Accidental Innuendo: The movie has a famous example of unintentional innuendo in the song "A Whole New World".
I can open your eyes, Take you wonder by wonder; Over, sideways and under On a magic carpet ride. A whole new world! A new, fantastic point of view. No one to tell us no, or where to go, Or say we're only dreaming. ... Unbelievable sights! Indescribable feeling! ... A whole new world! Don't you dare close your eyes. A hundred thousand things to see. Hold your breath — it gets better!
Well at least the song has a happy ending. At the end, they hold hands as literal fireworks are shown going off.
Adaptation Displacement: Did you know that in the original tale, Aladdin had unlimited wishes instead of just three? Or that he had a second genie in a magic ring? Or that the story was set in China? Chances are that you don't.
Is Aladdin a nice guy who simply uses a good thing to his advantage and falters from time to time only to do the right thing at the end or is he a selfish opportunist who lies and uses people to get his way and frees Genie because leaving him enslaved would break Aladdin's bond with Jasmine?
The Genie does not technically grant Aladdin his wish; or rather, he goes about it in a much more subtle and sophisticated way than it seems. Aladdin wishes to be a Prince to marry Jasmine, but as both he and the Genie note throughout he is not actually a prince, in spite of his newfound mountains of magical wealth, servants and royal clothes- he doesn't even have a country to be a prince of. But he does become a Prince eventually, since he ultimately marries Princess Jasmine which would (in theory, at least) raise him to the status of Crown Prince of Agrabah and sultan-in-waiting. This is Fridge Brilliance of the highest order and raises the Genie to the status of the Chessmaster Sidekick and a Ditzy Geniuspar excellence.
Did Gazeem really have to cut necks or did he make up that story to impress Jafar?
Iago. Gets a HeelFace Turn, a more important role, and his own song in Return of Jafar.
Surprisingly, the Carpet is also one. It was even popular enough to have been made into a Xbox Live Avatar prop. It's become an icon in how to animate a character with a ton of personality despite their not having any lines or even facial features.
Evil Is Cool: Jafar is up there with Maleficent, Scar, and Hades as one of Disney's most famous and popular villains.
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The Genie cutting off his own head to demonstrate that he can't kill anyone ("so don't ask"), when Robin Williams actually would commit suicide. Complete with Aladdin grabbing his throat as the Genie cuts his head, as if to say "Sheesh, that looks painful". Also the part where the Genie yanks on a tie he's wearing after he loses an important chess piece to Carpet, given how Williams killed himself. Doubles as Harsher in Hindsight.
Also hilarious right away considering Jafar's living conditions at the end of the movie.
Aladdin and Jasmine's world tour in "A Whole New World" includes visits to Greece and China (the latter even with fireworks); especially in the former case, given the subsequent crossover between their two spin-off cartoons.
The first lyrics in "Friend Like Me" include a reference to the Forty Thieves. Flash forward to the third movie and learn that Aladdin's father is their leader (and would've been during the first movie's events).
In the same vein, a woman in "One Jump Ahead" says "I'd blame parents, except he hasn't got'em".
The big obstacle keeping Aladdin from marrying Jasmine is that he is not a prince. The third movie reveals his father is the King of Thieves, making him the Prince of Thieves.
In one scene of the first movie, Jafar deceives Jasmine into believing that Aladdin has been executed "by beheading" (while Al is actually alive and imprisoned). In the first sequel, Al is condemned to death by decapitation, and nearly beheaded by Public Execution when Genie arrives in time to save him in a Big Damn Heroes moment. In the TV series's episode, Al finally gets his head "cut off" by Caliph Kapok... or rather separated, since the rest of Al's body is still alive while his friends find a way to reunite it with his head. Weird. (Though since his brain and heart became no longer connected, he becomes a complete Jerkass.)
The Swedish dub eventually became this. In this dub Jafar is voiced by Mikael Samuelsson who originated the role of The Phantom of the Opera in Sweden and Aladdin is voiced by Peter Jöback who as of 2016 has played the Phantom on the West End, Broadway, and Stockholm. While performing it in London one of the actresses playing Christine against Jöback also voiced Jasmine (though not in the Swedish dub).
The Genie is bald (save for his topknot), sports facial hair, has primary-coloured skin, four fingers on each hand and a burly physique. When he wasn't being voiced by Robin Williams, he was being voiced by Dan Castanella a.k.a. Homer Simpson!
In the Brazilian Portuguese dub, the part where the recently freed Genie asks Aladdin to wish for the Nile is changed to Aladdin being asked to wish for all his dreams. One episode of Shimmer and Shine establishes that genies cannot make dreams come true.
Jasmine's alternate outfit when imprisoned by Jafar makes her look almost exactly like Shantae with black hair. It helps that Shantae's original concept art was even more similar to Jasmine.
Ho Yay: This line from Genie: "Oh Al, I'm getting kinda fond of you, kid. Not that I want to pick out curtains or anything..."
Magnificent Bastard: Jafar is an Evil Sorceror who acts as royal vizier to the Sultan of Agrabah. His schemes to take over the throne for himself first involve retrieving the lamp with the Genie in it that can grant wishes, and then to convince the Sultan to let him marry Princess Jasmine so he can inherit it by marriage. While Aladdin derails both plans, Jafar realizes he has the lamp and steals it, using it to make himself the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Aladdin tricks Jafar into wishing to be a Genie, Jafar not realizing that his newfound power comes with imprisonment in a lamp of his own. However, as soon as the thief Abis Mal finds Jafar's lamp and releases him, he goes back to plotting to take over Agrabah and get revenge on Aladdin. He captures all of Aladdin's allies, frames him for the Sultan's murder, and pulls it off without Aladdin even realizing he's back. Along the way, Jafar tempers his arrogance and anger with enough cunning and charisma to back up his ego, and manages to be entertaining in his remorseless villainy thanks to a good heaping of Evil Is Hammy and style. Jafar's popularity as a villain in the long history of the Disney animated canon is rivaled only by Maleficent, and his reputation as such is well-earned.
Some Moral Guardians made a stink over a bit in the balcony scene where Aladdin seems to be saying "Good teenagers, take off your clothes."
DeviantArt artists that like drawing Bound and Gagged people have a field day on alternating the scene where Aladdin is ambushed, Bound and Gagged by Jafar's men and tossed into the sea until he accidentally rubs Genie's lamp under the sea, saving his life. They just replace Aladdin with any character they like, and either stop before the character 'rubs a lamp'... or use an equivalent of Genie to save the day.
Thanks to Team Fortress 2, one can never take the "your eternal reward" scene seriously ever again.
Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: Yes, it's a very Disneyfied take on Arabian mythos, but that didn't stop Arabs from enjoying the film. Recently, many people of Arabic descent have praised Aladdin for offering a positive portrayal of Middle Eastern people rather than depicting them as only terrorists and savages.
Moral Event Horizon: Jafar leaving Aladdin to die in the Cave of Wonders, once the latter gives him the lamp.
Though, funnily enough, in the original draft of this movie conceived by Howard Ashman, the genies (there were actually two) would grant an unlimited number of wishes. The three wishes limitation was likely added quite late in the game, certainly after Jonathan Freeman was cast as Jafar, judging from the endless number of wishes made by Jafar during the demo recording of Humiliate The Boy.
Painful Rhyme: "His forty fakirs, his cooks, his bakers"... Ouch. note 'Fakir' in English is usually pronounced "fah-KEER", or maybe "FAY-KEER", but not the same as "faker". Also, technically, since all those people are just creations of the Genie, they're allfakers.
Also, the movie was first aimed at little boys, because of its male lead. But it got a strong female fanbase as it gained a "Disney Princess movie" classification, as Jasmine is one of the oldest members of the group. Not to mention the Cinderella-like story, the romantic atmosphere, and the attractive hero.
Signature Scene: The showstopping "Friend Like Me" number is the most famous part of the film.
Smurfette Breakout: Jasmine is a supporting character while the story is about Aladdin, but she is included in the Disney Princess franchise and is the only princess in the lineup who isn't the main character in her film.
Special Effects Failure: While the CGI head of the Cave of Wonders and the integration of CGI and hand-drawn animation with the magic carpet and the lava still holds up well today, some of the CGI bits inside of the cave (i.e. the escape sequence) are really showing their age now, especially if you watch it on Blu-Ray.
Squick: Jafar isn't particularly attractive on his own, but any scene where he puts advances on Jasmine makes him look even slimier, causing major squick! Even in the movie's own universe, Abu and Iago have a Squick noise at Jasmine and Jafar's kiss. Jasmine looks pretty grossed out as well during that. Made even worse by the fact that Jasmine is possibly only fifteen or sixteen.
Testosterone Brigade: Jasmine has a huge one, and may have the biggest of any of the Disney Princesses (possibly behind Ariel). This is due to her very sexy Bedlah Babe outfit, making her one of the more scantily clad princesses, and the additionally revealing red number Jafar traps her in. What's more is her feisty personality and the fact that she establishes herself as an Action Girl in the spin-off media.
Unfortunate Implications: The movie came under fire by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee for the infamous lyric "Where they cut off your ear if they don't like your face" in "Arabian Nights". The line was changed to "Where it's flat and immense and the heat is intense" for home video (using an ultimately rather jarring overdub), and all re-releases of the soundtrack.
This could have been even worse, as the original worktape demo of Arabian Nights doubles down on this in its second verse with "Where they'll hack off your lips if they don't like your smile." Unsurprisingly, despite various alternate versions of Arabian Nights from the first sequel, the TV show, the broadway show, etc. restoring various portions of the lyrics from this early demo, this line has always remained unused.
Values Dissonance: This stands out amongst later Disney films based on non-American cultures. Disney does a lot of research into presenting the cultures accurately and respectfully. Aladdin on the other hand isn't a particularly accurate film and some aspects have been considered offensive (such as how "Arabian Nights" needed to be censored to remove some violent references). This wasn't a well-known issue in the early 1990s but in modern times the film would be written much differently.
Jasmine is easily the most sexualized Disney princess... but she's only fifteen years old for most of the film. While it was viewed as more acceptable at the time the movie came out, it is decidedly less so today.
Viewer Gender Confusion: What is Rajah supposed to be, again? The tiger is likely a male since the female equivalent to "Rajah" would be "Rani" but this is not in the movie.
Visual Effects of Awesome: The spirit that acts as the entrance to the Cave Of Wonders still looks amazing to this day (especially since the relatively-dated CGI, combined with its flat-tone art style and smooth animation, gives it an otherworldly feel).
Woolseyism: In some translations of "Prince Ali" the lyrics get pretty naughty, especially for the harem girls admiring him for much more than his manners and his clothes - for example in German the girls sing "I'm so hot I'm about to start groaning", "I'll file for Divorce" and "I'm really ravished by him". In Latin American they sing "I've never seen a body like that, oh I can't breathe". Genie sings in the French dub "It's crowded/packed at the balcony" which is slang for having large breasts, "Prince Ali, Sexy like never" in German, which in German context would mean, "Nobody is sexier", and "I know there's a hottie around here" in Latin American to the Sultan.
Values Dissonance: Aladdin's plan to marry the princess is to kidnap her every night and go to bed with her without revealing himself. She is terrified and tells her father, who leaves a guard outside her door, who are no match for the Genie, who simply spirits her away each night (though Aladdin does leave a sword between them so she can defend herself and never actually has sex with her until they're married). She seems rather taken by the fact that he doesn't rape her.