In Disney’s animated film Aladdin, the major theme that Disney wanted to communicate to the audiences is how far human beings can go when in need of something. A strong desire of something may lead one to go beyond the expectations.
The major characters of the film are seen fighting for power, freedom, recognition, love and others for even supernatural strength (Oppenheim 177). For instance, the dire need of power by Jafar makes him go beyond what one may expect like wanting to be the most powerful sorcerer.
This essay paper will describe deeply, how Aladdin was in need of power, freedom and love, how Jafar struggled for power, how Genie yearned for freedom, and finally Jasmines independent fights for love. Although each character had a certain desire, power and freedom was most needed by all of them.
This 1992 Aladdin film was considered one of the high profile release and among the Disney’s best films (Ackerly 222). The thing that made it to be popular is how he brought out the conflicting interests of the characters, and how they came up with eye-catching occasions to fulfill their interests.
The film was watched globally and acquired itself a great reputation and fame. The most interesting traits are those of Aladdin when he tries to be who he is not just because of love to a princess.
At the beginning of the movie, there is an educative song full of hidden themes of the writer, where the Arab merchants sing a song stating where they have come from, and how they are treated in a discriminatory manner.
They describe the act as barbaric, but basing their fact, that home is home, they show a special liking of their motherland (Ackerly 223). This song shows how Middle East is uninhabited land where justice does not exist in the lives of all people within the community.
These words in the songs created a great controversy in most of the Arab countries that resulted to the changing of the words whereby, the harsh words that described how people were cut off their ears if disliked were replaced by words describing how the land is flat, immense, and hot.
In the film, Aladdin is featured as a peasant character in the Islamic town of Agra bah. The main interest of Aladdin in the film is power and love. Aladdin struggles throughout the film finding ways of winning the love of Jasmine; he thinks acquiring power first would open the door for Jasmines love. At a certain point, this peasant Aladdin falls in love with Jasmine who was the princess of the town.
This woman is portrayed as a very independent person, but the problem is with Aladdin who could not be himself(Volokh 251). The controversy was realized when the law could not allow Jasmine to get married to someone who is not from the royal family. Aladdin made some efforts to overcome this challenge by pleasing Genie, who in turn told him to confess his three wishes.
This was an opportunity for Aladdin to declare a wish of becoming a prince, so that he can be in a position to marry Jasmine. The sorcerer by name Jafar was also really in need of power of lamp like Genie. This created some difficulties to Aladdin, as he did not know how to deal with both of them to achieve his goal of winning the love of Jasmine.
To solve all his challenges, Aladdin discovers that the only way is to be himself, although this was difficult to overcome without the assistance of Genie. However, Aladdin later learns how to be himself. In this film, Aladdin is one of the characters used by Disney to show the importance of freedom, that he wanted but was not readily available to him (Frankel 57).
Lack of freedom was prohibiting him from expressing his love to the woman he loved. His freedom could be achieved only through the assistance of Genie or Jafar the sorcerer. Jafar on the other hand was in need of power like Genie, an act that brought about some controversies.
In the film, Genie is used also to show the dire need for freedom from the cave. He wished to be a free man from bondage of slavery and mistreatments in the cave. This is confirmed when Aladdin got hold of the lamp in the cave, and instructed Genie to opt for something. Genie did not hide his wish but he confessed his dire need for freedom as he considered himself as a prisoner to his lamp.
It had come to the Genies knowledge that his life depended solely on his lamp, he could not made an informed decision nor have confidence in his doings. Everything that he desired, the lamp was his final decision maker. Genie discovered that he is a prisoner to his lamp, and he wanted some freedom like other people (Sharman 13).
As mentioned above Jafar was another character who was in dire need of power. In the film Jafar is first seen trying to acquire the genies lamp that he could use to fulfill his wishes. This attempt failed, but the canning life of Aladdin made him to steal the Genies lamp and give it to Jafar.
This happens when Jafar threw Aladdin into the ocean, and Genie saves Aladdin from this trap as his next wish. During this period, Aladdin had already interacted with Jasmine and the Sultan, and so he reported Jafar to them. This was a strong sign of how Jafar wanted to be powerful, and at the same time Aladdin was also in need of power to enable him accomplish his love missions.
At this point, there was only one wish remaining and Aladdin decides not to free Genie as he had promised an act that disappointed Genie (Volokh 257). This was done purposely as a way of confusing both Jafar and Genie.
Iago is the character who was used to steal Genies lamp, under the instructions of Jafar. Through this act, Jafar possessed Genies lamp, and started fulfilling his wishes. First, he became Genies master, and accomplished his first wish of becoming a Sultan.
At this point of the film, Jafar was very sure of being the most powerful person among others. In his process of exercising his newly acquired power, Jafar ordered Sultan and Jasmine to bow before him as the new Sultan, but they refused. This proved his first wish to be unsuccessful and gave his second wish a trial (Oppenheim 181). Jafar`s second wish was to become the most feared and powerful sorcerer globally.
Jafar was so sure that through his second wish he would order both Jasmine and Sultan to bow before him, and to describe Aladdin publicly as a street boy. Jafars final mission was to send Aladdin and his friends to the prison. As a powerful sorcerer, Jafar sends Sultan and Jasmine to prison to act as his slaves.
Power was the most needed thing by most of the major characters in this film, because Arabs were all in need of power, they wanted to be more powerful, the idea that results to the film having a theme of racism.
With power, every character in the film believed he would achieve his missions. When Aladdin discovered that Jafar imprisoned Jasmine and Sultan, he decides to use the power of magic carpets to get to Agra bah, the place where they were imprisoned.
When Aladdin arrived in Agrabah, Jasmine was quick to seduce Jafar so that Aladdin could accomplish his mission of stealing back the lamp, but Jafar noticed the trick. As a powerful sorcerer, Jafar put Jasmine in a big hourglass and he turns himself into a furious cobra in preparation to attack Aladdin (Frankel 72).
Jafar and Aladdin fought for so long, as Aladdin was trying to save his lover from that place of suffering but Jafar defeated him. During this time Jafar is seen in the film shouting that he is the most powerful person on earth, a statement that makes Aladdin furious, and shouts back that Genie is the most powerful not Jafar.
When Jafar realized that, there was an opportunity for Genie to challenge his power, the desire to be more and more powerful than anyone else on earth forces him to use his final wish.
The desire for power with these characters was beyond unexplainable level, as they seemed never to be satisfied with their statuses. No one wanted the other person to surpass his powers (Ackerly 230). Power was everything as they lacked the confidence to work as ordinary person. Jafar becomes surprised when Aladdin managed to rescue Jasmine.
Lack of satisfaction made Jafar to have a desire of becoming an all-powerful genie, but he did not succeed because genies are not free entities. Jafar and his counterpart Iago were left surprised as the real owner of the Lamp Genie retained it back. When Jafar had powers, he contradicted with others, and made them suffer a great deal.
At a certain point in the film, Jasmine realized the reason why Aladdin was pretending to be a prince. Aladdin did not want to violate the law of Sultan or challenge his power. Aladdin decided never again to pretend to be someone he was not, and granted the wish of Genie (Oppenheim 183).
The wish of Genie from the beginning was to be a person with freedom, when Aladdin decided to grant him this wish; he was surprised and very happy. When Sultan realized that there was true love between Aladdin and Jasmine, he changed the law and allowed her to marry a man of her choice. The films ends when Genie becomes a free man to explore the world, while Aladdin and Jasmine enjoys their love.
Most of the major characters in the film had some wishes to fulfill. Disney wanted to bring out the fulfillment of wishes to be seen as a great thing but eventually becoming a challenge (Frankel 61).
Another important theme portrayed in the film is on how one can get into trouble by trying to be what he or she is not like Aladdin and Jasmine. Imprisonment as a sign of lack of freedom is another theme seen in the film as it affected most of the characters affecting their normal ways of life.
Imprisonment, which is a show of lacking freedom, is what made Jafar and Genie to make their lives attached to the lamp. Jasmine is a character used in the film to show how one can break the rules and walls of imprisonment (Volokh 254).
She became rebellious, as she desired to have her own ways full of freedom without being necessarily tied with some royal life rules. In most of the cases, princesses just wait to be rescued and delivered from the normal life challenges but Jasmine was exceptional, as she wanted to be independent in her life.
Jafar who was power greedy encountered many problems in the process of acquiring that power, and ended unsuccessfully. Genie wanted freedom, and he got it finally despite how long he had to wait.
The producer of the film made some characters very interesting and ridiculous in the film through some of the roles they are playing. For instance, Aladdin did not know the best way to express his feelings to Jasmine because he was a street pauper and Jasmine was a princess.
His strong desire to woo the princess made him to pretend that he was a prince himself. After several trials and failures, Aladdin discovers that the only way out is to express his love as his real self (Ackerly 237). Throughout the film, several characters are trying to use their intelligence to outwit their fellow characters.
The characters seem not to be united because, for instance, Jafar tries to use his evil magician to cheat Aladdin. Jafar also uses his friend Iowa to steal the lamp from Genie. Jafar has come out in the film as a very evil person, who is power greedy, as he even tries to kill the princess and Sultan to acquire that power.
On the other hand, the producer makes Jasmine the princess to come up with a strong personality(Oppenheim 179). Her personality is opposite of what many audience would expect from a princess. Princesses are known to be humble people who wait for instructions from the king. On the contrary, Jasmine shows her nature of independence, and a strong person who makes her own decisions.
In conclusion, the interests of the various characters such as freedom, love, and power are all connected to one another. For instance, Jafar wanted power so that he would be able to have freedom and love as he desired. Aladdin wanted power to be able to express his feelings of love to Jasmine.
Genie though he declared his main interest to be freedom, this freedom would have opened other doors for him such as power. The three major interests of the characters were very important although power proved to be the main door of acquiring the rest.
Ackerly, Brooke. “Human Rights Enjoyment in Theory and Activism.” Human Rights Review (2011): 221-239.
Frankel, Steven. “Determined to be Free: The Meaning of Freedom in Spinozas
Theologico-Political Treatise.” Review of Politics (2011): 55-76.
Oppenheim, Felix. “social freedom: Definition, measurability, valuation.” Social choice & welfare (2004): 175-185.
Sharman, Leslie. “New Aladdins for old.” Sight & Sound (1993): 12-15.
Volokh, Eugene. “Tort Liability and the Original Meaning of the Freedom of Speech, Press, and Petition.” Iowa Law Review (2010): 249-259.