Plot: Aladdin and Jasmine are getting married (Finally! It only took 86 episodes and 3 movies….) when the party is crashed by a man named Cassim, leader/King of the infamous band of forty thieves. Aladdin becomes curious about the thief, and soon learns that he’s much more to him than he first thought.
Breakdown: Here’s a cool little factoid; Aladdin’s mom is not only alive, she was meant to be a fairly significant part of the first movie. You can see her deleted scenes on the Aladdin DVD where we see that Aladdin was stealing not just for himself but also to support his mother. They even had an additional and subsequently cut song called ‘Proud of Your Boy’ to showcase this that was rerecorded by Clay Aiken for the special edition DVD release.
When he finds the genie and makes his wishes to be a prince in order to marry Jasmine, his mother advises him to drop the charade and tell Jasmine the truth, same as the genie. However, her character was scrapped somewhere along the line in the project and we’re left to assume that she got killed by the Disney mother-hating gods along with Jasmine’s mom.
Here’s another factoid; in this movie, they mention his mom. She supposedly died when Aladdin was very young and he was left to fend for himself while his father was presumed dead. Though I’m not quite certain how. If Aladdin remembers his mom, surely she must’ve told him that his dad just left instead of died, but they never go into details. Maybe she purposely lied to him.
One more note: look at that poster. That poster is apparently a rarity. Why? Well, I specifically wanted to find a poster that didn’t say a particular line on it.
Now recall why Robin Williams didn’t want to reprise his role as Genie in the second movie. He agreed to do Genie’s voice in the first movie if they promised not to use his likeness (Genie himself) or his name to push the movie. What did they do? They made Genie’s picture take up a huge part of the box art, made his credits as the peddler and Genie come first before the main characters and shrunk down the main characters on the box art so Genie would get all the focus. When the second movie and series came around, Robin basically told them to kiss his ass and Dan Castellanata came in to take over the role.
Robin Williams reconciled with Disney and agreed to do the third one….after Dan Castellanata already recorded all of the audio for the role. But they really wanted Robin back so they just gave Dan his paycheck and showed him the door.
I’m pretty sure there was no previously agreed upon marketing strategy for this movie, but while I was looking for posters to use for this review, I noticed something odd.
Many of the covers stated “Starring Robin Williams” on the front.
Specifically, all of these and probably more.
You may also notice that the first poster doesn’t only say ‘Starring Robin Williams’, it also takes the time out to boast ‘Robin Williams is back as the Genie!’
I have no clue what went on there. Was this agreed upon with Robin Williams or did Disney basically want to give Robin a big ‘Screw you’ for not doing the second movie and the series? What makes this even stupider is the fact that Genie does quite literally nothing in this movie. He stays on the sidelines being comic relief. He does fight off some of the thieves here and there, but it’s nothing that couldn’t have been done with the others. The only times he ever shows off his Genie powers is just to make jokes. This movie hardly ‘stars’ Robin Williams as Genie. He honestly doesn’t even get much screentime.
Going through these posters in hindsight actually hurts a little now that Robin Williams has passed away. You really just cannot ever replace that man in more ways than one. Dan Castellenata did fine as Genie, but Robin Williams was, quite literally, the Genie. And you just can’t replicate true magic like that.
I only recently watched this movie after catching it in passing on Disney XD. I rewatched it for this review, but I remember feeling rather good about how the movie went. I really felt it was a good ending to probably the best animated series spun off from a classic Disney movie.
However, I do have my problems with it….Let’s begin.
We start with seeing the thieves entering the palace while sneaking in through baskets on camels. We learn that Aladdin and Jasmine are finally getting married as a merchant asks the familiar royal guard about the hullabaloo. The merchant reveals himself to be the genie and he gives us our title, which turns into a burnt out neon sign. Genie then tells us that we didn’t ‘believe’ enough to make the title what it was supposed to be.
Peter Pan reference, let’s start the tally!
Disney Jokes: 1
Oh, you may be wondering what this is about. Well, you know how Genie is such a fan of making references and doing impersonations and stuff? Well, it seems like, for some reason, Genie has suddenly gotten on a huge Disney bender as he makes a lot of Disney references and impersonations in this movie. I have no clue why or if this is mirrored in the animated series, but he does.
And Genie turns into Tinkerbell to transition us to the next scene.
Disney Jokes: 2
We get our first song, “There’s a Party Here in Agrabah” and it’s actually a pretty good and catchy song. Doesn’t have much of a point, but it’s pretty good.
Eh….I won’t count the Jafar mask towards the tally since it’s the same universe.
At the end of the song, everyone wonders where Aladdin is and we cut to Aladdin back in his old abode, and he still keeps wearing his old thief garb despite being as close to a prince as he can possibly get (except now his vest has a gold trim for some reason). Genie catches up to him and asks what he’s doing there when he should be at the wedding. Aladdin says he’s getting an old heirloom of his deceased father; a valuable dagger that he honestly should’ve taken with him when he moved into the palace instead of keeping it in his unsecured rat hole of a home.
He claims he’s uneasy about getting married because it’s such a huge step in his life. He had no male role model while growing up (or…well, I guess any role model considering they killed off his mom) and doesn’t know how to raise a family. WHOA. You’re just getting married, Aladdin. Talk about kids at Disney’s next attempt to milk this franchise.
He then reprises ‘There’s a Party in Agrabah’ in a gentler tone, giving somewhat of an homage to the first movie’s ‘One Jump Ahead’ and reprise. This is also a rather nice song. Aladdin does sound odd here, though. He hasn’t changed his singing VA, but he just sounds too high pitched. Iago butts in and we go back to the more upbeat version after only seven seconds or so of gentle reprise. Hmph.
I find it funny that they keep saying ‘they’re finally getting married’ yet they’re not giving any reason whatsoever as to why they waited so long. This is probably the longest any Disney princess (who has gotten married) has ever waited to get married after meeting their love interest. And I don’t count either of the Lion King movies because they were too young when they first met to actually get married and they basically immediately got married when they reunited.
The whole jumping into marriage with a person you barely know isn’t exactly a healthy message to keep shoving into these movies, but an actual reason as to why these people, who have been engaged for years, haven’t been married yet would be nice. This is especially weird considering that one of the main plot points of the first movie was the urgent need to find Jasmine a husband.
Anyway, the thieves get into the palace and we cut back to the wedding festivities.
By the way, Genie is actually being pretty funny here as opposed to the second movie where he pretty much got annoying. I’m not sure how much adlibbing Robin is doing here. He did quite a bit in the original movie – so much so that the movie was disqualified from getting an award for best screenplay.
Hey, the Genie turned into the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland when he got behind schedule.
Disney Jokes: 3
Okay, he’s funny when he’s not Disney-fied.
The wedding starts and the sultan comes out…wearing an orange version of his regular garb for some reason. You’d think the white version would be fine for a wedding, but I guess he wanted to dress up like the Nickelodeon logo.
Jasmine walks out and oh pretty wedding dress. They’re about to start the ceremony, but we cut back to Cassim going through with his plan. His right-hand man, Sa’luk, who doesn’t like him by the way, sends one of their elephants in to charge the place.
Genie: “Whoa, I thought the earth wasn’t supposed to move until the wedding.” Hey Disney, calm down! You already had a stripper joke earlier. You’re going to be at porn before we even get to the second act.
More elephants start wrecking the place and the thieves start robbing people blind while Cassim goes off to find something particular. Iago tries to fight him off, but gets stuffed in a bottle. Cassim finds the item, a staff of some sort, and has a tussle with Aladdin.
Hell, even Jasmine gets in a good right hook in this big thief fight. Of course, that’s downplayed by the fact that a carpet and a monkey also take some out….in fact they take out more than she does…
The genie shows off a bit to intimidate the thieves and Sa’luk says to retreat because he wasn’t aware that a genie was there…..really? It seems like his existence is no secret. In fact he shows off quite frequently in town and around the palace. I find it really hard to believe that this information never made it back to you.
Sa’luk and the others ditch Cassim while Cassim still has it out over the staff with Aladdin. However, one of the elephants charges at them. Aladdin gets out of the way with the staff while Cassim hitches a ride on the elephant and gets away, promising to return for the staff later.
As the group tries to pick up the pieces, Aladdin, Jasmine and the others try to figure out why Cassim wanted the staff so much. A voice from within the staff claims it’s because Cassim wanted to use it to find the ultimate treasure. A mysterious woman bathed in white projects from the staff and Genie claims it’s an oracle – a being who grants its users the answer to absolutely any question, but only one per person.
Jasmine says they can use the question to figure out their futures, which is the dumbest thing you could possibly use an oracle for. Your future will come eventually, which means you’ll get the answers eventually. Why waste such an awesome ability to get something you will get in time sooner? The only reason I could see for using the question for that is if she’s having cold feet about the wedding and wants to know if it will really work out to ensure she doesn’t make a big mistake.
However, Aladdin says he knows his future is with Jasmine (*cue ‘awwws’*) and says he wants to know about his past since his mother died when he was just a boy and he never knew his also dead dad. Aladdin says the oracle can’t help him with that because he has too many questions about his past and can’t limit it to one, but the oracle says the questions can be answered if he reunited with his father and she shows us a picture of Aladdin’s dad, Cassim. Well, hell, spoiler tags would be nice, Oracle. Dammit! He went to the trouble of wearing a mask and everything!
We get an obvious enter-commercial-break-if-this-is-airing-on-TV fade to black here after Aladdin finds out that his dad has been alive all this time.
Cut to Aladdin sulking at his old ‘house’ where Jasmine finds him to talk with him. Aladdin’s conflicted because his dad’s an asshole who left him and his mother, and now he’s thinking he shouldn’t find out anything further.
Jasmine tries to cheer him up with our movie’s romantic number ‘Out of Thin Air’, which is also pretty good and memorable but dammit all they’re not even trying to make a love song as awesome as ‘A Whole New World.’ I don’t even know why they bother if they’re not going to try. We do get to see a little boy Aladdin, so that’s something.
At the end of the song, they decide that he should find his father so that he can get to know him and have him be at the wedding and whatnot. The oracle tells them that Aladdin’s father is ‘trapped’ by the forty thieves.
Oh come now. Really? You’re trying to pull that old Star Wars ‘well, my wording was TECHNICALLY correct’ thing? Aladdin, of course, freaks out and believes his father’s been a prisoner with the thieves for many years, but the oracle won’t answer anymore questions. Thought we made that rule pretty clear, Al.
It’s up to Aladdin to follow the trail to the forty thieves’ lair and “save” his father from them.
Luckily, the thieves haven’t made it back to their lair yet as Aladdin catches up to them. He thinks he has them trapped as they reach the ocean (?), but Cassim parts it. He says ‘Open Sesame’ (Which, in my opinion, sounds really silly nowadays considering how many times it’s been turned into a joke, but I understand why it’s in this movie seeing as how it’s based on Ali-Baba and the Forty Thieves), a bunch of explosions happen at a bit of land across the water, a straight blast of lava goes to the shore and parts the water, making a pathway.
The thieves follow it to their lair while Aladdin barely manages to follow.
They listen in on their meeting and, despite grabbing everything from everyone in sight and only facing minor troubles, apparently the thieves got away with absolutely nothing…Weird. Sa’luk is outraged and the other thieves are developing man-crushes on him as he opposes Cassim. Hearing his name and seeing him without his mask alerts Aladdin to the fact we already figured out ten minutes ago; Cassim, the King of Thieves, is Aladdin’s father.
Sa’luk is about to attack Cassim, but Aladdin comes out of the shadows to attack him and claims he’s Cassim’s son. Cassim picks up the dagger and stops the fighting by saying he is indeed Aladdin’s father as the dagger is proof.
However, this doesn’t settle matters for long as Sa’luk says it doesn’t matter who he is, he’s a trespasser who has seen too much of their lair and must be killed along with Iago, Abu and the carpet. Cassim, being the leader, gets the final call, but he’s being pressured by the others since they view him as merciful and weak. In a bit of a twist, Cassim says to kill him but as Sa’luk is about to do so, he brings up another option – the challenge. It’s basically an initiation into the forty thieves. Since the number stays at forty, the only way they recruit new members is by having a potential new member fight to the death with a current member.
Sa’luk has volunteered to fight Aladdin and the battle begins. Aladdin struggles with Sa’luk for a bit and even gets injured by his brass/gold claw things. However, he unsheathes his father’s dagger and fights back. It’s actually a pretty well done fight. The visuals, coupled with the relative lack of sound beyond music is pretty impacting.
Sa’luk throws Aladdin off a cliff, but he manages to save himself by sticking his dagger into the side of the cliff and sliding down onto another smaller ledge. Sa’Luk follows him to finish the job, but before he can, Aladdin kicks him which causes him to stumble and fall off the ledge into the water like a good Disney villain.
After defeating Sa’luk, Aladdin is welcomed into the band of forty thieves with a song, ‘Welcome to the Forty Thieves’ – a song that is also pretty good. I love Aladdin’s face through the whole thing. I imagine that’s how any normal person would look if a bunch of people, especially criminals, randomly broke out into song.
Cut to the waters below where we see that Sa’Luk has not only somehow survived, but he is also fistfighting two sharks. That seems impressive, but I just got back from watching the first episode of Power Rangers Dino Thunder where Tommy kicks a T-Rex in the face….so yeah I kinda need more to be impressed at the moment.
Back at the palace, Jasmine’s getting worried. Genie tries to cheer her up by doing an impression of Mrs. Doubtfire. Get it?! Get it!? That’s a role played by Robin Williams! Robin Williams was Mrs. Doubtfire! Get it?!
He keeps trying with more impressions and more magic. He then makes the pumpkin carriage and turns Jasmine into Cinderella.
Disney Jokes: 4
He then turns Jasmine into Snow White and makes a Snow White reference.
Disney Jokes: 5
While making mock ideas for Jasmine as more girls of Disney, he shows her as Ariel,
Disney Jokes: 6
Disney Jokes: 7
and Jessica Rabbit.
Disney Jokes: 8
Jasmine thanks him for cheering her up and we cut back to Aladdin and Cassim as he’s showing him a secret room.
He says that he’s been searching for so long and is close to finding the legendary treasure, the Hand of Midas, which turns anything that it touches into gold. While Aladdin says it’s nothing but a myth (Dude, you’re best friends with a genie, you know a talking parrot, you ride a magic carpet as your primary mode of transportation and you’ve battled a sorcerer turned genie on two occasions. Not to mention all of the magic stuff you’ve seen in the TV series. You’re seriously going to start throwing around ‘myth’ as a derogatory term now?) Cassim shows him a sunken ship made entirely of gold that proves that the Hand is real…..he never thought to retrieve some of that gold and sell it?
He explains how he was sick of living the life of a ‘street rat’ and longed for a better life, thus he left home to pursue the great treasure to give his wife and unborn son a better future. However, he became so consumed by his pursuit that he ended up going years without returning to Agrabah and his family. When he returned, he couldn’t find his wife, whom I guess was already dead, and figured his family was either dead or simply gone.
Aladdin says he and his mother didn’t need riches, they only needed him. (*cue more ‘awwwws’*) He invites him to the wedding, but Cassim has doubts about it since they live in two different worlds now. Iago, however, being ever so helpful, convinces him to go since he mentioned that Aladdin used the oracle to find Cassim, thus he has the oracle back at the palace and can steal it at the wedding.
We cut back to that guard guy who is being offered a chance to catch the King of Thieves by Sa’Luk by giving him the password and location of their lair.
The guard and his guard friends get to the spot where you have to open the entrance to the hideout of the forty thieves. I guess they didn’t want to animate the opening sequence again, because all we get is rumbling and we don’t get to see the path opening.
Aladdin and his dad arrive at the palace and Genie pops up again showing us his wedding stuff like a robot that’s meant to keep out people who weren’t invited. We get a REALLY forced Pocahontas reference while Genie is freaking out about the King of Thieves being in the palace. You know how you say ‘Geronimo’ when you jump off of something or out of a plane? When the Genie clones are making their jokes about police and military being dispatched in response to Cassim being there, one says Geronimo, another says Navaho and the final one says Pocahontas while dressed as Pocahontas.
Disney Jokes: 9
Aladdin straightens everything out between the Genie and Cassim, and Aladdin wants to introduce Cassim to Jasmine and the sultan. However, Genie doesn’t think that’s a good idea since, ya know, the King of Thieves garb and whatnot. So we make him over……*sigh* to song. I swear no one can have a damn makeover without musical accompaniment in any movie. In addition, this is also the weakest song in the movie in my opinion. It’s not memorable and the lyrics are kinda cheesy. It’s not nearly as bad ‘There’s Nothing in the World Quite Like a Friend’ from Return of Jafar, but it’s still the weakest. It’s also odd that Genie sang both of those songs. Hm.
Of course I should mention that there’s little makeovering going on during this song. It’s like they said ‘well, we have a pretty good segue to a song, but I hate makeover songs so let’s make it something that has nothing to do with the last line being said before the song starts! Remember to practically jump cut Cassim into new clothes at the end, though!’ The song is called ‘Father and Son’ and the entire focus is just talking about how they’re going to get to do cool father-son stuff together like play sports.
Cassim meets the sultan and Jasmine and they love him because he’s so charming. They’re also under the false presumption that he was ‘trapped’ by the forty thieves. Now that the truth’s been established….that’s some real stretching the oracle was doing.
I mean the whole thing in Star Wars by saying Luke’s father was dead just because Obi Wan sees it as Anakin ‘died’ when he became Darth Vader was a stretch, but it was at least passable. Cassim being ‘trapped’ by the forty thieves when he seems to adore his life as thief is a huge stretch.
Yes, he’s consumed by finding the Hand of Midas, but what was his drive to find it after losing his son and wife in the process? Just his desire to not be a poor street rat. Greed consumes him. He’s not trapped by the forty thieves; he uses them for his own purposes to get the Hand because he wants to be rich. It’s not even about the Hand entirely because he still obviously loves stealing and pulling off heists. If he’s trapped by anything, it’s his own personality flaws.
Aladdin’s happy that he has a father now and everything’s all well and good. That means this one of those telling scenes that basically says ‘yeah, but the audience knows he intends on betraying him, so we know this shot is just meant to highlight that Aladdin will be crushed when he does.’
Cut back to the guards where the forty thieves have been caught, but not Cassim because he wasn’t at the hideout. One of the other guards says the sentencing of the forty thieves has to wait until tomorrow because they’re having Aladdin and Jasmine’s wedding Take 2. Sa’luk tells the guards that Cassim is actually Aladdin’s father and we get eeeeeeevil smirks.
Back at the palace where the wedding is about to begin and Cassim is nowhere to be found. In order to cheer up Aladdin, Genie turns into Pumbaa and says ‘Hakuna Matata’.
Disney Jokes: 10
In the….random treasure room, Cassim and Iago are breaking into the incredibly poorly guarded and poorly locked room where the oracle is being kept. And it’s this point where I realize that his desire to get the hand is even stupider than I thought. His son is Aladdin….who is marrying Jasmine….a princess of a whole country….which means he will eventually become sultan and have all the treasures and leisure that he could want. He’d easily be able to allow Cassim to live in the palace and get treated like royalty as long as no one found out who he really was. Iago gets treated like that, I don’t see why he couldn’t. Hell, as sultan, Aladdin could admit who Cassim is and still keep him around. He’s the goddamn sultan, bitch, who you gonna tattle to?
Why would he give that chance up for The Hand? Simple. The Hand gives the opportunity for much more money. See? It’s all about greed.
Back with Aladdin and the others, Genie wants to go out and find Cassim and he starts off by turning into Pluto (the dog).
Disney Jokes: 11
Anyway, the guards capture him and Iago and reveal his true identity to the sultan and Jasmine while Aladdin is angry that he merely used him to get inside the palace to steal the oracle.
The lead guard who does have a name but I don’t care to learn it, says the law is crystal clear on his fate. Jasmine asks if there’s anything they can do and the sultan says no, which never ceases to piss me off.
You’re the SULTAN. YOU make the laws! You changed the law about marriage in the first movie without a thought (well, eventually, after it stopped being a plot point to have it there) yet freeing a thief from life in prison is beyond your scope of sultan powers!?
It also seems a little offset seeing as how Aladdin was going to be killed for petty thievery in the first movie while this is the king of thieves. I know Jafar made that order, but the sultan never said that wasn’t a normal punishment for thieves, just that he should’ve talked to him beforehand.
Genie: (In response to Cassim getting arrested) “There are some wishes even I can’t grant.” Really?! I thought your only restrictions were no bringing people back to life, no wishing for someone to love you, no killing and no wishing for more wishes. Freeing a thief from prison is also outside of a GENIE’S realm of power. Wow, I hate the latest Aladdin patch; everyone got nerfed.
Back at Aladdin’s favorite hiding spot, his old house, he actually says straight out that the oracle was right in saying he was trapped by the forty thieves because has trapped by his own greed…..but that’s STILL the same amount of stretching. She should’ve said “Your father’s in the lair of the forty thieves. He is trapped there.” That would’ve made it less of a leap to say he was trapped by his own greed, but she specifically said he was trapped BY the forty thieves, which makes this whole ‘trapped by greed’ thing far harder to digest. But I digress.
Aladdin sulks and says his life was perfect before his dad screwed everything up so he asks Genie to poof up the King of Thieves garb to break his dad out of prison…….I….did I skip a scene?….No…No, he just instantly goes from ‘my dad ruined my life’ to ‘I’m risking the rest of what’s left of my life and future with Jasmine to pretend to be the King of Thieves and break my deadbeat thief of a dad out of prison’.
…Well, okay. He claims it’s to ensure that he stays out of his life, but how will breaking him out of prison ensure that? If anything, you’d think it’d be better to leave him down there because at least he wouldn’t be able to cause anymore problems.
Cut to Cassim in the dungeon and—wow, he doesn’t even get chained up as much as Aladdin did. In the first movie, Aladdin got his hands shackled above his head directly to the wall. Cassim gets handcuffs and like a whole leash of chains. He is the king of thieves. This country practices really crappy security protocol. Sentence the petty thief to death and shackle him to the wall. Leave the priceless valuables behind an unguarded see-though gate in the palace with one lock that can be picked in less than two seconds. Sentence the King of Thieves to life imprisonment, but just give him handcuffs that have about two feet of space between the shackles and 12 feet of chains to the wall. It’ll be fine.
Aladdin breaks Cassim out of jail and makes the guards chase him so Cassim can get away. He gets away for a while by doing cool street rat parkour everyone loves to watch him do, but the lead guard guy catches him and finds out he’s really Aladdin. Cassim comes to rescue him, and they soon make it to the outskirts of town on horseback.
Cassim wants to run, but Aladdin can’t because he doesn’t want to abandon Jasmine, even if that means facing prison for freeing Cassim. They argue a bit, but part ways with Iago deciding to go with Cassim because they have the oracle and….wait, what? They have the oracle? How? They were caught right before they stole it. Even if they did managed to steal it, the guards surely would’ve taken the staff from them the instant they caught them and before they ever managed to use it. Oh yeah, I forgot. Agrabah’s security force is about as useless as my old PHP textbook.
Back at the forty thieves’ lair….wait, WHAT? How did they get back to the lair? They were just awaiting sentencing in prison a few minutes ago. When did they escape? How did they escape? Why would they be dumb enough to return to their lair after escaping if the royal guards know where it is and know the magic words to access it?
Ah, whatever. They wonder who told the guards about their lair and Sa’luk reappears to frame Cassim for it. The thieves don’t want to believe it because they’re loyal to their king, and the only ‘evidence’ that it was him was the fact that he knew the password to get into the lair and the guards found out. But all of the thieves know the password including the guy who hates Cassim and has been conspicuously gone for the past two days only to show up immediately after a supposed betrayal. Not going to expect the brains of a scholar in any of these thieves, but come on.
In order to convince them, we get our ‘villain’ song I guess. It’s called ‘Are You In or Out?’ which is basically the same realm of villain song as ‘You’re Only Second Rate’ from the second movie. It’s catchy and okay, but there’s no real oomph to it. Also, he’s convincing them that he’s right and Cassim’s the one who put them in jail by breaking everything in the lair, beating the thieves up and saying Cassim was a bleeding heart? If Cassim is such a softie, why would he do something as coldhearted as betrayal?
I should also mention that it looks like, from this scene anyway, that the forty thieves got reduced to like five or seven. Where’d everyone else go?
Back with Cassim and Iago, Iago states that he doesn’t want to split even limitless treasure over forty ways, but Cassim says he’d never leave his men out because they’re family to him and he knows he could always at least count on them.
Wait, is he mad at Aladdin?….For what? He just risked his life and future to release him from prison; a prison he was only in because he’s a greedy prick, mind you. Just because he didn’t want to follow him and be on the lam for the rest of his life and give up his fiance for the sake of treasure makes him a bad son or something? Wow, you’re an ass.
They go into the back entrance of the lair or whatever that is and find themselves face to face with what’s left of the thieves, their swords and bats and Sa’luk.
Cut to the thieves on a boat in the middle of the ocean (seriously, where are the other thieves?) with Cassim and Iago tied up. They force him to ask the oracle the location of the Hand of Midas. She shows them the way and Iago manages to get away and fly off to the palace to alert Aladdin and the others.
Back at the palace, the sultan and the head guard guy are discussing Aladdin’s crimes. And the final verdict is ‘You did it out of love, so let’s just forget about it.’…….Yeah, yeah. He has no power to keep the King of Thieves out of life in prison, but he can instantly forgive someone freeing said King of Thieves from prison because he did it out of love. I don’t understand this legal system.
Iago finds Aladdin and the others and says Sa’luk has captured Cassim. Aladdin initially doesn’t want to save him since he chose a life of crime, but we all know he’d never abandon his dad. It’d be a funnier movie if he did, though. “Your dad’s in danger!” “So what? He chose that life. Let’s get married now!” “k” The end.
They all arrive at the Vanishing Isle (location of the Hand), which is actually an underwater city built on the back of a giant turtle. The city is actually pretty impressive, but it’s fairly odd that the turtle is clearly painted and when it moves it looks really weird like a cardboard cutout. Jasmine actually kicks more thief ass (Ya know, I never realized how much I like Jasmine….When she’s actually doing stuff anyway.) and Aladdin beats up Sa’luk.
After that’s all said and done, they go off to find the Hand of Midas. You guys might want to tie up Sa’luk….Simply knocking out the villain and walking away is just asking for a rematch. Just sayin’.
They find the Hand of Midas which is actually a small golden hand being held by a statue that is floating on a giant golden hand…..*shrug* while the giant turtle dives underwater, causing the Vanishing Isle to start flooding. The first shot of the Hand is actually a really cool rotating shot and conveys the weight of the reveal quite well.
….Though, while the reveal is awesome, the Hand itself is quite….silly looking. I keep thinking of Spongebob’s Glove World flashlight when I see it.
Aladdin jumps to the hand, retrieves it then throws it to his father, which is kinda stupid considering he knows that thing turns everything it touches into gold. This is shown when Cassim catches it in his cape, which turns into gold, but it still flows and everything so I guess gold thread for some reason. He shows off the power even more by using the Hand on the statue he’s standing on and it turns everything in the room solid gold barring the water which just looks like Sunkist.
However, that begs the question, if the power extends to everything that the object being affected is touching, wouldn’t Cassim have been turned to gold? He’s standing on the statue. He’s wearing the cape. He should be a statue himself right now.
Anyway, Sa’luk arrives and somehow also jumps on the giant golden hand and gives Cassim an ultimatum; give him the Hand of Midas or Aladdin dies. And kudos to everyone who saw this outcome coming 20 minutes ago, but Cassim agrees and throws the hand to Sa’luk. Sa’luk catches it by the hand part and not the staff part (why doesn’t the handle part turn to gold?) and he gets turned into gold and falls into waters below. I love how that entire plan relied on Sa’luk catching the Hand in the least likely fashion. What would he have done if he actually caught it by the handle?
Also, congratulations Aladdin 3, you are one of few Disney sequels with the balls to pretty much kill off the villain. (One could argue that, like in Pokemon movie 1, turning someone into something like rock or gold isn’t technically dying, but there’s no reversal switch for this unless a genie is able to, so I’m calling it a death.)
Aladdin wraps up the Hand in his sleeve, which turns to gold, and sticks it in his belt, also doesn’t gold-statue-ify him, so he and Cassim can escape.
Cassim’s having a hard time climbing with his gold cape so he throws it off and Aladdin and Cassim escape…..well, kinda. They just stand on top of the building they were in. Considering the reason the place was flooding was because the turtle was diving, shouldn’t they still be escaping? It’s like the turtle paused in diving for a while to let them talk.
Anyway, we get a blech-y line about how the Hand’s not the real treasure, Aladdin is, and he throws the Hand away. However, the Hand falls into the boat of the thieves and their boat turns to gold and sinks. They live, but also get left behind later so *shrug*.
Why doesn’t the ocean turn to gold?
Aladdin and the others escape on the magic carpet, but where’s the been-useless-this-entire-movie Genie? He was eaten by the turtle earlier while he was trying to ’cause a distraction’ but it didn’t seem to do anything so I dunno. And he escapes from the turtle how? I’m gonna say…Little Mermaid reference?…I doubt he’d do an Atlantis: The Lost Empire reference, so yeah Little Mermaid.
…Steamboat Willie reference? Who the hell in your target audience would understand that? I mean, yeah that same cartoon was given a slot in Kingdom Hearts, but who watching this movie would really get that?
Disney Jokes: 12
They return to the palace, have their wedding (for the third time) and Cassim’s in the shadows watching the festivities before he goes back on the run again with Iago joining him. They head off and so do Aladdin and Jasmine on the carpet as we get a reprise of Arabian Nights which also sounds closer to the original than the second movie’s rendition did in terms of melody and tone, and the story of Aladdin ends.
Art: The art and animation, sadly, is the same as the TV show, which equals blech. Some aspects such as the reveal of the Hand and the opening of the forty thieves’ hideout are really well done, but it’s nowhere near as fantastic as the first movie.
Music: The music fares a lot better than most other Disney sequels and is much better than the second movie’s in terms of actual quality of the songs and not earworm-ness. Apparently they made an entirely unique score to this movie as well instead of remixing the first movie’s like the second one’s did. Good on them.
Bottomline: This movie, despite its story problems, is actually a much stronger sequel than Return of Jafar in my opinion. Most of the second movie was just dealing with Iago, which was annoying. Only the last third or so had any real interesting stuff with Jafar and even that wasn’t amazing. This movie, while still not being fantastic, is one of the stronger Disney sequels as a whole. It has an interesting story that actually explores something that fans of the first movie may have actually wondered about instead of answering dumb questions like Disney sequels and pretty much sequels in general tend to do. I wish we would’ve explored more of Aladdin’s backstory and his relationship with his mother, though. Hell, we don’t even know how she died.
So, yeah, this is one of those Disney sequels I’d actually recommend. It’s not a masterpiece, there are several glaring continuity/storytelling problems, and I really wish they would’ve kicked up the budget for the final installment of the series since it was so good, but it still stands pretty well on its own.
….I’d still like to know why they got on a sudden Disney reference kick for this, though. There are plenty of other jokes, but they really work Disney references to the bone.
Recommended Audience: There are some sexual innuendos, but they’re pretty subtle. Some minor violence, no sex or nudity etc. 6+