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Theatre / Twisted: The Untold Story of a Royal Vizier

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The seventh full-length musical by Team StarKid, Twisted gives Aladdin the Wicked treatment, exploring the true story of Jafar (or rather, "Ja'far"). Along the way, StarKid both thoroughly lampoons and pays its respects to the many, many tropes popularized by Disney.

Ja'far is a hardworking, honest politician in a magic kingdom that has fallen on hard times. Corruption is rampant on all levels, crime is up (thanks to the efforts of that thief Aladdin), and the kingdom is on the verge of bankruptcy. When the naive princess angers the prince of the Kingdom of Pik-zahr, Ja'far remembers a tale told to him by his deceased wife of an all-powerful Djinn, hidden in a common lamp. To save the kingdom from certain destruction, Ja'far must do everything he can to get his hands on that lamp, even when the road gets a little twisted, to ensure a happy ending for all.


Twisted provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: The Sea Witch, an Expy of Ursula from The Little Mermaid, is played by Jaime Lyn Beatty, who was working on the Dolphin Safe Tunes EP at the time that portrayed her as a mermaid on the cover. In a behind the scenes video she jokes about doing an "Ursula Safe Tunes" version of the album in Ursula's voice.
    • This is now extra Hilarious in Hindsight with Jaime having played a mermaid in a 2019 Super Bowl commercial.
    • The rest of the cast was impressed enough by Australian actor Robert Manion's flawless American accent that they'd randomly lapse into an Australian accent in scenes with him to try to mess him up, until director Brian Holden had to ask them to stop.
  • Adaptational Comic Relief: Everyone, to some degree, given the nature of the musical, but in particular Razoul/The Captain of the Guard's mild Comically Serious tendencies from Aladdin go Up to Eleven.
  • Adaptational Heroism: As Wicked did with the Wicked Witch of the West, Twisted portrays Ja'far as a goodhearted, sympathetic hero who was never evil to begin with.
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  • Adaptation Expansion: Here we see where Ja'far got the Scarab necklace, how he became Vizer, and where he got Iago.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Aladdin, the Sultan, and Prince Achmed are major villains here.
  • Adults Dressed as Children: The newborn Bird is depicted by dressing the full-sized Bird puppet in a bib and bonnet.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of Aladdin and the Disney Renaissance in general.
  • Agent Scully: Ja'far. To begin with, he is a staunch proponent of science and reason over stories of magic and djinns but he learns that he truly does live in a world with magic caves and flying carpets, and his plan to save the Magic Kingdom from invasion hinges on finding a Djinn with the power to grant wishes. His struggle to believe in magic as a solution to the world's problems is part of his Character Development.
  • Allegory: Agrabah is referred to here as "the Magic Kingdom", and its fall into disrepair, struggle to reclaim its former glory and trade conflicts with the neighbouring kingdom of Pik-zahr are all a metaphor for the career of the Disney Animation Studios throughout the 2000s. It's even refered to at one point as "The Happiest Place On Earth" by the opening narration.
    • A particularly heartbreaking example is the moment where the kingdom's entire 2D department is revealed to have been "sacked" - that is, put in a sack and then thrown out a window. Ja'far laments the loss of so many creative minds and craftsmen, only to admit that it's his fault, because he "didn't have them producing anything of value". OUCH.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Ja'far tries to stress this point to the Princess by claiming boys who sing are only trying to get into her pants, thanks to the helpful phrase "A song is a dick in sheep's clothing, a song means a dick is on the way". At first it only works figuratively (the Captain of the Guard interrupts with bad news), but then she realizes what Aladdin is trying to do.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: The citizens of the Kingdom give Ja'far this treatment.
  • Almost Kiss: Try as he might, Aladdin can't get the Princess to do more than cuddle.
  • Anachronism Stew: In the ancient Middle East, the exports of the magic kingdom include "trash-compacting robots", Prince Achmed has a toy Woody doll, and the Djinn quotes movies from thousands of years in the future.
    • Naturally, all of these are played for laughs.
  • Arranged Marriage: The movie staple of an unwanted arranged marriage is here Played for Laughs and Deconstructed. Ja'far's primary goal is to renew the trade agreement with Prince Achmed; whether Achmed and the Princess hit it off is secondary. Like the Sultan in the original movie, he does put some mild pressure on the Princess to consider marrying soon, but this is because she legitimately seems unable to take care of herself.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Ja'far asks the Princess how she is going to save the Magic Kingdom from Prince Achmed if he declares war, once she is ruler. The Princess says she'll make everyone her equal as fellow princesses, but is hurt when Ja'far admits it's a terrible idea. She then, against her better judgment, asks Aladdin in prince guise to marry her after he lies that he has a giant army, since that should protect the kingdom.
  • Ascended Extra: Prince Achmed.
  • Ascended Meme: The Urban Legend that Aladdin whispers "good teenagers take off your clothes" at one point in the movie is exaggerated and played for laughs here, with Aladdin trying to get into the Princess' pants by whispering "take off your clothes" (it doesn't work) and leading into a whole musical number about the other supposed subliminal messages in Disney movies.
  • As You Know: "We mustn't let ourselves forget the saying every child born within the kingdom knows."
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Even wearing a mustache, Lauren Lopez looks beautiful.
  • Author Tract: Matt Lang has said in interviews he has been specifically upset at Disney's Aladdin for years for being a beloved children's movie that, he believes, justifies stealing as a way to make a living. He even gives Ja'far the opportunity to lecture a poor orphan boy that if everyone used this rationalization to ignore other people's property rights, society would crumble.
  • Award-Bait Song: Parodied during the credits by the pop version of "A Thousand and One Nights".
  • Ax-Crazy: Aladdin.
  • Badass Boast: Prince Achmed, while trying to figure out why no one remembers him.
  • Badass Mustache: Appears to be the hat for everyone in Achmed's kingdom.
  • Barefoot Poverty: Aladdin briefly goes through this until he loots a dead body.
  • Beleaguered Boss:
    • Ja'far is the one running the Kingdom, but the populace hating him and his guards not being very good at their jobs doesn't help. While technically subservient to the Sultan, his every plan to improve the kingdom is thwarted by the ignorant citizens who hate him on principle, the insane sultan and his Deadly Decadent Court, or the Sultan's (actually Ja'far's) irresponsible Bratty Teenage Daughter. He ends up having to try to prevent a war sparked by the Princess' self-centered behavior while accused of being a traitor by the sociopathic thief Aladdin.
    • While not exactly a paragon of sanity (he declares war on the Magic Kingdom both to avenge himself of the insult given by the Princess and thinks this will make her love him), prince Achmed is completely unable make his army understand that he did not have sex with the Princess' tiger, no matter how often he explains it (they're under the impression he's making war on the kingdom solely to elope with the tiger).
  • Beleaguered Bureaucrat: Ja'far. He really just wants to return the kingdom to its golden age. He's just not very successful. Or appreciated.
  • Benevolent Genie: The Djinn is too annoying to be really helpful, but Ja'far becomes one of these at the end of the play.
  • Berserk Button: Don't imply that Prince Achmed fucked a tiger.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: Prince Achmed becomes known as Tigerfucker to his people. Subverted in that they vocally approve.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Sultan, Aladdin, and Achmed.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Ja'far and Sherrezade in the finale.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Ja'far can never be with his daughter again, just after they realized their relationship, and he'll go down in history as the villain of the story. But he gets his wife back thanks to the Princess's last wish, and they can view anywhere in time and space while waiting for someone else to find the lamp.
  • Blatant Lies: Aladdin, full stop. "I've never done this before."
  • Book-Ends: Aladdin's story begins and ends with a thief committing murder over a loaf of bread. At the beginning he's the murderer; at the end he's the murdered.
  • Both Sides Have a Point:
    • Ja'far tells off the Princess for setting her tiger on Achmed, and how she seems to have too high standards for any of her suitors. The Princess retorts that her suitors so far have either been "rapey" or "fucked a fish". Yes, she's being spoiled, but she's kinda right. Ja'far is also right that she can't keep using her tiger to mess with the suitors because it's political suicide.
    • In the past, Ja'far met Scheherezade while treating her after a courtier cut off her ear. She told him a story about her scarab necklace; he said he doesn't believe in the magical cave she mentions because he trusts only things he can see and touch, like items on maps. Scheherezade points out that magic "touches the soul", the way stories do, and "there's no greater feeling than that". Ja'far is easily convinced, because it's Scheherezade.
  • Brainless Beauty: The Princess isn't exactly brainless, but she is very, very naive. She gets better.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • Aladdin and the Princess both talk to the audience before their carpet ride, and the camera even nods when the Princess asks if it's a bad idea.
    • At the end the cameraman plays along with the "too close" gag from the film.
  • Brick Joke:
    • The Sultan's apparently random story about how he inverted his penis. Near the end, Ja'far realizes that because of this, he must be the Princess's real father.
    • Also, when the Princess says she wants to fix the socioeconomic inequality by making everyone a princess. When she becomes Sultan, she does just that, and it is extremely effective.
  • BSoD Song: The beginning of "Twisted", before the other Disney villains show up.
  • But Now I Must Go: After taking the Djinn's place in the magic lamp, Ja'far tells the Princess he must return to the tiger-head cave once he grants her wishes — not as a direct punishment against him as in the Disney movie, but as part of the preexisting system to keep his power from being misused.
  • Butt-Monkey: Ja'far, Prince Achmed.
  • The Caligula: The Sultan.
  • Call-Back: Near the end, one of Achmed's guards references the opening song.
    Princess: Ja'far?
    Achmed: Ja'far...
    Guard: Ja'FAR!
  • The Cameo:
  • Canon Foreigner: Scheherazade and the Sultan's former Royal Vizier.
  • Cerebus Callback: Aladdin's story of being orphaned at 33 is initially just a joke about him being a Basement-Dweller Manchild still dependent on his parents at that age; we then find out that he was orphaned at 33 because his parents wanted him to move out and his homicidal alter ego objected.
  • Cerebus Retcon: "One Jump Ahead" gets this treatment when guard talks about people dying in the chase. Recurs with the guard talks about the traffic jams, property destruction, rioting and trampling deaths caused by the unplanned parade in "Prince Ali".
  • Character Development:
    • Ja'far goes from a heavily idealistic, good-hearted man who just wants to make things better to a slightly jaded, still good-hearted man who does make things better, though it costs him his reputation and humanity.
    • The Princess goes from a naive Spoiled Brat who falls for Aladdin's lies to a idealistic-but-not-stupid ruler who manages to be a good leader, and tells Aladdin to piss off after she becomes ruler of the Magic Kingdom. It first happens when Ja'far warns her that all men want to get into her pants, and they lead into it by singing; and "Prince Aladdin" starts singing to the Princess alerts her to his true intentions. She only agrees to marry him because she thinks she loves him.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The necklace Sherrezade shows to Ja'far, which is actually half the key to the Tiger-Head Cave.
  • Clarke's Third Law: Partial version. Magic does exist, in the form of the far-off Tiger-Head Cave and the Djinn therein, but is not actually present in daily life. Ja'far is a scientist, not a sorcerer, his supposed psychic powers simply come from being more intelligent than everyone around him, his Smoke Out is powered by simple real-life chemistry (and he heavily inists that he is not performing magic), and Abu and Iago are reduced from being Funny Animals with human intelligence to mundane pets. Although it is implied that before the Genie empowers him with his first wish, many of Disney's Jafar's tricks (like the smoke bomb) were also Fake Wizardry.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: The Djinn is a deliberately over the top example. He only speaks in hackneyed movie references. Also, the Sultan who addresses his court by first telling them all how he gave himself an inverted penis, apropos of nothing.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Aladdin seems to be able to get straight answers out of the Djinn when he is in his lamp in Aladdin's hat.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: All over the place, especially the opening song.
  • The Comically Serious: The Captain of the Guard.
  • Composite Character: The ending reveals that Aladdin would eventually become the street merchant from the beginning of the film.
  • Continuity Snarl: Belle appears in the opening song, yet Beauty and the Beast is one of the stories to appear in the title song.
  • Corpsing: Jim Povolo has to fight back laughter when the Princess rejects his high-five. Given that and the suddenness of the moment, Rachael Soglin probably ad-libbed it.
  • Costume Porn: A major step up from other StarKid productions; they could actually hold up in a mainstream Broadway show.
  • Covers Always Lie: The official poster makes it look like Jafar is under the insidious influence of Iago. The poster is merely a shout-out to that of Wicked, and Bird is no more than a dumb animal.
  • Creator Thumbprint: One thing fans of this musical appreciate is that the lyricist, Kaley Mc Mahon, is a firm believer in the maxim that musical theatre should if at all possible only use perfect rhymes and not slant rhymes — there's only one slant rhyme in the whole show, and that's "philosophy" with "reciprocity" in "The Golden Rule", a direct reference to "The Bear Necessities". Notable because slant rhymes are pretty darn common in other Starkid lyrics, and Darren Criss has been quite open about his willingness to use slant rhymes in his own work — understandably so given how the original A Very Potter Musical songs were often composed in a matter of hours.
  • Crowd Song: "Dream a Little Harder", "The Golden Rule", "No One Remembers Achmed", and the finale.
  • Dark Reprise: "The Golden Rule (Reprise)", as Ja'far's predecessor laughs at his attempts at political morality and sings about how money is the only "golden rule", turning "Follow the Golden Rule" into "Follow the gold, and rule".
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • The Captain of the Guard. HEAVY on the deadpan.
    • Ja'far, especially after the main plot with the lamp gets going. Probably helps him cope.
  • Death by Irony: Aladdin becomes a merchant, and is murdered by a thief over a loaf of bread.
  • Deconstructor Fleet: Not just to Aladdin, but to Disney in general.
    • Aladdin's antics in "One Jump Ahead" and "Prince Ali" got multiple people killed.
    • The Princess allowing her tiger to attack Prince Achmed is acknowledged as being an act of war.
    • The people hope that dreaming and and being pretty will fix the kingdom's problems, while such passive ideas are just letting things get worse.
    • The Princess letting her domesticated, foreign birds out of their cage resulted in their deaths.
    • The age difference between Aladdin and the Princess is frequently commented upon.
  • Delayed Narrator Introduction: Scheherezade gives the opening monologue, appropriately enough given her name, and is not revealed as an actual character in the musical until partway through Act I. She then dies, and the explanation for her Posthumous Narration is not given until the very end of the story.
  • Demoted to Extra: To some extent, the Sultan, the Genie/Djinn and Abu/The Monkey. However, the most striking would be Iago/Bird, whom Ja'far dismisses during the very first scene after it insults him, and who's never seen again in the entire musical.
    • Interestingly, we are given an actual explanation for the Magic Carpet ("a carpet bound to the soul of a lecherous thief") implying some Adaptational Villainy for it — but when the carpet appears it's only used as a vehicle and its sentience never comes up.
  • Determinator: Everyone in the kingdom hates Ja'far and nothing ever goes his way. Will that stop him from trying to fix the kingdom's problems with logic, reason, and elbow grease? Nope.
  • Disney Villain Death: Alluded to in "Dream a Little Harder":
    • "Or he'll plummet to his death/From a castle/A clock/Or a cliff!"
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Aladdin threatens the baker with death if he puts anymore raisins in his bread.
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: Discussed by Ja'far and The Princess when he brings up a past suitor.
    Ja'far: What about that first prince you met? He was a charming fellow.
    The Princess: I heard he once made out with a girl while she was blacked out! That's not charming! That's kind of rapey.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Ja'far spends most of the story complaining about the unrealistic expectations and oblivious idealism of people like the Princess. In the end, he decides that young people have to believe they can make the world perfect or else they'll never even try, and that by the overly optimistic attempts of idealistic young people like he used to be, the world is made a tiny bit for better each generation that goes by. As it turns out, the Princess' plan to solve social inequality by making everyone a Princess worked.
  • The Eleven O'Clock Number: "Twisted", though it takes a break from being this to call in some other Disney villains with similar unfair stories.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Surprisingly for an elitist of the Aladdin time period, the previous Royal Vizor allowed women to join his cabinet and the Royal Guard.
  • Everyone Has Standards: The D'jinn says that he cannot grant Aladdin's wish to remove the Princess's consent to "fuck" her, in addition to the "no falling in love" rule, and it's implied he is disgusted by Aladdin suggesting it.
  • Economy Cast: The total number of actors is twelve and everyone except Ja'far and the Princess plays multiple parts, even Aladdin.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: "TIGER FUCKER! TIGER FUCKER! TIGER FUCKER!" Note that Achmed is the only person to be embarrassed by it, his soldiers actually think he's awesome for having been sodomized by a tiger.
  • Even Evil Has Standards
    • The other Disney villains can't get behind Cruella De Vil wanting to make a coat out of puppies. Although they're not exactly evil.
    • Even the murderous and sex-obsessed Aladdin is skeeved out by the idea of Ja'far being in love with the Princess, noting that he's old enough to be her father—disregarding that he himself is over 33 years old and in love with said teenage princess.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Princess, the Sultan, the Djinn, and some Disney villains.
  • Evil Chancellor: Ja'far's predecessor. And everyone's opinion of Ja'far himself.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Aladdin, Achmed, the previous Royal Vizier, etc.
  • Expy:
    • The song "I Steal Everything" is this to "One Jump Ahead", and "Take Off Your Clothes" is one to "A Whole New World". The opening song is an expy of (and features a cameo from) "Belle" from Beauty and the Beast. "Everything and More" is a parody of Disney Princess I Want Songs, especially "Part of Your World". "The Golden Rule" sounds a bit like "The Bare Necessities" from The Jungle Book and "You've Got A Friend In Me" from Toy Story. "Twisted" features musical cues from each of the participant's movies.
    • Many of the songs and their purpose in the story are also based on the inspiration source, Wicked. The bubbly soprano soloist in "Dream a Little Harder" sounds a lot like Glinda in "No One Mourns the Wicked", Ja'far's part in "Happy Ending" brings to mind "The Wizard and I" (the bridges are nearly identical), the title song bears similarities to "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished", as does "The Power in Me" to "For Good".
  • Faux Affably Evil: Aladdin.
  • Fauxshadow: "That was my bird, he has the ability to repeat words that others have spoken." This trick is never used to catch someone out later on.
  • Flat "What": Ja'far in the opening song.
    Woman: I need six eggs!
    Man: I want to fly!
    Ja'far: That's unrealistic.
    Ja'far: ...What?
    Bookseller: Fuck you.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Ja'far takes the Sultan's place in canon when he tells off the Princess for setting her tiger on Prince Achmed. He then gives her a sincere but honest lecture that no one gets everything they want in life, not even royalty, and she has to learn to think about the consequences of her actions. Almost like something a father would say, eh?
    • When Ja'far heals Scheherezade's ear, she asks him coyly if he is a sorcerer. This accusation will be a lot more serious next time he hears it.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: It's a Disney parody, so this is a given. Ja'far and Scheherezade meet, fall in love, and get engaged over the course of the same conversation. It actually works, though it is lampshaded. ("Took you long enough!") Averted, however, by Jasmine and Aladdin they don't get together, period.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: When the Princess tries to defend Aladdin from having to face trial because he had unfortunate circumstances, the Captain of the Guard points out Aladdin killed someone, whose Good Parents dearly miss him.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told:
  • Grief Song: "If I Believed".
  • Hail to the Thief: The parts of "Dream a Little Harder" where they really rip on Ja'far.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Ja'far is the only one in the palace actually trying to improve the lot of the magic kingdom, but all his efforts come to nothing, even when he gets hold of the magic lamp. In the end, he decides that hard work isn't enough; to really change the world, you have to be optimistic (or even naive enough) to believe that you can actually do it, just like the Princess.
  • Heel Realization: Averted. Aladdin seems to be on the tip of one when his other personality rears its head. Doesn't really take, though.
  • Heroic BSoD: Ja'far undergoes this several times as his life and the kingdom fall apart, first (chronologically) after losing his wife and unborn child, then when his 2D staff is executed, and finally when Aladdin accuses him of being a sorcerer and causes him to be cast out by the Sultan.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: The musical recasts Ja'far as this. Everyone in the magic kingdom thinks he's the Evil Chancellor, but he's actually the only one trying to make things better.
  • High-Five Left Hanging: The Captain of the Guard salutes the Princess by holding his hand up in the air. The Princess, who's a Bratty Teenage Daughter and Soapbox Sadie, tells him "no high-five", to his confusion.
  • Honorary Princess: The Princess's solution to the socioeconomic inequality? Why, make everyone in the kingdom a princess. After the Sultan kicked the bucket, she made that decree. It works surprisingly well.
  • Hope Spot: The Captain intrudes on Ja'far explaining a song just means a dick is on the way, but isn't bringing bad news for once...
    Ja'far: I feel like you only come to see me when there's bad news!
    Captain: Not this time.
    Ja'far (ecstatic): Oh well thank heavens, what is it then?
    Captain: Some fool atop an elephant is leading a parade throughout the marketplace!
  • Hurricane of Puns: It's Team StarKid, but it's not quite as prevalent as it is in Holy Musical B@man.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • The Princess is a limousine liberal who keeps going on about how much more she wants out of life, while fully enjoying the perks of being a princess. She even berates a handmaiden working in a silk sweatshop (her own silk sweatshop no less) for being part of a corrupt system.
    • Not to mention this little gem. Keep in mind, Aladdin is 33 while the Princess is 16.
    Ja'far: You have no idea how much that girl means to me! I love her!
    Aladdin: Oh... You love her? Dude, she's like half your age, you're a total pedo.
    • Belle telling Ja'far to "keep your fat face out of that motherfucking book." She is even reading a book herself while saying this.
  • "I Am Great!" Song: "I Steal Everything" for Aladdin and "No One Remembers Achmed" for Prince Achmed.
  • Incoming Ham: Gaston at the beginning of the title song. "Au con-traire!"
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Ja'far's defining trait. No matter how much the world fights him, all he wants to do is make others' lives better, making "The Golden Rule" of treating all others the way he wants to be treated the central tenet of his life. Eventually, circumstances force him to make exceptions for the greater good, but the fact that, even after the Sultan took his pregnant wife into his harem, tried to arrest and kill him, and placed all the citizens of his kingdom in danger through his incompetence, he's still doesn't wish to betray him, is proof enough that he's really, really squeaky clean.
  • Informed Flaw: The citizens talk a lot about how ugly Ja'far is, but even in the costume, Dylan Saunders doesn't look half bad. Possibly a reference to how attractive his Dumbledore was said to be. Or maybe beauty is just in the eye of the beholder, the citizens all hate Ja'far and his wife calls him "as wise as he is handsome, as handsome as he's kind."
  • Insane Troll Logic: The entire kingdom will jump through as many logical hoops as necessary to blame everything on Ja'far. Including the fact that the sun goes down at night or the Monochrome Casting.
  • Inspiration Nod: During the first song, Ja'far is reading Wicked.
  • Ironic Echo: "This is all Ja'far's fault" is uttered several times to blame every problem on Ja'far. At the end of the story, Ja'far is "blamed" for all the good things happening to save the magical kingdom.
  • It's All About Me:
    • Aladdin basically claims this as his life philosophy in "I Steal Everything". And boy, does it show.
    • The Princess pre-Character Development, the Sultan, and all the other government officials.
  • "I Want" Song: Parodied by the Princess's first song. Not only are her desires ridiculous, but they're often contradictory (i.e. wanting exciting, dangerous adventures as long as she stays safe).
  • Jackass Genie:
    • Subverted with the Djinn. While he is annoying to Ja'far, he grants all the wishes people request, no strings attached.
    • Ja'far invokes this when Aladdin takes the Princess hostage and demands the lamp. After Ja'far pretends to agree, he wishes to take the genie's place so that even if Aladdin has the lamp, he'll have to deal with Ja'far for his last wish. Aladdin sensibly tails it out of there, while Ja'far selflessly grants the Princess's wishes to the best of his ability.
  • Jerkass: Aladdin. "Jerkass" is an understatement. "Sociopathic murdering rapist" would probably be more accurate.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: When the Captain of the Guards points out that Ja'far's 2D department was executed because they weren't producing anything, Ja'far nods sadly.
  • Kick the Dog: Young Ja'far gets a Hope Spot when he learns his wife is expecting on the same day he finally gets an audience with the Sultan to discuss his land reforms. He's brutally brought back to reality when the Sultan ignores all his jabbering about land and reveals the purpose of the audience was to take his pregnant wife as a concubine.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Acting for Two is lampshaded when the Captain of the Guard offhandedly mentions that Robert Manion's character in a scene is the twin brother of Abdul, also played by Manion.
  • Large Ham: Prince Achmed and Ja'far's predecessor as the Royal Vizier (both played by king of ham Joe Walker). However, none of them could hope to match the hamminess of the other Disney villains.
  • Let's Duet: "A Thousand and One Nights", "Take Off Your Clothes", and "The Power in Me".
  • Loophole Abuse: Subverted. Aladdin acknowledges he can't magically make the Princess love him but does try to magically make her have sex with him and is quite put out when he's denied.
  • The Lost Lenore: Scheherezade
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Ja'far to the Princess.
  • Manchild: Aladdin was living with his parents until the age of 33. Then he murdered them because they were going to throw him out.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Scheherezade doesn't honestly seem that bothered by losing her ear.
  • Massive Multiplayer Ensemble Number: "Dream a Little Harder" gives most of the characters present at least one solo line.
  • Mind over Matter: Unlike the colorful magic powers he had in Disney's version, Ja'far's sorcery granted to him from his first wish seems to mostly be a handwavy version of this, along with Pstandard Psychic Pstance.
  • Missing Mom:
    • During "Dream a Little Harder", a girl wonders why her mother had to die. As it turns out, everyone else's mothers are dead too. It's probably a reference to Disney's long history of heroes with dead parents.
    • A Cerebus Callback and a bit of Fridge Horror: The instant Scheherezade becomes a mother, she also dies.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: The Captain walking in on Ja'far singing "A song is a dick in sheep's clothing!" to the Princess. Specifically, Ja'far had just finished the second line, which explains that when you start singing, a dick will soon appear... just in time for the Captain to show up with more bad news.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Cruella rightfully gets excluded even by the other Disney villains as the only actually evil one.
  • Mythology Gag: When the Sea-Witch is telling her story, it's heavily implied that King Triton is her brother, an element that Disney didn't make explicit in the film version of The Little Mermaid but was used more in the Broadway adaptation.
  • Nice Guy: Ja'far's defining trait, next to perhaps Only Sane Man.
  • "No. Just... No" Reaction: In the title song, as Disney villains try to explain their real causes, Cruella De Vil comes in to announce that she just wanted to make a coat out of puppies. The villains are quick to tear her down and shoo her away.
  • No Song for the Wicked: Averted. Aladdin and Achmed both get songs, and then double-subverted by every song Ja'far and the other villains get to sing.
  • Only Sane Man: Ja'far.
  • Opening Monologue: The play begins with Scheherezade playing narrator and setting the scene.
  • Our Genies Are Different: Apparently, Genies are able to see into the future/exist outside of time and space and therefore can watch movies, hence why the Djinn was able to know all of his dated and out-of-place movie references.
  • Overprotective Dad: Ja'far tries to warn the Princess of listening to boys and their songs ("A song is often a prelude to a dick") since the Sultan is too far gone to do so. And then it turns out Ja'far is the Princess' father.
  • Papa Wolf: Part of the reason Ja'far has a grudge against Aladdin is because the man keeps boasting about how he's going to bone the Princess and murder anyone who tries to protect her. In the end, Ja'far uses his first two wishes to protect the Princess and willingly becomes a genie to save his daughter from Aladdin.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The Prince Ali getup from the film is mocked. "It is you, you're just wearing different clothes."
  • Parental Substitute: Despite the Princess hating him, she treats Ja'far more like her father figure than she treats her actual father, the Sultan. He's the only one willing to give her advice when she needs it and talks to her like a person, rather than ignoring or trying to bone her. Then the "substitute" part goes out the window when he realizes he's her actual father.
  • Pep-Talk Song: "Twisted" goes from a BSoD Song to this when the Disney villains appear and tell Ja'far they were actually beings with good intentions. Ja'far gains a Heroic Second Wind to use the lamp's wishes to protect the magic Kingdom.
  • Pet the Dog: Aladdin's one heroic moment (looking for his pet monkey so they can escape the besieged city) is instantly cancelled when he shrugs and decides to leave him behind.
    • The Sultan's last act before he dies (offstage) is to sign an order allowing the Princess to marry who she pleases.
  • Phrase Catcher: "This is all your fault, Ja'far."
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Aladdin, the Sultan, and Achmed.
  • Race Lift: The show features a nearly all-white cast. This being Team Starkid, it gets an early Lampshade Hanging as one more thing to blame Ja'far for.
  • Reality Ensues: With a dose of Cerebus Retcon for the events of the film.
    • Aladdin's antics during "One Jump Ahead" are described. The Amusing Injuries resulted in the deaths of at least five people.
    • A princess setting a tiger on a visiting prince is regarded as an act of war. Achmed even lampshades the absurdity of such an act carrying no political consequences.
    • The birds that the princess sets free? Imported, and unable to survive in this climate.
    • The Princess points out Aladdin's Paper-Thin Disguise as Prince Ali and how unlikely and unethical his explanation for "pretending to be a street urchin" is.
    • The Genie's bragging about Prince Ali's military prowess in "Prince Ali" wasn't just selling his manly qualities as a husband, it would've been a serious political consideration for forging an alliance between the two countries at the time. In this musical the fact that all of this was a lie and those armies don't exist becomes a serious issue.
    • To a lesser extent, the Djinn's The Genie Knows Jack Nicholson routine just pisses Ja'far off because he doesn't understand the jokes.
    • When the Princess attempts to boast about "Prince Aladdin's" prowess by citing that "he faced the galloping hordes", Prince Achmed is completely clueless what she's talking about since the Djinn made it up.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Ja'far is the only authority figure, actually, who falls under this until the end. He spends his days trying to make life better for everyone in the Happiest Place on Earth, including pleasing a Jerkass prince whose resources the kingdom badly needs. When the Princess insults Achmed by setting her tiger on him, Ja'far tells her off for being so reckless, but also gently tells her that she needs to start thinking about the consequences of her actions.
  • Rebellious Princess: Like in the source material, the Princess does not want to get married and wants to escape the palace, but she still wants to keep all the comforts that being a princess entails.
  • Refuge in Audacity: When being menaced by the father of a girl he knocked up, Aladdin says, "That's completely fair, but in my defense, dude, your daughter's hot!" The guy then gives him a high five.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Ja'far admits that he treats the Princess like his daughter because she would have been the same age his child would have been since they were born around the same time. Which makes him realize that she is his daughter because the time is too coincidental and the Sultan is infertile.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Here, it is revealed that Ja'far is the Princess's actual father.
  • Reprise Medley: "Happy Ending" gives "I Steal Everything" and "Everything and More" a reprise at its climax.
  • Running Gag: The Captain's increasingly strained attempts to pin whatever just happened on Ja'far.
    • Before he ever shows up on stage, several characters (and the plot summary) make sure we know that the Djinn, in addition to his other attributes, is also really funny.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: The entire point of "The Golden Rule (Evil Reprise)." Meanwhile, Ja'far prefers the Screw the Money, I Have Rules! route.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Ja'far ultimately decides to make this decision when he steals the lamp. Rather than turn himself into the Sultan whom he has just betrayed, to die or be tortured, he decides to use the D'jinn to save the Kingdom from Prince Achmed and Aladdin. If this means others will see him as the villain? So be it.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Aladdin made a run for it when confronted by Ja'far in Genie/Djinn form.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Aladdin.
  • Shown Their Work: Disney's villain Jafar is named after a real historical figure, whose first name was indeed more properly spelled "Ja'far", and who was indeed portrayed as a heroic figure in the real Arabian Nights before modern adaptations turned him into a villain (starting with The Thief of Bagdad (1940)). The real Ja'far was known for being an accomplished statesman and a patron of the sciences, and for being executed by his Sultan, Haroun al-Rashid, for unclear reasons, possibly related to sexual jealousy (Ja'far may have slept with al-Rashid's sister). All of this makes the hero of this musical far truer to the original source than the Disney character.
  • Skewed Priorities: The Princess yells at Aladdin for wanting to have sex while Achmed is attacking the Kingdom. She gets fed up with him and tells him off for being exactly what Ja'far said he was. He responds by taking her hostage and using her as a bargaining chip to get the lamp.
  • Split Personality: Aladdin turns out to have one. One side's an arrogant, selfish dick, while the other one's an arrogant, selfish, murderous dick.
  • Shout-Out:
    • There are many references to Disney movies, especially in the opening song.
    Dream hard enough, my friend
    Ja'far will meet a violent end
    He could be skewered by a sailing ship
    Or hanged in tangled jungle vines
    Or eaten by hyenas
    Or he'll plummet to his death
    From a castle
    A clock
    Or a cliff
    • "Take Off Your Clothes" describes the leaves on the ground spellings something explicit... "SFX"? This is a reference to a controversy about the sky in The Lion King containing the word "sex", although the animators claimed it was an homage to the SFX (special effects) department.
      • The song's title is actually a reference to a similar controversy. It was believed by some that in a certain scene in Aladdin, Aladdin could be heard saying "good teenagers, take off your clothes." The line is supposedly Aladdin saying to Rajah "Good kitty, take off and go," though a close listen of the soundtrack makes it very difficult to tell exactly what's being said. This bit of audio was removed entirely from the DVD release.
      • Others include "that priest has a boner" (from The Little Mermaid (1989)) or a phallic-looking tower (Aladdin)
    • The title song contains cameos from Ursula, Scar, Gaston, Maleficent, Captain Hook and Cruella de Vil.
    • At one point, Ja'far gives a nod to the Carousel of Progress ride at Disney World, even quoting the song that plays throughout it.
    • There are several shout outs to Wicked, down to Ja'far reading Wicked in the opening scene.
    • Likewise, Ja'far's relationship with the Princess is similar to Elphaba's relationship with Glinda, with the added twist of him being her father, a shout out to the Wizard being revealed to be Elphaba's father.
    • The Princess's whole arc is also very similar to arc Glinda goes through in Wicked.
    • The ending is nearly identical to the ending of Wicked, with Ja'far/Elphaba being remembered as a villain while Aladdin/the Wizard is remembered as a hero. Ja'far/Elphaba can never see the Princess/Glinda again, but the Princess/Glinda is now in charge of the land and becomes a great ruler while Ja'far/Elphaba lives out their days with their true love (Scheherezade/Fiyero).
    • Prince Achmed notes that some of the magic kingdom's greatest exports over the last ten years produced by Pik-zahr include toys, exotic fish, trash-compacting robots, and "other such incredibles."
    • Ali Baba's lost treasure, which the Princess uses to buy Prince Achmed's kingdom, comes to 7.4 billion drachma. This is a direct reference to the $7.4 billion for which Disney acquired Pixar in 2006.
    • The "Magic Kingdom", which represents Disney while Prince Achmed's kingdom represents Pixar, is said to have had "two Golden Ages", referencing The Golden Age of Animation and The Renaissance Age of Animation. The musical begins with the sacking of Ja'far's "2D department" (that is, put in burlap sacks and beaten to death), referencing the idea that Disney's Renaissance ended with their abandonment of 2D animation.
    • The inside baseball continues with the story of Prince Achmed's kingdom turning against Ja'far's kingdom paralleling Pixar's attempts to sever ties with Disney as their sole distributor in 2004-2005, culminating in Disney outright buying Pixar in 2007 (as the Princess does with Ali Baba's hidden treasure). In the musical, this opens a third Golden Age for the Magic Kingdom; YMMV if The Millennium Age of Animation is panning out that way in real life.
    • The refrains of "The Golden Rule" and its Dark Reprise spoof that of "You've Got a Friend in Me"
    • After Ja'far tells Aladdin he can have the rest of the treasure in the cave, the latter says, "I'm gonna have so much gold! I could swim through it, like a pool."
    • There's several lines taken straight from Disney of course.
  • "Somewhere" Song: The Princess sings about going to live somewhere... exactly like the palace she lives in now.
  • Speaks in Shout-Outs: Everything the Djinn says is a reference, usually to a movie. It's revealed that inside the lamp he is outside of time, so he can watch all the movies which haven't been made yet. The references he makes bewilder all the characters.
  • Speed Sex: "No One Remembers Achmed" brags that Prince Achmed can "pleasure sixty concubines in only an hour", which Achmed responds to with "Less!" And then you realize that leaves a minute for each one. Does this mean he only lasts a minute with each one or that each one only lasts a minute with him?
  • Street Urchin: Aladdin is a subversion in this show. He steals way more than he needs, issues death threats, and many more things that make him unlike a lovable "street urchin" stereotype. He's also 33 years old, meaning that the "urchin" part has long been untrue.
  • Subliminal Seduction: Aladdin attempts an incredibly unsubtle one on the Princess. She's JUST smart enough to see through it. The song also references several real accusations that have been lobbed at Disney movies, and even gives the real explanations to the ones that have them: the priest in The Little Mermaid has knobby knees, and the dust cloud in The Lion King spells "SFX."
  • Sustained Misunderstanding: Achmed shows his rear to his soldiers to show he's been attacked by a tiger. They all interpret it as his having had sex with the tiger, and cannot be convinced otherwise.
  • Take That!: The opening number "Dream A Little Harder" pokes fun at the morals offered up by some Disney animated fairy tales:
    No need to be proactive:
    Good things will just happen to you!"
    "If you're sure of your intention,
    Will give you the edge that you need!"
  • The Talk: Ja'far gives the Princess a variant of this. It's not the usual "birds and the bees" talk, since she's old enough to already know all that, but instead a talk about how predatory, older men (like, ya know, Aladdin) might try and take advantage of her naivete and coerce her into sex. This leads to the immortal line, "A song is a dick in sheep's clothing!" It becomes rather heartwarming in retrospect, when you watch again with the knowledge that Ja'far is actually her father. And, since she becomes more wary of Aladdin after that, she actually did listen to the lecture, even if she won't admit it.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: As Ja'far is escaping from the Sultan and his guards, he explains to the audience, at length, how he is using a scientifically understood chemical reaction to create a cloud of smoke. Despite this, his escape is mistaken for sorcery.
  • The Genie Knows Jack Nicholson: "Here's Johnny!"
  • The Golden Rule: Ja'far's philosophy in life. He tries imparting it to the original vizier, who's version of the Golden Rule is... different...
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Or rather, "Then let them think I'm evil." Ja'far's epiphany in the title song is that he should stop worrying about what people think of him, and just do the right thing so at least they'll still be alive to hate him.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Ja'far will not kill anyone, not even enemy soldiers threatening his people. It's why his second wish isn't enough to save the civilians.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Turns out the Disney villains were actually good guys with bad reputations, except Cruella De Vil, who's quite evil but seems quite surprised to hear it.
  • Triumphant Reprise: The finale version of "A Thousand and One Nights".
  • Truer to the Text: In a twisted way. Although this is very much an irreverent, fourth-wall breaking parody of Aladdin, bringing back a version of Scheherazade and restoring Ja'far to heroic status both bring this story closer to the original Arabian Nights. (See Shown Their Work above.)
  • Ugly Hero, Good-Looking Villain: Ja'far is said to be ugly by the other characters, whereas Aladdin is handsome, charismatic and a total sociopath.
  • Underling with an F in PR:
    • Achmed's soldiers have difficulty with the concept that their prince did not have sex with a tiger, and in fact bring up his supposed mating as if it were a badge of pride.
    • Assorted Disney villains come forth to explain that they were recast as the villains of their stories later on when they only had good intentions (Ursula was the victim of misogyny, Scar wanted to end segregation, Gaston wanted to stop a case of Stockholm Syndrome, Hook wanted to teach the hero responsibility, Maleficent just wanted to have friends)... aaaaaand then Cruella comes out and says she only ever wanted a coat made out of puppies. Everyone else quickly boots her offstage.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Most of the citizens Ja'far is trying to help, but special mention the man in the opening song who demands to know why there isn't enough to eat. Even after Ja'far gives him the bread from his hands, he still sings about how evil and hideous he is.
  • Uninvited to the Party: Maleficent "only wished to feel included" by being invited to the party, among other Disney villains shown to be Not Evil, Just Misunderstood.
  • Unusual Euphemism: A whole series of these from the Expy of Gazeem the thief, whose famous line "I had to slit a few throats, but I got it" initially appalls this more heroic version of Ja'far. Then it turns out the last one wasn't a euphemism at all.
  • Villain Song:
    • "The Golden Rule Reprise", "No One Remembers Achmed", "I Steal Everything", and "Orphaned at 33".
    • "Twisted" is a subversion, but it's sung by some of Disney's greatest villains.
    • Villainous Lament: Subverted by "Twisted", where all the characters lament having been cast as villains. Except Cruella, who still is a villain.
    • Villain Love Song: "No One Remembers Achmed" has a part where Achmed says he will try to win the Princess's heart by killing all citizens of the magic kingdom. "Take Off Your Clothes" may also count, even though Aladdin's just trying to get into her pants.
  • "The Villain Sucks" Song: The citizens singing "Dream a Little Harder" think that Ja'far sucks, but he isn't actually a villain at all.
  • Wham Line: Aladdin reveals his Split Personality and that the man who killed his parents is in "your reflection".
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • The bird disappears halfway through the first act, though he does have a spot in the final song.
    • After the climax, Achmed wonders what happened to Ja'far, but the next scene jumps right to him.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Ja'far's first onscreen interaction with the Princess is telling her off for setting her tiger on a political ally. As he tells it, he has to clean up her mess since Achmed is threatening war.
  • What You Are in the Dark: After he makes off with the lamp, Ja'far ponders that he just committed treason against his sultan and committed theft for the first time. He wonders if he should turn himself in, hide, or use the lamp's power to save the Kingdom and appear truly evil to the people he's trying to protect. After the other classic Disney villains give him a Pep-Talk Song, he commits to using the d'jinn's magic to save the kingdom and the Princess.
  • Womanchild: The Princess, which initially makes her and Aladdin seem like a good match. She gets better and he gets a lot worse.
  • "World of Cardboard" Speech: "Twisted" ends up as one, as the stories of other Disney villains cause Ja'far to realize that it doesn't matter how history will view him, just that he did the right thing.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: The mouse has many of the names in the show trademarked, but StarKid works around this. Somewhat odd, as they've done parodies before and never bothered to change the character names then.
    • Aladdin's name existed prior to the Disney movie, so the Team could theoretically get away with this one.
    • According to the credits, Jafar's name is actually Ja'far. Which actually is the correct spelling of the Arabic name.
    • Jasmine is only called "The Princess."
    • The Genie is only called "The Djinn."
    • Abu and Iago are called "Monkey" and "Bird" respectively.
    • The Cave of Wonders is only called "The Tiger-Head Cave."
      • Though this doesn't stop Aladdin from declaring "I'll be the one who plunders her cave of wonders."
    • The credits call Ursula "The Sea-Witch."
  • Written by the Winners: Revealed to be the case with almost every Disney villain. Except Cruella De Vil, who the others are disgusted to learn really did want to skin a bunch of puppies.

Alternative Title(s): Twisted


"...a dick is on the way--"

"A Song Is A Dick In Sheep's Clothing"

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / MusicalisInterruptus

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