Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Aladdin (1992 film)
Aladdin is an animated feature produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation that was released on November 25, 1992 by Walt Disney Pictures and Buena Vista Distribution. It relates a version of the story of Aladdin and the magic lamp from The Book of One Thousand and One Nights. As is usual with Disney film adaptations, many aspects of the traditional story were changed for the film.
It was directed by Ron Clements and John Musker and songs were by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman (with additional lyrics provided by Tim Rice after Ashman's death). Menken received the 1992 Academy Award for Original Music Score of Aladdin. The main soundtrack song "A Whole New World" by Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle won a Grammy Award in 1993.
Voice actors included Robin Williams as the Genie. In fact, this was the first major American animated feature film in which particular attention was paid to a celebrity cast member, such as a major movie star, in the film as part of its promotion. This has led to a subsequent increased attention to the casts of later productions, such as Toy Story and Shrek, as a major element of animated film marketing.
The sultan (who is never given a name) of a mystical land called Agrabah is secretly being controlled by his grand vizier, Jafar. Jafar, who is also a sorcerer, wants to be the sultan himself and rule Agrabah; to further his goals he has spent years searching for the Cave of Wonders, so he can harness the power of the Genie of the Lamp found within. However, Jafar discovers that only one person, a metaphorical "Diamond in the Rough," can enter the Cave.
The sultan, meanwhile, is having problems with finding a prince for his daughter, Princess Jasmine, to marry and Jafar convinces the sultan, by mesmerizing him, that he needs his 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. In the anarchy of the streets, she is saved by a street urchin named Aladdin, though she doesn't learn his name. Meanwhile, Jafar discovers that Aladdin is the "Diamond in the Rough", and he sends palace guards to apprehend him. When Jasmine asks what happened to her savior, Jafar lies to her, falsely reporting that Aladdin had been executed for "kidnapping the princess."
Later, Jafar, disguised as an old man, sneaks Aladdin to freedom and takes him to the Cave of Wonders. Jafar tells Aladdin that if he brings back the lamp, he will be rewarded. The Cave admits Aladdin entrance, but only if he touches nothing more than the lamp. Inside the Cave, Aladdin successfully finds the lamp, but his pet monkey, Abu, loses control and attempts to take a jewel, causing the cave to come alive and attempt to trap them inside. Aladdin and Abu manage to escape with the aid of a flying carpet (appropriately named "Carpet"). Upon his escape, he hands Jafar the lamp, and Jafar decides to give him his "eternal reward", preparing to attack with his dagger. Abu saves Aladdin by biting Jafar's arm, and Abu and Aladdin fall back into the cave as it closes.
Aladdin, Abu, and Carpet are all trapped inside the Cave of Wonders. Jafar discovers, to his dismay, that Abu got the lamp from him before they disappeared. Aladdin discovers that the lamp is home to a genie, who will grant him any three wishes, excluding wishes to force a person to fall in love, to kill someone, to bring someone back from the dead, or to give his master extra wishes.
Aladdin inadvertently tricks the genie into getting them out of the Cave, without technically wishing for him to do so. Once out of the cave, Aladdin gets to know his genie, and asks him what he would wish for if he had the chance; the genie says he'd wish for freedom, but that can only be granted if his master is benevolent enough to free him with a wish. Aladdin promises to set the genie free with his last wish.
Aladdin, who has fallen in love with Princess Jasmine, is disappointed that he can't 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. As "Prince Ali Ababwa", Aladdin returns to Agrabah and, although offending Jasmine by appearing as another typical rich and self-important prince, eventually wins Jasmine's love by taking her on a romantic ride on the flying carpet. Afterwards, Jasmine nearly tricks Aladdin into admitting he's the street urchin she met in the marketplace.
Jafar, who wants Aladdin out of the way, orders him thrown into the sea. The genie saves Aladdin, using up his second wish. Aladdin and the genie return to Agrabah and Aladdin shows that Jafar has really been plotting against the sultan. Jafar manages to escape, but Aladdin and company are convinced that their troubles are over as Jasmine has finally chosen a suitor.
All seems well, but the weight of his future responsibilities begins to distress Aladdin. He begins to consider reneging on his promise to free the Genie, which severely offends the spirit. Chastened, Aladdin decides to tell Jasmine the whole truth of the matter. Unfortunately, Jafar has figured out Aladdin has the lamp and he sends his parrot Iago, to steal it. Taking the genie as its master, Jafar wishes 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.
With his new powers, Jafar reveals that "Prince Ali" is merely the street rat Aladdin and he sends Aladdin to "the ends of the earth" in one of the palace towers. Aladdin flies back on the flying carpet, but the genie can't help him, as Jafar is his master now. Aladdin tries to get the lamp, but Jafar stops him.
Jafar imprisons and transfigures all the good characters so they cannot steal the lamp back. Jafar eventually turns himself into a giant snake and fights Aladdin. When Aladdin appears to be defeated, Jafar tells Aladdin he was a fool for thinking he could defeat "the most powerful being on Earth." Aladdin reminds Jafar he is not the most powerful being on Earth, and that that honor belongs to the genie, since he gave Jafar his power in the first place.
Jafar decides to use his final wish to become the most powerful genie in the world. Jafar 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, along with Iago, are imprisoned in their own lamp and sent to the Cave of Wonders.
Of course, now Aladdin is no longer a prince, so he cannot marry Jasmine. The genie insists that Aladdin use his final wish to make himself a prince again, but nevertheless, he keeps his promise and wishes the genie free. When all seems lost for Aladdin and Jasmine, the sultan decides that, between his loyalty to his genie and his courage in defeating Jafar, Aladdin has proven his worth; the sultan therefore changes the law so that "the princess shall marry anyone she deems worthy" meaning Aladdin and Jasmine can be married. The genie flies away to see the world while the happy couple begin their new life together.
- Aladdin (Scott Weinger, singing voice by Brad Kane ) – the beggar who becomes a hero.
- Abu (Frank Welker) – Aladdin's pet monkey, initially his only friend.
- Princess Jasmine (Linda Larkin , singing voice by Lea Salonga) – Aladdin's love interest and the Princess of Agrabah.
- The Sultan (Douglas Seale ) – Princess Jasmine's father and ruler of Agrabah.
- Rajah (Russi Taylor ) – Princess Jasmine's pet tiger, remarkably dog-like in behavior and role.
- Genie (Robin Williams) – Aladdin's eccentric genie servant-turned-friend who makes many anachronistic pop culture references.
- Jafar (Jonathan Freeman ) – The scheming Grand Vizier of Agrabah.
- Iago (Gilbert Gottfried) – Jafar's parrot and right-hand man. Able to alter his voice tone sometimes tricking his master's enemies.
- Razoul (Jim Cummings) – Captain of the Guard. Doesn't trust Aladdin because of his background.
One of the verses of the opening song "Arabian Nights" was censored because of political sensitivity. Following protests from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, (ADC) the lyrics were changed in July 1993 from "Where they'll cut off your ear if they don't like your face/It's barbaric, but, hey, it's home," in the original release to "Where it's flat and immense and the heat is intense/It's barbaric, but, hey, it's home." The original lyric was intact on the initial CD soundtrack release that predated the movie's theatrical release and subsequent protests.
- As with many Disney animated films, there are several references to the company's previous productions:
- The Genie's head briefly turns into that of Pinocchio
- The Genie pulls Sebastian (from The Little Mermaid) out of a recipe book (and the first few notes of Under the Sea are played)
- Beast, from Beauty and the Beast, can be seen among the stack of the Sultan's toy figurines
- The Genie dons a Goofy hat before leaving on his vacation.
- The Genie impersonates several celebrities in the film:
- When the Genie is losing a game of chess to the Flying Carpet, he does an impression of Rodney Dangerfield.
- When the Genie encourages Aladdin to tell the truth, he does an impression of Jack Nicholson.
- When the Genie introduces the three rules about making wishes, he does an impression of George Plimpton.
- Among the places Aladdin takes Jasmine on the carpet ride are the Sphinx in Egypt, Athens, and China.
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