100 Facts About Aladdin

Aloha my wonderful merfolk!

Today is another Renaissance Era film that proves quite popular with the fans. I know many an Aladdin fan and if I’m quite honest, I am a big fan of the movie also. It’s the movie that was released in the year that I was born so I have connections to it. I also used to watch it all the time when I was a child.

26. Aladdin

  1. Aladdin was released on November 25th
  2. It was the 31st animated feature in the Disney Animated Canon.
  3. It was produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation.
  4. The film was distributed by Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.
  5. It was the fourth entry into the Disney Renaissance.
  6. The film takes influence from The Book of One Thousand and One Nights.
  7. Aladdin was produced and directed by Ron Clements and John Musker.
  8. The original songs were written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman.
  9. Tim Rice came aboard the project after the death of Howard Ashman.
  10. Because Robin Williams ad-libbed so many of his lines, the script was rejected for a Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award nomination.
  11. During the course of recording, Robin Williams improvised so much they had almost sixteen hours of footage to work with.
  12. The opening scene with the street merchant was completely unscripted.
  13. Robin Williams was brought into the studio and was asked to stand behind a table that had several objects on it
  14. Animators asked him to take objects from the table and describe it in a character.
  15. Much of the material in that recording was not appropriate for a Disney film.
  16. Robin Williams provided his voice for the Genie at union scale rate, which was the lowest legal pay rate a studio can give an actor.
  17. He agreed to this is Disney agreed they would not use his voice for merchandising and that Genie would not take up more than 25% of any advertisement space.
  18. Originally, Jafar was more hot-tempered while Iago was a coo, haughty British type.
  19. The filmmakers believed that having Jafar losing his temper too much made him less menacing and so, the personalities were switched.
  20. On August 11 2014, Robin Williams passed away.
  21. Disney honoured him by airing Aladdin on their three children’s channels and placed a photo of Robin just before the credits.
  22. Disney want to keep the memoriam in all future releases of the film but are looking for consent from Williams’ family members.
  23. When Aladdin tells a lie, the plume on his hat falls and covers his face.
  24. The film became the fourteenth movie to gross more than 200 million dollars.
  25. It was the first animated movie to do this.
  26. Scheduling conflicts with Star Trek: The Next Generation forced Patrick Stewart to turn down the role of Jafar.
  27. He has said in interviews that this is his biggest regret,
  28. To capture the movement of Aladdin’s low-cut baggy pants Glen Keane looked at videos of MC Hammer.
  29. Some of Genie’s impersonations were cut from the movie; these include John Waye, George HW Bush and Dr Ruth Westheimer.
  30. In the preview screenings for the movie, audiences did not applaud after the big song numbers.
  31. The animators wanted applause and so, somebody stuck the genie with an applause sign at the end of Friend Like Me.
  32. The joke worked and the sign was kept in.
  33. When the film was first released on VHS in October 1993, it sold over 10.8 million copies in its first week.
  34. It went on to sell over 25 million in total.
  35. This record stood only two years when it was beaten by the release of The Lion King.
  36. Production designer Richard Vander Wende devised a simple colour scheme for the film, inspired by its desert setting.
  37. Blue (water) stands for good, red (heat) stands for evil and yellow (sand) is neutral.
  38. The artists videotaped capuchin monkeys at Los Angeles Zoo to give them an understanding of the physical characteristics of Abu.
  39. In Friend Like Me, Genie sings ‘Scheherazade had her thousand tales’ which is a nod to the supposed author/teller of the stories Aladdin originally come from.
  40. There is a hidden Mickey seen briefly on Rajah’s head during his second transformation.
  41. Layout Supervisor, Rasoul Azadani, travelled back to his home country of Iran in 1991 to get a feel for the look of the film.
  42. He took nearly 2000 pictures there.
  43. Jasmines appearance was influenced by Jennifer Connelly as well as animator, Mark Henn’s sister.
  44. Two men that Aladdin pushes through in the crow are caricatures of John Musker and Ron Clements.
  45. The original plan was to use caricatures of Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert but they could not get permission.
  46. A section of the original lyric for the opening song Arabian Nights was altered after the movies theatrical release.
  47. Arab-American groups claimed it was racist and so the line was changed.
  48. The original line was ‘Where they cut off your hand for stealing some bread, it’s barbaric but hey, it’s home.
  49. It was changed to ‘Where it’s flat and immense and the heat is intense, it’s barbaric but hey, it’s home’.
  50. This new change was included on all home releases and any subsequent theatrical releases.
  51. Jeffrey Katzenberg told the team to scrap everything they had created so far and start a fresh on what became known as Black Friday.
  52. He also did not move the release date of the movie.
  53. John Musker and Ron Clements managed to turn around the film’s new plot and screenplay in just 8 days.
  54. In one version of the story, jasmine was meant to be a spoiled brat who wanted to marry the richest of princes and only learned humility after falling in love with Aladdin.
  55. They even intended to give her a song entitled ‘Call Me a Princess’
  56. Disney scrapped this story as they believed it would make her unlikeable by audiences.
  57. The idea of adapting the Aladding story as a Disney animated musical was first proposed by Howard Ashman in 1988.
  58. Ashman wrote an initial treatment for the project and collaborated on six songs with Menken.
  59. Robin Williams recorded most of his scenes in between filming breaks for Hook and Toys.
  60. Aladdin was originally fully aware that Jasmine was the princess when he first met her.
  61. It was changed by the production team as they believed it showed Aladdin fell in love with Jasmine only for her money and not because he genuinely cared for her.
  62. This was the second Disney animated feature to use fully-rendered and textured 3D CGI-moving backgrounds in combination with the traditionally animated character animation.
  63. Jonathan Freeman says the voice of Jafar is a mix of Boris Karloff and Vincent Price.
  64. When Iago pulls a picture of him and Jafar from his cage and says ‘how about this picture I don’t know, I think I’m making a weird face in it’ was ad-libbed by Gilbert Gottfried.
  65. Robin Williams could apparently not stop laughing when he heard it.
  66. Tim Curry, Kelsey Grammar, John Hurt, Christopher Lloyd and Ian McKellen were considered for the role of Jafar.
  67. During his first song, Genie mentions Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves which was used as the basis for Aladdin and the King of Thieves.
  68. Arabian Nights was originally intended to be recurrent throughout the film but the idea was dropped when the visuals and story-telling proved strong enough in their own right.
  69. In early visual development, Aladdin resembled Michael J Fox.
  70. As the film developed, Jeffrey Katzenberg didn’t think Aladdin had enough appeal to women so he asked that Aladdin be made to look more like Tom Cruise.
  71. Bill Plympton turned down a seven-figure offer to work on this film because any ideas and concepts he developed would become Disney property.
  72. The Wilhelm scream can be heard when the villagers flee in terror as Genie lifts the palace into the air.
  73. ‘Made you look’ is Robin William’s last line in both this movie and Good Morning, Vietnam.
  74. Genie calls Aladdin ‘Mr Doubting Mustafa’ which is a reference to the classic tellings of the story where Aladdins father is called Mustafa
  75. Originally, Aladdin was meant to use his second wish in order to get through an obstacle course designed to test Jasmines suitors.
  76. Danny DeVito and Joe Pesci were considered for the voice of iago.
  77. Alan Meken has tentatively written a love song for Aladdin and Jasmines magic carpet ride called ‘The World at your Feet’
  78. When Tim Rice came on board, he changed it to A Whole New World
  79. Genie turns his head into Pinocchio when thinking Aladdin was not being honest about setting him free.
  80. The colour design of the film was inspired by old Persian miniatures and Victorian paintings of the Middle East.
  81. Gilbert Gottfried and robin Williams recorded their parts separately and never bumped into one another.
  82. The Islamic cultural setting of the film is directly influence several times throughout the film with characters saying ‘Allah’.
  83. Crazy Hakin, the discount fertilizer salesman in the opening chase is a caricature of animator Tom Sito.
  84. In the earliest scripts there were two genies; one occupying a lamp and one occupying a ring.
  85. The fire walker in One Jump Ahead is a caricature of T.Hee a former Disney story man who later taught caricature at CalArts.
  86. Eight other songs were written for the film but were later cut.
  87. Sebastian the crab makes a brief cameo appearance when Genie pulls him out of a cookbook.
  88. As of 2006, this was the only traditionally animated film to be nominated for the MTV Movie Award for Best Picture.
  89. When the Sultan is building his Jenga-like stack of animals, the Beast from Beauty and the Beast can be seen for a moment.
  90. Animator Eric Goldberg based the Genie on the drawings of Caricaturist Al Hirschfeld.
  91. An IMAX version was planned but never released.
  92. Aladdin was the very first movie to receive an Icelandic dubbing.
  93. There are 513 people listed in the credits,
  94. Scott Weinger was only 17 when he voiced Aladdin.
  95. Aladdin’s monkey was named after the ancient Egyptian city of Abu.
  96. The director reportedly based Jafar, particularly the characters Machiavellian intentions on former First Lady Nancy Reagan
  97. Originally, the peddler who introduces the movie would be revealed to be the Genie at the end, hence the fact that Robin Williams voiced him too.
  98. When baby Rajah jumps into Sultans arms, his face appears as Mickey Mouse for one frame as he changes back into a tiger.
  99. Andreas Deja based jafar on Marc Davis’s design for Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty.
  100. Upon release, the film was geared more at males than females due to the Princess line not yet existing and Disney’s lack of competition at the time.

a mermaid be waiting for you, in mysterious fathoms below


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