Aladdin and the King of Thieves

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Aladdin and the King of Thieves
AatKoT2.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by Tad Stones
Produced by Jeannine Roussel
Tad Stones
Written by Mark McCorkle
Robert Schooley
Starring Scott Weinger
Robin Williams
John Rhys-Davies
Gilbert Gottfried
Linda Larkin
Jerry Orbach
Frank Welker
Distributed by Walt Disney Home Video
Release dates
  • August 13, 1996 (1996-08-13)
(VHS)
January 18, 2005 (DVD re-release)
Running time 81 minutes
Country United States
Language English

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 a finale of the series, the characters would later return in a crossover episode of the animated series Hercules, titled "Hercules and the Arabian Night."

Plot

As Aladdin (Scott Weinger) and Princess Jasmine (Linda Larkin) prepare for their marriage, Aladdin recovers a dagger, his only memento of his lost father, who had abandoned his family when Aladdin had been a small child. During the ceremony, they and the assembled guests find themselves the targets of a raid by the infamous Forty Thieves, led by a man named Cassim (John Rhys-Davies), who is after a particular piece of treasure: a staff which is the receptacle of a powerful oracle. Aladdin, Abu, Jasmine and the Genie discover the Oracle, who has the power to answer a single question about absolutely anything to any individual. When Iago accidentally asks her why the thieves want the staff so badly, she says that they were looking for the "ultimate treasure". Learning of the Oracle's power, Aladdin becomes curious about his past. She hints to him that those questions can be answered by his father, who is still alive, much to Aladdin's shock. After some encouragement from Jasmine, Aladdin asks the oracle about his father; the oracle reveals that his father is with the Forty Thieves, "trapped within their world".

Aladdin, along with Abu, Iago and Carpet, tracks them down and stows away into their hideout, Mount Sesame, where he discovers, to his shock, that his father is actually Cassim himself. Though Aladdin shares a brief, heartfelt reunion with Cassim, Sa'luk (Jerry Orbach), Cassim's subordinate tries to punish Aladdin for entering the hideout. Cassim, however, slyly suggests that Aladdin instead face "the Challenge"—an initiation ritual—where he must defeat another one of the Forty Thieves and take his place. Sa'luk fights Aladdin, but the latter just barely manages to prevail by throwing his opponent off a cliff into the sea. He is welcomed into the band, and Cassim reveals to Aladdin why he had left his wife and son: to find the Hand of Midas, a powerful artifact that can transform anything it touches into gold. Cassim believed that, with the Hand, he could return to his family and give them the life they deserved instead of one living out in the streets, and had instigated the raid so he could capture the oracle's staff and question the seer as to the precise whereabouts of the artifact. Aladdin convinces Cassim to return with him to Agrabah to live an honest life. Initially reluctant, Cassim eventually agrees when Iago inadvertently reveals that Aladdin's wedding may be his final chance to get the Oracle.

For a while, Cassim is happy to spend quality time with his son. Cassim meets with Genie, Jasmine and the Sultan, and they immediately take a liking to Aladdin's father. Cassim decides to carry on his original scheme with Iago as his new henchman. Meanwhile, Sa'luk makes his way to Agrabah. He reveals himself to Razoul and sells out his fellow thieves by telling Razoul the password to their hideout in exchange for immunity from prosecution. After thirty-one of the thieves are captured, Sa'luk tells them that Aladdin is one of the forty, and his father Cassim is the King himself. While attempting to steal the Oracle from the palace treasure chamber, Cassim and Iago are captured by the royal guards and Razoul reveals to the Sultan that Cassim is the King of Thieves. The Sultan has Razoul detain Cassim and Iago in the dungeon for life. Aladdin frees Cassim, but is discovered by Razoul. Despite being a criminal, Aladdin returns to the palace to take responsibility for his actions. The Sultan prepares to punish Aladdin, but Genie and Jasmine come to his defense, stating that all he wanted was to give his father a second chance. The Sultan accepts his apology, much to Razoul's dismay.

With the oracle in hand, Cassim and Iago return to Mount Sesame, only to be captured by Sa'luk and the remaining seven thieves. Cassim is forced to use the stolen oracle in order to find the location of the Hand of Midas and then lead his men there. The Oracle directs them to The Vanishing Isle, a great marble fortress built on the back of a gigantic undersea turtle that periodically dives to the bottom of the ocean, where the Hand is hidden. Iago flees from the group, and goes off to lead Aladdin and Jasmine, Abu and Carpet to his imprisoned father. Aladdin manages to free and reconcile with his father. Working together, they retrieve the Hand just as the turtle is beginning to submerge, when they are attacked by Sa'luk. While trying to flee from the flood Sa'luk takes Aladdin hostage, demanding that Cassim surrender the Hand. Cassim throws the Hand of Midas to Sa'luk, but Sa'luk turns into a gold statue after grabbing the Hand and Cassim and Aladdin flee. Realizing that his obsession with the Hand can cause destruction and his son is actually his ultimate treasure, Cassim throws the Hand. It lands on the ship with the remaining thieves aboard, turning it into gold and sinking it. Aladdin and Jasmine finally get married, with Cassim attending in the shadows, as he is still wanted for his crimes. Also among the guests are several cameos from characters from the TV series. Iago decides to join Cassim as a traveling companion, and they both go off once again to see the world.

Cast

Production

Following the success of The Return of Jafar, in January 1995, Disney announced that a third Aladdin feature was in production,[1][2] and later in June, it was scheduled for a home video release in 1996.[3] In September 1995, it was confirmed that Robin Williams will reprise the role of the Genie reportedly for a $1 million salary after he received an apology from Joe Roth for Disney breaching an agreement not to use his voice to merchandise products inspired by Aladdin.[4][5] With Williams on board, all recordings and animation footage of Dan Castellaneta as the Genie was scrapped, and all of the Genie's scenes were rewritten to fit Williams's comic style.[6]

Release

Upon its release, Aladdin and the King of Thieves was accompanied by a marketing campaign at more than $70 million with commercial tie-ins with McDonald's and General Mills.[7][8][9]

Home video

At the time of its release, King of Thieves was reportedly outselling The Return of Jafar, but Disney declined to disclose actual sales figures for the release.[9] In 1997, The Wall Street Journal reported that it sold over 10 million units, and generated at least $130 million in revenue.[10] In January 2005, the film was re-released as a Special Edition DVD, with digitally restored picture, remastered sound, two additional games, and a behind-the-scenes bonus feature. However, the film was matted into a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen ratio (an aspect ratio Disney has rarely used for animation).[11] The DVD went back into the Disney Vault along with the other two films in the series in January 2008.[12]

Reception

Based on 11 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, the film received 27% approval rating from critics, with an average score of 4.8/10.[13] Caryn James of The New York Times praised the sequel as "far better than The Return of Jafar", but acknowledged that "the video has some other weak spots, but these hardly matter when Aladdin and the King of Thieves is so brimming with comic invention and adventure."[14]

Soundtrack

  • "There's a Party Here in Agrabah": Sung mostly by Genie, and partly by Iago, some of the Forty Thieves, Aladdin, and Jasmine. There is a brief pause in the song in which Aladdin takes out his father's dagger. It tells about what Genie does during the beginning of the wedding, complete with his trademark sight gags.
  • "Out of Thin Air": Sung by Aladdin and Jasmine. Aladdin reminisces about his childhood and Jasmine urges him to find his father, saying their wedding can wait until he returns.
  • "Welcome to the Forty Thieves": Sung by the Forty Thieves after the defeat of Sa'luk and Aladdin's acceptance into the team.
  • "Father and Son": Sung mostly by Genie after Cassim arrives at the palace in Agrabah and Genie says how Aladdin and Cassim are together again.
  • "Are You In or Out?": Sung by Sa'luk and those who remained of the Forty Thieves, where Sa'luk turned them against Cassim. During the song, the Forty Thieves make several attempts to kill Sa'luk, but he easily defeats them even when they gang up on him in groups.
  • "Arabian Nights Reprise": Sung by the peddler seen in the beginning of Aladdin. It was originally meant for the first movie.[15]

Adaptation

Two comic adaptations of the movie were on sale September 1996.

References

  1. ^ "Company Town Annex". Los Angeles Times. January 31, 1995. Retrieved September 17, 2014. 
  2. ^ Bloomberg News Service (January 31, 1995). "Sequel To 'Lion King' Set To Roar Into Vcrs Within The Next Year". Burbank: Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  3. ^ "As Long As It Sells, Keep Doing Sequels". Entertainment News Service (The Sun-Sentinel). June 23, 1995. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  4. ^ Cerone, Daniel Howard (September 27, 1995). "Genie Grants Disney's Video Wish : Marketing: Robin Williams will reprise his 'Aladdin' role in 'King of Thieves,' continuing the emergence of direct-to-video projects as an industry gold mine.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Williams Returns In `Aladdin' Sequel". Los Angeles Times (The Sun-Sentinel). November 10, 1995. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  6. ^ Westbrook, Bruce (August 16, 1996). "Robin spins 'Aladdin'". The Houston Chronicle. Aladdin Central.org. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  7. ^ Moore, Steve (August 9, 1996). "‘Aladdin’ Sequel With Robin Williams Goes Direct To Video". The Washington Post (The Spokesman-Review). Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  8. ^ Moore, Steve (August 16, 1996). "Disney Has Wish For Genie". The Washington Post (Orlando Sentinel). Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Snow, Shauna (August 29, 1996). "Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  10. ^ Orwall, Bruce. "Video buying is surprise hit with viewers," Wall Street Journal 17 January 1997, p. B1.
  11. ^ Bonanno, Luke (January 16, 2005). "Aladdin II & III Collection DVD Review". DVDizzy.com. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Out of Print Disney DVDs". UltimateDisney.com. Archived from the original on 29 September 2006. Retrieved 24 September 2006. 
  13. ^ "Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1996)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  14. ^ James, Caryn (August 13, 1996). "`Aladdin 3': Dream Of Genie". The New York Times. The Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  15. ^ The Music Behind the Magic: The Musical Artistry of Alan Menken, Howard Ashman & Tim Rice: Disc 3: Aladdin (Compact disc liner notes). Various Artist. Walt Disney Records. 1992. p. 4 Note: Track 28 on Disc 3 is called "Arabian Nights, Reprise (Unreleased Master)" that is later used in Aladdin and the King of Thieves. 60014-7. 

External links