I want to make it clear- I LOVE THE MOVIE ALADDIN
, I love every character in it- except Aladdin. And finally, i'll tell you why.
I didn't really organize this well because I couldn't figure this out.
Main issues- Aladdin's sexist/classicism assumptions, and Jasmine's hypocrisy
Scenario: Aladdin sees Jasmine in the marketplace, falls for her, brings her back to his poor-boy hut, and together they have a heart to heart about how they feel trapped by their situations. Although Jasmine doesn't explicitly state that she is a princess, she does hint that it's not an enjoyable life. "Oh sure, people who tell you where to go, and how to dress..."
She discusses how she's getting forced to get married and how awful it is. They have a cute moment and nearly kiss, when they're broken up. Princess-in-disguise Jasmine is about to kiss street rat Aladdin.
Cut to Aladdin dressed up as a Prince approaching the town. Jasmine is shown to be totally unimpressed by the big parade, rolling her eyes and scoffing at its grandiosity. Aladdin grins his cocky-boy grin and enters the castle, charming the Sultan immediately. After referring to Jasmine as a prize to be won, Jasmine overhears and angrily scorns them for treating her as such.
Cut to Aladdin talking to the genie. The genie suggests Aladdin BE HIMSELF. Aladdin's response?
"If Jasmine found out I was some crummy street rat, she'd laugh at me."
1. You met Jasmine in the marketplace and SHE ALMOST KISSED YOU WHEN SHE KNEW YOU WERE A STREET RAT, YOU MORON. This means Aladdin is just automatically assuming that because Jasmine is a princess, because of her royalty, she must be shallow and only want the finest of men. This is a shallow assumption for Aladdin to make, and shows he didn't listen to a word Jasmine said while they were talking at his hut. Even though he knew her when he thought she was also poor, finding out she was a princess illogically and immediately changed his view on her.
2. If what he assumes is true, that Jasmine IS shallow and only wants rich, handsome men, why would Aladdin, the boy who wants to prove that there's so much more to him, degrade himself and act as an impostor just to win a girl he assumes has shallow morals? My only assumption is that because as he previously repeats in the movie, he thinks being rich will solve all his problems. I won't fault him for that, growing up poor all his life must really take his toll, but does he need to bring someone else down with him?
Cut to Aladdin on the balcony with Jasmine. Aladdin tries to act as smooth, confident Aladdin who Jasmine doesn't care for- but wait! Does Jasmine recognize him as the street rat from the marketplace?
Aladdin agrees with Jasmine when she says she is rich, the daughter of the sultan (not that he can dispute), and a 'fine prize for any prince to marry'. AGREES. And gives her the ol' up-down with his eyes. She spurns him once again for being SO materialistic and tells him to jump off a balcony, how DARE he be so shallow, like any other stuffed-shirt swaggering peacock she's met!
...Until, of course, Aladdin whips out his magic carpet (no metaphor intended) and Jasmine instantly turns into the materialistic, shallow person that she's been insulting others for being this whole film.
"A liar who agrees that I am only a rich, hot prize to be won? GO JUMP OFF A BALCONY! Oh, you have a magic carpet? Never mind, let me hop on that!"
Jasmine, after discovering this guy not only is lying to her, acting totally cocky and shallow, but also is trying to win her over with material items (as she was so unimpressed with a giant parade with many other, more impressive magical items) rightfully and admirably spurns him, until he literally scrapes the bottom of the barrel and doesn't even try to win her over with words or apology, just pulls out his flying machine and wow, she is charmed. AND at this point she should realize, if she suspects that he is the boy from the marketplace, that he is acting EXACTLY the opposite of what she wants, even as she EXPRESSED to him, which should lead her to the conclusion that not only is she shallow but he was feigning interest/didn't care.
I won't dive too much into the 'A Whole New World' scene but I will say that there, Aladdin is being totally possessive and controlling of Jasmine.
During their scene in China, Jasmine finally tricks Aladdin into revealing that he isn't who he's pretending to be- and he lies again
. APPARENTLY HE STILL HASN'T REMEMBERED OR PICKED UP ON THE FACT THAT SHE REALLY LOVED THE BOY FROM THE MARKETPLACE, EVEN THOUGH SHE ACTS TOTALLY DISAPPOINTED WHEN HE LIES AND SAYS THAT IT WASN'T HIM. ("I even send servants to go to the marketplace for my servants! It couldn't have been me you met"...Jasmine: *sighs sadly* "No, I guess not.") Aladdin is clearly so self-absorbed he can't even pick up on what Jasmine wants. He just assumes and takes over.
Finally, let's cut to Prince Ali (Reprise).
Jasmine finally discovers Aladdin has been lying the whole time (revealed by Jafar, although that scene confuses me; Aladdin already lied and said he dressed up as a street rat to escape palace life, so how would showing him in street rat clothes reveal anything? Wouldn't Jasmine just see the clothes as his disguise clothes? but I digress.. ) So now (somehow) she REALLY knows that he really is poor, and that he's been nonstop lying to her this whole time, as well as totally ignoring her views and wants like everyone else, and to top it all off, he already KNEW what she wanted (freedom and someone to understand her and not assume things about her), and should understand perfectly as that's what Aladdin wants to. But he is the worst, as he does understand but acts the opposite, because of totally shallow views.
When Aladdin returns to rescue them all, there's no conflict with Jasmine being upset at him, yelling at him for lying so many times, or most preferably, getting fed up at him being so shallow, a liar, and basically treating her like crap. Instead, she just immediately welcomes him back and it's like nothing happened. There's no inner conflict, no attitude, she's just excited to see him and it's as if this girl who supposedly is supposed to not be pray to horrible men just keeps falling for his lies, or willing herself to believe them, regardless of the implications or non-logic. She's turned into a weaker girl than any of the princesses at that point. What? You lose major, MAJOR points for me there, Jas.
On top of all this, Aladdin treats his friends like crap. He takes total advantage of Abu (who can be a pain but that's no reason to be rude), AND especially Genie, who shows nothing but kindness to Aladdin, and to who Aladdin keeps abusing and taking advantage of. Whenever anyone, especially the Genie, tries to offer him advice, he yells/snaps at them ("Buzz off!") and acts incredibly self-absorbed.
Aladdin is also so down on himself , the whole thing about him not being worthy of anyone
but then sings "There's so much more to me" and says "I'm not worthless!". Its like he's both trying to prove himself, but he's self-pitying when it's convenient for him. He always wants to be the victim.
I wouldn't be so bothered by all of this if Aladdin had changed in the end, but he didn't. He's still the same Aladdin. He never apologizes for his actions, except fleetingly, and to Abu
, ("I'm sorry Abu, this is all my fault, I've gotta go back and set things straight.") when he should be apologizing to Genie & Jasmine. His transformation is condensed to one sentence- "I gotta stop trying to be something I'm not." You never see any REAL transformation. And in the sequels & the TV shows he continues to boss Genie around and lie and lie again and again and again
, apologizes everytime, and goes back to lying again. The cycle is this:
Jasmine: *gets upset*
Aladdin: *depressed and says sorry*
Jasmine: *forgives him*
And the cycle repeats. Over and over. I'm neutral towards/ dislike Aladdin in the first movie, but in the sequels I honestly hate him. I won't get into discussing how he's so much worse in the sequels, but let's just say 'Out of Thin Air' has to be one of the most condescending and disrespectful things Aladdin's ever said/sang, although I like the song.
I can't forgive Aladdin for all the things I named. Assumptions, being shallow, rude to his friends, but most of all- NEVER LEARNING HIS GODDAMN LESSON.
And Jasmine can't be in my top 3. I love
her attitude, probably the thing she gets criticized most for and is actually the best part about her, but her actions I find hypocritical and weak.
And that's why I don't like Aladdin.