- Warning: There are spoilers ahead for Disney’s live-action “Aladdin.”
- “Aladdin” makes a lot of changes from the 1992 movie.
- Many of the big changes involve Jafar, a new female character, and a new song for Princess Jasmine.
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Keep reading to see the biggest changes the live-action movie makes from Disney’s original animated classic.
1. The “Arabian Nights” song at the film’s start is completely revamped and expanded.
In the original movie, “Aladdin” opens on the song “Arabian Nights” with a peddler riding across the desert on a camel on his way to Agrabah. The story of Aladdin (played by Mena Massoud) and Jasmine (Naomi Scott) is then told to us by the unnamed peddler.
The remake scraps this entirely. The original opening of “Aladdin” contained the lyric “where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face,” a line which was changed when the film was released on video to the friendlier “where it’s flat and immense and the heat is intense.”
In the 2019 film, a future version of the Genie recalls the story of Aladdin and Jasmine years later to his two children. It’s one of the best changes the live-action film makes to the story in terms of story. The peddler was merely telling viewers about a legend. Disney also changes the lyrics to “Arabian Nights” again. It’s tough to compete with the original lyrics, though. You can listen to the new version of “Arabian Nights” here.
2. Aladdin doesn’t steal any bread at the film’s start.
Instead, he trades stolen goods for food and receives a bag of dates. When he spots a hungry family, Aladdin gives the bag of food to them. In the animated movie, Aladdin hands off his bread after a mad dash from guards during his opening song “One Jump.”
3. Aladdin has shoes!
It never made sense that a barefoot Aladdin was running around Agrabah. His feet should have been cut up and injured. It made less sense to see a barefoot Aladdin in the wintry scene near the film’s end. He could have lost some toes! So it made much more sense to see Aladdin given some fresh kicks in the new film.
4. Jasmine is in the Agrabah market from the moment the movie begins and meets Aladdin right away.
In the original movie, Jasmine sneaks out of the palace later on to head into the market to defy her father.
5. Jasmine steals and gives bread, not an apple to a young child.
Perhaps this is a nod to the bread Aladdin steals and gives away to a child in the animated version.
6. Aladdin tells Jasmine to trust her at a different point of the film.
After Jasmine gives a child a piece of bread with no way to pay for it, the bread owner goes after her. Aladdin swoops in at just the right moment and asks Jasmine if she trusts him to get her out of a pickle.
There are two changes here. The first is that Aladdin originally pretends to be Jasmine’s concerned brother searching for his mentally ill sister. That’s completely scrapped here.
The other change is the new timing of the “Do you trust me?” line. In the animated film, Aladdin and Jasmine are running away from guards. When they reach a seemingly dead end, Aladdin asks Jasmine if she trusts him and the two dive off of a building together.
7. Jasmine is with Aladdin as he runs through the Agrabah market for the singing of “One Jump.”
Aladdin still sings it, but Jasmine was never running from palace guards with Aladdin this early in the movie.
8. Jasmine’s nervous to use a stick to jump from building to building in the remake.
Her animated counterpart was fearless and did it without any coaxing from Aladdin, immediately impressing both him and his monkey Abu.
9. Jasmine has a handmaid named Dalia.
This is a completely new character who doesn’t exist in the animated movie at all. Unlike the animated film, the Genie takes a romantic interest in Dalia.
10. Jasmine lies to Aladdin and tells him she’s a handmaid to the princess.
In the animated movie, Aladdin finds out early that Jasmine is a princess when palace guards arrest him and she tries to prevent it from happening. Aladdin doesn’t find out until later in the remake that Jasmine is actually the princess.
11. The remake tells us that Jasmine’s mother died.
Jasmine’s mother didn’t just die. She was apparently killed. We never hear much at all about the Sultan’s wife in the original movie.
12. Jasmine wears a beloved bracelet that belongs to her mother in the remake.
Jasmine has no such bracelet in the animated movie. Abu steals the bracelet from Jasmine in the new film and it acts as a catalyst for Aladdin to go and see the princess again.
13. Prince Andars is the prince who tries to win over Jasmine in the live-action film.
In the animated movie, the prince, who’s dressed in similar colours, is referred to as Prince Achmed. Rajah bites into the rear of his pants.
14. Jasmine gets her own song called “Speechless.”
Jasmine teases the song early in the film when Jafar tells her to stay silent. She sings the song in opposition to the idea that women should be seen and not heard. Jasmine sings the full song at an important part near the film’s end.
15. This Jasmine wants to be Sultan.
The animated Jasmine wanted to escape the laws of Agrabah that held her back and marry for love, not be paired with someone in an arranged marriage.The new Jasmine is still being forced to see potential suitors to marry, something she doesn’t take kindly to, but she’s more ambitious and asks her father why she simply can’t be the next Sultan.
16. Aladdin is arrested by the palace guards for a completely different reason.
In the animated film, it’s simply because Jafar wants to get close to him. He knows that Aladdin is the true “diamond in the rough” he’s been searching for to gather a magic lamp for him.
In the remake, Aladdin is arrested for sneaking around inside the palace while trying to return a bracelet to Jasmine.
17. We never see Jafar disguise himself as an old man to visit Aladdin in prison.
Instead, Jafar immediately takes him on a trip to the Cave of Wonders to gather the magic lamp. Jafar doesn’t try to hide his appearance from Aladdin. Instead, he tries to bond with him by telling him he was once a thief as well.
18. The Cave of Wonders isn’t much of a wonder.
it’s much smaller than the one we see in the animated movie, confined to one small and dreary cavern. In the animated movie, the cave is brightly lit with several rooms for Aladdin to explore before he finds the lamp. There really is no search necessary in the remake.
19. Aladdin meets the magic carpet in a different way.
In the animated movie, the shy carpet sneakily approaches Aladdin and Abu before joining their crusade for the magic lamp.
The remake shows the carpet stuck under a giant rock and Aladdin comes to his rescue before they become pals. The magic carpet does get trapped under a rock briefly in the animated film, but it’s not until after the cave starts to crumble.
20. The magic carpet doesn’t try and stop Abu from touching the gem stone.
In the animated film, the carpet tries desperately to hold Abu back until he can’t hold him back any longer. Abu snatches the red gem from the hands of a golden monkey in the original film. In the remake, Aladdin trips over and kicks the red gem off of a small ledge and it lands right in front of Abu.
21. The sexy women in the song “Friend Like Me” are all replaced.
It isn’t shocking that Disney avoided using the scantily-clad women from the original “Aladdin.” If you know how the song plays out in the original movie, it’s a little silly to see them replaced all of a sudden with multiple versions of the Genie (no matter how comfy and cool his Genie pants look).
22. There are new rules to making wishes in this “Aladdin.”
In the animated film, Aladdin could just make a wish. In the remake, you need to make a wish while rubbing the lamp for whatever reason. Aladdin takes advantage of this new clause in the remake by fooling the Genie into believing his first wish was to get out of the Cave of Wonders. Aladdin never rubbed the lamp though while making the wish, so it didn’t count, effectively giving Aladdin an extra wish.
23. A lyric in “Prince Ali” is changed to a cruder one to have an entirely different effect.
Jasmine gets turned off by the idea of Prince Ali in the animated movie when she catches him blowing kisses to a bunch of ladies at random.
In the live-action movie, Jasmine is put off by a lyric the Genie sings during the Prince Ali number: “Heard your princess was hot. Where is she?”
That line is completely different from the one Robin Williams sings in the animated version. Once he enters the palace he heads over to the Sultan and sings the words, “Heard your princess was a sight. Lovely to see.” No one is offended by those lyrics in the original version.
24. There’s a big dance party added to the “Aladdin” remake.
The Bollywood-inspired dance scene is one of the remake’s highlights. We even get to see Aladdin bust a move with a little help from the Genie. (Aladdin makes it very clear he’s not a dancer.)
25. Abu and Prince Ali’s crew never bust through the palace doors.
The moment leads to Jafar getting crushed behind the door with Iago. Instead, Aladdin and the Genie simply appear inside the palace after the song’s end to meet with the Sultan, Jasmine, and Jafar.
26. Jafar never creepily demands to marry Princess Jasmine early in the film.
27. A lot of the “A Whole New World” carpet ride feels watered down.
We don’t get to see Aladdin give Jasmine a flower that the magic carpet plucks for her or see the two tumbling through the skies of Agrabah. Instead, Aladdin and Jasmine move side to side and up and down on a rather lifeless carpet. According to press notes, the actors were tied in, kneeling on a foam mat, and were placed on a giant rig that was in front of a blue screen. It makes the entire scene sound a lot less magical.
28. When Jafar’s scheme to trick the Sultan goes awry, he doesn’t make a run for it.
In the animated film, Jafar uses magic and a smoke bomb to make a quick escape before he can get arrested. In the live-action film, Jafar’s not nearly as handy. He allows himself to be arrested and has his parrot Iago release him from his cell.
29. Jafar steals the lamp from Aladdin, not Iago.
In the animated film, Iago humorously disguises himself as a flamingo and sneaks into a part of the palace to steal the lamp when Aladdin isn’t looking. In the remake, Jafar walks past Aladdin discreetly on the street, and swipes the lamp in passing.
30. Iago is never force-fed any crackers.
The Sultan made it a habit to shove crackers down Iago’s throat. It made for a few laughs in the original. That concept is ditched in this film.
31. When Jafar wishes to be Sultan he doesn’t receive white robes.
One of the most iconic moments of the original “Aladdin” is seeing the Sultan’s majestic white robes transfer over from Jasmine’s father to Jafar. In the process, Iago gets his own little Sultan hat, too. Not only does Jafar get darker robes instead, but Iago remains hatless in the new movie. Poor Iago.
32. Jafar doesn’t sing one of the best songs in the entire movie.
One of the best parts of the animated movie doesn’t make it into the live-action adaptation. When Jafar becomes Sultan in the original film, he uses it as a chance to humiliate Aladdin in front of Jasmine and her father by singing a reprisal of “Prince Ali.” The song which introduced Aladdin in such a grand fashion to Jasmine is now used to strip him of the fake title he claimed to great effect.
It’s not alluded to at all in the remake. Instead, Jafar simply tells Jasmine Ali is actually Aladdin, something she suspected. It all makes for a very unsatisfying reveal.
33. Aladdin is sent away by Jafar in less dramatic fashion in the remake.
Jafar sends Aladdin packing in a palace tower to a wintry unnamed destination with Abu and the magic carpet in the animated movie. Once there, Aladdin needs to find and save both Abu and the carpet while avoiding being crushed by the massive tower. It’s thrilling and there’s a moment where you’re genuinely afraid for Aladdin’s life.
In the remake, Jafar simply sends Aladdin and Abu away to an unnamed location but not in a palace tower. The omission of the tower deflates the moment entirely. Aladdin merely needs to find Abu before he quickly gets rescued by the magic carpet sent by the Genie. Sending Aladdin away was fruitless here. The scene merely seems to exist as a nod to the original film.
34. Jasmine is not seen in her iconic red outfit in the remake and she never tries to seduce Jafar.
After Jafar becomes the Sultan, he makes some dark changes to the palace interior. Among them are new red outfits for the Sultan and Jasmine.
In the 1992 movie, Jafar wishes for Jasmine to fall in love with him. He doesn’t know that’s beyond the Genie’s powers, so Jasmine takes advantage of the moment and plays along to distract Jafar as Aladdin tries to take back the magic lamp. This never seemed like a scene that would appear in the live-action film. It’s too sexy and inappropriate, especially since Jafar refers to Jasmine as his “pussycat.”
Instead, Jasmine is given a gorgeous pink outfit near the end of the 2019 film in which she sings her new song, “Speechless.”
35. So many small moments are changed because of the third act’s overhaul.
When Jafar becomes Sultan and quickly asks to be the world’s greatest sorcerer afterwards, he makes a lot of changes that don’t make it into the remake so no one can get in his way.
He turns Abu into a toy, Jasmine’s tiger into the size of a kitten, and the magic carpet is unravelled and made into a long thread. When Jasmine deceives him, Jafar places the princess into a larger hourglass filled with sand. The tables are turned on the Sultan and Iago is seen stuffing his face with crackers.
36. Jafar never becomes a massive snake to fight head-to-head with Aladdin.
Arguably the biggest and most memorable moment from the animated movie is when Jafar transforms into a giant snake near the movie’s end.
Aladdin calls Jafar a cowardly snake, causing the villain to transform into a larger version of his beloved staff. Aladdin goes up against the serpent with a sword before convincing Jafar to become a genie himself.
In the remake, the big showdown cuts past the most interesting moments of the third act and fast-forwards to Aladdin tricking Jafar to wish himself into the cosmic being. Instead, we see Iago transformed into a larger version of himself which is far less interesting.
37. Jasmine is made Sultan at the film’s end.
Sorry Aladdin, you’re never going to be Sultan of Agrabah in this film. Honestly, that’s a great fix. As Jasmine explains in the live-action movie, she has been training and studying for this her whole life. Aladdin hasn’t and, from what we see in the movie, he doesn’t have the greatest public speaking skills.