Ossus Library Index Fantasy Movie Index

ALADDIN

Directed by Ron Clements & John Musker (1992, Walt Disney Pictures)
Featuring voices by Robin Williams, and Lea Salonga

A peasant boy finds a magic lamp, and uses his three wishes to win the princess and defeat an evil magician.

View Count: 5 times

 

 

4 stars

December 1st, 2004 on DVD

 
    This movie works well as both a comedy and a love story. Aladdin, being a "street rat", doesn't believe he is a prince, even after being made into one by the genie. His lies, of course, build up more and more, and he can't let go of them. When he is caught, in a terrific scene where Jasmine figures out who he is, he creates more outrageous lies. Fortunately, he really is a "diamond in the rough", and he can't let anything bad happen to anybody, from the little toddlers in the street, to the Sultan and his daughter. He is more than a match for Jafar, because he has a true heart, and evil cannot resist the temptations it is given.

The best part of this movie is the combination of music and animation. Although nothing compared to movies that followed, like Lion King and Mulan, the animation captures a lot of movement and detail, and is quite beautiful. Unfortunately, this movie doesn't really make much use of the widescreen format, as everything is pretty much centered in the frame. The video, however, was incredibly enhanced compared to the original. For a quick comparison, check out the original 1992 music video of A Whole New World!

The songs, of course, were terrific. When we first saw this movie, back in theatres twelve years ago, we bought the soundtrack CD, and listened to it over and over. When the songs were playing in this edition, we still knew all of the words! I wish the movie had more songs in the second half, as the first half is quite song-intensive, and it would have evened things out a little. "A Whole New World" is a terrific ballad, which holds as much meaning today as when it was first written -it is one of those timeless tunes.

I have a solution to genie's problem with getting released and making Aladdin a prince again: get Jasmine to rub the lamp, like Jafar did. She can wish for a prince, and Aladdin still has a wish left. So there!

All of the characters were well-developed, but I think two of the most developed of them were Abu and Iago. They were both hilarious, with Abu hanging onto Aladdin, and being the selfish part of him, the spiteful way we sometimes want to be. I loved his reaction to having to give bread to the young children. Iago was so sarcastic and hilarious himself. His "why am I not surprised? I'm going to die of not surprise" at the fact that the thief was not worthy of entering the cave, was downright awesome. The magic carpet was also imbued with so much personality that I was amazed once again.

The sequels to this movie go way downhill from this terrific story. I found them dull, and I could never buy into the way Jafar defeated the lamp to become powerful again without the restrictions of a genie. It's almost as if Genie had a conscience, but Jafar, not having one, could do as he wished. I don't remember much about the third one, except that I couldn't wait for it to be over.

This movie, however, is definitely worth seeing on the clarity of DVD.

 

 

4 stars

September 12th, 1999 on Video

 
    I still love this movie. It wasn't quite as funny as it has been in the past, but it is still full of very funny moments. When I first saw this one, I was in a very stressed state of mind, and it was just the thing to break that. I think I saw it twice in the theatre, I thought it was so funny. Robin Williams is just great, and the animated genie is purely him. The princess is just another in Disney's long line of strong women leads. But I still don't understand why Aladdin's first wish wasn't really fulfilled.  If the genie has to make him a prince on the first wish, he shouldn't have to do it again later. Jafar's magic shouldn't be able to counteract that. So Aladdin is really a prince at the end of the movie. Ah well. It's still really fun.  
   

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