Tuesday, August 13, 2013

20 Things You Didn't Know About Aladdin

  1. Aladdin was pitched alongside two other projects: an adaptation of Swan Lake and King of the Jungle, which eventually became The Lion King.
  2. Traditionally, the tale of Aladdin takes place in China, but variations of the story are found in many Eastern cultures.
  3. Early drafts of the script called for two genies, one in the lamp and one in a ring. That would be just too much Robin Williams to handle! He did, however, also voice the Merchant seen at the beginning of the film. Originally, it was going to be revealed that the Merchant and the Genie were one and the same!
  4. Aladdin wasn't always an orphan. His mother was featured in early drafts of the script, and Aladdin was 13 as opposed to 18. A song called "Proud of Your Boy" was written to convey the loving relationship between mother and son. Eventually, both her cut from the film, although Clay Aiken has since released his own version of the song.
  5. Aladdin's appearance was modeled after Tom Cruise while his personality was inspired by a young Harrison Ford. Jafar was based on fellow Disney villain Maleficent.
  6. Patrick Stewart was originally offered the role of Jafar, but had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts with Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  7.  The gag in which a neon "Applause" sign appears over Genie after he sings "Friend Like Me" was added as a joke after test audiences did not clap after the songs.
  8. "A Whole New World" is the only Disney song to date to top the Billboard Hot 100.
  9. Jafar was originally going to be an irritable character until the filmmakers decided a calm villain would be scarier. Similarly, Iago the parrot was British, calm, and serious before becoming the squawking comic relief he is in the film.
  10. Robin Williams ad-libbed much of Genie's dialog, amounting to almost 16 hours of material. He was initially hesitant to accept the role, but changed his mind after producers showed him a reel of his stand-up comedy set to the film's animation. John Candy, Steve Martin, and Eddie Murphy were also considered for the role.
  11. Aladdin is noted for its various controversies. The American-Arab Anti-Defamation League protested the "Arabian Nights" lyrics, "Where they cut off your ear if they don't like your face." The lyrics were changed to "Where it's flat and immense and the heat is intense" for the VHS release in 1993. Additionally, audience members claimed to have heard Aladdin say "Good teenagers, take off your clothes" while shooing away Rajah the tiger. The actual line, according to Disney is, "Good kitty, take off and go." The DVD release replaced the line altogether with "Down kitty."
  12. Brad Kane, who provides Aladdin's singing voice, was originally going to do his speaking voice as well, until the role was given to Scott Weinger, aka Steve from Full House, at the last minute.
  13. Linda Larkin's voice was considered too high to play Jasmine, and she was almost fired halfway through recording her dialog because some of the filmmakers did not believe she sounded forceful or regal enough.
  14. The film was only the fourteenth in history (and first animated film) to gross more than $200 million.
  15. Animator Glen Keane watched footage of M.C. Hammer to properly illustrate the movement of Aladdin's puffy pants.
  16. Halfway through producers, Disney head Jeffrey Katzenberg was dissatisfied with the film and demanded that the filmmakers scrap everything and start over. He refused to move the film's release date, forcing directors to turn out a new plot and screenplay in just eight days. The event has since been called Black Friday.
  17. Jasmine's light blue outfit (often darkened to turquoise in merchandise) is meant to symbolize water, the rarest and most precious resource one can find in the desert.
  18. Many of Gilbert Gottfried's mannerisms were incorporated into the animation for his character Iago, including his squinting eyes.
  19. Robin Williams was payed scale (the lowest possible paycheck) for his work on the film, contingent on the agreement that his name and the Genie character would not drive the film's marketing campaign. When both ended up happening, Williams had a falling out with Disney and Dan Castellaneta (the voice of Homer Simpson) took over the role for the second film and television series. Robins later returned for the third and final film.
  20. A Broadway adaptation of the film is currently in the works, following the footsteps of Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Tarzan, and Mary Poppins.

1 comment:

Taylor said...

This gave me a total new appreciation for this movie that I never did really appreciate