Aladdin: You’re only in trouble if you get caught.
Beware: Spoilers may follow.
Some Disney movies have a great romance. Some of them have great songs. Some have great animation while others have great action and characters. Aladdin has all of those things making it the most fun Disney movie out there.
The story is that our main hero Aladdin is a thief trying to get by in life in the streets alongside his trusty monkey companion Abu. He comes across Princess Jasmine who is looking to escape her life in the palace. The two meet and become smitten with one another but Aladdin cannot be with her since the law states that Jasmine can only marry a prince. Aladdin is however captured on the villainous Jafar’s orders and is tricked by him into going into the Cave of wonders since he is considered the diamond in the rough and thus the only one who can enter. In the cave, he comes across the magic carpet along with the Genie. Using one of his three wishes he transforms into a prince, which giveshim the opportunity to marry Jasmine. However, Jafar is not too pleased with this and concocts a plan to kill Aladdin, marry Jasmine, and ultimately take control.
Like most Disney movies during the Disney Renaissance period, the story takes place between two environments. In this case, it’s the streets and the castle. The movie takes the perfect time to showcase both the benefits and the hardships of living in both environments. This helps contribute to the romance between the two leads.
Despite the fact that Aladdin and Jasmine’s relationship takes place only in a matter of a couple days it is shown well. Despite both coming from different backgrounds they both have one thing in common: they both feel trapped in the worlds they are living in. And they do take the time to talk about their problems with one another.
All the characters are given the perfect amount of screen time. The story knows how to define the leads and establish the side characters’ relationship to the leads.
The animation is fantastic. All the colors, backgrounds, and angles really make you feel the adventure and magic of a moment such as when Aladdin and Abu are escaping theCave of Wonders on the magic carpet, when we see the Cave of Wonders itself, when Aladdin and Jasmine are flying throughout the kingdom during the Whole New World sequence, and of course the ever popular Friend Like Me song.
In regards to the character animations, they are two that stand out. The first is the magic carpet. This thing has neither face nor mouth and yet its expressions and personality are defined perfectly through its movements alone. The Genie is the other character. With his talented impressions, Robin Williams becomes one with this character and the various designs they have for him. And in regards to both these characters, the friendship built between them and Aladdin is well established and well built over the course of the movie.
Jafar is yet another character that is well animated. You see him take on a wide variety of forms. The old man disguise, in particular, is so well done that it’s quite hard to notice that he is underneath. And when he transforms into a snake and a genie the animation does an excellent job of showcasing just how powerful he can be.
Aladdin is a strong character and truly deserving of being the diamond in the rough. In a world full of rotten people he’s shown to be a kind-hearted individual. Despite the fact that most of the work to win Jasmine’s heart is done with the help of the Genie he isn’t nothing without him. Most of Aladdin’s actions come down to sheer wit alone and he applies this well in both courting Jasmine and in the final battle.
Jasmine is also a strong character. She’s quite free-spirited, bold and headstrong and at the same time isn’t willing to be a doormat. When she puts her foot down on matters you truly believe in what she’s saying.
The songs are tunes that stick in your head long after you’ve watched the movie. Whole New World is very romantic, One Jump Ahead establishes Aladdin’s lifestyle pretty well, and Friend Like Me uses great animation and singing alike.
Aladdin truly feels like a magic carpet ride to the end. It knows how to have fun but it also knows how to balance said fun. With great characters, animation, songs, and so forth it truly feels like an adventure to a whole new world.