off, decides to run away disguised as a peasant girl. However, her act of giving an apple to a hungry little boy lands her in trouble with the street merchant until Aladdin intervenes and leads Jasmine away just in time before she can lose a hand as payment for the fruit. Meanwhile, Jafar uses the blue diamond ring of the Sultan's and consults The Sands of Time, and discovers the identity of the "Diamond in the Rough": Aladdin. Aladdin has retreated with Jasmine to his and Abu's place, and she is rather taken by his kindness. However, Aladdin is suddenly set upon by the Royal Guards. It is then that Jasmine reveals herself to them, demanding Aladdin be released. However, Razoul claims he is acting under orders from Jafar, so Jasmine will need to speak with him to get Razoul to release Aladdin. When Jasmine confronts Jafar, he lies to her by saying he had already been executed for "kidnapping the princess." As Jasmine runs to the water fountain after confronting Jafar, she begins weeping over Aladdin's loss, and Rajah comforts her. In actuality, Aladdin has been imprisoned in the Royal Dungeon. Abu manages to free Aladdin, but are then met within the dungeon by an older prisoner, in reality a disguised Jafar, who shows Aladdin a hidden passageway out of the dungeon to free and take him to the Cave of Wonders. At the entrance, Jafar informs Aladdin that if he brings back the lamp, he will be rewarded. The Cave's tiger-shaped head allows Aladdin to enter, but he is instructed to touch only the lamp and nothing else. Aladdin and Abu venture deep into the cavern, where they first encounter a magic carpet, that then leads them to the lamp's location. Aladdin successfully retrieves the lamp, but Abu violates the rule the Cave's guardian imposed, and seizes a large ruby, enraging the tiger guardian, causing the cave to begin to collapse on them. Using the magic carpet, Aladdin and Abu manage to get to the entrance to the cave, where the disguised Jafar pleads for Aladdin to give him the lamp. Aladdin does so, and Jafar then reveals a dagger, intending to kill him. Luckily, Abu bites Jafar's arm, and Aladdin and Abu fall both back into the cavern, as the giant Tiger's Head disappears under the sand. Aladdin, Abu, and Carpet are trapped in the Cave of Wonders. Jafar then laughingly reaches for the lamp only to find it is gone because Abu stole it back. In the palace, a weeping Jasmine is comforted by the Sultan and informs him that Jafar has done something terrible. The Sultan comforts Jasmine and gets her to tell him what happened. When Jafar comes back, the Sultan confronts him for having an innocent person beheaded and informs him that he must discuss sentencing prisoners with him from now on. Deep within the cave, Aladdin begins to examine the lamp, finding a worn inscription on the side of it. Aladdin discovers that the lamp is home to a chaotic, fun-loving genie (simply named "Genie"), who will grant him any three wishes, excluding wishes to force a person to fall in love, kill someone, bring someone back from the dead, or give his master extra wishes. Aladdin tricks Genie into getting them out of the cave without technically wishing for him to do so. Once out of the cave, and in a small oasis, Aladdin gets to know Genie and asks him what he would wish for if he had the chance; Genie says he would wish for freedom (as he is a prisoner of the lamp), but that can only be granted if his master is benevolent enough to free him with a wish. Aladdin promises to set Genie free with his last wish. Aladdin, who has fallen in love with Jasmine, is disappointed that he could not wish to make her fall in love with him. However, the law states that only a prince can marry a princess, so he wishes to become a prince. Therefore, as his first wish, Genie turns Aladdin into a fabulously rich prince, and Abu is transformed into a large purple elephant to become Aladdin's mount, while Genie then goes further to make Aladdin's entrance into the palace one that will impress all of Agrabah. Meanwhile, Jafar, who is worried that Jasmine might have him beheaded as punishment for supposedly having Aladdin executed, comes up with the idea to convince the Sultan to let him become her husband with the help of his talking parrot and main assistant, Iago. He later tries to mesmerize the Sultan into granting this request with his staff. However, his plans are interrupted when a large and noisy royal procession enters the kingdom, proclaiming the arrival of "Prince Ali Ababwa" (aka Aladdin in his new persona). The procession is huge, with riches, exotic animals, hundreds of servants, and Aladdin himself. Aladdin's entourage bounds into the palace, impressing the Sultan. Jafar appears suspicious and cold toward the new suitor. Aladdin is taken to Jasmine, who is unimpressed and rebuffs Aladdin's charms, thinking him to be another ordinary rich and self-important prince like the previous ones. However, when Aladdin removes his turban to shoo away Rajah, Jasmine is reminded of the street urchin. Aladdin tries to gain Jasmine's interest again by telling her how rich and powerful he is, but she remains steadfastly ambivalent. Aladdin decides to leave Jasmine and steps off on his magic carpet. Jasmine chooses instead to ride with him. Afterwards, the carpet takes them to China, and Jasmine tricks Aladdin into admitting he's the street urchin she met in the marketplace. Aladdin naturally wishes to impress her, so he deceives her by telling her that he really is a prince and had often pretended to be a commoner to escape the restrictions of palace life, much like what Jasmine did she relates to. Aladdin brings Jasmine back to the palace, and the two of them share their first kiss together. Jafar is afraid that "Prince Abooboo", as he incorrectly calls him, may win Jasmine over, ruining his own scheme to marry her, but orders Aladdin out of the way. He orders Razoul and the guards to capture and kidnap Aladdin. The guards end up having Aladdin gagged with a white handkerchief and tied up in metal manacles (which is not a problem, as Razoul, the chief guard, is plagued with a lust for killing). He informs him that he has "worn out his welcome," and a guard clubs Aladdin unconscious, then drops Aladdin over a cliff into the sea. They have attached to his ankles a large metal ball-and-chain, so that he sinks faster. He hits the bottom, and his turban floats down. The lamp tumbles out, and he begins to struggle towards it (which is difficult as the ball-and-chain attached to his ankles pulls him back), but passes out from the lack of oxygen before he can reach it. Aladdin, bound and gagged, slides down towards the lamp, and rolls over, causing it to rub against his fingers. Genie appears (though apparently interrupted in the midst of taking a bath), and rescues Aladdin, using up his second wish. Aladdin and Genie return to the palace, and Aladdin confronts Jafar over having him almost killed. Jafar uses his cobra staff to try and brainwash the Sultan into believing Aladdin is lying, but Aladdin, seeing what he is doing, grabs the staff and shatters it. He then shows the Sultan that Jafar has been controlling him and plotting against him. The Sultan calls for the guards to arrest Jafar, but Jafar manages to escape and, before doing so, sees the lamp in Aladdin's possession. The Sultan is convinced that his troubles are over as Jasmine has finally chosen a suitor. All seems well, but the future responsibilities of being the new sultan begin to distress Aladdin. He realizes that his prince wish might wear off if the Genie is freed and begins to consider going back on his promise to free Genie, so he can keep a wish in reserve in case he is exposed in the future. Feeling betrayed by his friend, a heartbroken Genie angrily goes back inside the lamp, pointing out how much Aladdin has lied to get where he is. Chastened, especially after taking his anger at Genie out on Abu and Carpet, Aladdin decides to tell Jasmine the whole truth of the matter. Unfortunately, Aladdin leaves the lamp in his chamber, and Jafar summons Iago to steal it. With the lamp in hand, Jafar becomes Genie's next master, giving him three wishes. His first wish is to become sultan. When the former Sultan and Jasmine refuse to bow to him, he wishes to be the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Now Jafar forces them to bow to him. Jafar then uses his magic to expose Aladdin and then banish him with a makeshift rocket to "the ends of the earth", in one of the palace towers. "The ends of the earth" appear to be Antarctica, the mountains of Austria, the Arctic or possibly the Himalayas. Luckily, Abu and Carpet are banished with him, and Aladdin is able to fly back to Agrabah, intent on reclaiming the lamp. Meanwhile, Jafar, who is angry that Jasmine does not wish to become his queen, makes a wish for Genie to cause her to fall in love with him, so he can make her his queen. Genie tries to inform him that he could not grant that wish, but this only frustrates Jafar. Jasmine, who sees Aladdin sneaking into the palace, pretends that the wish has been granted, much to Genie's surprise, in order to distract Jafar. She even goes so far as to kiss him, causing Aladdin, Abu, the Genie, and even Iago to nearly vomit in disgust. At first, it seems to be working; Jafar, however, sees Aladdin's reflection in Jasmine's crown (made from her shackles via a performance of sorcery) and confronts him before he can reach the lamp. Jafar uses magic to imprison or transfigure all the good characters other than Aladdin himself, so they could not steal the lamp back, with Jasmine being trapped in an hourglass, Abu being turned into a wind-up monkey toy, and the carpet being unraveled. Jafar eventually turns himself into a giant cobra and fights Aladdin. When Aladdin appears to be defeated, Jafar informs Aladdin he was a fool for thinking he could defeat "the most powerful being on earth." Aladdin informs Jafar he is not the most powerful being on earth and that honor belongs to Genie since he gave Jafar his power in the first place and can therefore take Jafar's power away. Jafar decides to use his final wish to become the most powerful genie in the world. He is at first convinced that his new powers will allow him to rule the universe, but he realizes too late that Aladdin tricked him since, as a genie, Jafar is no longer free. Jafar is suddenly shackled and is sucked into the new lamp created by his wish and is trapped (along with Iago, who tries to flee, but he's dragged by the villain). Of course, since Aladdin is no longer a prince, he is not eligible to marry Jasmine. Genie, however, insists that Aladdin use his final wish to make himself a prince again, but nevertheless, he keeps his promise and wishes for Genie's freedom. When all seems lost for Aladdin and Jasmine, the Sultan decides that, between his loyalty to Genie and his courage in defeating Jafar, Aladdin has proven his worth; the Sultan, therefore, changes the law so that "the princess shall marry whomever she deems worthy," meaning Aladdin and Jasmine can be married. Genie flies away to see the world while the happy couple begins their new life together. At night, while the fireworks begin exploding, Aladdin and Jasmine share another kiss and fly off with Carpet near the moon. As "The End" writes in the sky, the moon laughs and turns around to show that it was really the Genie. Genie then pulls up the scene and says, "made you look," while the film ends.

Cast[change]

  • Scott Weinger as Aladdin, a poverty-stricken but well-meaning Agrabah thief. For his audition, Weinger sent in a homemade audition tape as Aladdin with his mother playing the Genie,[1] and after several callbacks found out six months later that he had been cast as the title character.[2] Aladdin's supervising animator was Glen Keane. Brad Kane provides Aladdin's singing voice.[3]
  • Robin Williams as Genie, a comedic jinnī with great power that can only be exercised when his master wishes it. Clements and Musker had written the role of the Genie for Robin Williams, and, when met with resistance, created a reel of a Williams stand-up to animation of the Genie. The directors asked Eric Goldberg, Genie's supervising animator, to animate the character over one of Williams's old stand-up comedy routines to pitch the idea to the actor. The resulting test, where Williams's stand-up about schizophrenia was translated into Genie growing another head to argue with himself, made Williams "laugh his ass off" and convinced him to sign on for the role. Williams's appearance in Aladdin marks the beginning of a transition in animation to celebrity voice actors, rather than specifically trained voice actors in animated films.[4]
  • Linda Larkin as Jasmine, the princess of Agrabah, who is bored of life in the royal palace. Larkin was chosen for the role of Jasmine nine months after her audition, and had to adjust, or lower, her high-pitched voice to reach the voice the filmmakers were looking for in the character.[5] Jasmine's supervising animator was Mark Henn. Lea Salonga provides Jasmine's singing voice.[6]
  • Jonathan Freeman as Jafar, the power-hungry Grand vizier of Agrabah. Freeman was the first actor cast and spent one year and nine months recording his dialogue. He later readjusted his voice after Weinger and Larkin were cast as he felt "Jafar had to be seen as a real threat to Aladdin and Jasmine",[7] as he was originally envisioned as an irritable character, but the directors decided that a calm villain would be scarier.[5] Jafar's supervising animator was Andreas Deja, while Jafar's beggar and snake forms are animated by Kathy Zielinski.[8]
  • Frank Welker as Abu, Aladdin's kleptomaniac pet monkey with a falsetto voice. Welker also voices Jasmine's tiger Rajah and the Cave of Wonders.[8] Duncan Marjoribanks was the supervising animator for Abu, while Rajah was animated by Aaron Blaise.
  • Gilbert Gottfried as Iago, Jafar's sardonic, hot-tempered parrot assistant. Will Finn was the supervising animator for Iago.
  • Douglas Seale as the Sultan, the dim-witted but friendly ruler of Agrabah, who desperately tries to find a suitor for his daughter Jasmine. The Sultan's supervising animator was David Pruiksma.
  • Jim Cummings as Razoul, the Captain of the Guards. He and the other guards were animated by Phil Young and Chris Wahl.
  • Charlie Adler as Gazeem, a thief that Jafar sends into the Cave of Wonders at the beginning of the film but is trapped inside for being unworthy. Gazeem was animated by T. Daniel Hofstedt.
  • Corey Burton as Prince Achmed, an arrogant prince whom Princess Jasmine rejects as a suitor.

Production[change]

Script and development[change]

In 1988, lyricist Howard Ashman pitched the idea of an animated musical adaptation of Aladdin. Ashman had written a 40-page film treatment remaining faithful to the plot and characters of the original story, but envisioned as a campy 1930s-style musical with a Cab Calloway/Fats Waller-like Genie.[9] Along with partner Alan Menken, Ashman conceived several songs and added Aladdin's friends named Babkak, Omar, and Kasim to the story.[10][11] However, the studio was dismissive of Ashman's treatment and removed the project from development. Ashman and Menken were later recruited to compose songs for Beauty and the Beast.[12] Linda Woolverton, who had also worked on Beauty and the Beast, used their treatment and developed a draft with inspired elements from The Thief of Bagdad such as a villain named Jaf'far, an aged sidekick retired human thief named Abu, and a human handmaiden for the princess.[13][14] Then, directors Ron Clements and John Musker joined the production, picking Aladdin out of three projects offered, which also included an adaptation of Swan Lake and King of the Jungle—that eventually became The Lion King.[15] Before Ashman's death in March 1991, Ashman and Menken had composed "Prince Ali" and his last song, "Humiliate the Boy".[16]

Musker and Clements wrote a draft of the screenplay, and then delivered a story reel to studio chief Jeffrey Katzenberg in April 1991.[11] Katzenberg thought the script "didn't engage", and on a day known by the staff as "Black Friday," demanded that the entire story be rewritten without rescheduling the film's November 25, 1992 release date.[17] Among the changes Katzenberg requested from Clements and Musker were to not be dependent on Ashman's vision,[10] and the removal of Aladdin's mother, remarking, "Eighty-six the mother. The mom's a zero."[18] Katzenberg also influenced in changing the plot element about Jasmine's marriage, which originally had her required by law to be married by sixteen, to remove the age—the Sultan only says "your next birthday"—and make it more specific that her suitor needed to be a prince, which would also set up the ending where the Sultan, inspired by Aladdin's altruism, changes the law to make Jasmine able to marry anyone she deems worthy.[19]

Screenwriting duo Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio were brought in to rework the story,[11] and the changes they made included the removal of Aladdin's mother, the strengthening of the character of Princess Jasmine, and the deletion of several of the Ashman-Menken songs.[20] Aladdin's personality was rewritten to be "a little rougher, like a young Harrison Ford,"[11][21] and the parrot Iago, originally conceived as an uptight British archetype, was reworked into a comic role after the filmmakers saw Gilbert Gottfried in Beverly Hills Cop II, who was then cast for the role.[22] By October 1991, Katzenberg was satisfied with the new version of Aladdin.[9] As with Woolverton's screenplay, several characters and plot elements were based on the 1940 version of The Thief of Bagdad,[23][24] though the location of the film was changed from Baghdad to the fictional Arabian city of Agrabah.[25]

Design and animation[change]

The design for most characters was based on the work of caricaturist Al Hirschfeld,[26] which production designer Richard Vander Wende also considered appropriate to the theme, due to similarities to the flowing and swooping lines found in Arabic calligraphy.[19] Jafar's design was not based on Hirschfeld's work because Jafar's supervising animator, Andreas Deja, wanted the character to be contrasting.[27] Each character was animated alone, with the animators consulting each other to make scenes with interrelating characters. Since Aladdin's animator Glen Keane was working in the California branch of Walt Disney Feature Animation, and Jasmine's animator Mark Henn was in the Florida one at Disney-MGM Studios, they had to frequently phone, fax or send designs and discs to each other.[19] The animators filmed monkeys at the San Francisco Zoo to study their movements for Abu's character.[5] Iago's supervising animator Will Finn tried to incorporate some aspects of Gottfried's appearance into Iago's design, especially his semi-closed eyes and the always-appearing teeth.[5] Some aspects of the Sultan were inspired by the Wizard of Oz, to create a bumbling authority figure.[5] Andreas Deja, Jafar's supervising animator, tried to incorporate Jonathan Freeman's facial expressions and gesturing into the character.[26] Animator Randy Cartwright described working on the Magic Carpet as challenging, since it is only a rectangular shape, that expresses itself through pantomime—"It's sort of like acting by origami".[19] Cartwright kept folding a piece of cloth while animating to see how to position the Carpet.[19] After the character animation was done, the carpet's surface design was applied digitally.[26]

Template:Quote box Designed by a team led by supervising animator Glen Keane, Aladdin was initially going to be as young as thirteen, and was originally made to resemble actor Michael J. Fox. During production, it was decided that the design was too boyish and wasn't "appealing enough," so the character was made eighteen and redesigned to add elements derived from actor Tom Cruise and Calvin Klein models.[28][29]

For the scenery design, various architectural elements seen in 19th-century orientalist paintings and photographs of the Arab world were used for guidance.[30] Other inspirations for design were Disney's animated films from the 1940s and '50s and the 1940 film The Thief of Bagdad.[19] The coloring was done with the computerized CAPS process, and the color motifs were chosen according to the personality—the protagonists use light colors such as blue, the antagonists darker ones such as red and black, and Agrabah and its palace use the neutral color yellow.[5][26] Computer animation was used for some elements of the film, such as the tiger entrance of the Cave of Wonders and the scene where Aladdin tries to escape the collapsing cave.[26]

Musker and Clements created the Genie with Robin Williams in mind; even though Katzenberg suggested actors such as John Candy, Steve Martin, and Eddie Murphy, Williams was approached and eventually accepted the role. Williams came for voice recording sessions during breaks in the shooting of two other films he was starring in at the time, Hook and Toys. Unusually for an animated film, much of Williams's dialogue was ad-libbed: for some scenes, Williams was given topics and dialogue suggestions, but allowed to improvise his lines.[26] It was estimated that Williams improvised 52 characters.[31] Eric Goldberg, the supervising animator for the Genie, then reviewed Williams's recorded dialogue and selected the best gags and lines that his crew would create character animation to match.[26]

The producers added many in-jokes and references to Disney's previous works in the film, such as a "cameo appearance" from directors Clements and Musker and drawing some characters based on Disney workers.[8] Beast, Sebastian from The Little Mermaid, and Pinocchio make brief appearances,[5] and the wardrobe of the Genie at the end of the film—Goofy hat, Hawaiian shirt, and sandals—are a reference to a short film that Robin Williams did for the Disney-MGM Studios tour in the late 1980s.[8]

Robin Williams's conflicts with the studio[change]

Initially, Robin Williams voiced Genie under the condition that his voice not be used for excessive marketing or merchandising.

In gratitude for his success with Touchstone Pictures' Good Morning, Vietnam, Robin Williams voiced the Genie for SAG scale pay—$75,000—instead of his asking fee of $8 million, on condition that his name or image not be used for marketing, and his (supporting) character not take more than 25% of space on advertising artwork, since Williams's film Toys was scheduled for release one month after AladdinTemplate:'s debut. For financial reasons, the studio went back on the deal on both counts, especially in poster art by having the Genie in 25% of the image, but having other major and supporting characters portrayed considerably smaller. The Disney Hyperion book Aladdin: The Making of an Animated Film listed both of Williams's characters "The Peddler" and "The Genie" ahead of main characters, but was forced to refer to him only as "the actor signed to play the Genie".[29][32][33]

Disney, while not using Williams's name in commercials as per the contract, used his voice for the Genie in the commercials and used the Genie character to sell toys and fast food tie-ins, without having to pay Williams additional money; Williams unhappily quipped at the time, "The only reason Mickey Mouse has three fingers is because he can't pick up a check." Williams explained to New York magazine that his previous Mork & Mindy merchandising was different because, "the image is theirs. But the voice, that's me; I gave them myself. When it happened, I said, 'You know I don't do that.' And they [Disney] apologized; they said it was done by other people."[34] Disney attempted to assuage Williams by sending him a Pablo Picasso painting worth more than $1 million at the time, but this move failed to repair the damaged relationship, as the painting was a self-portrait of the artist as Vincent van Gogh which apparently really "clashed" with the Williams's wilder home decor.[35] Williams refused to sign on for The Return of Jafar so it was Dan Castellaneta that voiced the Genie. When Jeffrey Katzenberg was replaced by Joe Roth as Walt Disney Studios chairman, Roth organized a public apology to Williams.[36] Williams would, in turn, reprise the role in the 1996 direct-to-video sequel Aladdin and the King of Thieves.[37]

Music[change]

The third—after The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast—and final Disney film score the duo would work on, Alan Menken and Howard Ashman began writing the Academy Award-winning score together, with Tim Rice taking over as lyricist after Ashman died of AIDS-related complications part way through the production of Aladdin in early 1991.[38] Although fourteen songs were written for Aladdin, only seven are featured in the movie, three by Ashman, and four by Rice.[39] Composer Alan Menken and songwriters Howard Ashman and Tim Rice were praised for creating a soundtrack that is "consistently good, rivaling the best of Disney's other animated musicals from the '90s."[40] The DVD Special Edition released in 2004 includes four songs in early animation tests, and a music video of one, "Proud of Your Boy", performed by Clay Aiken,[41] which also appears on the album Disneymania 3.[42] The version of the song "A Whole New World" performed by Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle, which plays over the end credits, is, Template:As of, the only Disney song to win a Grammy Award for Song of the Year.

Themes[change]

Template:Quote box The filmmakers thought the moral message of the original tale was inappropriate, and decided to "put a spin on it" by making the fulfillment of wishes seem like a great solution, but eventually becoming a problem.[19] Another major theme was avoiding an attempt to be what the person is not—both Aladdin and Jasmine get into trouble pretending to be different people,[5] and the Prince Ali persona fails to impress Jasmine, who only falls for Aladdin when she finds out who he truly is.[43] Being "imprisoned" is also presented, a fate that occurs to most of the characters—Aladdin and Jasmine are limited by their lifestyles, Genie is attached to his lamp, and Jafar to the Sultan—and is represented visually by the prison-like walls and bars of the Agrabah palace, and the scene involving caged birds which Jasmine later frees.[5] Jasmine is also depicted as a different Disney Princess, being rebellious against the royal life and the social structure.[44]

Release[change]

Box office[change]

A large promotion campaign preceded AladdinTemplate:'s debut in theaters, with the film's trailer being attached to most Disney VHS releases (including 101 Dalmatians in April 1992 and Beauty and the Beast in October), and numerous tie-ins and licensees being released.[45] After a limited release on November 13, 1992,[46] Aladdin debuted in 1,131 theaters on November 25, 1992, grossing $19.2 million in its opening weekend—number two at the box office, behind Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.[47] It took eight weeks for the film to reach number one at the US box office, breaking the record for the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve with $32.2 million.[48] The film held the top spot five times during its 22-week run.[49] Aladdin was the most successful film of 1992 grossing $217 million in the United States and over $504 million worldwide.[50] It was the biggest gross for an animated film until The Lion King two years later, and was the first full-length animated film to gross $200 million in North America.[51]

Outside of North America, the film grossed $200 million in 1993,[52] and $250 million by January 1994.[53] By 2002, the film had grossed $287 million overseas and $504 million worldwide.[54] Currently, it is the 35th-highest-grossing animated film and the third-highest-grossing traditionally animated feature worldwide, behind The Lion King and The Simpsons Movie.[55] It sold an estimated 52,442,300 tickets in the United States,[56] where its domestic gross is equivalent to $477,749,800 adjusted for inflation in 2018.[57]

Home media[change]

The film was first released in VHS on October 1, 1993, as part of the Walt Disney Classics line. In its first week of availability, Aladdin sold over 10.6 million copies,[58] grossing about $265Template:Nbspmillion in the United States.[59] In less than three weeks, the VHS release of Aladdin sold over 16Template:Nbspmillion units and grossed over $400Template:Nbspmillion in the United States.[60] By December 1993, it had topped 21Template:Nbspmillion sales and grossed about $500Template:Nbspmillion in the United States.[61] By 1994, it went on to sell over 25 million units in total (a record only broken by the later release of The Lion King).[62] This VHS edition entered moratorium on April 30, 1994.[63] A THX-certified widescreen LaserDisc was issued on September 21, 1994,[64][65]Template:Better source and a Spanish-dubbed VHS for the American market was released on April 14, 1995.[66] In Japan, 2.2Template:Nbspmillion home video units were sold by 1995.[67][68]

On October 5, 2004, Aladdin was rereleased onto VHS and for the first time released onto DVD, as part of Disney's Platinum Edition line. The DVD release featured retouched and cleaned-up animation, prepared for AladdinTemplate:'s planned but ultimately cancelled IMAX reissue in 2003,[69] and a second disc with bonus features. Accompanied by a $19 million marketing campaign,[70] the DVD sold about 3 million units in its first month.[71] The film's soundtrack was available in its original Dolby 5.1 track or in a new Disney Enhanced Home Theater Mix.[41] The DVD went into moratorium in January 2008, along with its sequels.[72]

According to an insert in the Lady and the Tramp Diamond Edition release case, Aladdin was going to be released on Blu-ray Disc as a Diamond Edition in Spring 2013.[73] Instead, Peter Pan was released on Blu-ray as a Diamond Edition on February 5, 2013 to celebrate its 60th anniversary.[74][75] A non-Diamond Edition Blu-ray was released in a few select European countries in March 2013. The Belgian edition (released without advertisements, commercials or any kind of fanfare) comes as a single-disc version with its extras ported over from the Platinum Edition DVD. The same disc was released in the United Kingdom on April 14, 2013.[76] Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released the film on a Diamond Edition Blu-ray on October 13, 2015. The film was released on Digital HD on September 29, 2015.[77][78][79] Upon its first week of release on home media in the U.S., the film topped the Blu-ray Disc sales chart and debuted at number 2 at the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks overall disc sales behind the disaster film San Andreas.[80] The film's Blu-ray release in the United States sold 1.81Template:Nbspmillion units and grossed $39 million, Template:As of.[81]

Aladdin was re-released on HD and 4K digital download on August 27, 2019, with a physical media re-release on Blu-ray and Ultra HD Blu-ray on September 10, 2019, as part of the Walt Disney Signature Collection.

Reception[change]

Critical reception[change]

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 95% of critics gave the film a positive review based on a sample of 74 reviews, with an average rating of 8.15/10. The site's consensus reads, "A highly entertaining entry in Disney's renaissance era, Aladdin is beautifully drawn, with near-classic songs and a cast of scene-stealing characters."[82] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 86 out of 100 based on 25 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[83] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a rare "A+" grade.[84]

Most critics' praise went to Robin Williams's performance as Genie,[82] with Janet Maslin of The New York Times declaring that children "needn't know precisely what Mr. Williams is evoking to understand how funny he is",[85] and Roger Ebert commenting that Williams and animation "were born for one another".[86] Warner Bros. Cartoons director Chuck Jones even called the film "the funniest feature ever made."[11] Furthermore, English-Irish comedian Spike Milligan considered it to be the greatest film of all time.[87] James Berardinelli gave it 3.5 out of 4 stars, praising the "crisp visuals and wonderful song-and-dance numbers."[88] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone said the comedy made the film accessible to both children and adults,[89] a vision shared with Desson Howe of The Washington Post, who also said "kids are still going to be entranced by the magic and adventure."[90] Brian Lowry of Variety praised the cast of characters, describing the expressive magic carpet as "its most remarkable accomplishment" and considered that "Aladdin overcomes most story flaws thanks to sheer technical virtuosity."[91]

Some aspects of the film were widely criticized. Ed Gonzalez of Slant Magazine wrote a negative review, describing the film as racist, ridiculous, and a "narcissistic circus act" from Robin Williams.[92] Roger Ebert, who generally praised the film in his review, considered the music inferior to its predecessors The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, and claimed Aladdin and Jasmine were "pale and routine." He criticized what he saw as the film's use of ethnic stereotypes, writing: "Most of the Arab characters have exaggerated facial characteristics—hooked noses, glowering brows, thick lips—but Aladdin and the princess look like white American teenagers."[86]

Accolades[change]

Aladdin also received many award nominations, mostly for its music. It won two Academy Awards, Best Original Score and Best Original Song for "A Whole New World" and receiving nominations for Best Song ("Friend Like Me"), Best Sound Editing (Mark A. Mangini), and Best Sound (Terry Porter, Mel Metcalfe, David J. Hudson and Doc Kane).[93] At the Golden Globes, Aladdin won Best Original Song ("A Whole New World") and Best Original Score, as well as a Special Achievement Award for Robin Williams, with a nomination for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.[94] Other awards included the Annie Award for Best Animated Feature,[95] a MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance to Robin Williams,[96] Saturn Awards for Best Fantasy Film, Performance by a Younger Actor to Scott Weinger and Supporting Actor to Robin Williams,[97] the Best Animated Feature by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association,[98] and four Grammy Awards, Best Soundtrack Album, and Song of the Year, Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television for "A Whole New World".[99]

The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

2004: AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs:

  • "Friend Like Me" – Nominated
  • "A Whole New World" – Nominated

Controversies[change]

One of the verses of the opening song "Arabian Nights" was altered following complaints from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). The lyrics were changed in July 1993 from "Where they cut off your ear if they don't like your face" in the original release to "Where it's flat and immense and the heat is intense," with the change first appearing on the 1993 video release.[100] The original lyric was intact on the initial CD soundtrack release, but the re-releases use the edited lyric. The Broadway adaptation also uses the edited line.[101] The rerecording has the original voice on all other lines and then a noticeably deeper voice says the edited line. The subsequent line however, "It's barbaric, but hey, it's home," was left intact. Entertainment Weekly ranked Aladdin in a list of the most controversial films in history, due to this incident.[102] The number has been described in reviews as "simultaneously glamorizing and barbarizing the Arab world."[103] The ADC also complained about the portrayal of the lead characters Aladdin and Jasmine. They criticized the characters' anglicized features and Anglo-American accents, in contrast to the other characters in the film, which have foreign accents, grotesque facial features, and appear villainous or greedy.[100]

Concerns were also raised to another scene. When Aladdin is threatened by the tiger Rajah on the palace balcony, Aladdin quietly says a line that some people reported hearing as "Good teenagers, take off your clothes,"[104] which they considered a subliminal reference to promiscuity. However, according to the commentary track on the 2004 DVD, while Musker and Clements did admit Scott Weinger ad-libbed during the scene, they claimed "we did not record that, we would not record that," and said the line was "Good tiger, take off and go..." and the word "tiger" is overlapped by Rajah's snarl.[105] After the word tiger, a second voice can be heard which has been suggested was accidentally grafted onto the soundtrack. Because of the controversy, Disney removed the line on the DVD release.[106]

Animation enthusiasts have noticed similarities between Aladdin and Richard Williams's unfinished film The Thief and the Cobbler (also known as The Princess and the Cobbler under Allied Filmmakers and Arabian Knight under Miramax Films). These similarities include a similar plot, similar characters, scenes and background designs, and the antagonist Zig-Zag's resemblance in character design and mannerisms to Genie and Jafar.[107][108] Though Aladdin was released prior to The Thief and the Cobbler, The Thief and the Cobbler initially began production much earlier in the 1960s, and was mired in difficulties including financial problems, copyright issues, story revisions and late production times caused by separate studios trying to finish the film after Richard Williams was fired from the project for lack of finished work.[109] The late release, coupled with Miramax purchasing and re-editing the film, has sometimes resulted in The Thief and the Cobbler being labeled a rip-off of Aladdin.[108]

Legacy[change]

Template:Expand section Alongside its role in the Disney Renaissance, Aladdin is often credited as the catalyst in the rise of casting film stars as voice actors in Hollywood animated films with the success of Robin Williams's Genie performance.[110][111][112][113] Entertainment writer Scott Meslow wrote that compared with the character of Aladdin, "Williams's Genie is the character audiences responded to, and—more importantly to Disney—its most marketable character by far", which he concludes led to the "celebrification" of later animated films such as Shark Tale (2004) and Puss in Boots (2011).[112]

Live-action adaptations[change]

Live-action prequel spin-off[change]

On July 15, 2015, the studio announced the development of a live-action comedy adventure prequel called Genies. The film was being written by Mark Swift and Damian Shannon, while Tripp Vinson was on board to produce via his Vinson Films banner. It was intended to serve as a lead to the live-action Aladdin film.[114] On November 8, Disney revealed it had originally planned to use Robin Williams's unused lines from the 1991–92 recording sessions for the film, but his will prohibited the studio from using his likeness for 25 years after his 2014 death.[115]

Live-action film[change]

In October 2016, it was reported that Disney was developing a live-action adaptation of Aladdin with Guy Ritchie signed on to direct the film. John August is writing the script, which will reportedly retain the musical elements of the original film, while Dan Lin is attached as producer.[116] Lin revealed that they were looking for a diverse cast.[117] In April 2017, Will Smith entered talks to play the Genie.[118] The following month, Jade Thirlwall entered talks to portray the role of Jasmine.[119] Alan Menken said filming was slated to begin August 2017.[120] Production had originally been scheduled to begin in July, but was delayed due to Disney having trouble finding the right people to play Aladdin and Jasmine. British actress Naomi Scott and Indian actress Tara Sutaria were being considered to play Jasmine. For the role of Aladdin, British actors Riz Ahmed and Dev Patel were initially considered, but it was later decided that a newcomer should be cast in the role.[121] In July 2017, it was announced that Egyptian-Canadian actor Mena Massoud had been cast as Aladdin, Scott as Jasmine, and Smith as the Genie.[122][123] At the 2017 D23 Expo, Menken announced that he would be co-writing new songs for the film with Academy Award winners Pasek and Paul[124] while Vanessa Taylor would re-write the script.[125] In August 2017, Marwan Kenzari, Nasim Pedrad, and Numan Acar joined the cast as Jafar, Dalia, and Hakim, respectively.[126][127] The following month, Billy Magnussen and Navid Negahban were cast as Prince Anders and the Sultan, respectively.[128][129] Filming began on September 6, 2017 at Longcross Studios and concluded on January 24, 2018.[130][131] The film was released on May 24, 2019.[132]

See also[change]

External links[change]

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