It's a well-known fact that Disney is where the magic happens. The Powers-That-Be at The House The Mouse Built have been charming us with their whimsy for nearly a century. We've traveled under the sea with Ariel; we've been tutored on the circle of life with Simba; we've realized that dreams are simply wishes your heart makes, when you're fast asleep; and we've experienced the warm summer breeze of an Arabian night while Aladdin showed us the world on a magic carpet ride. We all have our favorites, and Aladdin is at the top of our list. Why, then, does Disney seem so reluctant to release this exotic gem from the vault? Whereas classics like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and The Little Mermaid seem to come available every few years, Aladdin continues to elude us; and we're kind of sick of it.
Below you will find our reasons as to why we think Aladdin should be the next cinematic masterpiece to escape from Disney's illusive vault.
Aladdin is easily the hottest "prince." I mean, this one is a no-brainer. Tall, dark and handsome, and not afraid to get a little dirty and rough it? Puh-lease. Prince Charming and Prince Phillip seem like softies compared to Aladdin's street-rat lifestyle. But beneath that tough exterior is a diamond in the rough, ready to love and be loved; while taking you on fabulous adventures that include flying carpets. It doesn't get any better than that. Girls and gays alike grew up swooning over Aladdin (who had the original Bieber-swoosh by the way). He was a genuine, regular guy who got the girl and the glory, all while traipsing around Agrabah in his cute little vest.
Jasmine is the first feminist I (Dani) remember looking up to. Princess Jasmine was strong, stubborn and fiercely independent, despite her sheltered lifestyle and utter lack of knowledge of life outside of her castle. She railed against her father and his determination that she find a husband, and insisted that she was "not a prize to be won." She was smart and witty, but also generous, gentle and kind-hearted. She loved as fiercely as she protested. She broke all the rules by falling in love with Aladdin (even though she THOUGHT he was prince), and her love for a homeless vagabond inspired her father to use his authority as Salton to change the rules so that she could marry a non-prince; something that was unheard of in her home of Agrabah. She fought for her right to be an active participant in her own life, rather than just a bystander (like some other Disney princesses we know). Jasmine's strength and perseverance are just a few reasons that she's by far my favorite princess. Also, she had a pet tiger. Just sayin'.
From a guys point of view, Jasmine is one of the hard-to-get Princesses who didn't just fall into Aladdin's arms right off the bat. She was gorgeous, independent (which is sexy), funny, sweet and is just in general one tough chick. Pretty girls with bad-ass attitudes are basically the coolest girls you could hope to meet. Not to mention, for a Disney princess, her attire of choice wasn't too bad. I (Ben) remember meeting the "real life" Jasmine at Disney world and was red in the face for days after taking my picture with her. This girl has POWER!
Abu is definitely on the list of cutest Disney sidekicks. Who wouldn't want this furry little fellow fighting along side you? Granted he caused some trouble and wasn't exactly a fan of Jasmine's at first; AND, yeah, he was the whole reason they got trapped in the Cave of Wonders in the first place...BUT it all turned out to be the best thing that could have happened. And he's just so darn cute!
Jafar. Just; Jafar. Any good Disney kid worth their salt knows that the villain makes or breaks the movie. As I look back on some of the Disney movies that didn't really resonate with me, I find that it's almost always lacking a really sinister villain. For example: I never really dug Bambi. I found it depressing, and not particularly compelling. I mean the villain was just a hunter, right? And I don't even know who the real villain would be in Pinocchio. The whale? The man that kidnapped him and turned him into a marionette? It's that ambiguity that I think makes all the difference. But there was nothing ambiguous about Jafar. He was pure, unadulterated evil; and it was glorious. His scheming was apparent from the very start, and he very nearly took the whole kingdom under his sorcerer wing. But, as always, good reigned triumphant over evil, and he was banished to the Cave of Wonders to live an eternity with "ultimate cosmic powers" in an "itty-bitty living space." Though, thanks to the several sequels that followed, we know he didn't stay there for long. Another reason Jafar rocks my socks? He had the best evil sidekick in Iago, the parrot voiced by Gilbert Godfrey. Pure genius.
The music in Aladdin is just the best! Both of the Oscars this Disney masterpiece earned back in 1993 were for the music (Best Original Score and Best Original Song for "A Whole New World"), so it's no surprise that over a decade later these songs are still being played at weddings, receptions and my iPod...don't judge! "Arabian Nights," "Friends Like Me" and "Prince Ali" are some of the other great songs I could easily play on repeat.
The Genie. The Genie may just be my favorite Disney character there is. He was funny, loyal, lighthearted, and voiced by Robin Williams. What's not to love? When they tried to bring him back sans Williams, a little bit of the magic was missing. It was voice acting at its very finest. Plus, we got this awesome song out it, CLICK HERE TO LISTEN!
EVERYTHING. Seriously. Everything. Instead of listing all of the reasons we love Aladdin, like the fabulous supporting characters, the gorgeous animation, the witty and snarky commentary and the music; we're just going to just trust and believe that you get the point!
So if you share our plight and feel that your life has been "Aladdinless" for far too long, help us get our message to Disney. Who knows? If a giant tiger head that houses magical blue genies and flying carpets can emerge from a Middle Eastern desert; anything is possible, right?