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The story of Aladdin

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The story of Aladdin, a street-smart street rat turned prince to try to win Princess Jasmine’s heart, is Disney’s 31st full-length animated feature released to theaters in November 1992. It remained at the top of the box office during its release, and was finally released to video in September 1993. * Aladdin is the young man who grew up without any parents, and learned to survive on his own in the streets of Agrabah. His only companion is his monkey, Abu, and together, they cause heaps of trouble as they are forced to steal food to survive. Despite his rough upbringing, Aladdin is blessed with a kind heart, willing to give up his stolen loaf of bread, and giving it to a pair of starving children he sees digging for food in garbage cans. Princess Jasmine is the daughter of the Sultan of Agrabah. Although she was brought up having everything and everyone serving her every whim, she was denied her one true wish: freedom. Not having any say in what she could do or what she could wear, things were made worse as her father urges her to choose one of the courting princes or suitors to be her husband. She maintains that marriage should be out of love, not a law, and refuses to concede to her father’s wishes.

Feeling trapped in the paradise she grew up with, she climbs over the palace wall in the night, and runs away to find out about the entire world she was forbidden to ever see. Meanwhile, the Sultan, frustrated over his daughter’s stubborness, is unaware of Jasmine’s whereabouts, and turns to his royal vizier, Jafar, for his insight in finding a solution. But little does the Sultan know of Jafar’s evil plot to find a certain magic lamp and take over as ruler of Agrabah. Jafar uses his magical snake staff and casts a spell over the Sultan, convincing him that it is essential to take the Sultan’s family ring, and leaves to work on his plan. In the marketplace, Jasmine finds herself in awe over the wonders that happen everyday there. Most of it is new to her, and because she does not fully understand how life outside the palace functions, she finds herself in some trouble when all she wanted to do was give a hungry boy an apple. Unfortunately, the apple she took came from a vendor’s cart, and he demands that she pay or have her hand cut off as punishment.

Luckily, Aladdin, who himself was in awe of the beautiful girl (not knowing that she is the princess because of her disguise), comes to her rescue, insisting to the vendor that she was his crazy sister. Unfortunately, Abu blows their cover by spilling the apples and coins he stole, and the three of them escape into the crowd. Back at the palace, Jafar casts a little magic to find the “diamond in the rough,” the sole person who can enter the Cave of Wonders, where the magic lamp is located. To his surprise, it is a lowly street rat, who we see is Aladdin, and he arranges for the guards to “extend him an invitation to the palace.” On the rooftops of Agrabah, Aladdin helps Jasmine along as they make their way to his make-shift home. Once there, he immediately shows her the extravagant view of the palace from his window. Unimpressed, she counters his musings about the “wonders” of living in the palace. Aladdin says that it has to be better than how he is living, “always scraping for food, and ducking the guards.” Then, as they contemplate their situations aloud, they both say they are trapped, in unison. Then Aladdin asks about where she’s from, and she tells him that she ran away because her father was forcing her into marriage.

She admires his concern for her, wishing there was something he could do, and they realize that they are falling in love. But before they can kiss, the palace guards suddenly barge in. Asking if she trusts him, Aladdin takes her hand and jumps out the window, and land safely below. However, they don’t get farther than two steps before the head guard, captures and arrests Aladdin. Angrily, Jasmine reveals her identity and orders the guards to release Aladdin. The guard says that his orders come from Jafar and that she would have to discuss this with him. Back at the palace, Jasmine demands the release of Aladdin. Jafar states that the boy committed a crime by kidnapping the princess and must be punished, and then he feigns horror when she tells him that she ran away was not kidnapped. He tells her that the death execution had already been carried out, and she runs from the room in tears. What only Jafar and Iago know is that Aladdin is still alive and is down in the palace dungeon. Jafar disguises himself as another prisoner and convinces Aladdin to help him get to a cave filled with treasure. Suddenly, his plan goes awry, and Aladdin, Abu and the magic carpet they meet become trapped in the cave when Abu touches a forbidden jewel. Aladdin ends up with the lamp Jafar so desperately wanted, along with the magical, comical, long-winded genie inside.

He tricks the Genie into getting them out of the cave and safely to a desert oasis. The Genie makes it clear to Aladdin that he is to have no more freebies. Wondering what he should wish for, Aladdin asks Genie what he would wish for. Genie wants what he and Jasmine want: freedom. He has been confined to his lamp and to granting wishes for other people for millennia, and only wants to have the freedom to grant his own wishes for a change. But the only way for that to happen would be if someone wished for him to be free. Aladdin, thinking this is no problem, promises that he would use his third wish to free the Genie. Finally, Aladdin puts his first wish to use, wishing to be a prince so that he can have a chance at winning Jasmine’s hand in marriage. Genie transforms Aladdin into Prince Ali Ababwa, Abu into an elephant, and gives him an entourage to make his arrival in Agrabah all the more grand. Meanwhile in Agrabah, the Sultan reprimands Jafar for executing a prisoner without his consent. Jafar apologizes profusely, and when left alone with Iago, the loud-mouthed parrot give Jafar the idea that to become Sultan, all he would have to do is simply marry the princess.

Then he finds the scroll with the laws on it and interprets them for the Sultan, such that if “a suitable prince cannot be found, the princess must then be wed to … the royal vizier.” But before Jafar can cast a spell on the Sultan to manipulate him, the Sultan is distracted by an arriving parade featuring Prince Ali. Inside the palace, Prince Ali states his objective for his visit: to seek the princess’ hand in marriage. Aladdin impresses the Sultan, especially giving the Sultan a magic carpet ride around the throne room, but Jafar isn’t as easily convinced, and becomes frustrated that his plan to marry the princess can soon be thwarted. Suddenly, Jasmine comes in, overhearing their plans for her marriage, and vocally refuses to be treated in such a manner and stomps off. Later that evening, Aladdin expresses his doubt about going through with the masquerade, but when Genie suggests that he just tell Jasmine the truth, he decides to continue with the act and takes carpet up to Jasmine’s balcony. She does not want to see him, but notices that he looks familiar when he takes off his turban. Aladdin lies about never having been in the marketplace.

Having had enough on this game, Jasmine plays along for a few seconds more and tells him to “jump off the balcony.” Dejected, Aladdin takes it literally, giving Jasmine quite a scare but her feelings turn to wonder when she sees Carpet. Aladdin offers to take her for a ride, asking her if she trusts him. That simple question tipped her off that he was really the boy in the marketplace, but she decides to play along, but gets an overwhelming experience as Aladdin takes her to places farther than she could imagine. While watching the fireworks and dragon dance from a rooftop in China, Jasmine tricks Aladdin into admitting that he really is the boy from the marketplace. But Aladdin manages to cover by saying that he occasionally goes to the marketplace to “escape the pressures of palace life.” But he also manages to embarrass Jasmine at the same time by hinting that she pretty much did the same thing. Carpet flies them back to the palace, and up to Jasmine’s balcony. She turns to say good-night, and suddenly Carpet boosts Aladdin up a few feet so that their lips meet, and it turns into a long kiss. After she disappears into her room, Aladdin and Carpet fly back down to the garden, where suddenly he is captured by the palace guards who are overseen by Jafar. Carpet and Abu are restrained and Aladdin is knocked unconscious.

He comes to when the guards drop him over a ledge into the deep sea. The heavy ball-and-chain immediately drags him to the bottom where the lamp falls out of his turban. He passes out before he can reach the lamp, but manages to rub it when it rolls down the sea floor. Genie pops out, and is horrified to see the condition his master is in. Genie has no choice but to “use” Aladdin’s second wish to save him, and together they return to Agrabah. In the meantime, Jasmine sits dreamily in her bedroom, when her father and Jafar come in, announcing that she is to wed Jafar. Aladdin surprises them all by showing himself. He accuses Jafar of trying to kill him, and smashes the snake staff, breaking the spell over the Sultan.

Furious at what he has found, the Sultan orders to have Jafar arrested, but he disappears in a puff of smoke. After the Sultan orders the guards to find him, he realizes that his daughter has finally chosen a husband and praises Aladdin, saying that he will make a fine Sultan one day. In Jafar’s lair, Iago panics, preparing the pack up and leave, but Jafar has a new plan. He’d seen the lamp poking out of Aladdin’s turban and orders Iago to steal it from him. In Aladdin’s room, Aladdin is worriedly pondering the prospect of becoming Sultan one day. Even Genie fails at trying to cheer him up, and tries to hint at Aladdin’s promise to his third wish. But Aladdin shoots down the Genie’s hopes, saying that he still needs him, for without him, Prince Ali isn’t real. He just can’t free him yet. Feeling hurt, Genie retreats back to his lamp, razzing Aladdin before disappearing and refusing to come back out. Angrily, Aladdin buries the lamp under a pillow. But slowly, Aladdin realizes that the Genie is right, and that Jasmine has to know the truth. He suddenly runs off at hearing Jasmine’s voice, unaware that her voice was mimicked by Iago who flies in and steals the lamp. Outside the palace, all of Agrabah have gathered to hear the Sultan’s announcement that Jasmine has finally chosen a suitor. Jasmine finally finds Aladdin, but pushes him out in front of the crowd before he can tell her anything.

Meanwhile, in a far corner of the palace, Jafar and Iago look on disgustedly. Jafar rubs the lamp, stating that he is the Genie’s master now, and wishes to be Sultan. Jafar appears on the balcony, now in the Sultan’s robes. He orders Genie to pick up the palace and move it to a mountaintop where Jafar unleashes his vengeance. He reveals Aladdin’s true identity rather harshly to Jasmine, and banishes him and Abu to the far ends of the earth. Finding himself in a heavy snow storm, Aladdin regrets not freeing the Genie when he had the chance, and that he has to get back to set things right. Meanwhile, Jafar lounges in the throne room, employing Jasmine as his personal slave and the Sultan as his source of entertainment. Jafar proposes that Jasmine should be his queen, but she refuses. He remembers the Genie and wishes for Jasmine to fall desperately in love with him. Genie tries to explain that wish is beyond his power, but Jafar refuses to listen. While Jafar badgers the Genie about it, Jasmine notices Aladdin trying to sneak back in.

Realizing Aladdin would need Jafar to be distracted, she decides to pretend that the Genie did grant his wish, and pretends to be madly in love. While Aladdin sneaks over towards the lamp, Jafar sees his reflection in Jasmine’s crown and attacks. Aladdin shouts for anyone to get ahold of the lamp, but everyone is restrained in one way or another. Abu is turned into a toy, Carpet is unwoven, and Jasmine is encased in a huge hourglass. Now fighting one-on-one, Jafar turns himself into a snake and goes after Aladdin. The boy puts up a formidable fight, but finally is captured. Then remembering the Genie, and Jafar’s hunger for power, he baits Jafar into wishing himself to be an all-powerful genie. The Genie, not realizing Aladdin’s plan just yet, reluctantly grants the wish. But before Jafar can do much damage, he is suddenly restrained by a pair of manacles and is sucked into his lamp, along with Iago who he manages to grab onto. Then the Genie flings the lamp to be buried in the Cave of Wonders.

Finally having a moment alone, Aladdin apologizes for lying to Jasmine about being a prince. Jasmine understands, and only wishes that the stupid law didn’t exist so that they could be together. The Genie overhears this and reminds Aladdin of his third wish which he can use to become a prince again. He disregards his own wish for freedom and only wants what’s best for his master. Aladdin thinks about it, and apologizes to Jasmine, saying that he can’t continue pretending to be something he’s not. Then he wishes for Genie’s freedom. Unbelieving at first, the Genie marvels at the feeling of freedom. Then he explodes into a fit of excitement, but stops when he sees Aladdin’s expression. The Genie remarks that Aladdin would always be a prince in his heart. The Sultan agrees, and changes the law on the spot, announcing that the princess shall be allowed to marry whoever she deems worthy. In an instant, Jasmine chooses Aladdin. The Genie is so happy for everyone, and takes off with his new-found freedom, and Jasmine and Aladdin begin their new life together.

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