All I've seen so far is a shadow and already that's better animated than The Return of Jafar.
Ohhh, great, Robin Williams is back to Robin Williams all over this movie. I see we waited a whole thirty-six seconds to launch him into song. Because the Genie is in no way the most infuriatingly insufferable thing about this whole franchise.
|Dude, it's been like six years, and you're STILL wearing that?!|
|This pretty much sums up the Genie's performance in this movie.|
I like the fact that the wedding guests are majority black or brown. That makes sense in this part of the world, but given that Aladdin and Jasmine appear to be having a Western wedding, complete with white dress and bridesmaids, idk.
|"Can we get a quote from Osiris?"|
The oracle pops up and informs Aladdin that the dude he just chased out of his wedding is actually his father. Well okay, it shows exactly what he was wearing, badge and all, and Aladdin somehow fails to recognize him. Anyway, Aladdin still isn't sure he wants to find his father, because his father never bothered to find him. But he "doesn't know who he is" without knowing his father. And then Jasmine tells him, "I already know your father. I know you." And then they sing about it, because singing solves all problems.
This aspect is, by far, the movie's biggest flaw. First of all, Aladdin was raised by his mother, who also died at some unspecified point in time. He says, "I never had a father to show me how to raise a family!" and wishes his dad was around to give him advice. Apparently it's okay that his mom's not here, cos she didn't know crap anyway!
And then we have the message that blood family = you. Uh, Jasmine? No, sorry, but you do not know Aladdin's father. The crazy thing about genetics is that it doesn't actually give you a hive mind.
I can't help feeling that giving kids the literal message that you "don't know who you are" without knowing your blood relatives is a little... suck? I mean, what about orphans? Are they doomed to a life of emptiness?
This setup is just that, a setup for the storyline to unfold around, but it's lazy and irresponsible. You know what else would have worked? If the Genie went running to Aladdin saying, "Wait, your parents haven't arrived!" Aladdin says, "Oh, both my parents died when I was young," there's a rumination on family through the theme of getting married to Jasmine and how she's all he has, thieves attack, the oracle pops up, after a telling glance at the Genie we have Aladdin ask, "Is anyone in my family still alive?" BADDA-BING.
Anyway, back to reality. Aladdin decides to chase after his dad and Jasmine promises, "I'll be waiting right here for you." Or you could... go with him? NOPE GIRLS DON'T GO ON ADVENTURES DURR. It's not like she just knocked out a thief by punching him right in the face or anything. Look movie, she's either useful or she's not. Pick one.
|"I'm finally getting married! Who gives a crap about adventure?!"|
|Oh and there's also his father's right-hand man, who is definitely not evil.|
Subtlety McGee declares: "The boy has seen too much; he must die! They must all die!" Good luck killing a rug, dude.
Cassim "cleverly" uses a bit of reverse psychology to get the thieves to allow Aladdin to do The Challenge, which is basically just a fight to the death. Winner gets to join the Forty Thieves!
|SURPRISE Aladdin wins.|
Then everybody sings about it, which is admittedly pretty funny. "And if you like to lurk, you're gonna love this work; welcome to the Forty Thieves!" Iago is way more intrigued by Daddy Not-Sean-Connery than Aladdin, who's upset about the whole thief thing, but still wants Cassim to come to the wedding.
Iago: "Does this code have any rules that don't end in death?"
Cassim: "It's a strict code."
Of course, Cassim doesn't allow the Forty Thieves to hurt the innocent. Because Jasmine and Aladdin were out flogging townspeople before their wedding, I suppose?
The relationship between Cassim and Aladdin gets real weird real fast. The movie tries to make it seem like they've known each other for a few months instead of a few minutes. So they alternate between "Why can't you be there for my wedding, DAD, I NEED YOU" and "GET YOUR HANDS OFF MY SON but no kid I don't want to eat rubber chicken at your boring wedding".
But my BFF Iago convinces Cassim to come to the wedding in order to grab the oracle staff again, so they can find the Hand of Midas, which turns everything into copper.
|Okay, fine, it turns everything into gold.|
|Also the Genie prats around a bunch and I pretty much make this face.|
Evil McMustache sold out Cassim to the guards, so Cassim gets caught and Aladdin tries to rescue him. In the process they both get caught, but although they both escape, Aladdin refuses to run away. Cassim runs out into the desert still chasing after treasure, and Aladdin goes back to the palace with a sword hanging over his head. For Disney, this is fairly subtle storytelling.
But the dad is in trouble, which Aladdin knows because be quiet there's like twenty minutes left. So now the gang is off to - HEY. Why is Jasmine flying with them this time?!
|And I suppose this wouldn't have been useful before? |
BULLCRAP. If you don't want the gold zapper then I want it, buddy. Also, why did throwing that into the ocean not turn the entire ocean into gold? Logic!
I do really like the end of this movie. Jasmine and Aladdin finally have their wedding, and Cassim attends - but only by lurking around a pillar. Aladdin wants to make Cassim a part of his life, but in the end, realizes that he can't. That's a pretty courageous ending - not just for a Disney movie, but for any movie.
|Iago rides away with him, saying: "You're a good guy, Cassim. But not|
On the other hand, the motivations and feelings of the characters are often muddled and confused. And remember how Jasmine and the Genie had nothing to do in the last movie? Yeah, it's even worse in this one. Jasmine's inner turmoil is literally about whether or not she'll be able to drag Aladdin to the altar. Because we all know how desperately Jasmine was dying to get married, amiright?
|I do like the tiger carrying her train, though.|
I don't think I'm going to be so lucky with the next one...
|dun dun DUN|