Ah, Salaam and good evening to you, worthy friend. Please, please, come closer!
Released in theatres on November 25, 1992, today marks the 25th anniversary of Aladdin. Considered one of the founding films of the Disney Renaissance, Aladdin was Walt Disney Studio’s 31st animated feature film and ushered in a new era of classics.
Directed by famous Disney duo Ron Clements and John Musker (The Little Mermaid, Moana) and featuring music by Disney Legends Alan Menken, Tim Rice, and Howard Ashman, you couldn’t have wished for a better team! Of course, we can’t forget the late Robin Williams as the voice of the eternally hilarious Genie; a role he was awarded a special honour for at the 1993 Golden Globes.
The film was an instant success. With a budget of $28M and a worldwide box office gross of over $504M, Aladdin went on to win multiple awards, including the Oscars for Best Original Score and Best Original Song (“Friend Like Me”).
Join us on a magic carpet ride through The Cave of Wonders as we explore 10 magical facts to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Aladdin. But, know this. Only one may enter here, one whose worth lies far within. The diamond in the rough!
1. Black Friday
On what is now known as Black Friday at Walt Disney Studios, this was the day former chairman, Jeffrey Katzenberg, told his Aladdin team to scrap everything they’d been working on and start over. He also refused to move the movie’s release date.
2. Forbidden Fruit
While on their magic carpet ride through a whole new world, Prince Ali tosses Jasmine an apple as they soar over Greece. In Ancient Greece, throwing an apple to a woman was considered a marriage proposal!
3. Prince Steve
Fans of "Full House" might be surprised to know that Steve Hale (Scott Weinger), is the man behind Aladdin’s speaking voice. There was also a special nod to this in the Season 6 episode, The House Meets the Mouse, where Steve was dressed as Aladdin at Walt Disney World.
4. Disney Doppelgängers
Those with an ear for Disney’s enchanting musical numbers might recognize a familiar voice on Aladdin’s soundtrack. Lea Salonga, the actress used for singing voice of Princess Jasmine, also lent her vocals to Disney’s 1998 release, Mulan.
5. Cat & Mouse
Disney fans curious for Hidden Mickey’s need look no further than the freeze-framed image above. As Raja transforms from an adorable kitten back to his full tiger status, you can spot a very familiar mouse in the mix.
6. Crowd Pleasers
When Aladdin breaks through the crowd to get a look at the snooty Prince Achmed, the two men he stands behind are animated versions of the film’s directors, Ron Clements and John Musker. The original plan was to feature Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, but the idea was scrapped after Ebert’s signature glasses didn’t fit the Agrabah setting.
7. Middle Eastern Eggs
In addition to cameos by Ron, John, and Mickey Mouse, Disney fans can spot a few other famous characters throughout the film. Pinocchio, Sebastian, and The Beast all make brief Easter egg appearances in Aladdin. Check them out in the GIF above!
8. Odd Job Genie
Aladdin might be Master of the Lamp, but the Genie is the Master of Impressions! The Genie's celebrity impersonations include: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ed Sullivan, Groucho Marx, William F. Buckley, Señor Wences, Robert De Niro, Carol Channing, Arsenio Hall, Walter Brennan, Mary Hart, Ethel Merman, Rodney Dangerfield, Jack Nicholson, and Peter Lorre.
9. Harem Girls
Fan theories suggest that the three women singing to Aladdin during the “One Jump Ahead” musical number belong to a brothel. This explains why the girls don’t care for the street rat, as he has no money.
Rumour has it that film’s script was rejected for a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination at the 1993 Academy Awards because of Robin Williams’s ad-libbing. Williams improvised so much dialogue, producers had about sixteen hours worth of material to work with.
Watch for Disney’s live-action retelling of Aladdin! Directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Will Smith as the Genie, the film will fly into Cineplex theatres in 2019.
Click here to buy or rent Aladdin from the Cineplex Store!