- Warning: There are spoilers ahead for Disney’s live-action “Aladdin.”
- Jasmine’s mother is never really addressed in the 1992 animated classic. She just doesn’t exist.
- The live-action movie says her mother was killed, which tells us why Jasmine has been hidden behind the palace walls all her life.
- The co-director of “Aladdin,” Ron Clements told INSIDER in March that Disney stories often didn’t have one or both parents because they followed the story laid out in the original fairy tales.
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Disney’s “Aladdin” remake changes up some big moments from the animated tale, but it also clears up a big question from the original. Sort of.
What happened to Jasmine’s mother?
The remake tells us she was killed. Jasmine reveals that’s why she has never left the palace walls, giving her more reason to sneak out and visit the marketplace in disguise.
The new movie doesn’t tell us how Jasmine’s mother was murdered. Jasmine says she stayed behind the palace walls as a means of protection from a feared similar fate. Protection from who?
It’s assumed Jasmine’s mother may have been killed as part of a war or fight. Jafar continuously pushes to go to war with the South Asian kingdom of Shehrabad, the hometown of Jasmine’s mother, for unexplained reasons.
Jasmine said her mother loved the people of Agrabah and they seemingly loved her so it seems unlikely there’s some secret assassin among them.
Jasmine’s mother is barely a thought in the 1992 animated movie. The only mention of her is when the Sultan says Jasmine’s mother “wasn’t nearly so picky” when it came to choosing a husband.
The live-action reveal is a bit of a surprise. Her absence could’ve simply been explained away by an illness. However, the live-action “Beauty and the Beast” recently added in Prince Adam/The Beast’s mother and showed her die of an illness. You can’t have all Disney mums die with their kids at their bedside.
While speaking with INSIDER in March, Ron Clements, co-director of the “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin,” acknowledged Disney’s penchant for absent parents in some of their earlier works.
“We’ve taken a lot of flack about killing off mums and [have been asked] why not more mums?” said Clements while speaking about the 30th anniversary of “The Little Mermaid” and the animated “Aladdin.” “We tried to make up for that somewhat in later years.”
More recent Disney movies “Tangled,” “Moana,” (also directed by Clements), and “Coco” feature lead characters’ families prominently and intact. “Frozen 2” hints we may see Elsa go on a search for her long-lost parents who have been presumed dead.
Clements said in the case of “The Little Mermaid,” they followed the Hans Christian Anderson story for inspiration. There, Ariel’s father is also widowed, and Disney borrowed Ariel’s sisters from the story to bring to screen.
When asked if that’s a Disney mandate, to kill off one or both of the parents in an animated movie, Clements said, “The primary influence of that is the fairy tales themselves and, why [the fairy tales rid of a parent or parents] would be hard to say, but [in] most of the well-known fairy tales there is just one parent. ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ it’s that way in the story. ‘Cinderella,’ it’s just the step mother.”
“The one exception in our movies I think is ‘Aladdin.’ He didn’t have a dad, but he did have a mum.” said Clements. “Once again, a single-parent, but it was a mother in that case.”
Aladdin’s mother ended up being written out of the animated movie and didn’t make the live-action cut either. A song relating to Aladdin’s mother, “Proud of Your Boy,” written by lyricist Howard Ashman before his death, can be heard in Disney’s Broadway show.
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