Tag Archives: Aladdin

Aladdin “The End” (1992)

At the conclusion of the reprise of “Prince Ali”, Aladdin, Abu and the magic carpet were whisked away to the ends of the Earth via a palace tower turned rocket. There, lost in the frozen wilderness, Aladdin finally comes to understand that a lot of this happened because he didn’t tell Jasmine the truth about who he really was. Vowing to set things right, he and Abu free the magic carpet from underneath the tower (which nearly crushes them in the process) and begin the race back to Agrabah.

And speaking of Agrabah, it seems that Jafar has been thoroughly enjoying himself. The elephant throne has been replaced by a cobra. The room itself is filled with huge piles of treasure; Jasmine is wearing a red version of her usual outfit (while chained) and Iago is having the time of his life stuffing the Sultan’s face with crackers (Iago had hated how the Sultan always made him eat crackers).

Now here’s the crazy thing: Jafar literally has anything anyone could possibly want: he’s the Sultan, he’s the most powerful sorcerer EVER, he has more wealth than he could spend in a lifetime, a lovely Princess at his beck and call, but is that enough for him? NOPE! He still has one wish left to use: he wants the Genie to make Jasmine fall in love with him (Jafar). The Genie tries to explain (as he did with Aladdin) that there are certain things a Genie can’t do, but Jafar won’t listen. While the two are arguing, Jasmine spots Aladdin behind a curtain trying to sneak up on the lamp so he can get it back. Knowing a distraction is required, Jasmine puts on the performance of a lifetime and pretends that the Genie really has made her fall in love with him. Jafar is (disgustingly) thrilled and while Jasmine flatters him to the moon, Aladdin sneaks closer and closer, when suddenly a gagged-by-Abu Iago (who has already spotted Aladdin) knocks over a fruit dish! Jafar turns to see where the noise is coming from but Jasmine pulls him back with a kiss! (YUCK!!!) It nearly works too, except Jafar then sees Aladdin reflected in Jasmine’s tiara!!!

473374_1277241365792_full

Now the final battle begins, and suffice to say, Aladdin is heavily outmatched. Jafar begins to systematically destroy all of is friends: the magic carpet is unwound, Abu is turned into a toy monkey and Jasmine is trapped in a rapidly filling hourglass. It’s a race for Aladdin to get the lamp and free Jasmine, but things are about to get a lot more difficult.

When Jafar continues to hold Aladdin off via his sorcery, the ex-Prince shouts “Aren’t you brave enough to fight me yourself, you cowardly snake!” Aladdin really shouldn’t have used the word snake, because Jafar decides to answer Aladdin with “A snake am I?Perhaps you’ll see how snake-like I can be!” while he turns into a gigantic cobra!! While in this form, Aladdin does get a few strikes in, but it’s not long before Jafar has Aladdin wrapped firmly in his coils.Everything has come to a head: Jasmine is moments away from being buried alive, none of Aladdin’s friends can help him, not even the Genie…or can he? Aladdin has one last gamble and it’s a big one:

Aladdin: The Genie, The genie! The Genie has more power than you’ll ever have!

Jafar: What?

Aladdin: He GAVE you your power, he can TAKE it back! Face it Jafar, you’re STILL just second best!

Snake_Jafar_-_Part_2

Based on Jafar’s dialogue about power, Aladdin has figured out that Jafar is obsessed with becoming the most powerful there ever was, he can’t live with the idea that something somewhere is more powerful than he! So, he plays on the fact that the Genie possesses more power than Jafar does: this IS true, but what Aladdin is leaving out is the fact that a Genie’s near omnipotent power is always constrained by a lamp. Completely unaware of this, Jafar uses his final wish: to become an all-powerful Genie! This done, Jafar transforms into a terrifyingly huge red genie, all the power he ever wanted is finally his! But there’s a big catch: a black lamp has appeared, which Aladdin now takes possession of.

Aladdin: Hey Jafar, aren’t you forgetting something?

(Jafar looks down in puzzlement)

Aladdin: You wanted to be a Genie? You got it!

Jafar: (golden wrist bands appear) WHAT??

Aladdin: And everything that goes with it! (the lamp begins to suck Jafar inside as he screams in rage) Phenomenal cosmic powers….itty bitty living space!

scary-jafar-mons__iphone_640

With Jafar safely trapped inside the lamp, everything goes back to normal, only there’s still a big dilemma. Jasmine is still very much in love with Aladdin, but the law forbids her to marry anyone who isn’t a prince! However, in the Sultan’s eyes, Aladdin has proved himself to be more than worthy of Jasmine’s hand, so he decides to change the law. From now on, the princess may marry “whomever she deems worthy.” Which means Jasmine and Aladdin can get married after all! All that leaves now is the Genie, who is more than happy to use Aladdin’s final wish to make him a Prince again, but Aladdin has a better idea: he’s going to give the Genie his freedom! The golden bands disappear and the Genie is ecstatic to discover that no one can command him to do anything! The Genie is going to leave and explore the world now that he’s free, but you get the feeling that he’ll be back eventually.

At the end now, the sky explodes in fireworks as Aladdin and Jasmine proclaim their love for each other once more. The two ride off into the night sky, but there’s one last surprise: the moon is revealed to have the Genie’s face and then:

image20

Genie: Made you look!!

And that’s the end!! I hope you enjoyed visiting the world of Aladdin, like I said at the top, I’m going to focus on individual Disney songs and other film music moments for a while.

*all images are the property of Walt Disney Studios

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Like Film Music Central on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/filmmusiccentral

For more Aladdin, see:

Aladdin “Arabian Nights” (1992)
Aladdin “One Jump Ahead” and reprise (1992)

Aladdin “Friend Like Me” (1992)

Aladdin “Prince Ali” (1992)

Aladdin “A Whole New World” (1992)

Aladdin “Prince Ali (reprise)” (1992)

For more great Disney songs and films, check out the main page here: Disney Films & Soundtracks A-Z

Aladdin “Prince Ali (reprise)” (1992)

So to recap, after Prince Ali/Aladdin abruptly arrives to court Princess Jasmine, the evil Jafar attempts to have the fake prince murdered so that *he* can marry Jasmine instead and become Sultan. Luckily for our hero, Genie is able to save Aladdin via his second wish and take him back to the palace. After informing the Sultan about the truth: that Jafar a) tried to have Prince Ali killed and b) has been manipulating the Sultan with his cobra staff for years , Jafar is ordered to be arrested, but just before the vizier escapes, he notices the lamp resting in Ali’s turban, which for him can mean only one thing: Ali is Aladdin and HE has the lamp that Jafar has been after this entire time!

As soon as Jafar sees the lamp, you just KNOW he’s going to get his hands on it at some point. The devious parrot Iago is dispatched to get the lamp away from Aladdin. This proves easier than one might think, because at the same time, Aladdin is suffering from a tremendous amount of guilt. The good news is that Princess Jasmine is in love with him and the Sultan approves. The bad news (in Aladdin’s mind) is that once they get married he (Aladdin) will become Sultan, and he doesn’t feel like he’s up to the task, especially if he keeps his promise and uses his last wish to free the Genie. So…Aladdin not-so-gently breaks the news that he won’t be freeing the Genie after all, which upsets everybody.

Aladdin finally decides that he has to tell Jasmine the truth, that he’s not really a Prince. Great decision, too bad it comes just as Iago is out to get the lamp. He mimics Jasmine’s voice to lure Aladdin out of his room and quickly swipes the lamp away. The Genie is less than thrilled to find himself in Jafar’s hands, but he doesn’t have the ability to refuse Jafar’s first wish: to become Sultan!!

Just as this happens, the real Sultan is getting ready to proclaim to all of Agrabah the joyous news: Princess Jasmine has finally chosen a suitor, Prince Ali! Before Aladdin can tell anyone the truth, the sky grows dark and Jafar appears out of nowhere, now clothed in the robes of a Sultan (even Iago has a little Sultan hat!) No one is quite sure how this happened, but Aladdin finally figures it out when he goes to get the lamp and finds it gone! Now comes the second part of Jafar’s first wish (He phrased it as “I wish to rule on high, as Sultan). The only way to rule “on high” is to have a palace HIGH in the air, so…Genie appears to lift the royal palace to a high cliff.

Prince_Ali_Reprise

Now that he is Sultan, Jafar expects to receive the proper respect, but both Jasmine and her father refuse. Enraged, Jafar uses his second wish: to be the most powerful sorcerer in the world! With this wish granted, Jafar decides it’s time to tell Jasmine how things really are: enter the reprise of “Prince Ali.”

The all-too-brief song is performed in a mocking style of the original “Prince Ali” and serves to show everyone the truth. While Jasmine is held in a magical beam, she is forced to watch as Jafar magically transforms Aladdin’s princely outfit back into the rags he wore in the marketplace. Abu is changed back into a monkey; Rajah is turned into a tiny kitten and all are held helpless. But before Aladdin can tell Jasmine anything, Jafar continues! This next verse really explains it all:

“So Ali turns out to be merely Aladdin/Just a con, need I go on? Take it from me!

His personality flaws/give me adequate cause/to send him packing on a one-way trip,

Where his prospects take a terminal dip/his assets frozen, the venue chosen is the ends of the Earth, WHOOPEE!!! So long! Ex-Prince Ali!!”

Jafar uses his magic to send Aladdin and Abu flying into a tower (the magic carpet secretly follows) and with all watching (including the unhappy Genie), the tower is sent flying away like a rocket towards “the ends of the Earth.”

Psycho_jafar

I think all that power has gone to Jafar’s head…

Waving Aladdin farewell, Jafar descends into maniacal, psychotic laughter, as his shadow looms over the ex-Sultan and Jasmine. Hearing this song really makes me wish that Jafar had a full-length song of his own (but sadly he does not).

Ok, I WAS going to make this the last Aladdin post, but remembering how this song ends, I realized I just can’t leave things hanging like this, so there will be one more Aladdin post after this one to cover the climax of the film. I also wanted to let you know that I’m going to cut back a little more on the amount of posting I do during the week (it will probably go down to one a day) because I need to focus some more on my dissertation. I promise I’m not going to disappear, just write a little less (for a while anyways).

Enjoy the reprise of “Prince Ali”, and enjoy the weekend!

*all images are the property of Walt Disney Studios

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Like Film Music Central on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/filmmusiccentral

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

For more Aladdin, see:

Aladdin “Arabian Nights” (1992)

Aladdin “One Jump Ahead” and reprise (1992)

Aladdin “Friend Like Me” (1992)

Aladdin “Prince Ali” (1992)

Aladdin “A Whole New World” (1992)

Aladdin “The End”

For more great Disney songs check out the main page here: Disney A-Z

Aladdin “One Jump Ahead” and reprise (1992)

When we first meet him, Aladdin doesn’t appear to be Jafar’s “diamond in the rough” or a future prince for that matter. That’s because when we meet him in “One Jump Ahead”, Aladdin is fleeing the city guards after stealing a loaf of bread for himself and his pet monkey Abu.

The song takes Aladdin and Abu all over the market place of Agrabah. In fact, based on the lyrics in “One Jump Ahead”, Aladdin’s gotten so good at evading and eluding that he doesn’t seem overly concerned about whether or not he’ll get away.

Gotta keep
One jump ahead of the breadline
One swing ahead of the sword
I steal only what I can’t afford
And that’s everything!

One jump ahead of the lawmen
That’s all, and that’s no joke
These guys don’t appreciate I’m broke

 Riffraff! Street rat! Scoundrel!
Take that!

Just a little snack, guys

Rip him open! Take it back, guys!
I can take a hint,
Gotta face the facts
You’re my only friend, Abu!

maxresdefault (1)

Aladdin and Abu try to hide in several places, the most notable being what appears to be a brothel (you know, the room full of pretty girls dressed in bright clothes that sing about “oh it’s just Aladdin again?”)

Who?
Oh, it’s sad, Aladdin’s hit the bottom
He’s become a one-man rise in crime
 I’d blame parents except he hasn’t got ’em
Gotta eat to live,
Gotta steal to eat
Tell you all about it when I got the time!

One jump ahead of the slowpokes
One skip ahead of my doom
Next time gonna use a nom de plume

One jump ahead of the hitmen
One hit ahead of the flock
I think I’ll take a stroll around the block

At least that’s what someone claims it is on Tumblr, but another possible (maybe) explanation is that it’s a family of pretty girls, they’re all sisters and Aladdin just annoys them? (I really don’t want the brothel explanation to be true, because it weirds me out that Disney would put anything like this in one of their movies!!)

A recurring theme in the song is Aladdin being derided as “rif-raff….street rat…scoundrel…” etc. It’s clear the “respectable” people of Agrabah think very little of a poor kid like Aladdin. This point comes up again in the reprise to this song, after Prince Achmed informs Aladdin “You were born a street rat, you will die a street rat, and only your fleas will mourn you!”

Stop, thief! Vandal!
Outrage! Scandal!

Let’s not be too hasty
Still I think he’s rather tasty!
Gotta eat to live,
Gotta steal to eat
Otherwise, we’d get along
Wrong!

One jump ahead of the hoofbeats
(Stop, thief!)
One hop ahead of the hump
(Street rat!)
One trick ahead of disaster
(Scoundrel!)
They’re quick, but I’m much faster
(Take that!)
Here goes: Better throw my hand in
Wish me happy landin’
All I gotta do is jump!

maxresdefault (2)

Meanwhile, Aladdin continues to dodge and evade, but the guards are slowly closing in from all directions, forcing Aladdin and Abu to climb higher and higher, until finally, all they can do is “JUMP!” They get away safely, and the guards end up falling into a stinky pile of camel poo (ewwwwwwww, gross!)

However, after spending all that time and effort to acquire a loaf of bread to eat, Aladdin ends up giving it to two little kids who clearly need more than he does, showing that despite being a thief, Aladdin is a good guy at heart. After being insulted by Prince Achmed, Aladdin begins the long walk home, singing a sad reprise of “One Jump Ahead.” This part always got to me when I was younger (having been teased a great deal), because it talks about how all the people Aladdin knows judge him and put him down, but they wouldn’t if they really KNEW him. I really liked the last line “they’d find out/there’s so much more, to me…”

hqdefault

At the end, we get to see that Aladdin lives in a half ruined building that has a great view of the palace. Aladdin dreams about being rich someday, imagining that when he lives in a palace he “won’t have any problems at all.” Of course the complete opposite happens to be true, as Princess Jasmine knows all too well.

“One Jump Ahead” was one of the songs created by Alan Menken and Tim Rice after Howard Ashman passed away. Originally, this part of the film had a completely different number entitled “Proud of Your Boy”, a song that Aladdin sings to his mother (who is disappointed in how he’s living his life). This song was ultimately cut (but later restored to the Broadway play adaptation of the story) and temporarily replaced by a song entitled “Count on Me” before “One Jump Ahead” was finally selected. The song serves as a good introduction to Aladdin and his mischievous nature, and I enjoy listening to it.

So that’s it for “One Jump Ahead” and would you believe there’s only one song left? All that remains is “Prince Ali (reprise)” and that’ll do it for Aladdin!

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

*all images are the property of Walt Disney Studios

*Like Film Music Central on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/filmmusiccentral

For more Aladdin, see:

Aladdin “Arabian Nights” (1992)

Aladdin “Friend Like Me” (1992)

Aladdin “Prince Ali” (1992)

Aladdin “A Whole New World” (1992)

Aladdin “Prince Ali (reprise)” (1992)

Aladdin “The End” (1992)

For more great Disney songs and films, check out the main page here: Disney Films & Soundtracks A-Z

Aladdin “A Whole New World” (1992)

There are many romantic songs in the Disney Universe, too many to list all at once. But of all those Disney love songs, “A Whole New World” probably ranks up at the top. And why not? Being whisked away on a magic carpet ride to fly all around the world is a beautiful idea. This song was nominated for and won an Academy Award for Best Original Song. It also remains the only Disney song to win Song of the Year at the Grammy Awards.

“A Whole New World” at the 65th Academy Awards

I can show you the world
Shining, shimmering splendid
Tell me, princess, now when did
You last let your heart decide!
I can open your eyes
Take you wonder by wonder
Over sideways and under
On a magic carpet ride
A whole new world
A new fantastic point of view
No one to tell us no
Or where to go
Or say we’re only dreaming
A whole new world
A dazzling place I never knew
But when I’m way up here
It’s crystal clear
That now I’m in a whole new world with you
disney-princess_139463_9

The song (and everything that takes place during it) is how Prince Ali/Aladdin finally thaws his way into Princess Jasmine’s heart. Being used to stuck-up suitors who just viewed her as a “prize to be won”, Prince Ali stuns her by saying that she should be free to make her own choice (regarding who she marries).

Now I’m in a whole new world with you
Unbelievable sights
Indescribable feeling
Soaring, tumbling, freewheeling
Through an endless diamond sky
A whole new world
(Don’t you dare close your eyes)
A hundred thousand things to see
(Hold your breath it gets better)
I’m like a shooting star
I’ve come so far
I can’t go back to where I used to be
A whole new world
(Every turn a surprise)
With new horizons to pursue
(Every moment, red-letter)
I’ll chase them anywhere
There’s time to spare
Let me share this whole new world with you
A whole new world
(A whole new world)
That’s where we’ll be
(That’s where we’ll be)
A thrilling chase
A wondrous place
For you and me

Aladdin’s idea of inviting Jasmine for a ride is brilliant, but he makes a mistake (the first of several during this sequence). When Jasmine asks if it (the carpet) is safe, Ali/Aladdin says “Sure, do you trust me?” (When Aladdin met Jasmine while she was in disguise in the marketplace, he asked her the exact same thing as they were fleeing the city guards). Jasmine is slightly suspicious, but she agrees to come anyways, leaving a bewildered Rajah far behind.

I have a small story to share about this song. Two summers ago, I went home for a visit and attended an Il Divo concert with my mom (Il Divo is a singing group consisting of operatically trained male singers, look them up, they’re amazing). And during this particular concert tour, they had a guest performer with them: Lea Salonga, aka the singing voice of Princess Jasmine!!! You can imagine my unbridled joy when, in the middle of the concert, a familiar tune started up and Lea Salonga performed “A Whole New World” for us (with various members of Il Divo filling in for Aladdin)!!!! It’s been over twenty years since Aladdin came out, and she still sounds just the way she did in the movie.

maxresdefault (1)

The flight starts in Agrabah but quickly moves across the desert, through Egypt (where the Sphinx loses its nose as a result of the carver being startled by the pair flying past), through what appears to be Ancient Greece, and finally China. The song is all about the experiences of life, and how Aladdin can show her the world she’s never gotten to see before. My favorite verse of all comes from Princess Jasmine:

“I’m like a shooting star/I’ve come so far/I can’t go back to where I used to be!”

In essence, this whole experience has changed Jasmine, to the point where she can no longer go back to simply living in the palace, she’s seen too much of the outside world for that.

Ali/Aladdin unwittingly continues to leave little clues as to who he really is. As the pair fly through Greece, Aladdin plucks an apple off a nearby tree and rolls it to her exactly as Aladdin did (again, in the marketplace). This time Jasmine gets a knowing look in her eyes. She’s still not sure exactly HOW it’s happened, but she knows now that Ali has to be Aladdin.

In closing, I love this song, it was very well done (there have been times where I’ve listened to this song on repeat). It’s also a nice quiet interlude because once this song is over, things in the story begin to move very quickly.

*All images are the property of Walt Disney Studios

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Remember to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

For more Aladdin, see:

Aladdin “Arabian Nights” (1992)

Aladdin “One Jump Ahead” and reprise (1992)

Aladdin “Friend Like Me” (1992)

Aladdin “Prince Ali” (1992)

Aladdin “Prince Ali (reprise)” (1992)

Aladdin “The End”

For more great Disney songs and films, check out the main page here: Disney Films & Soundtracks A-Z

Aladdin “Friend Like Me” (1992)

If people remember any song from Aladdin, it’s usually “A Whole New World” or “Friend Like Me.” The latter is a shining example of pure Disney fun. After being stranded in the dormant Cave of Wonders by the disguised Jafar, Aladdin inadvertently releases the Genie from the lamp. The extremely powerful, blue Genie is voiced by that legendary comedian, the late Robin Williams.
The part of the Genie was actually created for Williams, but the comedian initially was not sold on the idea. To get Williams to agree, the animators took one of Williams’ stand-up routines, and animated the Genie over it, to give Williams an idea of what this would look like. The result had the comedian in stitches and he agreed to the part.

Initially, “Friend Like Me” was going to be a Cab Calloway, big-band style number (and it’s my understanding that the Genie is a Cab Calloway-ish character in the Broadway show), but once Williams signed on, the song was changed into what we see today. According to the animators, some of Aladdin’s early design remains visible in sections of this number. Originally, Aladdin was made to look younger, “more like Michael J. Fox” as the animators put it. But they began to worry that Aladdin wouldn’t look right next to Princess Jasmine so Aladdin’s design was altered to be “more Tom Cruise”. Apparently, some of that first design is still visible, though truthfully I’ve never noticed a difference.

Well, Ali Baba had them forty thieves
Scheherezad-ie had a thousand tales
But, master, you in luck ’cause up your sleeves
You got a brand of magic never fails

You got some power in your corner now
Some heavy ammunition in your camp
You got some punch, pizzazz, yahoo and how
See all you gotta do is rub that lamp
And I’ll say

Mister Aladdin, sir
What will your pleasure be?
Let me take your order
Jot it down
You ain’t never had a friend like me

maxresdefault (1)

Life is your restaurant
And I’m your maître d’!
C’mon whisper what it is you want
You ain’t never had a friend like me

Yes sir, we pride ourselves on service
You’re the boss
The king, the shah

Say what you wish
It’s yours! True dish
How about a little more Baklava?
Have some of column “A”
Try all of column “B”
I’m in the mood to help you dude
You ain’t never had a friend like me

 

The entire song is devoted to the Genie describing the powers Aladdin has at his disposal now that he has three wishes and a Genie to command. There are many pop culture references, and a lot of sight gags (with the Genie frequently changing his appearance). I remember loving this song as a kid, I would often pretend to be the Genie, doing that crazy dance and imitating all the different voices (good times!!).

Can your friends do this?
Can your friends do that?
Can your friends pull this out their little hat?
Can your friends go, poof?

Well, looky here
Can your friends go, Abracadabra, let ‘er rip
And then make the sucker disappear?
So don’tcha sit there slack jawed, buggy eyed
I’m here to answer all your midday prayers
You got me bona fide, certified
You got a genie for your chargé d’affaires
I got a powerful urge to help you out
So whatcha wish? I really wanna know
You got a list that’s three miles long, no doubt
Well, all you gotta do is rub like so – and oh

Mister Aladdin, sir, have a wish or two or three
I’m on the job, you big nabob
You ain’t never had a friend, never had a friend
You ain’t never had a friend, never had a friend
You ain’t never had a friend like me

You ain’t never had a friend like me, hah!

I love the ending of this song when Genie sets up the grand finale, with dancing elephants, swordsmen, piles of gold, dancing girls, and everything inbetween appear in one riotous finish (the dancing monkeys on the giant ruby are a particularly nice touch). Of course, with Genie being Genie, as the song ends, everything is sucked away and we’re left with a simple neon “Applause” sign.

“Friend Like Me” is a good song to listen to if you’re feeling down, because with Robin Williams’ outstanding performance, you’re feeling bright and happy before the first verse is even over. Hope you enjoyed listening to “Friend Like Me”, next time it will be “A Whole New World” 🙂 Enjoy the rest of the day guys, you’re the best!

*all images are the property of Walt Disney Studios

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

And don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

For more Aladdin, see:

Aladdin “Arabian Nights” (1992)

Aladdin “One Jump Ahead” and reprise (1992)

Aladdin “Prince Ali” (1992)

Aladdin “Prince Ali (reprise)” (1992)

Aladdin “A Whole New World” (1992)

Aladdin “The End”

For more great Disney songs and films, check out the main page here: Disney Films & Soundtracks A-Z

Aladdin “Prince Ali” (1992)

Before we jump into the wonderful mayhem that is “Prince Ali”, we first need to explore the context of when and where all of this is taking place. Agrabah, the city where Aladdin lives, is ruled by the benevolent Sultan, whose only daughter Jasmine, must marry a Prince by her next birthday. The problem is, Jasmine has firmly rejected any and all princely suitors that have hitherto come her way (the most recent, Prince Achmed, is sent packing after Jasmine’s pet tiger Rajah takes a bite out of his pants). The poor Sultan is despairing of Jasmine ever choosing a husband, but have no fear….Jafar, the Royal Vizier is here to help.

Thanks to Jafar’s involvement in the opening scene with the Cave of Wonders, we as an audience already have an idea that Jafar is up to no good, but here in front of the sultan he puts on the face of a well-intentioned counselor, whose only wish is to serve. The Sultan wants guidance on how to get Jasmine to marry someone, and Jafar says that this may easily be done, but first he needs the diamond ring off the Sultan’s hand. When the Sultan balks, Jafar hypnotizes the Sultan into handing over the ring via his cobra-headed staff. (In reality, Jafar needs the ring to find “the diamond in the rough” who can enter the Cave of Wonders without getting killed).

aladdin-prince-ali

Jafar is actually a villain I hadn’t paid much attention to, even as a kid, that is until I learned a rather interesting fact about him. After I bought Sleeping Beauty on Blu-ray, there was an interview with the now-late animator of Maleficent, and several other Disney animators. One in particular, the lead animator for Jafar, revealed that Jafar’s design is directly based on Maleficent. Looking at the picture above, I can totally see the resemblance. But I digress, on to “Prince Ali” !!

After Jafar’s plan to use Aladdin to get the lamp backfires, Jafar has to think of a new way he can come to power. Thankfully, his wisecracking parrot Iago has the perfect solution: why doesn’t Jafar marry Princess Jasmine? There’s nothing in the Law that says it can’t be done and it would be the easiest route to power as once the wedding is done, Jasmine and the Sultan would suffer an unfortunate “accident” resulting in Jafar as the sole ruler of Agrabah. It’s diabolical, and it just might work! All Jafar needs to do is hypnotize the Sultan into authorizing the marriage and it’s a done deal. But just as the Sultan nearly agrees to it, a faraway trumpet blast breaks the hypnosis and the Sultan runs to see what is coming.

Make way for Prince Ali
Say hey! It’s Prince Ali
Hey! Clear the way in the old Bazaar
Hey you!
Let us through!
It’s a bright new star!
Oh Come!
Be the first on your block to meet his eye!
Make way!
Here he comes!
Ring bells! Bang the drums!
Are you gonna love this guy!
Prince Ali! Fabulous he!
Ali Ababwa
Genuflect, show some respect
Down on one knee!
Now, try your best to stay calm
Brush up your sunday salaam
The come and meet his spectacular coterie

I absolutely LOVE this song! The fanfares, the pageantry, it’s just amazing to watch. And right away you can tell that the leader of the parade is the Genie with flesh-colored skin. The entire song is performed by Robin Williams, the purpose being to present “Prince Ali Ababwa” (aka Aladdin) as this amazing prince whom the princess couldn’t possibly think of refusing because he’s so awesome:

Prince Ali!
Mighty is he!
Ali Ababwa
Strong as ten regular men, definitely!
He faced the galloping hordes
A hundred bad guys with swords
Who sent those goons to their lords?
Why, Prince Ali
He’s got seventy-five golden camels
Purple peacocks
He’s got fifty-three
When it comes to exotic-type mammals
Has he got a zoo?
I’m telling you, it’s a world-class menagerie
Prince Ali! Handsome is he, Ali Ababwa
That physique! How can I speak
Weak at the knees
Well, get on out in that square
Adjust your veil and prepare
To gawk and grovel and stare at Prince Ali!

 

He’s got ninety-five white Persian monkeys
(He’s got the monkeys, let’s see the monkeys)
And to view them he charges no fee
(He’s generous, so generous)
He’s got slaves, he’s got servants and flunkies
(Proud to work for him)
They bow to his whim love serving him
They’re just lousy with loyalty to Ali! Prince Ali!
Prince Ali!
Amorous he! Ali Ababwa
Heard your princess was a sight lovely to see
And that, good people, is why he got dolled up and dropped by
With sixty elephants, llamas galore
With his bears and lions
A brass band and more
With his forty fakirs, his cooks, his bakers
His birds that warble on key
Make way for prince Ali!

According to the Genie, Prince Ali has done it all: he’s as strong as ten men, he defeated a horde of bandits, he’s generous with his money and he’s the peak of physical perfection. Of course, aside from the handsomeness, everything else is a complete lie, Ali/Aladdin hasn’t done any of these things, so while it’s understandable what the Genie is trying to do (making Ali/Aladdin look good), he’s going seriously overboard. I mean, suppose a horde of bandits had swept down on Agrabah and everyone looked to this Prince Ali to solve the problem? I’m probably nitpicking, but it is something to think about.

Aladdin_as_Prince_Ali

At any rate, the procession is extremely impressive. In fact, it’s modeled after the famous Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City (with the giant floats and even a giant balloon gorilla at one point). Everyone is impressed: the people, the city guards who used to chase Aladdin, even the bawdy girls that Aladdin used to try and impress (I honestly don’t know what else to call them). Everyone is impressed…except Princess Jasmine (who leaves in a huff before the song is even over).

tumblr_maztywVwgo1rcb0d2o1_1280

Jafar is not impressed either. While he doesn’t realize (yet) that Prince Ali is the street rat Aladdin that he left for dead in the desert, he IS upset that another Prince has arrived to upset his plans of marrying Jasmine himself. No matter how great this Prince Ali is, as far as Jafar is concerned, he has got to go!

Aladdin_Jafar_Prince_Ali11

Poor Iago got squashed…

The song ends as the giant procession forces itself into the throne room where Prince Ali presents himself to the Sultan by flying down on his magic carpet. That’s quite an entrance for any Disney Prince to make, but will Jasmine be interested? Possibly…IF Ali/Aladdin can be himself and IF he can tell her the truth and IF Jafar doesn’t figure out who he really is first, wow that’s a lot of “Ifs”.

What do you think about “Prince Ali” ? Did the Genie take things a little too far? For next time, we’ll look at “Friend Like Me”.

*all images are the property of Walt Disney Studios

Don’t forget to “like” Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

For more Aladdin, see:

Aladdin “Arabian Nights” (1992)

Aladdin “One Jump Ahead” and reprise (1992)

Aladdin “Friend Like Me” (1992)

Aladdin “A Whole New World” (1992)

Aladdin “Prince Ali (reprise)” (1992)

Aladdin “The End” (1992)

for more great Disney songs and films, check out the main page here: Disney Films & Soundtracks A-Z

Aladdin “Arabian Nights” (1992)

After the outstanding success of Beauty and the Beast (1991), the next installment in the Disney Renaissance came out the following year. Aladdin (1992), adapts the fairy tale of the same name and tells the story of how a “street rat” named Aladdin falls in love with the beautiful Princess Jasmine, meets a powerful genie, and becomes a prince so he can attempt to marry her. Did I mention there’s also a power-hungry vizier/sorcerer named Jafar who’d like to be Sultan himself and will do anything to achieve this goal?

Aladdin holds a special place in my life. While Beauty and the Beast is my overall favorite, Aladdin is quite possibly the first film I ever saw in the movie theater. It is certainly the oldest film I remember seeing (I will never forget seeing the title card come up on that big screen). Though there is a (small) chance I was taken to see Beauty and the Beast, I have no memory of seeing the film in the theater, so I can’t say for sure.

On the musical side, Aladdin’s score was once again composed by Alan Menken, with songs created by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. This is the final film to feature songs completed by Ashman before his untimely death from HIV: the three songs that feature his work are “Arabian Nights”, “Prince Ali” (Tim Rice completed the reprise of this song) and “Friend Like Me.”

Since “Arabian Nights” opens the film, that is where we will begin. The scene begins with the Peddler riding across the desert on his camel as he sings about the desert. Menken and Ashman originally conceived of this song as being a lot longer, with frequent reprises that would have taken place throughout the film to comment on developments in the story. This idea was nixed, though the opening prologue remained, with one semi-significant change. In the opening verse, this is what we hear:

O I come from a land/from a faraway place/where the caravan camels roam

Where it’s flat and immense/and the heat is intense, it’s barbaric, but hey it’s home!

The “flat and immense” line is actually a substitution. The original verse read “Where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face…” Why they would put that line in a Disney film, I don’t know, but I think we can all agree that it was a good thing they changed it (interestingly enough, the original verse is intact on the CD release of the soundtrack).

When the wind’s from the east
And the sun’s from the west
And the sand in the glass is right
Come on down
Stop on by
Hop a carpet and fly
To another Arabian night

Arabian Nights like Arabian days
More often than not
Are hotter than hot
In a lot of good ways

Arabian Nights ‘neath Arabian moons
A fool off his guard
Could fall and fall hard
Out there on the dunes

The complete song is not very long (just over 1:30) but it includes a great shot of the city of Agrabah, as well as the fantastically huge palace (which I believe was inspired by the real-life Taj Mahal). I loved this opening shot, because once the palace appears, the entire song changes from a relatively slow ballad to a fast-paced Arabian melody.

aladdin-palace

Now as for the Peddler himself: Disney itself confirmed months ago what we’ve all suspected for years: Robin Williams was indeed voicing the character while he gives his sales pitch at the end of the prologue, which likely means that the Peddler is the Genie in disguise. However, that is NOT Robin Williams singing “Arabian Nights.” It was going to be, but Williams had so much trouble singing the high parts of the song (after Agrabah is revealed) that Disney brought in Bruce Adler to record the entire song in an imitation of Williams’ voice.

This song is very beautiful, but as I said before, so very short, that I almost wish the longer version envisioned by Menken and Ashman had survived to the final cut. As it stands though, “Arabian Nights” makes a perfect introduction to the setting of the film (it’s certainly a stunning reveal, going from pure desert to a huge palace in a matter of seconds).

That’s all I have for “Arabian Nights”, next time I will likely skip ahead to either “Prince Ali” or “Friend Like Me.” I hope you enjoyed this first look at Aladdin!

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like my blog on Facebook, you can find the page on www.facebook.com/filmmusiccentral , I like to share film music clips and news there 🙂

 

*all images are the property of Walt Disney Studios

For more Aladdin, see also:

Aladdin “One Jump Ahead” and reprise (1992)

Aladdin “Friend Like Me” (1992)

Aladdin “Prince Ali” (1992)

Aladdin “A Whole New World” (1992)

Aladdin “Prince Ali (reprise)” (1992)

Aladdin “The End”

For more great Disney songs and films, check out the main page here: Disney Films & Soundtracks A-Z