Aladdin and the lamp
The version of Aladdin that you’re doubtless most familiar with is Disney’s 1992 film adaptation. The film turns the story into a musical, and also makes all sorts of subtle and not-so-subtle changes from the original tale.
The start of the film is preserved pretty much intact: a sorcerer (now named Jafar) sends Aladdin to a cave to retrieve a magic lamp, without telling him that the cave is cursed. As in the original story, Aladdin ends up with the lamp, and wishes to become a prince so that he can marry the princess.
It is here, however, that the two stories part ways. Rather than the princess handing over the lamp, it is stolen by Jafar’s parrot, Iago. Jafar then wishes to become the most powerful sorcerer in the world, and banishes Aladdin to the other side of the world.
Rather than using a ring to defeat the sorcerer, as in the book, Aladdin uses his magic carpet to fly back to the palace and confront Jafar. He tricks Jafar into wishing to be a genie, trapping him in a lamp, while Aladdin uses his final wish to set his genie free.
While it is clear to see that the film follows the original story more often than not, it does get side-tracked quite often for the sake of extra characters (Abu the monkey, Iago the parrot and the magic carpet), and goes out of its way to portray Aladdin’s relationship with the princess as a love story rather than as a matter of possession as it was in the original tale. Still, the changes are understandable: they are necessary firstly to make the story more enjoyable for children, and secondly to update it to reflect modern attitudes.
Disney also made two sequels to the movie, The Return of Jafar and The King of Thieves, and a TV series – but the less said about those, the better. Needless to say, they have little to do with the original Arabic tale.
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