In this day and age there might be a lot of people that are offended by Aladdin and the songs that it inspired but back in the day before we all had something to get offended about this was one of the greatest movies that Disney had ever produced. The songs were beyond reproach since despite how they were first concocted they gave an amusing look at a culture many people knew almost nothing about and made it into something that kids could actually enjoy and get into without having to think about the dire implications that came with it from an adult perspective. That being said, now that most of us have grown out of that kid phase we see what the culture that would have created characters such as are seen in the movie is really like and it might be uncomfortable for some to keep pushing films like this on children. Of course that’s all a matter of how comfortable a person is with it.
Here are five of the best songs from Aladdin.
5. One Jump Ahead
Street rat, thief, whatever you wanted to call Aladdin he wasn’t a beggar at least and had some pride, though he didn’t exactly feed himself in the most honest of ways. He did have a heart of gold but not a penny to his name since he was an orphan that had no family other than Abu. He’s the kind of guy you might think is really worth something because he’s nice to others and does manage to hold to a pretty loose set of morals, but the whole ‘diamond in the rough’ description seems pretty convenient for a guy that’s willing to steal from hard-working individuals rather than try to work for it. Of course that’s the adult side talking.
4. Arabian Nights
The lyrics of this song actually had to be changed in order to make it more family-friendly since originally the line about cutting something off wasn’t really considered to be all that positive. Given the culture that the movie is based around however it’s not to hard to see how such a thing might happen. In fact when Princess Jasmine, disguised as a commoner, tried to simply give an apple to a street kid the vendor was quick to remind her of the penalty for stealing, which was the loss of a hand as he was fully prepared to do before Aladdin stepped in. You can imagine how quickly the vendor would have been put to death in real life.
3. Prince Ali
Because women like it when you can prove that you’ve got everything, right? It was an abject lesson in grandeur and what a lot of men think women like when ‘Prince Ali’ came waltzing into the city with his impressive retinue and opulence that could shame many a kingdom, but Jasmine was having none of it as she rolled her eyes and walked away eventually. This kind of proves that Aladdin had never had to work for anything since he firmly believes that money makes the man, not the other way around. The guy simply wanted to impress a woman, which isn’t a bad thing, but he had to take a few lessons afterwards to figure out how this was done.
2. Friend Like Me
A friend that can just use magic for everything? No thanks. It’s very tempting and to have someone that’s actually in your corner and has your back like the Genie would be great if you really needed it. But magic comes with a hefty price and three wishes are tougher to decide upon than many people might realize. Plus, how many people would actually listen to the rule that Genie laid down to Aladdin before they got started? A lot of folks might be wishing for people to come back from the dead or to make another fall in love with them more than anything. At least this Genie would have the nerve to tell them ‘uh-uh, not gonna happen”.
1. A Whole New World
This was hands down the most popular song from this movie as it was heard beyond the scope of the theater and the home video. A lot of people even wanted this for their wedding it was so popular since it does seem to inspire new beginnings and new vistas that a couple might traverse and experience with one another. The songs in Aladdin are a lot of fun and in some ways might be seen as troubling, but overall they were designed to fit with the movie and create an ambiance and hint of character that might have otherwise been missing if they’d been left out.
Any and all issues we have with the movie as adults should be tempered by the joy we remember as kids, especially so our own kids can continue to enjoy the tale.