ALADDIN AND THE KING OF THIEVES
US, 1996, 80 minutes, Colour.
Voices : Robin Williams, Scott Wininger, Linda Larkin, John Rhys Davies, CCH pounder.
Directed by Tad Stones.
Aladdin was a great success for Disney studios in 1993, following on the renewal of Disney’s impact with The Little Mermaid in 1989 and Beauty and the Beast in 1992, the latter even winning an Oscar nomination for Best Film. The Lion King was to be released the following year.
Aladdin immediately became part of Disneyworld and, more latterly, a Broadway musical.
There was a sequel in 1994, The Return of Jaffar, designed for television viewing and home viewing.
This film, for DVD release, takes up the story and has some heroics for Aladdin, the yearnings of Princess Jasmine and her help in his quest, his discovery of his father as Ali Barber and the activities of the 40 thieves.
Younger audiences will enjoy all of this. They will also enjoy Robin Williams reprising his role of the genie, with all the madcap illustrations, the various forms the genie took, with references to history, the movies, even Woody Allen, and the zany lyrics of his songs as well as of dialogue. It is hard to keep up with him, probably needing a second viewing to appreciate all his comedy. This is the part for adult enjoyment.
1. An entertaining sequel to Aladdin? Capturing its original spirit? Characters, plot, adventures, crazies?
2. The animation style, backgrounds, lavish illustrations, the characters, the adventures, the action and the Island, the Hand of Midas? And the variety of impressions of the genie?
3. The screenplay, characterisations, relying on the past but standing alone? The further development of the story? The songs, illustrating each of the central characters? The final parity during the credits of the speech from alien, Games Over Man?
4. The character of Aladdin, age, experience, poor, love the Jasmine? The preparation for the wedding? Is wondering about his father and whether he would be a good father? The death of his mother? The appearance of the Oracle, the possibility of one question, asking whether his father was alive? The truth? Jasmine encouraging him on his quest? His father with the 40 thieves? The carpet, the monkey, the bird, accompanying him? The patter? Arriving at the island, discovery of the truth about his father, confrontation, reconciliation? The 40 thieves, the challenge, his succeeding, the villain falling into the ocean? The return for the wedding? The father and his motivations? Wanting to find the Oracle? The truth about the Hand of Moses, the disappearing island? Going to find the hand? Aladdin Jasmine of the others on the carpet? The discovery of the hand, not touching it, it’s turning everything to gold? The 40 thieves and then not realising this, the villain and his being transformed to gold and falling to the sea? The father, his pride in his son, the wedding?
5. Jasmine, in love with Aladdin, her relationship with her father, the preparation for the wedding, sending Aladdin on his quest, finally accompanying him, helping?
6. The carpet, the monkey, the bird, the comedy?
7. Robin Williams voicing the genie? Character, zany? The quick jokes and repartee? The variety of disguises, shapes and characters, including Woody Allen and Groucho Marx? The songs? The modern touches – with the machine gun? Williams re-creating his original character?
8. The 40 thieves, coming into the city, the disguise, the robberies? Losing their loot? The headquarters? Open sesame? The leadership, the role of the father, command, the challenge and the fight? The greed?
9. The Sultan, love for his daughter, being persuaded about the wedding, the happy ending?