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HISTORY

The story of Aladdin is included in One Thousand and One Nights , a collection of folk tales from the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa, that was compiled around 850 or 950 A.D. In the early eighteenth century, the collection was translated from Arabic and published in Europe by Antoine Galland under the title, The Arabian Nights' Entertainment . According to the introduction of John Payne's 1901 revised edition of his book, Alaeddin and the Enchanted Lamp , the story was not part of the original collection. Payne wrote that a 1709 entry of Galland's diary indicated that he learned the tale from an Arab storyteller.
       Athough the Aladdin story has been told many times in print, on stage and film over the centuries, according to the production notes for Aladdin , the idea to make an animated musical version, was suggested by lyricist Howard Ashman, who was also producer of the 1989 Disney production, The Little Mermaid . In addition to six songs written in collaboration with composer Alan Menken, Ashman wrote a forty-page treatment that was described in an 8 Nov 1992 LAT article as "a campy 1930s style musical with a Cab Calloway-like genie."
       According to an 8 Nov 1992 NYT article, three separate versions of the story were written before it was made into a film. The first version was based on Ashman's treatment. The LAT article reported that, after Ashman's death in Mar 1991, producer-directors John Musker and Ron Clements worked on a second version of the script for two years and created story reels (or filmed storyboards) matched to recorded ... More Less

The story of Aladdin is included in One Thousand and One Nights , a collection of folk tales from the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa, that was compiled around 850 or 950 A.D. In the early eighteenth century, the collection was translated from Arabic and published in Europe by Antoine Galland under the title, The Arabian Nights' Entertainment . According to the introduction of John Payne's 1901 revised edition of his book, Alaeddin and the Enchanted Lamp , the story was not part of the original collection. Payne wrote that a 1709 entry of Galland's diary indicated that he learned the tale from an Arab storyteller.
       Athough the Aladdin story has been told many times in print, on stage and film over the centuries, according to the production notes for Aladdin , the idea to make an animated musical version, was suggested by lyricist Howard Ashman, who was also producer of the 1989 Disney production, The Little Mermaid . In addition to six songs written in collaboration with composer Alan Menken, Ashman wrote a forty-page treatment that was described in an 8 Nov 1992 LAT article as "a campy 1930s style musical with a Cab Calloway-like genie."
       According to an 8 Nov 1992 NYT article, three separate versions of the story were written before it was made into a film. The first version was based on Ashman's treatment. The LAT article reported that, after Ashman's death in Mar 1991, producer-directors John Musker and Ron Clements worked on a second version of the script for two years and created story reels (or filmed storyboards) matched to recorded dialog, which they presented to then-Disney president, Jeffrey Katzenberg. According to the LAT and NYT articles, Katzenberg found flaws with the story and in particular with the title character of "Aladdin," which he felt was the least interesting of all the characters.
       In spring 1991, Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio were hired to write additional drafts. During this time, several songs, sequences and characters were changed or removed. Aladdin, had originally been conceived as a boy and based on actor Michael J. Fox, but was redesigned as a teenager, six inches taller than the original, and reflected the confidence, intensity and "impish look" of actor Tom Cruise's character in the 1986 film, Top Gun . In addition, the character of Aladdin's mother was dropped and songs written by Tim Rice and Menken replaced three of Ashman's songs.
       According to Clements in the LAT article, comedian Robin Williams had always been the inspiration for the character, "Genie," as the filmmakers wanted a "wilder, faster-paced and more contemporary" character than had been found in earlier animated Disney films. Although the script was written to allow for Williams' improvisation, his "dizzying barrage of characters" that lengthened one sequence from thirty seconds to ten minutes surprised the filmmakers. However, they agreed that they wanted to use his performance. In the article, Katzenberg stated that Williams was "more than a performer [in the movie], he is a co-author."
       Artistic supervisor Steve Goldberg created sight gags to match Williams' dialog, which were further enhanced by use of new computer-generated imagery (CGI) techniques that allowed, according to production notes, "greater choices" in color, detailing and composition. The magic carpet ride through the Cave of Wonders and the tiger head cave sequences were achieved through CGI technology. According to the production notes, Persian miniatures and Arabian calligraphy, and works by American caricaturist, Al Hirschfeld, were inspirations for the art department. The NYT article reported that the cost to make the film was over $35 million.
       A 21 Apr 1993 LAT article reported that Aladdin had by then grossed over $200 million at U.S. and Canadian box offices. At that time, the film was the only animated film and one of only fourteen films since 1975 to reach that milestone. Aladdin won Academy Awards in the catagories for Best Music: Original Score and Best Music: Original Song "A Whole New World." The film received Academy Award nominations for Best Effects: Sound Effects Editing; Best Sound; and Best Music: Original Song ("Friends Like Me"). In addition, the film won three Golden Globe Awards for Best Original Score; Best Original Song ("A Whole New World"); and a "Special Award" to Robin Williams for his vocal work on the film. The film was nominated for two Golden Globes for Best Original Song ("Friends Like Me" and "Prince Ali"), and for Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical. Aladdin also received an Annie Award from the International Animated Film Society, ASIFA, for Best Animated Feature Film, and co-director Ron Clements, storyboard supervisor Ed Gombert and supervising animator of the Genie, Eric Goldberg, were given juried awards for Outstanding Individual Achievement in the Field of Animation.
       According to a 25 Nov 1993 LAT article, Williams accused Disney of breach of promise when the studio used his voice to promote merchandise products related to the film. A 24 Oct 1994 LAT article reported that Joe Roth, who had recently replaced Katzenberg as studio president, apologized to the actor on behalf of the company. According to a 30 Jul 1993 NYT news item, Katzenberg and chairman Michael Eisner had earlier sent a Picasso painting as a thank you to Williams, who had been paid scale rate of $75,000 for his work, after revenues for the film had topped $200,000. Williams explained that his dispute was not about money and joked that his revulsion against selling merchandise probably began when he starred on the television series, Mork and Mindy and saw "Mork and Mindy"dolls "dismembered in trash cans."
       A 7 Jun 1993 HR article reported that Mark Shelmerdine, who was part owner of the 1940 film, The Thief of Bagdad (see entry), sued the Disney studio for five percent of the net profits. Although Disney had bought film rights of The Thief of Bagdad from London Film Productions, Inc., that company had assigned its rights to Shelmerdine in 1986 and Shelmerdine alleged that Disney had not paid him according to the agreement. The outcome of the suit has not been determined.
       According to 22 May 1993 The Times (London) and 12 Jul 1993 DV articles, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) protested that Aladdin contained racial slurs against Arab people. The studio changed two lines of lyrics from the song, "Arabian Nights": "Where they cut off your ear if they don't like your face, it's barbaric, but hey, it's home," after the film's opening. The alternative lyrics ("Where it's flat and immense and the heat is intense, it's barbaric, but hey, it's home") had already been written by Ashman and recorded by Charlie Adler, who was the voice of "Gazeem" (and who was erroneously identified in the DV article as Brian Adler). The alteration appeared in the Oct 1993 video release of the film. According to a 10 Jul 1993 LAT news item, Disney made the change after obtaining approval from the estate of Howard Ashman and from Menken.
       The ADC also criticized the film for containing "discriminatory accents." Although the committee objected to the American accents of Aladdin, Jasmine and the Sultan, Disney argued that the villains, Jafar and Iago, had British and Brooklyn accents, respectively, and that Aladdin was the first American film in years to present an Arabic hero and heroine who were "role models." Although the representative of the ADC objected to the depiction of townspeople, merchants, guards and soldiers as being "mean and cruel," a 12 Jul 1993 DV article stated, ironically, that most of the village people of Agrabah were drawn as caricatures of Disney animators, producers and directors. ADC asked that the accents be changed and the sequence in which a merchant threatens to behead Jasmine be eliminated, but the studio stated that the alterations would require rewrites, re-mixing and re-animating, and was too costly.
       A 5 Sep 1996 HR article reported that three Texas residents sued Disney and its subsidiary Buena Vista Home Video, on behalf of all Texans for allowing subliminal sexual content in the content and packaging of Aladdin and two other Disney films, The Little Mermaid and The Lion King . Disney official denied the claims, but no other information on the suit has been found.
       For information about other film versions of the story of Aladdin, see entry for Monogram's 1952 production, Aladdin and His Lamp .


The summary and note for this entry were completed with participation from the AFI Academic Network. Summary and notes were written by participant Taylor Miller, a student at University of Texas at Austin, with Janet Staiger as academic advisor.
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Jan 1993.
---
Box Office
21 Apr 1993.
---
Daily Variety
12 Jul 1993.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Nov 1992
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jun 1993.
---
Hollywood Reporter
5 Sep 1996.
---
Los Angeles Times
8 Nov 1992.
---
Los Angeles Times
11 Nov 1992
p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
21 Apr 1993.
---
Los Angeles Times
21 May 1993.
---
Los Angeles Times
25 Nov 1993.
---
Los Angeles Times
24 Oct 1994.
---
New York Times
8 Nov 1992.
---
New York Times
11 Nov 1992
p. 15.
New York Times
30 Jul 1993.
---
The Times (London)
22 May 1993.
---
Variety
9 Nov 1992
p. 62.
Variety
22 Nov 1993.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Co-prod
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Artistic coord, Artistic supv
FILM EDITORS
Ed, Florida unit supv
Assoc ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Editorial, Asst prod mgr
Projection
Negative cutter
Negative cutter
SET DECORATOR
Props
MUSIC
Orig score by
Songs by
Songs by
Songs by
Songs arr
Songs arr
Song and score orch
Addl orch
Vocal arr by
Mus cond
Supv mus ed
Mus editing
Mus rec and mixed by
Addl mus rec and mixing by
Orchestral contractor/New York
Orchestral contractor/Los Angeles
Supv copyist
SOUND
Sd eff
Sd ed
Sd ed
Spec sd eff
Dial ed
Dial ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Foley by
Foley by
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
Orig dial rec
Dubbing rec
PDL
ADR mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Visual eff, Artistic supv
Visual eff, Florida unit supv
Visual eff, Florida unit supv
C.G.I, Artistic supv
Mgr, Computer generated imagery
Modeling and anim, Computer generated imagery
Modeling and anim, Computer generated imagery
Modeling and anim, Computer generated imagery
Modeling and anim, Computer generated imagery
Modeling and anim, Computer generated imagery
Lighting and software engineering, Computer genera
Lighting and software engineering, Computer genera
Lighting and software engineering, Computer genera
Lighting and software engineering, Computer genera
Lighting and software engineering, Computer genera
Lighting and software engineering, Computer genera
CGI sr. prod coord
Pixar
Pixar
Title des
Supv, Digital film printing and opticals
Digital film printing and opticals
Digital film printing and opticals
Digital film printing and opticals
Black and white processing
Black and white processing
Eff graphics
Modeling and motion software used for computer gen
DANCE
Choreog
Dance seq model
Dance seq model
Dance seq model
Dance seq model
Dance seq model
Dance seq model
Dance seq model
Dance seq model
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
New York casting assoc
Prod mgr, Artistic supv
Prod mgr, Florida unit supv
Visual development
Visual development
Visual development
Pre-prod story development
Pre-prod story developmen
Pre-prod story developmen
Prod administrator
Asst to the prods
Prod secy
Florida prod secy
Mgr, Engineering
Mgr, Engineering
Development, Engineering
Development, Engineering
Development, Engineering
Development, Engineering
Support, Engineering
Support, Engineering
Support, Engineering
Support, Engineering
Support, Engineering
Support, Engineering
Support, Engineering
Support, Engineering
Support, Engineering
Support, Engineering
Support, Engineering
Support, Engineering
Support, Engineering
Support, Engineering
Support, Engineering
Support, Engineering
Support, Engineering
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod accountant
Prod accountant
Prod accountant
Prod accountant
Char sculptures
Post prod supv
Post prod admin
Live-action reference
Live-action reference
Live-action coord
Video crew
Video crew
ANIMATION
Layout, Artistic supv
Layout, Florida unit supv
Background, Artistic supv
Background, Florida unit supv
Background, Florida unit supv
Clean up, Artistic supv
Clean up, Florida unit supv
Supv anim - Aladdin, Char anim
Anim - Aladdin, Char anim
Anim - Aladdin, Char anim
Anim - Aladdin, Char anim
Anim - Aladdin, Char anim
Anim - Aladdin, Char anim
Anim - Aladdin, Char anim
Anim - Aladdin, Char anim
Anim - Aladdin, Char anim
Anim - Aladdin, Char anim
Anim - Aladdin, Char anim
Supv anim - Genie, Char anim
Anim - Genie, Char anim
Anim - Genie, Char anim
Anim - Genie, Char anim
Anim - Genie, Char anim
Anim - Genie, Char anim
Anim - Genie, Char anim
Anim - Genie, Char anim
Supv anim - Jasmine, Char anim
Anim - Jasmine, Char anim
Anim - Jasmine, Char anim
Supv anim - Jafar, Char anim
Anim - Jafar, Char anim
Anim - Jafar, Char anim
Anim - Jafar, Char anim
Anim - Jafar, Char anim
Supv anim - Abu, Char anim
Anim - Abu, Char anim
Anim - Abu, Char anim
Anim - Abu, Char anim
Anim - Abu, Char anim
Anim - Abu, Char anim
Anim - Abu, Char anim
Supv anim - Carpet, Char anim
Anim - Carpet, Char anim
Anim - Carpet, Char anim
Supv anim - Iago, Char anim
Anim - Iago, Char anim
Anim - Iago, Char anim
Anim - Iago, Char anim
Supv anim - Sultan, Char anim
Anim - Sultan, Char anim
Anim - Sultan, Char anim
Anim - Sultan, Char anim
Anim - Sultan, Char anim
Rajah, Char anim
Jafar as beggar/Snake, Char anim
Gazeem/Achmed, Char anim
Guards, Char anim
Guards, Char anim
Layout asst, Florida unit supv
Layout asst, Florida unit supv
Layout asst, Florida unit supv
Layout asst, Florida unit supv
Layout asst, Florida unit supv
Layout asst, Florida unit supv
Layout asst, Florida unit supv
Background
Background
Background
Background
Background
Background
Background
Background
Background
Background
Background
Background
Background
Background
Eff anim
Eff anim
Eff anim
Eff anim
Eff anim
Eff anim
Eff anim
Eff anim
Eff anim
Eff anim
Eff anim
Supv char lead - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Key asst - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Key asst - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Key asst - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Key asst - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Key asst - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Key asst - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Key asst - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Key asst - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Key asst - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Asst anim - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Asst anim - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Asst anim - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Asst anim - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Asst anim - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Asst anim - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Asst anim - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Asst anim - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Inbetweener - Aladdin, Clean up anim
Supv char lead - Genie, Clean up anim
Key asst - Genie, Clean up anim
Key asst - Genie, Clean up anim
Key asst - Genie, Clean up anim
Key asst - Genie, Clean up anim
Asst anim - Genie, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Genie, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Genie, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Genie, Clean up anim
Inbetweener - Genie, Clean up anim
Inbetweener - Genie, Clean up anim
Supv char lead - Jasmine, Clean up anim
Key asst - Jasmine, Clean up anim
Key asst - Jasmine, Clean up ani
Key asst - Jasmine, Clean up ani
Key asst - Jasmine, Clean up ani
Asst anim - Jasmine, Clean up anim
Asst anim - Jasmine, Clean up anim
Asst anim - Jasmine, Clean up anim
Asst anim - Jasmine, Clean up anim
Asst anim - Jasmine, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Jasmine, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Jasmine, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Jasmine, Clean up anim
Inbetweener - Jasmine, Clean up anim
Inbetweener - Jasmine, Clean up anim
Inbetweener - Jasmine, Clean up anim
Inbetweener - Jasmine, Clean up anim
Supv char lead - Jafar, Clean up anim
Key asst - Jafar, Clean up anim
Key asst - Jafar, Clean up anim
Key asst - Jafar, Clean up anim
Key asst - Jafar, Clean up anim
Asst anim - Jafar, Clean up anim
Asst anim - Jafar, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Jafar, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Jafar, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Jafar, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Jafar, Clean up anim
Inbetweener - Jafar, Clean up anim
Inbetweener - Jafar, Clean up anim
Inbetweener - Jafar, Clean up anim
Supv char lead - Abu/Narrator, Clean up anim
Key asst - Abu/Narrator, Clean up anim
Key asst - Abu/Narrator, Clean up anim
Key asst - Abu/Narrator, Clean up anim
Key asst - Abu/Narrator, Clean up anim
Asst anim - Abu/Narrator, Clean up anim
Asst anim - Abu/Narrator, Clean up anim
Asst anim - Abu/Narrator, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Abu/Narrator, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Abu/Narrator, Clean up anim
Inbetweener - Abu/Narrator, Clean up anim
Inbetweener - Abu/Narrator, Clean up anim
Supv char lead - Iago, Clean up anim
Key asst - Iago, Clean up anim
Asst anim - Iago, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Iago, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Iago, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Iago, Clean up anim
Supv char lead - Sultan, Clean up anim
Key asst - Sultan, Clean up anim
Key asst - Sultan, Clean up anim
Key asst - Sultan, Clean up anim
Asst anim - Sultan, Clean up anim
Asst anim - Sultan, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Sultan, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Sultan, Clean up anim
Inbetweener - Sultan, Clean up anim
Supv char lead - Miscellaneous char, Clean up anim
Key asst - Miscellaneous char, Clean up anim
Key asst - Miscellaneous char, Clean up anim
Key asst - Miscellaneous char, Clean up anim
Asst anim - Miscellaneous char, Clean up anim
Asst anim - Miscellaneous char, Clean up anim
Asst anim - Miscellaneous char, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Miscellaneous char, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Miscellaneous char, Clean up anim
Inbetweener - Miscellaneous char, Clean up anim
Inbetweener - Miscellaneous char, Clean up anim
Inbetweener - Miscellaneous char, Clean up anim
Supv char lead - Rajah/Guards, Clean up anim
Asst anim - Rajah/Guards, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Rajah/Guards, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Rajah/Guards, Clean up anim
Breakdown - Rajah/Guards, Clean up anim
Inbetweener - Rajah/Guards, Clean up anim
Inbetweener - Rajah/Guards, Clean up anim
Animating asst, Clean up anim
Animating asst, Clean up anim
Rough inbetweener, Clean up anim
Rough inbetweener, Clean up anim
Rough inbetweener, Clean up anim
Rough inbetweener, Clean up anim
Rough inbetweener, Clean up anim
Rough inbetweener, Clean up anim
Rough inbetweener, Clean up anim
Rough inbetweener, Clean up anim
Scene planning supv
Scene planning
Scene planning
Scene planning asst
Anim check supv
Anim checking
Anim checking
Anim checking
Anim checking
Anim checking
Anim checking
Col models supv
Col model asst
Col model asst
Col model asst
Ink and paint mgr
Ink and paint asst mgr
Ink and paint asst mgr, Florida unit
Final check/Paint supv
Digitizing cam supv
Blue sketch
Key eff asst
Key eff asst
Key eff asst
Asst eff anim
Asst eff anim
Asst eff anim
Asst eff anim
Asst eff anim
Asst eff anim
Eff breakdown/Inbetweener
Eff breakdown/Inbetweener
Eff breakdown/Inbetweener
Eff breakdown/Inbetweener
Eff breakdown/Inbetweener
Eff breakdown/Inbetweener
Char des
Char des
Char des
Layout, Asst prod mgr
Anim, Asst prod mgr
Clean up, Asst prod mgr
Background/Col model/Checking, Asst prod mgr
Digitizing mark-up
Asst supv - Digitizing cam
Digitizing cam op
Digitizing cam op
Digitizing cam op
Digitizing cam op
Digitizing cam op
Digitizing cam op
Asst paint supv
Asst paint supv
Col model mark-up
Col model mark-up
Paint mark-up
Paint mark-up
Painting
Painting
Painting
Painting
Painting
Painting
Painting
Painting
Painting
Painting
Painting
Painting
Painting
Painting
Painting
Painting
Painting
Painting
Painting
Painting
Painting
Final check
Final check
Asst supv, Compositing
Compositing
Compositing
Cam mgr
Anim cam op
Anim cam op
Anim cam op
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the collection of short stories, The Arabian Nights' Entertainment, translated by Antoine Galland (Paris, 1704).
SONGS
"Arabian Nights," music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman, performed by Bruce Adler, produced by Alan Menken
"One Jump Ahead," music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Tim Rice, performed by Brad Kane, produced by Alan Menken & Tim Rice
"Friend Like Me," music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman, performed by Robin Williams, produced by Alan Menken
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SONGS
"Arabian Nights," music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman, performed by Bruce Adler, produced by Alan Menken
"One Jump Ahead," music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Tim Rice, performed by Brad Kane, produced by Alan Menken & Tim Rice
"Friend Like Me," music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman, performed by Robin Williams, produced by Alan Menken
"A Whole New World," music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Tim Rice, performed by Lea Salonga & Brad Kane, produced by Alan Menken & Tim Rice
"Prince Ali," music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman, performed by Robin Williams, produced by Alan Menken
"Prince Ali Reprise," music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Tim Rice, performed by Jonathan Freeman, produced by Alan Menken & Tim Rice
End title duet "A Whole New World (Aladdin's theme)," performed by Regina Belle & Peabo Bryson, produced by Walter Afanasieff, arranged by Walter Afanasieff & Robbie Buchanan, Regina Belle & Peabo Bryson perform courtesy of Columbia.
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DETAILS
Release Date:
1992
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 11 November 1992
New York opening: week of 11 November 1992
Copyright Claimant:
Walt Disney Company
Copyright Date:
25 November 1992
Copyright Number:
PA583905
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo in selected theatres
Color
Animation
Duration(in mins):
85
MPAA Rating:
G
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
32136
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

A small Arabian merchant rides an exhausted camel through the desert. At night, when he arrives in the city of Agrabah, he displays wares that he claims are the finest merchandise this side of the river Jordan. Among the items he has for sale is a lamp that is said to have changed the course of a young man’s life. The merchant explains that the young man, like the lamp, seemed unassuming, but was much more. As there is more to the tale, the merchant begins his story: One dark night on a desert dune, the evil Jafar, Grand Vizier of the Sultan, meets with a short and chubby thief, Gazeem, who has brought him half of a golden scarab. Jafar pulls the other half of the beetle from his cloak and when the two pieces meet, the bug comes to life, flying through the Arabian night sky before burrowing into the sand. The two pieces of the beetle reveal to Jafar and Gazeem The Cave of Wonders, which is shaped like a giant tiger’s head. Jafar orders Gazeem to enter the cave and find the lamp, saying that he may keep all the cave’s treasures, except for the lamp. When Gazeem approaches The Cave of Wonders, it awakens, and speaking as a giant tiger, warns that the only one who may enter is the “diamond in the rough.” On his first step into the cave entrance, Gazeem is devoured because he is unworthy, and the tiger tells Jafar and his parrot, Iago, that they must seek out the “diamond in the rough.” In Agrabah, a young peasant, Aladdin, and ... +


A small Arabian merchant rides an exhausted camel through the desert. At night, when he arrives in the city of Agrabah, he displays wares that he claims are the finest merchandise this side of the river Jordan. Among the items he has for sale is a lamp that is said to have changed the course of a young man’s life. The merchant explains that the young man, like the lamp, seemed unassuming, but was much more. As there is more to the tale, the merchant begins his story: One dark night on a desert dune, the evil Jafar, Grand Vizier of the Sultan, meets with a short and chubby thief, Gazeem, who has brought him half of a golden scarab. Jafar pulls the other half of the beetle from his cloak and when the two pieces meet, the bug comes to life, flying through the Arabian night sky before burrowing into the sand. The two pieces of the beetle reveal to Jafar and Gazeem The Cave of Wonders, which is shaped like a giant tiger’s head. Jafar orders Gazeem to enter the cave and find the lamp, saying that he may keep all the cave’s treasures, except for the lamp. When Gazeem approaches The Cave of Wonders, it awakens, and speaking as a giant tiger, warns that the only one who may enter is the “diamond in the rough.” On his first step into the cave entrance, Gazeem is devoured because he is unworthy, and the tiger tells Jafar and his parrot, Iago, that they must seek out the “diamond in the rough.” In Agrabah, a young peasant, Aladdin, and his monkey, Abu, run from the royal lawmen, carrying a loaf of bread they have stolen. When village women talk about Aladdin, he says that he must eat to live and steal to eat, and that he only steals what he cannot buy. However, when Aladdin sees two children looking for food in some street rubbish, he gives his half of the loaf to them and, after a single bite, Abu begrudgingly does the same. The children run to the street as Prince Achmed, a suitor to the Sultan’s daughter, Princess Jasmine, rides to the palace. When the children startle his horse, Achmed tries to whip them, but Aladdin intervenes. The suitor calls Aladdin worthless and says that only fleas will mourn him, which upsets Aladdin, who dreams of being rich, living in the palace and never having problems again. Later, Prince Achmed, storms out of the palace, his pants ripped apart by Jasmine’s pet tiger, Rajah. Inside, the Sultan reminds Jasmine that the law states she must be married within three days, and so must stop rejecting suitors. However, Jasmine wants to marry for love and laments that she’s never been outside the castle walls. At his wit’s end, the Sultan seeks the wisdom of his most trusted advisor, Jafar. Believing he can find Jasmine an acceptable suitor with the help of the Sultan’s blue diamond ring, Jafar uses his cobra-head scepter to bewitch the Sultan into handing it over. Meanwhile, Jasmine escapes over the palace walls, where Aladdin spots her wandering through the market place and becomes enamored. When she sees a hungry child eyeing some apples on a cart, Jasmine, unaware of the ways of the commoners, gives him one without paying for it. The vendor accuses her of theft and threatens to cut off her hand, but Aladdin rescues her and the two run off together. In the palace, Jafar uses the magic of the Sultan’s ring to power the “Sands of Time” into revealing the identity of the one who can enter The Cave of Wonders and, learning that it is Aladdin, dispatches guards to fetch him. Aladdin, unaware of Jasmine’s true identity, takes her to his compartment that overlooks the palace. As he expresses his dreams, Jasmine bemoans the life she led there and both of them admit to feeling trapped. Jasmine tells Aladdin that she ran away because her father was forcing her to marry, and the two have a romantic moment that is interrupted by the arrival of palace guards. To escape, Aladdin extends his hand to Jasmine and asks, “Do you trust me?” and the two jump from the window. However, they are still caught by the guards. Revealing that she is the princess, Jasmine demands that the guards release Aladdin, but, under Jafar’s strict orders, they cannot. When Jasmine later confronts Jafar about releasing Aladdin, the vizier says he was arrested for kidnapping her and has already been beheaded. Aladdin, however, is imprisoned in a rat-infested dungeon. As Abu releases Aladdin from his shackles, another prisoner, an old man with a hunchback, approaches him. The prisoner, who is really the disguised Jafar with Iago on his back creating the hump, tells Aladdin that if he enters The Cave of Wonders, he will be rewarded with enough treasures to impress the princess. After escaping the prison, Aladdin approaches the tiger of The Cave of Wonders, who permits him to proceed on the condition that he touch nothing but the lamp. As Aladdin enters, Abu also sneaks in under his vest, and they go into the depths of the cave, which is piled with gold and treasures. A magic carpet follows Aladdin and Abu through the cave, teasing Abu, but leading Aladdin to the lamp. As Aladdin lifts the lamp off its pedestal, Abu grabs a giant ruby. The cave tiger screams, “Infidels!” and starts to destroy itself by melting away the forbidden treasure. The magic carpet carries Aladdin and Abu to the opening of the cave where the disguised Jafar is waiting. When the carpet becomes pinned beneath falling rocks, Aladdin hangs from the cliff and Jafar demands that Aladdin hand him the lamp, which he does. Jafar then throws Aladdin and Abu into the cave, where Abu reveals that he stole the lamp back from Jafar. Aladdin rubs dust off an inscription on it, and in so doing, releases the Genie of the Lamp, who has been trapped for ten thousand years. Genie tells Aladdin he has been granted three wishes, none of which can be a wish for more wishes. The Genie also says he cannot kill, make anybody fall in love, or bring people back from the dead. Without making a wish, Aladdin tricks the Genie into helping them escape the cave. Afterward, Genie explains that he is a prisoner of the lamp and dreams of being free, so Aladdin tells him that after he makes his first two wishes, he will grant Genie his freedom. Because the law demands that the princess can only marry royalty, Aladdin’s first wish is to become a prince. In the process of turning Aladdin into Prince Ali Ababwa, Genie also turns Abu into an elephant that he can ride into Agrabah. At the palace, the Sultan, who has learned about Aladdin from Jasmine, reprimands Jafar for beheading him, and Jasmine tells Jafar she will be rid of him when she becomes queen. Later, Jafar tells the Sultan that, according to law, if the princess does not select a princely suitor in the appropriate time, she must marry the royal vizier. Outside, a crowd gathers to watch a parade that brings Prince Ali and his royal coterie to the palace. After meeting Aladdin, the Sultan feels favorably toward him, but Jasmine is not impressed and will not grant him an audience. Genie urges Aladdin to tell Jasmine who he is, but Aladdin does not feel he can impress the princess without being a prince. To win her, Aladdin flies the magic carpet up to Jasmine’s balcony and invites her to go for a ride. When Jasmine wonders if the carpet is safe, he extends his hand to her and asks, “Do you trust me?” Now recognizing that the Prince is Aladdin, Jasmine agrees, and the two fly through the sky and dream of the possibilities of a new world together. On a rooftop in China, Jasmine demands that Aladdin admit to his true identity, but he lies, saying that he really is a prince who sometimes poses as a villager to escape the pressures of palace life. When Aladdin later says goodnight to Jasmine on her balcony, the two share their first kiss. Shortly after, the palace guards, under orders from Jafar, intercept Aladdin, shackle him to a ball and throw him into the ocean. Aladdin escapes the water with the help of Genie, using one of his wishes. Meanwhile, the Sultan, still bewitched, informs Jasmine that she will marry Jafar, but Aladdin arrives and smashes Jafar’s scepter, revealing that it was used to control the Sultan. Just before he is arrested, Jafar sees the lamp in Aladdin’s turban. The Sultan, pleased that Jasmine has finally selected a suitor of unimpeachable character, decrees that they are to be wed at once. However, Aladdin is uneasy when he learns he is to be the next sultan. He will not free Genie because he feels impotent without him, which disappoints Abu and the carpet, as well as Genie. While Aladdin seeks the courage to admit that he is not a prince, Iago steals the lamp. Jafar then claims ownership over Genie and demands his first wish, to rule as sultan. When the real Sultan and Jasmine refuse to bow before Jafar, he makes his second wish, which is to be the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Jafar tells Jasmine that Prince Ali is really the street urchin Aladdin, and, using sorcery, turns him and Abu into their former selves and banishes them to the cold, snowy mountains. He then demands that Jasmine marry him. Aladdin returns to Agrabah via the magic carpet and, as he enters the palace, Jasmine distracts Jafar by attempting to seduce him. However, when Jafar discovers Aladdin trying to steal the lamp, he traps Jasmine in an hourglass for her betrayal, destroys the magic carpet, and turns into a giant snake to kill Aladdin. Although Jafar laughs at Aladdin for believing he could defeat the most powerful being on Earth, Aladdin reminds him that Genie, who created his power, is ultimately more powerful than Jafar. So, for his third wish, Jafar demands to be an all-powerful genie. Jafar is transformed into a genie complete with his own lamp. When Jafar becomes distracted by the strength of his new power, Aladdin claims ownership of the lamp and confines Jafar and Iago in it. Jafar’s wishes and spells reverse, and the palace and magic carpet return to their former states. Genie banishes Jafar to The Cave of Wonders. Aladdin apologizes to Jasmine for deceiving her, but because he is not a prince, they cannot marry, according to law. Although Genie urges Aladdin to use his final wish to regain his princedom, Aladdin decides to use the wish to free Genie. Impressed by the gesture, the Sultan deems Aladdin worthy of Jasmine’s hand and eliminates the law forbidding their marriage. After they are married, Jasmine and Aladdin ride on the carpet again, and begin their life together. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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