Prince Ali, marvelous he, Ali-Ababuah! I’ve got to be honest, I love Aladdin. I love the character so much, I’ve decided to take a break from writing about villains and write about him as well.
Now obviously the most groundbreaking thing about Aladdin is th
e fact that he is a man. He is the only disney prince to warrant his own film and the only one, up until that point, to appear throughout the entire film. Due to this one simple difference, he has impacted cinema, and more specifically disney, in numerous ways. To begin, his is the only film to focus on the
man-seeking-woman model. Up until this point only five disney princess movies had been made, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast. Each of those films had the princess accidentally find the prince, and only ariel actually pursued her chosen one. This means that Aladdin was the first movie to solely be about courting one of Disney’s famed princesses, a storytelling model that would continue throughout other Disney films.
This was also the first Disney Princess film to be an official comedy. While it is true that other films have some funny scenes and moments, Aladdin was the first film to truly rely on it. This is most evident by the casting of famed comedian Robin Williams as the titular character Genie. Future films, like Tangled, also relying on comedy to sell their stories would never have existed if not for Aladdin’s success. As a part of the Disney Renaissance this was one of the first films to branch away from the simplistic storytelling of the original trio. While The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast experimented with independent women and complex stories, Aladdin returned to classic fairy tale romance but with a male lead and a sense of humor.
In addition to his humor, Aladdin is also noteworthy for his occupation. While it may seem traditional for the male lead in a disney movie to be a thief, aladdin is a rare one. Robin Hood stole from the rich to give to the poor, Flynn Rider stole for enjoyment, Aladdin steals to survive. He is an orphan, left to starve on the streets.This is a remarkably sad backstory for the main character of a Disney film. Yet, Aladdin is still remarkably upbeat.
Aladdin has had a tremendous amount of influence of disney films. He has inspired almost the entire character of Flynn Rider, the wise-cracking thief from Tangled. In addition, he set the new standard for the importance of humor in their films. In addition, his was the first to not focus solely on the love story. Aladdin had several magical side-plots, and a villain who cared about more than just breaking up two lovebirds. This has been duplicated in every single one of its successors (Princess and the Frog, Tangled, Brave, Frozen) It is fair to say that without Aladdin, Disney would have been quite different.