“How dare you! All of you! Standing around deciding my future. I am not a prize to be won.”

One of my first movie reviews on this website discussed Barbie: Princess and the Pauper, a film about two characters who live opposite lives yet are trapped in similar ways. Disney’s Aladdin has a homogenous setup.

Princess Jasmine has all of the material items she could want, yet she lacks the one thing she desires… freedom. As an act of teenage rebellion, Jasmine disguises herself and sneaks away to the marketplace where she meets Aladdin.

Aladdin is a “street-rat” who steals to survive. After meeting a disguised Princess Jasmine, he falls in love and the two form a charming bond. Of course, good things can’t last and villain Jafar and his bird Iago, step in to ruin this new relationship.

However, Jafar’s attempt to get rid of Aladdin and his monkey Abu results in the two discovering Genie! After being trapped in a lamp for 10,000 years, Genie is obligated to give Aladdin three wishes (with restrictions of course).

The rest of the film follows Aladdin trying to impress Princess Jasmine by becoming a prince and taking her on the now famous “magic carpet ride”, but in the process he loses Genie to Jafar. This allows him to gain extreme power and expose Aladdin’s lies.

Learning from his mistakes, Aladdin, Jasmine, Abu, Genie, and the magic carpet are able to banish Jafar and Iago for the next 10,000 years.

Aladdin has one last wish, but uses it to set Genie free instead of becoming a prince again. Luckily, the Sultan decides to let Jasmine marry whomever she pleases, so everyone gets a happily ever after! Yay!

There is a lot of great talent attached to this film. Disney absolutely killed it in the animation department, but the casting for this film is STELLAR. Aladdin, Jasmine, and Jafar are all wonderful, but the late Robin Williams as Genie is toooo perfect and I will NEVER complain about hearing the late Gilbert Gottfried (Iago).

I also really liked the moral in this film. Wishes seem like a fun/easy way to make life better, but it often feels better to earn things in an honest way. That’s such a great lesson!

While Jasmine isn’t really the focus of this film, I think she’s a strong princess. She’s a fiery character who knows her worth and longs to explore life outside the royal palace. She wants to take life into her own hands and not have her fate decided by others. In her words, she’s “not a prize to be won.” Jasmine is wonderful! 🙂

Of course, the music is spectacular. “Friend Like Me” and “A Whole New World” are classics! I envy anyone who was able to see the Broadway adaptation.