Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Honesty is policy.
This film was selected from ‘The 250’
A while ago, my family used to have an entertainment center that had one shelf filled to the brim with classic Disney VHS films. Funny thing is, we never really upgraded the VHS’s to DVD, but recently, we’ve upgraded straight to Blu-Ray. Funny story…America doesn’t really sell the Blu-Rays right now for classic Disney, but Europe does – so you can actually order overseas the official Blu-Rays. Alright, back to the good stuff. One of these Blu-Rays was of course Aladdin, another one of the most recognizable names of Disney. I think I used to love it, but I think that has turned more into a huge respect and appreciation than anything else.
The story of Aladdin follows around the title character, who is a street rat who comes into contact with a lamp in the ‘Cave of Wonders’. The lamp contains, of course, a genie which allows him three wishes, and for the most part, Aladdin uses his wishes to earn the love of Jasmine (even though the genie said you can’t wish for love. Smooth Al, real smooth). He does this through lie after lie. Meanwhile, Jafar is lurking in the background ready to wed Jasmine and become a mighty sultan to rule the land…ladeedah.
Disney often has all of these themes that you have to look out for. Usually, after you get past the ‘light vs. dark’ central theme, you run into life lessons. Aladdin seems to deal with insecurities, independence, and the importance of honesty (especially as a foundation for a relationship). Past that, there is clearly Jafar’s twisted dealings with greed, selfishness, hatred, and indifference. That’s not so important, because that’s your typical painting of a ‘bad guy’ in a Disney film. Basically speaking – don’t be evil and you’ll be great.
The story takes place in Agrabah, or as we would refer to as Baghdad now, or Babylon back in the days. Plenty of people of differing thoughts as to what this place is based off of, but the original Aladdin story took place in Baghdad…they obviously changed it for Disney. However, Agrabah can also be seen in the now cancelled Once Upon a Time in Wonderland TV series, which has another look into that location. Say what you will about the TV show, it was flawed, but it was heading in an interesting location – I certainly didn’t hate it.
Now, I didn’t exactly rate this as high as I have other classic Disney films. It’s still a high score, still a “buy”, but it just isn’t as high. I liked the music, I liked the characters, and Robin Williams definitely improved everything, but I didn’t so much care about the setting or the story. Disney has a way of creating characters that pretty much everyone can love, as well as writing a soundtrack that is well loved, but for the most part this isn’t my go-to Disney movie. It’s not bad, but I don’t love love love it either.
In terms of technicalities, Aladdin is a pretty solid Disney cartoon with a bunch of great themes and morals, characters, songs, and as always, Robin Williams is welcome to voice whoever he would like. It’s a memorable classic that kids can still love to this day.
For me personally, I wouldn’t call Aladdin my go-to Disney movie. I love a lot that the movie has to offer, and I don’t mind watching it multiple times – if it’s been a few years and have nothing else to do. I have high respect for the film, but I personally wasn’t a fan of the setting or story really. The plot when you take it apart is just about a boy wanting to get with a girl.
Genie: Oh, Al. I’m getting kinda fond of you, kid. Not that I wanna pick out curtains or anything.