📽️ Disney Time – Aladdin

List Item:  Watch The Disney Animated Canon
Progress: 31/57Title: Aladdin
Year: 1992

I have to say that with this current run of films, it feels like Disney is just spoiling their audience. The fact that in three films out of the last four we’ve got The Little MermaidBeauty & the Beast and now Aladdin (keeping in mind that the next film will be The Lion King), has to make this one of the best film runs in any studios history. Feels like they’ve come such a long way in the last 10 years – which makes it such a shame that this streak will be ending very soon.

Anyway, enough sadness about what’s to come – let’s talk Aladdin. 

This may be the first time that Disney made a great film that is primarily a comedy. I can’t think of a film in the previous thirty where the comedy is so at the forefront, but what else are you going to do when you have both Robin Williams and Gilbert Gottfried on the payroll? And thank God, because the Genie and Iago really do light up the screen.

By making this a comedy, Aladdin managed to stand on it’s own feet and outside the shadow of the more serious and traditional Beauty & the Beast. There are still elements of danger here, with Jafar’s megalomania and the references to throat-slittings and beheadings, but you are never too far away from something comedic.

You are also never too far away from a good song. Whilst they aren’t collectively quite up to the standards of Beauty & the Beast or The Little Mermaid, you still have some undeniably classic moments. The entire ‘A Whole New World’ sequence is beautiful (even if it engages in some serious travel time compression) and the visuals behind ‘Friend Like Me’ and ‘Prince Ali’ really gives ‘Be Our Guest’ a run for its money.

What’s also really interesting to note is how understated Jafar is as a villain. Not since Cinderella‘s Lady Tremaine has an antagonist been able to get away with a quiet, self-assured and intelligent menace. It’s makes for an amazing contrast as so many other larger-than-life characters whilst also having his maniacal break at the film’s conclusion be all the more powerful.

In terms of animation Aladdin is on par with what Beauty & The Beast reached, but with an Arabian twist. This means that the animators are able to bring us architecture, landscapes and clothing that Disney had yet to attempt – and they do it beautifully. They also do a great job showcasing the shape-shifting antics and general magic of the Genie with traditional animation – not to mention how well they incorporated the magic carpet (one of the first computer animated Disney characters) with the rest of the film.

Next on the filmography is The Lion King, i.e. the favourite Disney film of most boys of my generation. I’m so looking forward to seeing this again and, seeing how it’s the second May bank holiday in a few days, I know I’m going to get to this sooner rather than later.

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