Jen Juneau
September 26, 2016 1:54 pm
Disney

Aladdin is my second-favorite Disney animated film after Lady and the Tramp. (I still can’t explain why I love Lady and the Tramp more, because I’m really much more of a cat person than a dog person, anyway.) I do think most of my love for Aladdin stems from the fact that I was 7-years-old when it came out: the target age demographic. It is the age when you’re old enough to begin experiencing the deep feels beneath the cartoony surface, but still young enough to believe in the magical elements and the validity of the characters’ identities without REALLY having to convince yourself.

But Aladdin is a masterpiece; I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love it. The music, the conflict, the romance, GILBERT GOTTFRIED (even though obviously the voice MVP is Robin Williams). It’s the only show I’ve ever seen on Broadway – and pretty recently too, just a couple months ago.

But nothing is perfect — not even Aladdin, hence the fact that, 24 years later, I still have a few bones I need to pick with this movie (sorry, Al).

The only explanation we’re given for why Aladdin won’t get eaten by the Cave of Wonders if he tries to enter is that he’s a “Diamond in the Rough.” First off, let’s be real, Al didn’t need the ego boost.

But what actually made him so special? We never really get a backstory as to why this random guy was cool to enter the cave, or how he so conveniently lived down the street from the palace.

Follow-up question: Is that the only thing this diamond can do? I have serious doubts that its power is limited to “Showing the possessor who can get that lamp out of that cave.” Maybe Jafar should’ve focused his efforts more on figuring out the extent of the diamond’s power — instead of stealing a lamp. But then we wouldn’t have a movie and that would suck, so never mind. I’ll give you this one, Jafar.

When we first meet Aladdin, we learn three things about him: 1) He’s a thief, 2) He’s dreamy AF, and 3) He has some magical superpower that keeps a fez on his head no matter what he’s doing.

Like tumbling backward out of windows.

Playing sheep hopscotch.

Getting inappropriately and violently cradled by lonely village women.

Even literally bending over to the side so there is absolutely nothing that could be keeping that damn thing in place.

Abu has the power too, demonstrated when he participates in activities like swordfighting, swinging, and binge-eating resentfully.

Disney / i.imgur.com

And there is no strap to hold those bad boys in place a la Disney Parks Mickey ears, so WHAT IS IT? Definitely a storyline that was not explained and could be connected to the first question.

I was originally going to make this question, “Does no one in all of Agrabah know enough geography to realize there’s no such place as Ababwa?” but I gave the writers the benefit of the doubt. I’ll assume the Genie’s magic just made everyone conveniently not question it.

But if you’re powerful enough to make EVERYONE believe in a fictional country, there’s NO WAY you can’t make one person fall in love with another. The bringing-back-from-the-dead thing, fine — that’s a whole other movie that probably doesn’t need to be made But I simply don’t buy the romance thing. Who hurt you, Genie?

Before the “A Whole New World” scene, Jasmine pretty quickly figures out that Ali isn’t who he says he is — since Al asks “Do you trust me?” the same way he did when they first met. But homegirl waits until she gets a ride on the Ferrari of magical modes of transportation to call him out. I respect it.

That being said, as soon as she tricks him into confessing (again, MAD respect), she doesn’t prioritize tracking down Jafar to see why he lied about having Aladdin killed  under the guise of protecting her. It could’ve saved SO much drama, including that whole gross underage S&M/slavery thing. Like, I know Jasmine was smitten and therefore distracted because of teenage hormones and all that, but she’s also pretty much the opposite of stupid or naïve.

Oh, you fell in LOVE? Well, time to make some changes! Never mind that you’re only 16 years old (AGAIN, HORMONES), don’t want to be forced into marriage, and I have enough money to keep you rich without a partner for the rest of your life (and any of your descendants’ lives). There’s a man here now, and he’s pretty good-looking and voiced by Steve from Full House, SO LET ME LOW-KEY CHANGE THE LAW I TOLD YOU WE HAD TO FOLLOW BUT ACTUALLY COULD’VE UPDATED THIS WHOLE TIME AND DIDN’T.

SMH, Sultan. The slowest ruler in all of the land. Good thing Jasmine’s mom wasn’t so picky. But hey, at least everyone gets a happy ending.

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