There's only one major studio in Hollywood today that delves into the complexities of mental disorders and their effects on both patients and their families, and that's Disney. After the heartfelt story of Ariel in the Little Mermaid coming to grips with her hoarding disorder, and the plight of Belle in Beauty and Beast struggling with Stockholm Syndrome, Aladdin combines multiple neuroses on a the back of a clever and engaging update to Hamlet.
The Prince here is Aladdin and the father's ghost appears repeatedly throughout the film as the former ruler. Although details of his death are never revealed, Aladdin seeks revenge on Jaffar whom he believes is the murderer. The major twist in this story is that Ophelia is replaced by Princess Jasmine who engages in a wanton incestuous relationship with her brother, despite clearly knowing about his mental problems.
Upon a recently viewing of this movie, we were discussing the shared disorders of various central characters. Aladdin is so completely batshit off his noodle that he becomes increasingly reliant on an imaginary Caputian monkey whom he engages in frantic babbling dialog. Jaffar also has an identical condition as he carts around a back-talking parrot as a proxy for dealing with his crippling guilt. Both characters are unaware that nobody else interacts with their delusions.
Princess Jasmine's desire to get her rocks off with her brother makes her cruel and deceptive. She pushes the issue by pretending to see and talk with the monkey. By adding credence to Aladdin's very loose grip on reality, he descends quickly into madness and adds to his circle of mental friends a large blue genie and a rug.
At the end, Aladdin's decision to grant freedom to the genie is really a metaphor for setting himself free and wanting to return to reality. The nation accepts their ruler back and Jaffar is condemned for his father's murder. While all the major characters learn to handle their issues respectively, Jasmine continues to manipulate Aladdin for selfish sexual reasons, but it's telling how she no longer recognizes his monkey who has now been usurped.
A brilliant mix of politics, sex, murder and despair, Aladdin is a must-see for any mental health professional and others who tend to read too much into things.
I sure hope so, because Disney's take on "Aladdin" is a wonderful rollercoaster ride of a tale. Tucked securely in the middle of Disney's animated "Renaissance" in the late 80's to mid 90's, this fun-filled story pops off of the screen thanks to a wonderful digital transfer that highlights both the traditional animation of Disney and the (at the time) growing digital animation of Pixar. This is most evident in the Cave of Wonders, where Aladdin, Abu and the Magic Carpet go for a wild ride as the … more
This is one of the better of the new breed of Disney cartoons. A good story, good characters (Jafar is a great villian) and voices. I would have rated this higher except that at times Robin Williams (as the Genie) talks to fast and overblows his role. As far as kids go, my kids like this one but not as much as The Lion King and Toy Story which they have seen hundreds of times. I would say that they watched Aladdin less than a handful of times.
Disney's 1992 animated feature is a triumph of wit and skill. The high-tech artwork and graphics look great, the characters are strong, the familiar story is nicely augmented with an interesting villain (Jafar, voiced by Jonathan Freeman), and there's an incredible hook atop the whole thing: Robin Williams's frantically hilarious vocal performance as Aladdin's genie. Even if one isn't particularly moved by the love story between the title character (Scott Weinger) and his girlfriend Jasmine (Linda Larkin), you can easily get lost in Williams's improvisational energy and the equally entertaining performances of Freeman and Gilbert Gottfried (as Jafar's parrot).--Tom Keogh