The Magical World Of Disney #87: Aladdin & The King Of Thieves

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Aladdin and the King of Thieves (also known as Aladdin 3: Aladdin and the King of Thieves) is a 1996 animated film that is the second direct-to-video sequel to the Disney animated feature Aladdin. Aladdin and the King of Thieves serves as the final chapter of the Arabian Nights-inspired Disney stories that began with the theatrical feature Aladdin (1992) and continued with its first direct-to-video sequel The Return of Jafar (1994) and the Aladdin animated TV series (1994–1995).

The film is inspired by the tale Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves from the 1001 Arabian Nights, replacing Ali Baba with Aladdin, and for the first time since the original Aladdin, the film has a completely new soundtrack instead of the rearranged music from the original film for The Return of Jafar and the TV series.

Though the film serves as the finale of the series, the characters would later return in a crossover episode of the animated series Hercules, titled “Hercules and the Arabian Night”, and also the direct-to-video title called Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams.

At long last, Aladdin is about to marry the Princess Jasmine. Despite the presence and encouragement of his friends Genie, Carpet, and Abu, he is fearful and anxious. He is most worried as to what kind of father he will be, having never known his own. But when the 40 Thieves disrupt the wedding trying to steal a magical oracular talisman, Aladdin is drawn into a dangerous quest to stop the thieves…and find his long-lost father.

While The Return Of Jafar was not a bad movie per say, it was definitely underwhelming compared to the original Aladdin movie.

With Aladdin & The King Of Thieves, we’re definitely getting a major step up in terms of quality, animation, and overall the far superior movie to come out. Now, does that make it a worthy followup to Aladdin? Well….kind of.

You can definitely give this movie credit for tackling more of the story of Aladdin’s father and his mysterious past. The father is voiced by Jonathan Rhys-Davies and he does a fine job in the role but the big problem with the storyline is that they are definitely trying their hardest to create this long lost father son bond but the movie just can’t quite make it simple enough for the audience to understand, in fact, it’s make the father son subplot more convoluted because neither Aladdin nor his father’s motivations make much sense and flip flop on several occasions throughout the movie and because of that this subplot that should be interesting considering this is made for kids is not interesting because most kids would be very confused by what they had seen.

Another downturn for the movie is that Jasmine isn’t really given a whole lot to do here, she’s once again relegated to more of a damsel-in-distress and at least in the last movie and in the TV show they did give her more to do but then again, she’s probably not given all that much because of the fact that Robin Williams is back as The Genie.

After the hoopla between Williams and Disney after the original Aladdin came out, both sides reconciled and Robin Williams came back to play The Genie for The King Of Thieves and that’s kind of both a good thing and a bad thing in the process. It’s good because Robin Williams is back as the Genie and a lot of his stuff does get a genuine good laugh once again but at the same time, it seems like a lot more focus is put on the Genie to do more shtick because of the lucrative deal Williams got to come back so in a way, you are essentially kind of dreading his return on screen although he will still give you good laughs in return. Once again, it’s a see-saw of what’s good and what’s bad.

The music is nicely done, some of the original songs are decently done, the score by Carl Johnson and Mark Watters is a great composition to give this a more epic feel to it.

Even the animation looks very impressive, done by the same team who did the Aladdin series, they really go above and beyond with the budget handed to them to give the Aladdin saga a proper sendoff. There’s also noticeable improvements in terms or more lighting and shading in some of the more emotional and heavy scenes like if this was given a budget on the level of A Goofy Movie, this would’ve looked so much like the first movie again. For a direct-to-video sequel, it definitely does manage to use its’ budget to good use.

I also did appreciate how it bookends the Aladdin storyline with the film ending in the same vein as the original movie started with The Peddler telling his story, while it’s not voiced by Robin Williams this time around, it has since been confirmed that The Peddler was the Genie all along.

Overall, Aladdin & The King Of Thieves is a definitely step up from Return Of Jafar in terms of better animation, better storytelling, and better action, there’s definitely more effort being put into this than in Return Of Jafar and if you’re going to watch an Aladdin sequel, this is definitely the one to watch. It not only is an overall enjoyable movie but it does a good job of bookending the Aladdin story over that four year span and puts a great end to another Arabian night.

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Posted in The Magical World Of Disney

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