Monday, August 31, 2015

My Review of Aladdin (1992)

Written by Ron Clements And John Musker And Ted Elliott And Terry Rossio
Directed by Ron Clements And John Musker

Aladdin: "Someday, Abu, things are gonna change. We'll be rich, live in a palace, and never have any problems at all."

I've been meaning to review this one for a while now. One of my favourite Disney movies of all time and one I recently familiarised myself with again by buying the actual DVD, this rather loose but sort of faithful (ish) adaptation of the legend was in a slew of amazing films from the 1990s and from Disney's overall collection at the time.

The story is rather simple - master thief/street Aladdin and his monkey spent most of the time on the streets of Agrabah scraping by, stealing food here and there and generally making idiots out of the Sultan's inept guards until a chance meeting with Princess Jasmine results in Aladdin being thrown into a cell and the rather evil vizier Jafar deciding to use Aladdin's expert skills to enter the Cave of Wonders and get the lamp for him.

Of course that doesn't exactly pan out for Jafar, but Aladdin does summon the genie to transform into Prince Ali in order to impress the not so easily impressed Jasmine, who spends a great deal of the movie tiring of her father's attempts to marry her off. Eventually her and Aladdin/Ali do form a connection (along a romantic carpet ride) before Jafar's true colours are exposed and the genie falls into the wrong hands.

One of the reasons why I love this movie so much isn't just that Aladdin is the most perfect hero a Disney movie could conjure up but it's also that Jafar is the most perfect villain too. He's gloriously OTT in every moment, even his subtle ones and the partnership between him and malicious parrot Iago is one of the best villain partnerships of the entire movie.

To be honest the only main character here who is in any way short changed is the Sultan. He's well meaning but largely clueless to his daughter's needs and a little too easily manipulated by Jafar, even when he's not being hypnotised by the latter. Other than that, you've got a root worthy love story with Aladdin and Jasmine, genuinely fantastic villains with Jafar and Iago and wonderful support with Abu and the Magic Carpet. As for the Genie - it's one of my favourite roles with Robin Williams. He's the absolute highlight of the entire movie.

- I used to actually have the Sega Mega Drive game for this movie as a kid. It was a pretty fun game.
- Loved the little cameos of other Disney movie characters as well, courtesy of the Genie.
- The music highlights are too many but obviously, A Whole New World is the biggest one of the bunch. I also loved Jafar's mocking take on Prince Ali as well when revealing his new found power.
- There has been at least two sequels and a TV series to this movie. A live action movie is also being rumoured as well.

Easily one of the best Disney movies I've ever seen and one of my childhood favourites as well. Aladdin is a timeless classic that even over 20 years since it's release has held up incredibly well to this day. A definite must watch.

Rating: 10 out of 10

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