Movie: Aladdin

Aladdin PosterDisney’s movie version of the tale of “Aladdin and the Magic Lamp” from the Arabian Nights stories has become something of a modern classic in animated movies. It is a cinematic masterpiece with sweeping views of a fabulous city plucked directly out of an Arabian fantasy and soaring music that gives an epic feel to what is not a particularly epic story. It is not, however, terribly reminiscent of the original tale. I really like this movie, but not because it in any way resembles the original story (in fact, the changes made to the princess bothered me enormously at first – westernizing her so much seemed just wrong). I think that this is a fun movie and Carpet is just one of the must fun animated characters to watch, but I think this is the perfect example of how Disney takes stories and twists them to be what they want, forever changing how popular culture sees them. Nearly every kid I meet today knows the Disney version of the Aladdin story, but I doubt many of them know the Arabian Nights version. And that’s kind of a shame, even if the movie is awesome.

1 Comment

  1. Eva said,

    November 30, 2007 at 9:48 am

    When I first saw this movie my mom made a rather astute comment that, in retrospect, I find highly amusing. She basically pointed out that Jasmine was being completely unfair in her treatment of the whole marriage issue. As a princess getting married for the sake of her country is her duty (not to say that she should have no say at all in who or when she marries). She shouldn’t expect to have a childhood of complete luxury and protection and then run off and do whatever she likes. If she was a prince rather than a princess she would have the same duty as well as the added weight of learning to be a ruler and ruling responsibly and kindly. She still couldn’t run off to do whatever she happened to feel like.

    My mom generally has a very strong feminist bent, but in this case I think I agree with her. Jasmine is not trying to compromise or make a responsible choice that she can live with. She’s not trying to find more options that she could deal with better than Suitor Creepy McCreepypants. She’s just being a winy brat about her lot in life. She wants her cake, and if that means running off with a strange man she hardly knows then she’s going to do that! Never mind that it could have lead to all sorts of terrible consequences and Aladdin might have been a bad or dangerous person.

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