By: Alex Phuong (A Toast) –
This is one of the most popular Disney films from the “Disney Renaissance.” It led to a TV series, direct-to-video sequels, and even a Broadway production. That film is none other than Aladdin, based on the famous Middle Eastern folk tale. Aladdin is no ordinary Disney film, though, because it was widely acclaimed by critics and audiences when it was originally released in 1992, and even won two Academy Awards the following year. Indeed, this is still most of the most beloved Disney films ever made (as of 2018).
Like many films from the “Disney Renaissance,” Aladdin won awards for its original songs and dazzling film score thanks to the brilliance of Alan Menken. Howard Ashman unfortunately passed away while making Beauty and the Beast (1991), but at least Ashman received posthumous recognition even though he tragically succumbed to AIDS. Tim Rice was fortunately able to contribute to Aladdin as well as other films like The Lion King (1994). Aladdin also features one of the most romantic songs ever composed, the Oscar-winning classic “A Whole New World.” Ever since that film won the Academy Award, it has been played at countless weddings in order to celebrate the power of love, and the song itself is as magical as riding a magic carpet.
Aladdin was also a major achievement thanks to the brilliance of its characters. The character Aladdin remains a popular Disney hero thanks to the fact that he really is “a diamond in the rough.” Princess Jasmine continued the trend of feminist Disney characters thanks to her spunky attitude and assertion that she is not a princess that needs to marry a handsome prince to be happy. Jafar is also considered one of the greatest Disney villains because his supervising animator, Andreas Deja, intentionally made Jafar the male equivalent to Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty (1959). And of course, Aladdin features one of the funniest characters of all time, the fun-loving Genie voiced by the late Robin Williams. It is of course tragic that Robin Williams would commit suicide even though he had an illustrious career that included winning an Academy Award for his supporting role in Good Will Hunting (1997), and many people will always remember him as one of the greatest comedic actors for both animated and live-action films. With such amazing characters, it is no wonder that this film is a great piece of family entertainment!
Aladdin continues to remain one of the most beloved and critically acclaimed movies of all time (and not just within the Disney canon). One of the most compelling themes of this film is not to judge people by their appearances, but by their character. That is actually a great moral that children can learn from by watching this movie.
On a side note, a fun fact about the character Aladdin was that his voice actor, Scott Weinger, actually dressed up as Aladdin on an episode of Full House in which the Tanner family visits Walt Disney World in Florida. The joke was that DJ Tanner imagines seeing her love interest, Steve, as Aladdin in the Magic Kingdom theme park, and Scott Weinger actually played Steve on Full House while also providing the voice of Aladdin in the early 1990s.
With such an influence on pop culture, it is no wonder that Aladdin is still one of the greatest Disney films of all time!
Aladdin (1992) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time Jafar uses his cobra staff for wicked reasons
Take a Drink: every time Iago the parrot behaves obnoxiously
Drink a Shot: every time the film features the sultan’s palace
And Save Three Drinks: for each of the three wishes that the Genie can grant (but no, you are not allowed to wish for more wishes, nor additional servings of your favorite alcoholic beverages. Sorry, but that’s the rule!)