Imprisoned in a magic lamp for 10,000 years, the Genie (Williams) is thrilled when young street urchin Aladdin (Weinger) rubs his lamp and sets him free. He grants the boy three wishes – which may come in handy since there’s a pretty Sultan’s daughter named Jasmine on the loose and an evil adviser to the Sultan (Jafar, voiced by Jonathan Freeman) who schemes to marry her. Throw in a magic carpet that is beautifully animated, a monkey named Abu and the conniving parrot Iago (Gilbert Gottfried) and you have a rip-roaring Arabian Nights adventure, Aladdin.
Of course, the star of the show is comedian Williams, who gives the Genie his personality and storms through the film as if he was performing stand-up. He’s zany, funny, breathlessly energetic and just brilliant, even if some of his jokes don’t stand the test of time (his impersonations include Arsenio Hall, who wasn’t that well known outside the US in 1992 when the film was released, let alone now).
There are some fun songs, too, and the sappy ballad ‘A Whole New World’, sung when Aladdin and Jasmine enjoy a romantic magic carpet ride. The film was followed by two straight-to-video/DVD sequels, The Return of Jafar and Aladdin and the King of Thieves.
Is Aladdin (1992) suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Jafar is pretty scary throughout, but the main scene which may frighten young children is one in which he turns into a giant snake.
Little ones may also be scared when Aladdin is trapped in the cave.