Trivia / Aladdin

Works with their own Trivia pages:

Trivia in general:

  • Actor Allusion: Abis Mal (Jason Alexander) acts as essentially an expy of is George Costanza in terms of mannerisms and personality.
  • Non-Singing Voice: Even though Scott Weinger (Aladdin) and Linda Larkin (Jasmine) are pretty decent singers, they did not sing for their respective characters. Brad Kane did Aladdin's singing while Lea Salonga did Jasmine's singing (Liz Callaway in the sequels).
    • One that was oddly used for someone who did do his own singing in all other scenesRobin Williams of all people. Even though Robin Williams also voices the Merchant (who was going to be revealed in the end to be the Genie before the scene was cut), he does NOT sing for him. Bruce Adler does the Merchant's singing.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Throughout the first sequel and the TV series, Genie is voiced by Dan Castellaneta, before switching back to Robin Williams in The King of Thieves, and back again to Castellaneta in the Kingdom Hearts series, then is replaced by Jim Meskimen in Kingdom Hearts Re:coded and Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom
    • Sultan: Is tied with Genie in this trope.
      • Douglas Seale: First movie.
      • Val Bettin: Sequels and TV Series.
      • Jeff Bennett: More Than a Peacock Princess
    • Jasmine keeps the same voice actress throughout the instalments (Linda Larkin). But her singing is done by Lea Salonga in the first film and Liz Callaway in the sequels.
    • In Japan, after voicing him for years, Akira Kamiya retired Iago in 2001 (about the same time he retired Kenshiro. He's now voiced by Toru Okawa.

The original movie:

  • Author Existence Failure: During the early stages of production, Howard Ashman died in 1991 of AIDS complications. Tim Rice wrote new songs with Alan Menken after Ashman's death. Three of Ashman's songs, specifically, all three song sung by a character played by Robin Williams, remained in the final film and were credited to Ashman ("Arabian Nights", "Friend Like Me", and "Prince Ali"; the rest were written by Rice). Aladdin is the last project Ashman had any involvement in.
  • Celebrity Voice Actor: The Trope Codifier for animated films, with Robin Williams getting star billing.
  • Cut Song: Tons. By both songwriters. Many were reinstated in the stage adaptation.
  • Dueling Movies: One of the most convoluted examples ever with Richard Williams' The Thief and the Cobbler, which had been in production for over two decades when this film's production started and was not released until long after this movie was completed and became a big hit, by which point the movie had been taking out of Williams' control, shipped off to overseas studios for rushed completion and drastically re-cut to be an Aladdin knockoff.
    • This has led to some dispute amongst animation fans as to whether Disney shamelessly plagiarized Williams' film or if it only borrowed some ideas as homage. Williams had shown footage of Thief to the animators on Roger Rabbit in hopes of recruiting them, which certainly didn't help.
  • Executive Meddling: One of the contractual agreements Robin Williams had was that they not make a big deal about him being in the movie (Toys was coming out the following month, and he didn't want this film to overshadow Barry Levinson's pet project), which included the requirement that the poster not have the Genie take up more than 25% of merchandise. Just look at the image. While he doesn't technically exceed the maximum allowed amount of space, he's still by far the most obvious character. Robin Williams was livid and refused to ever voice the character again. CEO Michael Eisner went as far as to purchase an original Picasso for Williams as an apology, but Williams still refused. This was one of the major factors in studio chief Jeffrey Katzenberg being forced out of the company (he OK'd the process), and after he left Disney and was replaced by former 20th Century Fox production chief Joe Roth, Williams and the studio patched things up and he returned for Aladdin and the King of Thieves.
    • There's more to it than just that. Williams did not grant permission to use his voice in commercials or in any merchandising (such as talking Genie dolls). Disney promised they wouldn't do any such thing, but did anyway.
    • Williams also worked for union scale, the lowest amount allowed for professional actors.
  • Fake Brit: Jonathan Freeman as Jafar.
  • Harpo Does Something Funny: The animators and writers managed to accommodate Robin Williams during his extensive ad-libbing, no small feat when you see how many celebrity impressions, sly one-liners, and wild transformations they managed to work in.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Jonathan Freeman, Jafar's voice actor, on the DVD extras appears as the total opposite to his evil character: he's funny, nice, gentle, chubby and nowhere near as tall! He's also terrified of birds, which became something of a "Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?" moment when live parrots were actually brought into the studio to better assist the animators in animating Iago.
  • Older Than They Think: Aladdin is actually the fourth attempt at the "three wishes" rule for genies by Disney; it had been used twice on Ducktales, on one regular episode and in that show's feature film; the "three wishes" concept was also used on a Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers episode as well.
  • The Other Marty: Aladdin himself: Aladdin was originally drawn as a scrawny 12-year-old. (Or thereabouts.) It was only after animation had begun that they realized they needed a more buff look for their hero. However, it was too late to re-do the animation that had been done already, and the 'scrawny' Aladdin can be seen in the "Friend Like Me" sequencenote . In fact, Aladdin's original design was based on Michael J. Fox, which would make him an Other Marty for the original Other Marty.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Will Finn is the self-proclaimed world's biggest Gilbert Gottfried fan and was ecstatic to have him working on the film, which meant he got to meet his hero. He and Gottfried remained close friends after the film finished.
  • Screwed by the Lawyers: Disney began arranging plans for a live-action Genie prequel as an origin story, but it got locked away thanks to a clause in Robin Williams' will. His estate informed the company the clause bars any further usage of voice recordings and likenesses that had not been already made available to the public for 25 years after his death, meaning Disney cannot move forward with using Williams's likeness until August 11, 2039. Disney also had plans to make a third sequel with unused Robin Williams recordings, but it ended up being scrapped for the same reason.
  • Screwed by the Network: The IMAX version of The Lion King had a preview for a large-format version of Aladdin attached to its run. Unfortunately, the low grosses of IMAX DAC moviesnote  prompted Disney to cancel Aladdin's engagement (the remastered animation was eventually used for the DVD release). Similar circumstances later turned it into the only one of the Renaissance's four most famous movies without a 3D conversion; while Disney never actually announced one in the works, the failures of those of Beauty and the Beast and some Turn of the Millennium Pixar moviesnote  guaranteed that Aladdin wouldn't get one.
  • Throw It In:
    • As stated in Exact Words, the 'Applause' sign on the Genie's back after "Friend Like Me". This came up due to Jeff Katzenberg, then creative head at Disney, wanting the audience to clap after every musical number. So the animators put the sign in, and just for good measure, made the Carpet clap (The Sultan claps at the end of "Prince Ali" as well).
    • Many scenes are Robin Williams ad-libbing, particularly the opening one with the Peddler. Gilbert Gottfried also did it at times, a notable example being the line "gotta pack up the guns, the weapons, the blades, and how 'bout this picture, I don't know, I think I'm making a weird face in it." line shortly after Ali Ababwa/Aladdin unveiled Jafar and Iago's treacherous ambitions to the Sultan.
      • There was so much ad-libbing, Aladdin was disqualified from any screenplay Oscars.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Aladdin was originally supposed to have a mother, as mentioned on several documentaries, being a character that lyricist Howard Ashman reportedly wanted. Her character and the original draft of the film got thrown out by studio chief Jeffrey Katzenberg during production, and Katzenberg also reportedly wanted the mom "86ed", calling her "a zero". This led to Aladdin being an orphan in the original film instead. This also led to Elliott and Rossio joining the writing team and the rest of the story being reworked. Aladdin was the second Disney Animated Canon film in a row to get a Reset Button from Katzenberg; he also played this card on Beauty and the Beast, and Ashman could not argue for the original draft this time due to his death (the meeting where Katzenberg hit the Reset Button, known to Disney animators as "Black Friday", happened a month after Ashman had already passed away from AIDS) note .
    • Patrick Stewart was up for the role of Jafar. He wanted to do it, too, but fitting it into his schedule (which included the weekly Star Trek: The Next Generation) proved too difficult. He considers not voicing Jafar one of his biggest career regrets. Aladdin is one of at least three Disney roles Stewart was forced to turn down; TNG also barred him from Cogsworth in Beauty and the Beast and Goliath and others in Gargoyles.
    • Tim Curry, Kelsey Grammer, John Hurt, Christopher Lloyd, and Stewart's castmate/nemesis from the X-Men films, Ian McKellen, were all considered for the role of Jafar after Stewart, before Jonathon Freeman ultimately got the role (which he's played in almost every appearance of the character).
    • Narrator All Along: An unused alternate ending features the peddler telling the story suddenly turning into the Genie before the credits roll. Not technically confirmed in the film itself, but both of them were still voiced by Robin Williams, and if you look closely, the peddler and the Genie both have four fingers, while all the other human characters have five. They also have similar clothing, facial hair and even faces. This was passed over because... well, because.note 
    • Albert Brooks, John Candy, Matt Frewer, John Goodman, Eddie Murphy, Steve Martin and Martin Short were considered to provide the voice for Genie.
    • Danny DeVito and Joe Pesci were considered for Iago.
    • Aladdin was originally gonna have a trio of friends (named Babkak, Omar, and Kassim) who would help him out. They were written out, and became the villains Minos, Fatima, and Aziz in the TV seriesnote . They would eventually appear in the stage musical adaptation as Aladdin's sidekicks, subsequently replacing Abu.
    • Indie animation legend Bill Plympton was offered a six figure deal to animate on the film, nearly halting production on his first feature, The Tune. He only turned it down when he learned that Disney held intellectual rights over any ideas he had while working for them.
    • Originally Genie was able to grant unlimited wishes, but he was changed to the standard three-wish genie to raise the stakes.
    • According to the "Pop-Up Fun Facts" on the DVD, Genie was originally going to be purple. They changed his color to blue to better fit the film's color scheme (Blue signifying "Good", Red signifying "Evil", and Yellow signifying "Neutral").
    • There was originally supposed to be a scene where Jafar quizzes the Genie on all the animals that appeared in the Prince Ali song, finding out that the Genie had turned Abu into an elephant in the process. In the final version of the movie Jafar doesn't find out that the Genie did this until right before he sends Aladdin, Abu & the Magic Carpet to the arctic.
    • Originally, Jafar was the hot-headed one while Iago was the more quiet, subdued one, but it was quickly decided that Jafar losing his temper every few seconds would get old fast.
    • The Genie of the Ring from the original story became The Speechless Carpet because two genies would have been too much.
  • Word of Saint Paul: According to his actor, Jafar's obsession with power came from being a neglected Child Prodigy forced to spend his youth in a boarding school and then tend to a none-too-bright sultan.
  • Write Who You Know: Jasmine is heavily based on Mark Henn's (the leading animator) younger sister.

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