Saturday, March 1, 2014

MCS #5: Aladdin and the King of Thieves

Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1996)

Aladdin and Jasmine are finally getting married. But before they can say “I do” the wedding is interrupted by the forty thieves. In the wake of the disaster, an oracle reveals that Aladdin’s long lost father, Cassim, is still alive. To find him, Aladdin must dive deep into the realm of the forty thieves, and the answers are nothing like he expected.

Holy tornado, Bat Man! (Don’t ask why tornado. It’s just the first word that popped into my head.) Usually I’m very perceptive about when Disney reuses actors, but I never caught onto this one. The villain in this movie (Sa’luk) is voiced by Jerry Orbach.

That voice sound familiar? It should. He was Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast.

On that note, after getting a bunch of replacement actors for Return of Jafar, the crew seems to be all back in place for the third adventure—including Robin Williams as Genie. Perhaps Jasmine worked her princess magic.

Or perhaps not.

K, question. Did anyone else think Aladdin and Jasmine got married at the end of the first movie? Cuz I totally did. Sultan gave the go-ahead. Aladdin and Jasmine flew off into the moon (Aladdin in prince garb), and there were fireworks. It looked pretty wedding-ly to me. But apparently it wasn’t.

Oh Well Smiley Sign

Tipping my hat to Disney for a great story about adventure, romance, and the meaning of family. Both Aladdin and his father show wonderful character and relationship growth. People take responsibility for their actions.

Also, this movie contains a reference to Terry Pratchet’s Diskworld series. I’m not sure if that was Disney’s intention, but it is there nonetheless. Yes, I am speaking of the island on the back of the giant turtle.

Writer’s Lockbox


Keeping characters true to who they are.

At the end, Aladdin and Jasmine are finally (for reals this time, guys) wed. Aladdin’s father watches the ceremony from the sidelines, and after it’s over, he leaves. It’s not a “well I don’t care about my kid” leaving. It’s a “my kid is all set. I saw this big event in his life, and I’m not the kind of guy who stays in one place for very long.” In short, it’s true to Cassim’s character.

This is important for writing in general. If Cassim had stayed and settled down in the palace, it would have been nice for Aladdin, but it wouldn’t have been realistic. And I think the movie would have lost something. There’s something powerful about that final image of father and son accepting one another for who they are, and there is something equally powerful about giving characters their identity.

Last week: Aladdin II: The Return of Jafar

And join me next week for a non-Aladdin movie (awah?), Alice in Wonderland.

Thanks for reading.

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My book blog


  1. It blew my mind when I found out Lumiere and Sa'luk had the same voice actor, although since I'm terrible at recognizing voices, I thought it might just be me. Nice to know you were also surprised! ^_^

    1. lol. I know, right? I was sad that Orbach only did one Disney movie, then I discovered that.