Aladdin (1992)

aladdin poster 1992 movie
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Strong story, strong art, good characters

Helped radically change Disney films and turned them into a goliath

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Aladdin

Studio:  Walt Disney Feature Animation

Genre(s):  Animated/Musical/Action/Adventure/Romance/Family

Release Date(s):  November 25, 1992

MPAA Rating:  G

aladdin 1992 never had a friend like me genie robin williams

Now, the movie is hijacked by the Robin Williams’ stand up show!

Aladdin is just a street rat in Agrabah and with his monkey Abu dreams of more.  When he meets the Sultan’s runaway daughter Jasmine, he finds himself falling in love.  Aladdin, however, is the only one who can enter the Cave of Wonders to retrieve the magic lamp that the Sultan’s evil vizier Jafar.  When Aladdin accidentally frees the Genie from the lamp, he learns that he has three wishes…and a chance to be the prince that Jasmine needs.  Unfortunately, Jafar isn’t through with Aladdin and has his own plans for the power of the Genie.

Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, Aladdin was the thirty-first film in the Walt Disney Animated Classic series.  The movie followed the massive hit Beauty and the Beast from 1991 and became a blockbuster itself.  With positive reviews, Aladdin was the winner of the Academy Awards for Best Music—Original Song for “A Whole New World” and Best Music—Original Score with nominations for Best Sound, Best Effects/Sound Editing, and another Best Music—Original Song for “Friend Like Me” and has become a Disney classic.

aladdin ed sullivan robin williams genie

All the kids were clamoring for more Ed Sullivan impersonations in 1992….yeah

The story for Aladdin is very classic and comes from The Arabian Nights (though it was added later).  The original Aladdin was supposed to be from China but has traditionally been displayed as a Middle Eastern man in stories.  Disney weaved this story and the story of Genie into a rather Cinderella-esque story for boys.  That is the rather odd thing about Aladdin, though girls can enjoy it, it is one of Disney’s versions of a “princess” story for boys.

I also see this film as a turn for Disney in that this is where Disney really started to recruit big time actors for the major roles.  Traditionally, they had done this in the past, but now it was more obvious…and with Robin Williams as “the star”, the movie also decided to do more jokes aimed at adult viewers who were accompanying their children…something that had been very limited.  Disney movies were for kids and it was more important to entertain kids than the adults (which they still could do with solid storytelling)…I’m sure a kid doesn’t get an Ed Sullivan joke (which even dated humor when Aladdin came out).  This is a pet peeve with modern movies for kids…they do not have to have a joke a minute and they do not have to entertain adults.

aladdin a whole new world magic carpet jasmine

I’d advise not singing into the wind…you’ll probably swallow a bug

The art is in traditional animation style combined with computer technology.  The results are quite strong, and like Beauty and the Beast, the movie feels top of the line for the time it was released.  The characters are smooth, sleek, and memorable and Agrabah provides a lush setting.

Aladdin was released to a bit of controversy.  Robin Williams found himself in conflict with the studio due to the fact he had put in his contract that he would do the film for scale pay and that in exchange Disney couldn’t make him the “star” with tons of merchandising…Disney of course broke this aspect of the contract leading to Williams withdrawing from the direct-to-video sequel Aladdin:  The Return of Jafar (Dan Castellaneta filled in for him on it and the TV series).  The rift was mended by the firing of Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Williams did voice the Genie for Aladdin and the King of Thieves in 1996.

aladdin jafar genie ending

Jafar brings atomic war to the planet!!!

Aladdin was part of Disney’s renaissance which began with The Little Mermaid.  For better or worse with movies like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin, the ‘’90s helped make Disney what it is today…a giant beast with its fingers in everything.  Disney wasn’t finished with its massive relaunch and reimagining of their brand with AladdinAladdin also has the distinction of having the first direct-to-video Disney film sequel with Aladdin:  The Return of Jafar in 1994 which opened its own “whole new world” to Disney’s marketing and sales.  Disney followed Aladdin with its first original story and another one of its biggest films The Lion King in 1994.  A live action remake of Aladdin was also released in 2019.

Related Links:

Aladdin (2019)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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