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Disney In Depth: 20 ‘Aladdin’ Fun Facts You May Not Have Known
Brett Nachman   |  @   |  

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Can you believe it has been 20 years since Aladdin first entered our lives? The film was an absolute sensation, garnering much critical and financial success. After two decades I thought it would be “soaring good fun” to review the influence of this brand in the Disney universe.

This edition of Disney In Depth will highlight 20 fun facts about everything you ever wanted to know about Prince Ali and company.

Aladdin and Jasmine soar above the clouds on Magic Carpet

1 Though Abu and Rajah serve as the best animal friends to lead characters Aladdin and Jasmine, they do not appear – nor are referenced – in the stage show production at Disney California Adventure Park.

2 Alan Menken won two Oscars for his work on Aladdin, one for his original score and the other for his music on “A Whole New World.”

Aladdin in Nasira's Revenge3 In Aladdin and the King of Thieves, Genie makes reference to a boatload of Disney characters, including Chief Powhatan’s famous daughter, as seen in this clip at about the 1:07 mark.

4 Jafar has a fraternal twin sister, a sorceress named Nasira. She serves as the villain for the Aladdin-themed video game, Disney’s Aladdin in Nasira’s Revenge. Nasira is voiced by none other than Ariel the Little Mermaid herself, actress Jodi Benson.

5 When the film was first released on VHS in 1993, Aladdin sold a whopping 25 million copies.

  • 21. In Arabic, his name would be pronounced Ala’aDEEN (small pause where you see the apostrophe) and the name Jasmine would be Jasmina, pronounced Yas-MEEN-a.

  • Shirelle Moore

    Omg, Aladdin is my all time favorite movie and I can’t believe it’s been 20 years! I’m only 18 myself but still. Jasmine has always been my favorite princess. and I have a picture of Aladdin and Jasmine as my screen savor as well as on my twitter as the headline picture. I was so proud of myself because I already knew most of the facts but I must say, some of them were a surprise, lol. Disney had better re- release this to theaters. I would die of happiness if they did that! The story of Aladdin and Jasmine will always be apart no matter how old I get <3

  • JumpinPhillyPhlash

    Anthropologically, Arabs are considered to be Caucasian or Caucasoid, techinically she would be the first Non-European disney princess.

  • JumpinPhillyPhlash

    Well played, that always bugged me, too!

  • hajmola

    Um, what about the fact that the ENTIRE movie was plagiarized from Richard Williams’ life-long work, “The Thief and the Cobbler”???

  • Adrian Ferguson

    Though the movie takes place in the arab world the original story takes place in China though even in that story most of the characters are explicitly Muslim.

  • Adrian Ferguson

    Also the name Ala’ adeen (Aladin) means “the glory of religion”

  • Dustin

    wouldnt princess Tiger Lily be the first non-European princess…?

  • JumpinPhillyPhlash

    That’s a good point, I think most of us forgot about her haha

  • Definitely, that’s a good additional point! Thanks.

  • You all make a relevant point. Strangely enough, Tiger Lily from Peter Pan isn’t considered an official Disney “princess.”

  • Seeing Aladdin in the theatres would be awesome. Thanks for your thoughts, Shirelle!

  • Interesting find, Adrian!

  • That controversy brings up a lot of discussion, for sure.

  • Don’t forget about the controversy over the line in the song “Arabian Nights”: “Where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face,” in the original release to “Where it’s flat and immense and the heat is intense.” in VHS/DVD and even CD soundtrack re-releases! Up there with “Penis-gate” from the Little Mermaid theater poster for “WHOA, Disney!” moments!

  • Really…no….really?

    Fun Fact 21: 99 of 100 dirt-worshipping, woman-subjugating, terror-loving middle easterners, believe this movie is blasphemy….regardless of how you pronounce her name. Really….

  • Yep, the original lyrics in “Arabian Nights” certainly created some issues.

  • Interesting observation.

  • Kristalbailey

    Was going to bring up the lyric issue, but saw you beat me to it! Great list Brett!

  • Thanks so much, Kristal. Hope you check out other editions of Disney In Depth!

  • Actually, the movie steals shot-for-shot moments and many traits from “The Theif of Baghdad.” Not sure why they’ve never admitted it.

  • Hmmm…. interesting perspective, John. Both of the films were released within a few years of one another, too, though I understand “Thief” was in development for decades.

  • Beena

    me and my sister still use dialogues from the movie …especially “It broke…” (in the beginning, where the storyteller tries to sell his wares :) :) )…. oh and “Look at these sides..” – Genie (after he comes out of the lamp after ages) :D priceless !

  • I agree, the quotes from this movie are absolutely hilarious. We can thank Robin Williams’ improv for many of those lines.

  • Actually many of the people that worked on the Thief of the Cobbler moved to work on a new disney movie that then became Aladdin. That is why there are a lot of similarities in plot. If you haven’t seen Thief and the Cobbler, you should watch it! the amount of time it took to do all those amazing hand-drawn scenes spanned decades and really is art in its finest form.

  • Carlos Hoyos

    Another fact is that the aladdin from the 1001 nights is actually chinese, but it looks like the American public wouldn’t understand why there’s an asian character in an arabian tale, so they changed his origin. And I think I saw in one review at the time that Aladdin wasn’t modeled after Michael J. Fox, but after his voice actor. Disney did the same with many other characters from Beauty & the Beast, and even the genie has the gestures from Robin Williams.

  • Thanks for sharing those thoughts, Carlos. Yes, in many instances Disney animators have modeled characters after their respective voice actors.

  • Just make sure you watch the Recobbled cut as it is far better than the theatrical version.

  • Yeah, but Arabia isn’t in Europe regardless of ethnicity, so…

  • Thanks for sharing that piece of insight. I remember the animation as pretty dazzling.

  • Hina Abbasi

    The Muslim world in its golden age was one big empire that spanned across North Africa, Spain, the Middle East and all the way across Asia to china. That’s why in classical Muslim stories the characters can be from any part of the empire. The differences in their races wouldn’t be a problem as it was all supposed to be part of the same ‘ummah’ or religious nation.

  • Joyce Mari

    9. Middle Eastern people are Caucasoid as well.

  • evilplatypus

    So glad you brought that up! I hate that no one ever acknowledges this!

    “It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that there dwelt in a city of the cities of China a man which was a tailor, withal a pauper, and he had one son, Aladdin hight. Now this boy had been from his babyhood a ne’er-do-well, a scapegrace. And when he reached his tenth year, his father inclined to teach him his own trade, and, for that he was overindigent to expend money upon his learning other work or craft or apprenticeship, he took the lad into his shop that he might be taught tailoring. But, as Aladdin was a scapegrace and a ne’er-do-well and wont to play at all times with the gutter boys of the quarter, he would not sit in the shop for a single day”

  • Innaunnakki

    I know someone named Bertt Bachman though it’s not Nachmann it’s similar XD Aaand we were both in a Disney play.

  • Innaunnakki

    You are HIV Aladeen….. XD

  • i thought it was pronounced ala ha-deen

  • how about the fact that in reality Jasmine would have had no say in who she married princess or not

  • yea til,l the 1970’s in the US legally you were either black asian or white (using those terms) it wasn’t till 74 i think that the options for Hispanic or Other were added

  • im 32 …it TOTTALY was! it was one of the first animated films to use CG blended with traditional art (namely carpet and some of the effects as well as backgrounds)

  • Very true. The word Caucasian is derived from the words Caucasus, and Asia, basically the Caucasus region inside Asia. Overtime, many of these people immigrated to different parts of the world, including to Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and parts of south Asia. Yes, some of the people in non European regions may have darker skin, but they are still Caucasian. Caucasian doesn’t only mean lily white.

  • I wish Disney would release the “Aladdin” Saturday morning series on DVD. Lots of great episodes and I especially loved Jason Alexander’s hapless villain

  • Reuben Lacsamana

    Is it a coincidence or a preview of the next disney movies. At the scene “A whole new world” they traveled somewhere in rome “Hercules” and at the end of the song China “Mulan”. What do you think?

  • The peddler in the opening scene has the same color scheme as the genie and is also voiced by Robin Williams, implying the story is introduced by the genie in disguise.

  • popmedic

    Ahhhh… Aren’t Arabians decedents of tribes out of the Caucasus Region??? Wouldn’t that make Jasmine (as you state an Arabian) Caucasian? So, this can’t be the first Disney cartoon with an “non-caucasian princess.” I believe what you mean is “first non-white princess.” If we are going to propagate racism by referencing race all the time, can we at least get the heritage right?

  • Yeah, Frank, those early CG sequences involving the carpet and the Cave of Wonders look great – even 20 years later.

  • That’s an awesome idea, Aladdin. Let’s hope Disney releases more of those favorite animated series from years’ past!

  • Absolutely, Anthony. That’s one element that makes the movie quite multi-layered.

  • It may be a coincidence, but there’s a chance animators could have already begun working on early development for either of those films. Who knows?

  • Thanks for your thoughts.

  • Albert L.

    22. Did you notice that both Aladdin and Princess Jasmine looks no where near like a typical Arabic at all? Instead, they look more like European. While their villains look like Arabs, with hook nose and obviously ugly. This is a silent propaganda to create hate and ‘predictive programming’ the audience, that Arabs are bad, while the European look-alike Alladdin and Princess Jasmine are not.

    23. The blue lump Genie was suppose to be free from wearing the arm braces in the first movie to obtain his freedom. But in the Return of Jafar movie, he seems to be wearing them again.

    24. Aladdin could have wished to have more wishes than just 3 from the Genie!

  • #9 is somewhat incorrect. Princess Tiger Lily was in Peter Pan. Though not the star of the movie, and not a princess in the traditional sense she still was the daughter of the leader of her people.

  • Timothy Ketterling

    for number 24 genie says, no wishing for more wishes, when he lists things that cant be wished for.

  • MyFriendlyGiant .

    Hercules wasn’t Roman, he was Greek.


    Hmm, no mention of all the sex references

  • Barry Stanton

    Aladin’s singing voice was provided by the guy who played tucker in buffy the vampire slayer, you know the one who raised hell hounds for the prom? Andrew from the trios brother? He also provided Jonathan’s singing voice in the episode “Superstar”.

  • Erin M

    22. False. Look at Jasmine against the white princesses and you can clearly see she’s of a different ethnicity (especially the downturned nose). And compare Jafar to Clayton of Tarzan or Frollo of Hunchback and you’ll see their noses are equally hooked. With the exception of Ursula, most of Disney’s villains have a similarly angular appearance, regardless of ethnicity.

  • Kiba

    You misspelled ’20 Things You Didn’t Care About ‘Aladdin” Not one of these facts is remotely interesting.

  • Abdulrahman

    As was often the case with Royal families all over the world, including Europe!

  • Guest

    ” Princess Jasmine, descending from Arabian heritage, was the first non-Caucasian Disney princess.” Actually, and I do hate to be that guy, Arabs are on of the 8 Caucasoids; in other words, Arabs are Caucasian. Maybe it would be more accurate to say Jasmine was the 1st none-European Disney Princess.

  • KathyRindhoops

    I’m a little late to the party here, but Sebastian from The Little Mermaid makes a cameo as well. The genie pulls him out of a cookbook and says, “King crab?”

  • Anderson da Silva

    I love Alladin cartoon.

  • meghan

    used to love this movie it a shame it didn’t make it to the imax like it was sopost to I used to be obbessed with this movie :(

  • OneMercilessMing

    Yes, but remember that Peter Pan was the star of THAt show. Not even Wendy was billed over Pan. TinkerBell (Tinkerbell, Tinkerbelle), of course, was a Caucausian fairy, not a princess.

  • Daphne Anita Starke

    I love it. What your address?

  • whatever

    Muslim? Are you shitting me? Aladdin is set in Pre-Islamic Arabia. So no, Jasmine, Aladdin and no one in this movie is a Muslim.

  • whatever

    True, but this movie is set in Pre- Islamic Arabia.

  • Leevi Koskivuori

    Hmhm…What most people won’t know is that the Finnish voice actor of Genie got a thank you concept art signed from Disney for his excellent performance as the character :3

  • JustSomeone

    Actually, in the movie, the sultan actually says, “Thank Allah!” when Aladdin (who was disguised as a prince) came to the palace. :) So, in maybe the actual story of Aladdin they weren’t Muslim, but in the Disney movie, they are. :)

  • Nathan Forester

    According to wikipedia…Steve Martin, John Candy and a few others were considered for the role of Genie.

  • George

    “A Whole New World” eh? OK, one song in Disney’s movies that is great as well is “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” performing by Elton Jonh at the ending credids of the “Lion King”. A great song. Almost brings tears on your eyes.

  • Claire Bullows

    There was a god called Allah before Islam.

  • Courtney Vick

    In the Cave of Wonders treasure room scenes, you can see ancient Assyrian winged guardian statues – or lamassi – which could bring one to conclude that the area in which the story takes place could be what we now know as Iraq. Also, we could conclude that the Disney story of Aladdin takes place sometime after the Neo-Assyrian period.
    But, that aside, I really loved this film, the sequels, and the tv show! I was maybe obsessed with it when I was a kid.

  • Gabriel Rodriguez

    Hispanic was added as an ethnicity since it only means you speak, the only racial thing about it is the fact that most hispanics are mixed. But to this day the only options are: Asian American (that doesn’t make sense since arabs, jews, indians and most of Russia is part of Asia), African American and Caucasian (correct if I’m wrong) American.

  • Christina Telles

    Hispanic has nothing to do with if you speak Spanish or not. The only ethnicities available are “Hispanic or Latino” and “Not Hispanic or Latino”. Hispanic denotes a Spanish ancestry, while Latino denotes a Latin American (Central and South America) Ancestry. On the census or other government papers, I qualify as Hispanic because of my dad’s side (Note the Hispanic last name), but I barely understand or speak Spanish.

    Also, as of the 2010 Census, the available races are: White, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Other Asian, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Native Hawaiian, Guamanian or Chamorro, Samoan, Other Pacific Islander, and Some other race.

  • Damien Johnson

    Her and Princess Eilonwy.

  • Reaper Kira

    The Portuguese are considered Hispanic. It is anyone who has ancestry of Hispania, which is the Iberian Peninsula.

  • Christina Telles

    Yes, they are. I really don’t know why it slipped my mind at the time.

  • dieselmondello

    the genie’s shackles (gold arm braces) popped off and dissolved in the air when aladdin freed him at the end of the first movie, but when they reappear in the other films and shows, my sister and i used to just say he wore them as stylish bracelets because they looked cool, but they had no power over him to make him grant anyone wishes (no more servitude to the lamp). Which speaking of the lamp, that’s kind of the same thing, he still hung out in there even though he didn’t have to (remember, he said it had very little living space haha). Or maybe he wore the gold bands and chilled out in the lamp for so long, they now comforted him after he gained his freedom, like prisoners who can no longer make it on the outside lol

  • Scarede Cat

    Well Genetically, Caucasians descended from Arabia. 10,000 BC Arabs from the deserts spread to europe killing all Neanderthal and lightening their skins to White in several thousand years. YOu Sound like Arabs are a subset or small branch of big caucasians race. In reality caucasians are grand childrens of Arabs (Partically Iraqi Arabs). I could just well say all europeans are originally Arabs.

  • Scarede Cat

    well they just took the idea from arabian nights. why would they even pay attention to whoever has already taken theif and cobbler in baghdad ideas. That idea is centuries old from arabian legends and not a trademark. they haven’t plagiarized or anything. just made their own version of something present here from a long time.

  • Tomfom

    The first non caucasian princess and the last one that looks doable. :)

  • Hasan Moh

    there was NO Baghdad until 200 years after Islam started. however most of the stories in Arabian nights are quoted from an ancient Persian and Indian stories. I am an Arab and I know the history behind this.

  • Hasan Moh

    they are not just Caucasians, they are actually the start of the Caucasian race. I am originally from Jordan, and skulls for causian were found dated more than 50,000 years.

  • Hasan Moh

    Actually it A’laa’ Al-Deen, (means: glorify the faith), but when u say it fast, it will sound like alaa-adeen

  • Hasan Moh

    no, it takes place in Baghdad.

  • Hasan Moh

    there was no Baghdad before Islam.

  • marlee

    I thought it took place in Ali Baba.

  • TruthIs

    Aladdin is 100% purely Iranian – a tale told by Sherezahd, and Persian folklore. Aladdin is not an Arab tale whatsoever. Disney does its usual racist job of stealing one culture’s identity and lumping it in with others.

  • Knoll

    The first words that the merchant says after the opening music is “As-salam and good evening to you”. Tell me what language and where the origin of “As-Salam” comes from… The princes almost had her hand cut off for stealing… Tell me, what law closely follows this? Nobody is Muslim in this movie… Hahahaha You make me laugh at your ignorance. Hopefully you have gotten smarter since 2 years ago.

  • L Lawliet

    Bitch Allah means God in Arabic it’s not the name for God it’s a translation

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