Disney Throwbacks: Aladdin

How Disney changed “Aladdin”

Comparing the changes Disney made to the

Disney Inc.

Comparing the changes Disney made to the “Aladdin” movie.

Caleb Simmons, Reporter

I’m sure that most of us have seen the original “Aladdin” as well as the newer live-action “Aladdin”. I’m also sure that many of us noticed some changes that were made. Although Disney did not drastically change the baseline of the movie, there were a few noteworthy changes.

Let’s start with the simplest one, Will Smith playing the Genie. Although Smith, in my opinion, did a great job as Genie, he was a big change from Robin Williams (who played the original Genie). When we are first introduced to Genie (Smith) he seems to be trying to impersonate Williams, which he can’t be exactly like him so it’s not a good fit. But after Smith starts to be himself, he becomes a much better Genie.

In the newer live-action film, they also added a new character Dalia (Nasim Pedrad) who is Princess Jasmine’s hand servant and always is looking out for the princess. Dalia was the only new main character added to the movie. However, they did change some things about other characters, such as the fact that Iago (Alan Tudyk), Jafar’s intelligent parrot companion, does not talk very much during the movie. This is unlike in the animated film where he is very talkative, witty, and sarcastic.

And Abu (Frank Welker), Aladdin’s monkey companion, who does not talk in either film, is not as active of a character in the newer live-action as he was in the original animated film. In addition, Genie does not seem to have as many magical abilities as in the original movie, in which he was able to: turn into a bee, create multiple of himself, and change what he looks like at will. These are just a few examples.

In the live-action film, Disney did keep all of the songs that were in the original including, “Friend Like Me”, “A Whole New World”, etc. But they added the extra song “Speechless” sung by Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott). In the song, she sings about how she won’t be pushed around and how she is going to make her own decisions. This is a big step up from the original and is adding another lesson to the movie about women being independent and not letting others dictate their lives.

Another thing about the newer live-action movie is that when Aladdin first appears as Prince Ali to Princess Jasmine he tries to give the Sultan (Navid Negahban) gifts as a way to impress both him and the princess. Princess Jasmine takes this as he is trying to buy her, and when she asks him, “And what do you hope to buy with this?” He stupidly replies “You” and after a moment goes “No, No no no no no, a moment with you, a moment…” Princess Jasmine then goes on to say “Are you suggesting I am for sale?” and he replies “Of course” and I will spare you the rest. During this time, Genie is making faces in the background in embarrassment and uncomfortableness. Princess Jasmine goes back to her room and Jafar interrogates Prince Ali about where he came from in which Prince Ali replies “Ababua.”

In the original animated film, Aladdin appears as Prince Ali but does not give the Sultan or Princess Jasmine gifts. The Sultan is very impressed with Prince Ali’s entrance and Prince Ali allows him to ride on Carpet, Aladdin’s flying carpet friend from the Cave of Wonders where he found Genie. Princess Jasmine, as well as Jafar, is not impressed and the princess goes away while Jafar interrogates Prince Ali about where he comes from and he says Ababua. 

There are other subtle changes in the movie but I don’t want to give them all away. You’re just going to have to watch the films and figure them out for yourself.