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Western Animation / Aladdin: The Return of Jafar

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Jafar is back and he's out for revenge!
Released in May 1994, The Return of Jafar is the first sequel to Disney's Aladdin, as well as Disney's first animated direct-to-video sequel overall.

Some time after Aladdin defeated the evil sorcerer Jafar, he is living with Jasmine in the royal palace in Agrabah, adjusting to his new life as a member of the city's nobility. Genie returns from a lengthy trip around the world, because he's begun to miss his friends. Meanwhile, somewhere in the distant desert, the geniefied Jafar and his pet parrot Iago dig themselves out of the Cave of Wonders where Genie banished them. Iago abandons his master to start over, and soon finds himself back in Agrabah. Aladdin decides to take in the former villain after the parrot saves him from some vengeful thieves. When Jafar is freed from the lamp by Abis Mal, a foolish thief with a grudge against Aladdin, the evil genie unfolds his evil plot to destroy Aladdin and everyone the boy loves.

It was created as a pilot to Aladdin: The Series. It also got a feature sequel, Aladdin and the King of Thieves, that closes Aladdin's story.

Aladdin: The Return of Jafar provides examples of:

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  • Achilles' Heel: Jafar, as a super-powerful genie, only has one weakness: as long as he's bound to the lamp, so is his existence. Genie, being the resident genie, confirms this: "You destroy Jafar's lamp, you destroy Jafar!" The Genie himself doesn't have this problem, because Aladdin freed him in the previous movie.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Abis Mal is the Middle Eastern version of George Costanza. Both characters are also portrayed by Jason Alexander.
    • Genie imitates Krusty The Clown's laugh at one point. Both characters are voiced by Dan Castellaneta. He also briefly imitates the Rich Texan's voice in the song "Nothing in this World".
  • Animation Bump: In the loosest sense of the term. The half done by the Japanese team is a smidgen better than that of the Australian-produced half. The "You're Only Second Rate" number and the scene leading up to it stands out in particular.
    • On the other hand, Iago's animation becomes significantly less lively once Japan takes over.
  • Anti-Love Song: "Forget About Love" plays with this. Iago tells Jasmine in the song to forget about marrying Aladdin after Jasmine gets angry that Aladdin lied to her. However, Iago does this explicitly to have the opposite effect on Jasmine, using the Genie's help to make Jasmine realize that she truly loves Aladdin, and that this one bump in the road shouldn't drive the two of them away from each other.
  • Arc Words: "You'd be surprised what you can live through." Even though genies can't technically kill anyone, they can make you wish you had, which explains the crux of Jafar's plan.
  • Are We There Yet?: Variation when Jafar, still stuck in his lamp, asks Iago if they are out of the Cave of Wonders yet at the beginning of the film, apparently one too many times judging by this response:
    Iago: "Are we out yet? Are we out yet?" YES, WE'RE OUT!
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: When Iago is in the birdcage, begging for Abu to let him out.
    Iago: Come on! I've got a wife and three eggs! Imagine them hatching never knowing their daddy! COME ON! OPEN THE CAGE! Open it! Open it! OPEN IT! [Abu spots Rajah the tiger nearby, smiles slyly, then opens the cage] Yeah, that's more like it—DAH! [Sees Rajah snarling menacingly at him; he struggles with Abu fighting over the cage door] CLOSE THE CAGE! Close it! Close it! CLOSE IT!
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The gang wonders how they can possibly defeat Jafar, who is now an immortal genie and completely invulnerable. Genie reveals that Jafar is still a wish-granting genie and not a free one like himself, so they must destroy the lamp Jafar is bound to. Predictably, it isn't easy for Team Aladdin. In the end, the one who destroys it is Iago, ending Jafar for good.
  • Badass Arm-Fold: Jafar comes out of the lamp as a gigantic red genie, folds his arms, hovers hugely and ominously, then leans in really close, scaring the living shit out of Abis Mal, who babbles incoherently in utter terror.
  • Bad Boss: Abis Mal, even before they upped his villainy a bit in the series — where he pulls a You Have Failed Me on one of his mooks — was a genuinely terrible boss to his gang of thieves. At the beginning, he is shown to keep the lion's share of the plunder that he and his gang stole, giving his gang a small bag of change at best. It's also strongly implied that this isn't the first time Abis Mal's cheapskating his men. They eventually try to kill him after one setback too much, only to run away when Jafar pulls an unintended Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work on them.
  • Badass Decay: In-Universe with the Genie. It seems to come with being free, as he admits that his powers are now Semi-Phenomenal and Nearly Cosmic.
  • Bag of Spilling: Justified. The Genie gets noticeably nerfed in the sequels and television show, mentioning that his freedom from the lamp has reduced his powers. This culminates in a musical number where genie-Jafar (who got his powers from Genie and logically could not have been more powerful than an imprisoned genie) toys with and captures Genie with ease. Although there are some inconsistencies with this; Genie maintains his apparent ability to perceive time, allowing for plenty of modern pop culture references and conjuring of anachronistic objects. Also in Aladdin and the King of Thieves, he seems much more powerful than he was in this film. Maybe the Genie just learned how to make the most use of his weaker powers.
  • Bait-and-Switch: At one point, a water spout rises from the fountain in the palace garden, accompanied by suspenseful music. At first, it is hinted that it's Jafar (whom Iago had dropped down a well), but instead, it turned out to be Genie.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Iago feels bad about helping Jafar again because Aladdin put himself on the line for him. It's why he ends up switching sides.
  • Becoming the Mask: Iago originally pretended to be Aladdin's friend in order to get back into the power he once had. He later ends up actually becoming Aladdin's friend after Aladdin sticks up for him.
  • Berserk Button: Just like in the first film, Iago’s hatred of crackers, and especially the phrase “Polly want a cracker”. When Jafar demands Iago release him from the lamp, and uses this phrase, it’s what pushes Iago over the edge and causes him to defect from Jafar.
  • Big Bad: Jafar, Aladdin's Arch-Enemy, returns in this movie for the sake of getting revenge on Aladdin for ruining his plans to rule Agrabah.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Abis Mal tries to be the main threat, and has his own personal vendetta against Aladdin for stealing some of the treasure that Abis Mal got on a raid. But Jafar is way out of Abil Mal's league in terms of villain scope; in the end, Abis Mal is a means to an end for Jafar to get to Agrabah and try to kill Aladdin.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • After Iago frees him, Genie saves Aladdin from the execution with seconds to spare.
    • In the midst of the Final Battle, when Team Aladdin is trapped over a pool of lava, unable to reach Jafar's lamp, Iago pulls a Changed My Mind, Kid and comes flying in to help.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Jafar during the climax when he sees Aladdin is still alive.
    • He also does it again after Iago uses the last of his strength to knock his lamp into the lava pool.
      Jafar: My lamp! NOOOOOOOOOO!
    • Jasmine, when Jafar tells her that he just sentenced Aladdin to death while masquerading as her.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": From Iago to Jafar. "Hey, Jafar! SHUT UUUUUUP!" Also a Call-Back — Jafar's last line in the first movie was one of these to Iago as the two were flung into the distance.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: Used three times by Iago, except as "strong words" instead of "ugly words." He uses it for "friend," "traitor," and "but."
  • The Blank: "Hate to lose face in front of you guys", says the Genie as he literally pulls his face off of his head when trying to perform a magic trick.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Jafar passes up an opportunity to kill Aladdin, and in circumstances where he could have gotten around the rule preventing genies from killing (since Abis Mal is the one who pushes Aladdin off the waterfall) in order to discredit and humiliate him for the Sultan's murder. Despite that, he still nearly succeeds!
  • Call-Back: Like in the first movie, Carpet falls to pieces by Jafar's magic during the climax, and is revived upon Jafar's defeat.
  • Capture and Replicate: Jafar does this as part of his plan to frame Aladdin for the murder of the Sultan. He captures Jasmine and disguises himself as her to appear at the execution.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: Iago. He opts to bail just before the final confrontation with Jafar. Just when things are looking bleak for our heroes, Iago comes charging into the fight and manages to snatch Jafar's genie lamp. Despite being injured by a magical blast, Iago is able to shove the lamp into a pool of lava, destroying Jafar and saving the day.
  • Company Cross References: When Genie releases the protagonists from the dungeon, he chants "Bippity-boppity-boo!"
  • Convection, Schmonvection: A particularly egregious example in the climax, where Aladdin holds on to a rock mere inches above a flow of molten lava, and doesn't even look like he's sweating. Though considering it's magically summoned lava, it's possible it doesn't convect.
  • Creepy Circus Music: "You're Only Second Rate", the Villain Song, is a swingy Broadway-style song that contains some elements of this. For example, circus-themed imagery is used throughout the song, and when Jafar sings the line "You think your cat's a meanie, but your tiger's tame", you can hear the melody of "Entry of the Gladiators" in the background.
  • Creepy Jazz Music: "You're Only Second Rate", Jafar's swingy Villain Song where he beats Genie in a Curb-Stomp Battle, all while gloating about his power.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Genie is utterly outmatched by Jafar in their Wizard Duel during "You're Only Second Rate". Jafar even continuously lets the Genie wail on him, to no effect. Justified by the fact that Genie is free now, which nerfed his powers a bit, as opposed to Jafar still having his lamp.
  • Darker and Edgier: Downplayed. While some elements are more lighthearted (Abis Mal, Genie) Jafar's plan to frame Aladdin for the murder of the Sultan, disguise himself as Jasmine to appear at the execution, and then kill Aladdin is pretty dark, especially since he gets within a second of winning.
  • Decoy Protagonist: While it's Aladdin's name on the cover and he's still The Hero, Iago has the most focus of all the characters. It's his Heel–Face Turn that cements the emotional core of the piece.
  • Disney Death: The movie loves this. Genie gets chucked across the garden but he's just unconscious, Carpet gets torn to shreds but turns out to be fine, and Iago gets blasted with lightning but "You'd be surprised what you can live through." Justified as, in his genie form, Jafar cannot directly kill people.
  • Divide and Conquer: Jafar captures Genie, Abu, Carpet, the Sultan, and Jasmine so that Aladdin has no one to turn to when the frame-up is pulled.
  • The Dog Bites Back: After Abis Mal fails to retrieve the plunder that Aladdin stole back from them, then bungles their payback on Aladdin when they encounter him in the streets of Agrabah (and nearly gets them arrested, thanks to Iago intervening), Abis Mal's gang of thieves have enough of their boss. They try to kill him on the spot as he retrieves some water from a well (the same well that Iago ditched Jafar's lamp into earlier). It doesn't happen, but only because they were scared off by Jafar, whom Abis Mal unwittingly released from the lamp before they could deliver the killing blows against him.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Jafar plays an incredibly obvious version of this as Abis Mal's genie. He curtails any authority Abis Mal may have had with Jackass Genie tactics and threats of giving him A Fate Worse Than Death, and sets up the whole plan to best Aladdin himself.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: After the treachery Jafar had already put him through with his first two wishes, Abis Mal is very right to question if Jafar would let him keep the treasure once he uses his third wish to free him.
  • Easily Forgiven: Jafar instantly forgives Iago for dropping him down a well, later stating that Iago's traitorous nature is one of the things he admires about him.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: When Iago decides to redeem himself by trying to free Genie from the crystal ball prison, Abu goes off on an unintelligible rant. A genuinely pissed off Iago responds, "Hey! Do I insult your mother?"
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Abis Mal gets pressed into servitude after accidentally summoning the genie Jafar. Jafar accomplishes this by constantly threatening violence against Abis. At one point, the hapless thief recalls that Jafar said genies can't kill, but Jafar ominously replies, "You'd be surprised what you can live through." Also, Jafar is the epitome of the Jackass Genie, so it's not like he can make his wishes and be on his way.
  • Evil Laugh: Both a heroic example and a straight example within seconds of each other, respectively by Genie and Jafar.
  • Evil Overlooker: On the cover of the original VHS (page image), Jafar is menacingly hovering over the heroes by looking at them through a crystal ball. The DVD/Blu-ray posters just has his face menacingly watching over the heroes from the sky.
  • Evil Plan: Jafar's Batman Gambit. Upon his release, he immediately comes up with a plan to retake Agrabah and kill all of his old enemies, relying on Abis Mal and Iago to help him accomplish this task. Both serve him out of utter fear, and Jafar almost gets away with all he has done. This includes having Iago lead Aladdin and the Sultan astray while Jafar imprisons the Genie, Abu and Jasmine; chasing Aladdin down a waterfall and letting him live so that he can return to Agrabah and be arrested for 'murder of the sultan' — after which he tries to humiliate the boy by disguising himself as Jasmine right before his death. Had Iago not interfered, Jafar would have won.
  • Expose the Villain, Get His Job: The Sultan offers Aladdin the job of Grand Vizier, which Jafar held. In a variation, he defeated Jafar in the previous film and the Sultan makes the offer at the beginning, with Aladdin deciding to turn him down at the end (and settle for "merely" being a prince) because he feels that he's an adventurer at heart who couldn't bear staying in the palace all day signing papers.

  • Fade Around the Eyes: Frequently to enhance Jafar's vengeance, the screen constantly fades out after a scene with him smiling evilly.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Jafar gets his lamp dropped in lava, has an electrifying seizure, then explodes into dust. When this movie was released onto DVD, Disney actually tweaked the animation in this scene from its original VHS release so that you don't see Jafar's flashing skeleton until the very end of it (though this was largely because the flashing would've been epilepsy-inducing).
  • Fate Worse than Death: Implied. Genies may not be able to kill, but "you'd be surprised what you can live through."
    • That's the basis of Jafar's Evil Plan, he states that: "It's not enough that we simply destroy Aladdin. After all, there are things so much worse than death." It's sure is: Aladdin not only learns that he will be executed but that it was Jasmine, the love of his life, who ordered it. Then, a few seconds before the execution, Aladdin realizes that the one who ordered it was actually Jafar in disguise. Aladdin nearly died not only knowing that his enemy had returned, but having no idea what the latter did to Jasmine, or what he will do to her afterwards.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Jafar even moreso than in the previous film.
  • Forgot I Could Fly: When Genie escapes from the orb Jafar put him in, Genie races through the castle and snatches Aladdin away from the execution stand, only to poof the rest of the protagonists to safety seconds later. However, it is possible that Genie had to know Al's exact location to be able to poof him, and the flying around bit was more about just finding him than anything.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Once freed, Jafar initially appears in his genie form we saw at the end of the first film. He then assumes a variation of his original human appearance for most of the film (barring a few occasions in "You're Only Second Rate") in order to work with Abis Mal. This is necessary, as the bandit is quite understandably freaking the hell out at Jafar's genie form.
  • Freeing the Genie: Jafar tries to get Abis Mal to make this wish. However, when it's time, Mal (very reasonably) gets cold feet.
  • The Genie Knows Jack Nicholson: In addition to the Trope Namer retaining his propensity for modern pop culture references from the first film, Jafar sets up a reference to the "Mrs. Bates" reveal scene in Psycho during "You're Only Second Rate."
  • Genre Savvy: Abis Mal of all people surprisingly develops this at the cusp of the climax. He prepares to wish for Jafar's freedom... then stops. Having been Jafar's lackey for the most of the film, and having seen him abuse the Master-Genie relationship, Abis Mal rightfully (and not unreasonably) questions if setting Jafar free will, among other things, magically erase his reward.
  • Gone Horribly Right:
    • Aladdin's plan to get rid of Jafar in the first movie worked well enough, but what happens when the near-omnipotent and very evil genie gets free?
    • Abu only intended to open Iago's cage as a joke to scare him, since Rajah was nearby. Unfortunately, the joke backfires as Rajah then destroys the cage and chases Iago into the palace, accidentally ruining the palace dinner and blowing Iago's cover to everyone present.
  • Heel–Face Turn: At first, Iago looks out for himself after he declares he is done putting up with Jafar. As the movie continues, his "friendship" Al and loyalty to Jafar are tested.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Iago, switching sides three times over the course of the movie (and then conspiring with Cassim in King of Thieves).
  • Hoarding the Profits: When Abis Mal and his gang of thieves return to their hideout with stolen treasure, Abis Mal tries to keep a majority of the treasure, claiming that it's his bonus for being a "good leader". When his men demand a portion of the treasure, Abis Mal only gives them a small bag of coins, much to their anger.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: At the climax, Jafar opens the earth and traps the heroes in a lava pit...only for Iago to appear and kick his lamp into the lava, finally destroying him.
  • I Have a Family: Iago tries to pull this card in an attempt to get Abu to open the birdcage Aladdin locked him in. It’s obvious that he’s lying. Abu does open the cage... but only because he spots Rajah and decides to have some fun at Iago’s expense.
    Iago: COME ON! I got a wife and three eggs! Imagine them hatching, never knowing their daddy!
  • Inane Blabbering: Abis Mal's reaction to seeing Jafar's genie form is this. He's finally able to start talking properly again after Jafar reverts to his human form.
  • Ineffectual Death Threats: Subverted. Several characters try to downplay Jafar's threat level by pointing out that as a genie, he can't actually kill anyone this time around — but then, "you'd be surprised what you can live through." He also manages to get someone else to (nearly) execute Aladdin, so he's not all talk.
  • Ironic Echo: Whenever he is reminded that genies can't kill, Jafar has an ominous threat: "You'd be surprised what you can live through." When Iago survives one of Jafar's magic blasts and stays conscious long enough to destroy his lamp, Iago says the same thing.
  • I've Heard of That — What Is It?: After a spiel celebrating Aladdin's promotion to Royal Vizier, Genie has to turn to the Sultan and ask "What's a royal vizier?"
  • Jackass Genie: Jafar is a natural at this, wasting Abis Mal's two wishes, and implying that he could just as easily twist the third, to get Abis Mal to work for him. It later backfires on him: after promising Abis Mal piles of treasure in return for wishing Jafar's freedom, Abis Mal hesitates and asks if the treasure will disappear.
  • Jerkass: Jafar is this to Abis Mal.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: When Aladdin reasons with Iago that he'll try to soften up the Sultan before telling him about him and good he did that day, the latter doesn't believe it's possible to get on the Sultan's good side. If anything, he has no delusions that he must hate Iago. Sure enough, during dinner, the conversation veers towards the topic of Iago, and the Sultan voices that he indeed still recalls the parrot's nastiness and how he force-fed him crackers out of spite.
  • Keep Away: The movie ends with Aladdin and his friends trying to get Jafar's lamp away from him and Abis Mal in order to destroy it, because according to Genie, the only way to kill a genie is to destroy his lamp before his summoner can wish him free. The game ends with Jafar trapping the heroes above a pit of lava, with the lamp just out of reach. Fortunately, Iago shows up in time, grabs Jafar's lamp and throws it into the lava. Cue Jafar suffering a very Family-Unfriendly Death.
  • Keep the Reward: The Sultan offers to make Aladdin his royal vizier because of his heroics in the first movie. At the end, Aladdin turns the offer down, because he wants to have adventures and see the world. (Setting up the events of the series.)
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Jafar visits Aladdin's cell disguised as Jasmine to give the impression that she's personally sentencing him to die. And again, when "Jasmine" visits Aladdin moments before his execution.
    • He also hurts Jasmine by gloating how he made Aladdin think she sentenced him to death. He then threatens her father's life when she acts defiantly.
    • Jafar thanking Iago for his help, as well as congratulating Iago on how well he betrayed his new friends — in front of them while they're imprisoned in the palace dungeon. He's fully aware that he's making Iago feel more guilty about it.
  • Killed Off for Real: Jafar is killed off for real once Iago kicks his lamp into some lava. The Aladdin canon continued with three seasons of a cartoon series as well as a final movie, all without bringing Jafar back from the dead. Said final movie even says the events will be done "without Jafar and all of his malice", and sticks to that firmly. Jafar does return in a Hercules crossover episode, but he's still technically dead there, since Hades retrieves Jafar's spirit.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: In the final battle, Jafar petrifies Carpet, causing them to shatter to dozens of little pieces when they crash to the ground. Like in the previous film, the damage is undone after Jafar's defeat.
  • Little "No": Jasmine when Iago is hit by Jafar's magic.
  • Loophole Abuse: Because he's now bound by the rules of the genie, Jafar can't kill Aladdin directly. So he has to rely on proxies and indirect assassination attempts so that he technically doesn't lay a finger on Al. This can be stretched pretty far, though, like dangling Aladdin and his friends over a pool of lava, or teleporting Abis Mal to the bottom of the ocean and just waiting for him to drown or get eaten.
  • Meaningful Echo: "You'd be surprised what you can live through."
  • Meaningful Name: Abis Mal really is the pits!
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: The main reason for Iago's Heel–Face Turn; he's sick and tired of Jafar constantly abusing him and pushing him around. Also the reason why Abis Mal's minions try to kill him.

  • Musical Nod:
    • The ending of "Nothing in the World" weaves in the opening bars of "Friend Like Me."
    • "Forget About Love" ends with a few notes from "A Whole New World" as Aladdin and Jasmine kiss.
  • Named in the Sequel: The captain of the guards, who was left unnamed in the first film, is now named "Razoul".
  • Negative Continuity: Genie mentions Hercules (who looks nothing like the Disney version, because well this was produced four years before Disney did Hercules).
    • Another problem is that the Hercules TV series (that takes place during the training of teenage Hercules) had a crossover with Aladdin that was supposed to happen way after Return of Jafar, indicating that the entire Aladdin series took place before Hercules was even a famous hero. One could, however, argue that the Genie's probably used his time-travel abilities during his trip. (This being said, even then the absolutely not matching appearances of the two Herculeses receive no explanation).
  • Never My Fault: Abis Mal blames Aladdin for turning his men against him, when it was his own abusive behavior and incompetence as a leader that made them turn against him.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Aladdin tricking Jafar into becoming a genie saved the day in the first film. But when he gets loose in this film, Aladdin's created a foe with all of a genie's powers, none of the morals, and more than enough means to work around the rule.
    • Iago dropping the lamp down a well led to Abis Mal finding it.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • If Jafar had just swallowed his pride and actually treated Iago like somewhat of an equal after the parrot dug them out of the Cave of Wonders instead of treating him like crap, Iago would never have pulled a Heel–Face Turn.
    • If Jafar hadn't mistreated Abis Mal and wasted his wishes with Jackass Genie antics, he would have been wished free before Aladdin and the gang could stop him.
    • Jafar could've just let Aladdin die by letting him go over the waterfall. Instead, he decided that he needs to humiliate the boy further through a more convoluted scheme that had greater odds of going wrong.
    • In particular, Jafar-as-Jasmine appearing to taunt Aladdin moments before his execution is why the execution fails. Now knowing what's really going on, Aladdin is no longer resigned to his death and struggles to break free and warn the guards. This causes a minor delay of a few precious seconds as Razoul and the guards have to restrain him, which buys Iago the time he needs to free Genie (who then saves Aladdin at literally the last second).
  • No Ontological Inertia: After Jafar's death, all the destruction he caused is reversed, with the lava pit closing up, the palace repaired, and Carpet restored to life. Earlier in the film, Abis Mal of all people is wise about this possibly happening, as he suspects that freeing Jafar would make the treasure the evil genie conjured disappear.
  • Nothing Can Stop Us Now!: Near the end, Jafar has Aladdin and his friends at his mercy hanging over a lava pit. "Give it up, boy. You will never have my lamp, and there is no one here to save you this time." Cue Iago arriving to save the day.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: The good guys really lay it on thick when Iago's (reluctantly) planning to betray them.
  • Offscreen Inertia: Abis Mal (technically Jafar's master) is thrown out of the palace window during the final battle and is quickly forgotten about as the heroes face Jafar, defeat him after a lengthy struggle and happily celebrate their victory. It's only after the credits that we cut to a tree outside the palace with Abis Mal pitifully hanging by his pants.
    Abis Mal: Does this mean I don't get my third wish?
  • Off with His Head!: Almost happens to Aladdin after he is framed and condemned to die for "murder of the Sultan". Fortunately, Iago pulls a Heel–Face Turn and breaks Genie free from his crystal prison, and in turn, Genie rescues Aladdin a mere split-second before he is decapitated.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Abis Mal gets one near the beginning, when he's hanging on to Carpet in order to get the crystal flower back from Abu and realizes that he's about to fall.
    • Aladdin is trying to come up with a proper way to break the news about Iago's return during the royal dinner, when Genie brings up Iago and reminds everyone about the parrot's mean nature in a far less subtle manner.
      Genie: (embraces Aladdin who tries to sneak away) You don't see this guy hanging out with any evil parrots!
      Aladdin: It's funny you should mention Iago...
    • Abu, when Rajah is chasing Iago into the palace, about to crash the dining hall.
    • Iago when Jafar suddenly appears out of the darkness.
    • Everyone in Team Aladdin when Abis Mal almost wishes Jafar free.
    • Then Jafar gets one at the end, as he realizes exactly what Iago is about to do: kick his lamp into a pit of lava, destroying him forever.
  • "Oh, Crap!" Smile:
    • Abu when one of Abis Mal's henchmen grabs the chest he's trying to steal at the start of the film.
    • Abu does this again when Rajah catches him trying to steal the jeweled flower Aladdin gave Jasmine.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: The sultan hasn't forgotten how Iago shoved crackers down his mouth in the first film.
  • One-Winged Angel: Played with, as it's actually his actual form as a genie, but Jafar decides to transition back into his gigantic red-skinned self for the final battle. Unlike the first film, he's not in any way a Clipped-Wing Angel.
  • Pilot Movie: The movie is essentially structured as a 3-part pilot to the series.
  • The Power of Friendship:
    • Genie returns from his world tour because he missed his friends too much.
    • Iago redeems because Aladdin showed him true friendship, whereas Jafar just barked orders and intimidated him.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Before Iago pulls a Heel–Face Turn, he fakes it and lies his way into Aladdin's good graces. Iago does this not because he likes the heroes, but because they're his best chance at re-establishing himself in Agrabah, so it makes to him to pretend to play nice. However, as time goes on and the heroes continue to treat him well, Iago really does pull a Heel-Face Turn and help the heroes.
  • Pull a Rabbit out of My Hat: During the "You're Only Second Rate" song, Jafar sings of the Genie "I must admit your parlor tricks are amusing. I bet you've got a bunny under your hat." He conjures Genie into a magician outfit. Genie tries desperately to yank the hat off. Jafar instead pulls it off himself, revealing a massive rabbit which crushes Genie.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: At the start of the movie, after digging himself and Jafar's lamp out of the Cave of Wonders, Iago is DONE with Jafar's nagging and abuse, and takes advantage of the fact that he currently stuck in said lamp to give him a one of these.
    Iago: Ya know something? You're nothing without me.
    Jafar: WHAT?!
    Iago: Who comes up with all the good ideas? Me! Who does all the work? ME!
  • Redemption Quest: The movie is this for Iago. He winds up being the hero in this film more than Aladdin himself.
  • Retcon: It's pretty heavily implied that Aladdin and Jasmine are married in the final scene of the original movie. As we see in this movie and obviously Aladdin and the King of Thieves, their wedding hasn't quite happened yet. The film's directors state on the DVD commentary that they felt that the ending was ambiguous on whether they were married or not, and thus they felt that Aladdin sequels were a good idea. So the canonical end of the original movie simply depicts a date between an engaged couple.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Jafar's biggest fault in the movie, resulting in carelessness and unnecessary cruelty that ultimately leads to his downfall.
  • Revenge of the Sequel: The title announcing Jafar's return.
  • Reverse Psychology: Iago's entire aim while singing to Jasmine in "Forget About Love". And it works like a charm — his over-the-top griping about how Jas should give up Aladdin causes her to remember how much she loves him with little fuss. As a fun twist, though, Iago really does think "all that mushy stuff" is disgusting, but he's willing to help them get back together anyway in order to help a friend.
  • Running Gag: Three.
    • In response to someone saying that genies can't kill, another character replies "You'd be surprised what you can live through".
    • Iago saying something "is such a strong word".
    • Throughout the film, someone calls Iago a 'Traitor'.
  • Shapeshifting: Both the Genie and Jafar can do this. Genie takes advantage of this to disguise himself as Aladdin to distract Jafar during the final battle. If you look closely, Genie!Aladdin isn't wearing Aladdin's fez.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shrunken Organ: After Iago's presence has been exposed to the palace, Genie tries to convince Iago to get Al & Jasmine to reconcile; one such method is then poofing up an x-ray over the parrot revealing a shrunken heart.
    Iago: Jeez! What're you tryin' to do, gimme a heart attack?
    Genie: [appears as a doctor] Aha! You do have a heart! [poofs up an X-ray over Iago revealing a tiny heart in his ribs] An itty bitty one, but it is there.
  • Siding with the Suffering: Iago spent the entirety of the first film on Jafar's side. The beginning of this film sees Iago escape from Jafar's lamp and slowly turn face over the course of the movie, even being the one who destroys Jafar for good. Not that Iago's all that heroic, but his conscience tends to get the better of him. He grumbles about it a lot.
  • Something We Forgot: Abis Mal in the The Stinger.
    Abis Mal: [still hanging from a tree] Does this mean I don't get my third wish?
  • Spoiler Cover: The main poster for the film clearly shows Iago with Aladdin and co. instead of Jafar.
  • The Stinger: After the end credits, Abis Mal is stuck in the tree and lamenting he never got his third wish.
  • Supporting Protagonist: While Aladdin is the main character of the entire series, The Return of Jafar is really Iago's story.
  • Technicolor Death: When Jafar's lamp is destroyed, he catches a bad case of X-Ray Sparks, then explodes into gold dust.
  • Tempting Fate: Iago insults Jafar just as the lights go out and the evil genie suddenly appears from the darkness.
    Iago: Oh, yeah. Bein' one of the good guys has its advantages. Ahh, advisor to Aladdin, the new grand vizier. And when Aladdin becomes Sultan, that will make me the grand vizier! Only I'm not gonna blow it like that idiot Jafar!! [eats a cluster of grapes] I'll NEVER have to stand in his shadow again! [suddenly, the lights go out, spotlight switches on over Iago, and Jafar appears out of the darkness] AWK! JAFAR!!!! [chuckles nervously] Buddy!
  • "They Still Belong to Us" Lecture: Jafar tries to pull this on Iago to lure Aladdin and his friends into a trap. Iago does reluctantly betray Aladdin and assist Jafar in the scheme, but the allegiance doesn't last.
  • This Cannot Be!: "The street rat? Still alive!? NO!"
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Enforced. As Jafar notes himself upon first appearing, he wants to kill Aladdin to take his revenge on the street rat. However, "all the power in the universe, and [he is] bound by the rules of the genie", which means he can't kill Aladdin. However, Jafar instead makes plans to place situations in which Aladdin is likely to die but aren't directly his fault, to skirt this rule.
  • Three Wishes: A subversion. Abis Mal frees Jafar and demands the usual three wishes, despite Jafar demanding to be taken to Agrabah first so he can get revenge on Aladdin. So Jafar takes the Jackass Genie route and makes Abis Mal completely waste the first two, while trying to coax him into using the third one for getting himself freed from the lamp.
  • Too Powerful to Live: Jafar as an evil genie. After Genie explains that the only way to get rid of a genie for good is to destroy their lamp, Aladdin decides that they have to destroy Jafar once and for all. Jasmine even mentions beforehand that "He's so powerful!". And afterwards, Iago reminds them that Jafar is "large and in charge!"
  • Troll: Jafar is clearly having fun tormenting Abis Mal for the sake of having fun doing it.
  • Truck Driver's Gear Change: Every original song has this.
    • "I'm Looking Out for Me" starts in A minor and ends in B minor.
    • "Nothing in the World (Quite Like a Friend)" has the verses and middle eight sung in A minor, while the first and second choruses are respectively in C major and D major.
    • "Forget About Love" starts in E major and shifts down to C♯ major for the finale.
    • "You're Only Second Rate (I'm Only Second Rate)" starts in B minor and shifts down to A♭ minor for the finale.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Iago and Abis Mal to Jafar.
  • Villain Ball:
    • Jafar saving Aladdin's life. When Abis Mal manages to shove Aladdin down a waterfall, Jafar then telekinetically lifts the unconscious Aladdin away from the rocks at the bottom and drops him safely into the clear water down the river. All because he wants the boy to suffer an even more humiliating death.
    • Had Jafar not been so deceitful with Abis Mal in his first two wishes, Abis Mal probably would have been more likely to free Jafar as his third wish. But after such trickery, Abis Mal rightfully questions Jafar's intentions when he promises Abis Mal untold riches without wishing for them. Mal assumes they would disappear when he frees Jafar, which — knowing Jafar — is not an unreasonable assumption.
  • Villain Song: "You're Only Second Rate" and, to a lesser extent, "I'm Lookin' Out For Me".
  • Villainous Breakdown: Jafar loses it when he realizes that Aladdin is still alive and that his elaborate plan to have the boy executed has failed.
  • Villainous Face Hold: Jafar grabs Jasmine's jaw as she's chained to a wall, but she bites his hand.
  • Wham Line:
    Aladdin: It's the truth! Why don't you believe me?
    Jasmine who is really Jafar in disguise: Because we know you're lying!
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: One can't help but wonder how Razoul reacted when he discovered that the sultan was actually still alive.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: Double Subversion:
    Genie: [bold, heroic] HAHAHAHAHA, who's laughing now?!
    Jafar: Mmmuhahahahahahahahahahahaha! Why, I believe it's me.
  • Widely-Spaced Jail Bars: The bars in the birdcage that Iago is in are wide enough that he should seemingly be able to squeeze through if he sucked in his gut a bit. Yet still, he pleads with Abu to open the door until Rajah shows up and topples the cage, and then Iago does squeeze through.
  • Wild Card: Iago is about as reliable morality-wise as a chocolate teapot. Jafar even makes note of it at one point:
    Jafar: Iago... you betrayed me and allied yourself with my enemies! Then you turned on them as soon at it was in your best interests. That's what I love about you. You're so perfectly... predictable. A villain through and through!
    • And his conscience moment...
    Iago: Hey, I did my good deed! I don't owe you a thing! You hear me?! [beat] Not a thing...
  • Wizard Duel: Between Genie and Jafar. They both use Shapeshifting, summoning objects out of nowhere, and good old magic beams.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Iago tries to pull one of these on Aladdin near the beginning. Aladdin doesn't buy it.
  • X-Ray Sparks: Jafar's death scene.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Iago defects from Jafar to the good guys for his own gain and eventually starts to genuinely like them. Once Jafar comes back, however, he bullies Iago into becoming The Mole and uses him to capture them all, though Iago's clearly not happy about it.
    Jafar: Ah, Iago...You betrayed me and allied yourself with my enemies! Then you turned on them as soon as it was in your best interests! That's what I love about you. You're so perfectly— predictable. A villain through and through.
    Iago: Yeah... no problem...
  • Your Mother: As detailed under Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas, Abu more or less says this in monkey speech to Iago during the climax. Surprisingly, Iago's reaction is genuine anger.

"Does this mean I don't get my third wish?"

Alternative Title(s): The Return Of Jafar


"Nothing in the world..."

When the Genie returns, he regales his travels, all the while letting his friends know how much he missed them.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / FriendshipSong

Media sources: