Cassim: It’s you son, you are my ultimate treasure. I’m just sorry it took me so long to realize it.
Beware: Spoilers may follow
Aladdin was one of the few movies to get not one but two Disney sequels. And with both the last sequel and the TV show that followed it being a modest success it only made sense to wrap it up with one last movie. This sequel not only proves to outdo the last one but also serve as an excellent wrap-up to the movies and the TV show alike. However it isn’t entirely flawless.
The story is that Aladdin and Jasmine are finally tying the knot. However Aladdin is upset that his father named Cassim cannot attend the wedding as Aladdin never knew him and believes him to be dead. But when the 40 thieves disrupt and rob their wedding he comes across an Oracle who tells him that his dad is alive trapped in the world of the thieves. The two meet up and have no idea what to make of one another. Cassim is confused as to how Aladdin made it out of poverty while Aladdin is confused why his dad is the leader of the 40 thieves. It turns out Cassim has been spending years finding a treasure called the Hand of Midas which can turn anything into gold which is why he left his family in the first place so he could find it to lead his family out of poverty. Thus Aladdin puts his wedding on hold to find out whether he wants to help his father find the treasure or just be there at his wedding.
The movie’s main problem is its lack of focus and direction. It feels like it wants to develop a relationship between Aladdin and his father but they also want to create an adventure. And neither of the two fully go hand-in-hand. The motivations of Aladdin and his father constantly bounce back and forth with Cassim torn between finding the treasure and being their for his son and Aladdin deciding whether or not to help his father find it. There’s almost no further reason defined for Cassim wanting to find the treasure when you consider that he knows Aladdin is in a position of power. Overall the relationship they are trying to produce and the message the movie is trying to send is somewhat muddled. However to the movie’s credit when it’s trying to have a moment between the characters it never feels out of place. Its main problem lies in its focus.
The animation is a lot better. It feels like a mix between the show and Return of Jafar but they go the extra mile in terms of the colors, character expressions, designs, angles, and so forth. However there are times that it was clear they may have not had enough budget to fully animate everything such as the fight scene between Aladdin and Sa’luk.
For a straight-to-video movie they also went the extra mile with the Genie. Robin Williams came back to voice him which in turn gave a lot of the same energy and magic that the first one had. All of his impressions and pop-culture references are still every bit of there as it was in the first film. The action sequence at the wedding and him trying to cheer Jasmine up while Aladdin is gone both have a great deal of effort to put into on Genie and it is very funny to watch.
Sa’luk himself is a rather underdeveloped villain. Even though he has a great design and Jerry Orbach’s voice acting gives a unique distinction to the character, the character himself is rather one-dimensional. He just feels like a generic power-mad second-in command. His connection to Cassim isn’t all that well defined and outside of vengeance he has no connection to Aladdin either.
The songs are very well done. The opening song establishes the premise very well. Out of Thin Air is a good duet between Aladdin and Jasmine. Are you in or out is a catchy villain song. Father and Son while it’s no Friend Like me, Robin Williams’ voice still gives it a great deal of energy. The only one that feels a little forgettable is Welcome to the Forty Thieves.
Aladdin and the King of Thieves while it lacks in focus does have a great deal of effort put into it and unlike Return of Jafar it really succeeds in showing off said effort. The creative team knew that this was going to be the last Aladdin-related project and it’s clear that they tried to work with everything available to them. It may not be the greatest sequel but it does make a positive impact on the Disney’s legacy of the Aladdin franchise.