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Ron Clements, John Musker
Scott Weinger, Robin Williams, Linda Larkin
Writing Credits:
Roger Allers, Ron Clements, Ted Elliott

When a street urchin vies for the love of a beautiful princess, he uses a genie's magic power to make himself off as a prince in order to marry her.

Box Office:
$28 million.
Domestic Gross

Rated G

Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English Descriptive Audio 2.0
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 90 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 9/10/2019

• Audio Commentary with Producer/Directors John Musker and Ron Clements and Co-Producer Amy Pell
• Audio Commentary with Animators Andreas Deja, Will Finn, Eric Goldberg and Glen Keane
• “Aladdin on Aladdin” Featurette
• “Let’s Not Be Too Hasty” Featurette
• Alternate Endings
• “Creating Broadway Magic” Featurette
• “Genie 101” Featurette
• “You Ain’t Never Had a Friend Like Me” Featurette
• Genie Outtakes
• Disney Song Selection
• Sing-Along Version
• “Classic Bonus Preview”


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Aladdin: Signature Collection [Blu-Ray] (1992)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 5, 2019)

1992’s Aladdin continued the brief-lived era of good feelings at Disney animation. After the doldrums of the prior decades, 1989’s The Little Mermaid marked the studio’s return to cultural relevance, and 1991’s Beauty and the Beast solidified that hold with newfound critical glory.

Aladdin didn’t receive quite as many plaudits but it did well for itself in that department and also raked in the bucks at the box office. For the first time in decades, a Disney cartoon emerged as the year’s top-grossing flick. Aladdin’s $217 million put it well ahead of contenders like Batman Returns and Lethal Weapon 3.

At the start of Aladdin, evil sorcerer Jafar (voiced by Jonathan Freeman) seeks the Cave of Wonders, the repository for a magical lamp. His stooge Gazeem (Charles Adler) attempts to fetch it, but only “the diamond in the rough” may enter, as they violently discover.

From there we meet thieving street urchin Aladdin (Scott Weinger) and his loyal pet monkey Abu (Frank Welker). They live a hand-to-mouth existence but dream of fortune, a concept epitomized by the local Sultan (Douglas Seale).

He lives with his teen daughter Princess Jasmine (Linda Larkin) who resists his attempts to find her a husband. The law dictates that Jasmine must marry by her next birthday, and it occurs in only three more days. She clings to the notion of romantic love, though, and pines for more freedom and independence.

The Sultan frets but his advisor Jafar offers a solution if he can use the leader’s magical blue diamond ring. He hypnotizes the Sultan and attempts to enact his own evil plan.

Jafar uses the blue diamond to find out the “diamond in the rough”. This person turns out to be Aladdin, so he sends palace guards to capture the boy.

In the meantime, Jasmine disguises herself to enter the community. She finds herself overmatched, though, and gets into inadvertent trouble.

Aladdin rescues her and the pair immediately connects. They open up to each other before the palace guards find them.

Even though Jasmine reveals her true identity and tries to get them to free Aladdin, they cling to Jafar’s orders and take the boy into the palace. When Jasmine orders Jafar to release the prisoner, the wizard claims that they already killed Aladdin as a thief.

Of course, he lies, as Aladdin is stuck in jail. Abu frees him and an elderly prisoner - Jafar in disguise - regales them with tales of the Cave of Wonders, a place filled with treasure that he can use to win over Jasmine.

The “old man” leads Aladdin to the Cave and sends him inside, where he goes to fetch the lamp. Though warned not to take anything else, Abu can’t resist and he snags a gem. This causes the Cave to collapse, but they escape on a friendly flying carpet.

Jafar gets his lamp and tosses Aladdin back into the Cave, apparently to suffer his demise. However, he clings to life, and we see that Abu pilfered the lamp back from Jafar before he fell into the Cave.

When they shine the object, they discover its secret: it contains a powerful Genie (Robin Williams). He gets them out of the Cave and then helps Aladdin with his first wish: to become a prince.

From there, the crew struts into Agrabah to win over the Princess. This crimps Jafar’s style, as he planned to marry Jasmine himself and take over as Sultan. The rest of the movie follows Aladdin’s attempts to win over Jasmine as well as Jafar’s plots and their ramifications.

One of Aladdin’s strengths may ultimately turn into a weakness, as much of the film’s success stemmed from its manic turn by Robin Williams. He single-handedly made it cool for big stars to do cartoon voiceovers and brought unprecedented attention to an actor in such a role. Williams infused the movie with relentless energy that often made it a comic wonder to behold.

Williams also left the movie with a stronger time stamp than usual, though virtually all films represent the eras in which they were made. Compare Saving Private Ryan to The Longest Day, for instance. Both cover similar subject matter but certainly don’t resemble each other in many ways, and it becomes clear that the attitudes of their respective chronological circumstances mark them.

This becomes especially true for Aladdin due to its style of humor. How many of its jokes will make sense 50 years from now? Probably not a lot – probably a lot don’t get them now, 27 years later. While it doesn’t feature extreme amounts of topical comedy, it roots many of the gags in social references that may not translate well.

I think that the film’s strengths ultimately override any of these concerns, however. Watching Aladdin for the first time in a few years, I was struck by just how much Williams owns this film.

The Genie doesn’t appear until half an hour into the flick. We briefly hear from Williams in his small role as the merchant, but after that he disappears until a third of the film has finished.

When Williams reappears, he quickly grabs hold of the movie and makes it his own. In Disney flicks, supporting characters often overshadow the main roles, and the Genie presents an extreme example of that. Though the filmmakers don’t go out of their way to put the Genie at the center of the action, Williams’ manic personality ensures that this happens.

Don’t interpret that as a criticism of Williams and an indication that I see him as some sort of movie-hogging prima donna. Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of the man’s work, mostly due to his later tendency to select mawkish films in which he plays insufferably smug and condescending characters like Patch Adams. Nonetheless, he dazzles in Aladdin, as he makes the Genie a force of nature who carries the movie to the Promised Land all on his own.

Well, maybe not all on his own, though without Williams, this movie could have been much less satisfying. As for the rest of it, I can’t summon many reasons to complain, even though Aladdin and Jasmine don’t create a lot of sparks and the movie conveys an awfully generic “be yourself” message.

On the other hand, once we get past the Genie, I also find it difficult to conjure lots of compliments. The cartoony style of the flick made it unusual among Disney’s then-recent history, and its manic tone allows it to stand out from the crowd.

Granted, much of that comes from Williams, but the filmmakers keep up with him and use the energy for the benefit of the story, so the hyperkinetic attitude melds well with the story and humor. The movie builds well, which means that even though its first third drags, the climax becomes fun and clever.

Aladdin also includes one of the most effective bits of animation I can recall in recent Disney history: the Magic Carpet. Supervising animator Randy Cartwright brings a remarkable level of personality and individuality to a rug. The character boasts no face or limbs to express emotions, but darned if he/she/it doesn’t turn into one of the movie’s most likeable and endearing participants.

Overall, Aladdin remains a pretty enjoyable and lively flick. I admit it doesn’t wow me like it did a few decades ago, and some parts of it have started to age less than gracefully. Nonetheless, a knockout performance from Robin Williams carries much of the weight, and the rest of the film does enough well to make it amusing and entertaining.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B/ Bonus B

Aladdin appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.66:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a highly pleasing presentation.

Sharpness looked strong. Any signs of softness were brief and negligible, so the vast majority of the movie depicted razor-precise elements.

Jagged edges and moiré effects appeared absent, and I witnessed no edfe haloes. In regard to print flaws, I noticed none, as the movie looked clean and fresh from start to finish.

In terms of palette, blues and reds dominated. Other hues appeared as well, of course, but those overtones became most apparent. The colors appeared vivid and rich.

Black levels looked solid, while low-light images were concisely displayed and tight, with no excessive opacity. I found little to criticize in this dynamic image.

Aladdin also provided an active DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack – maybe too active. From start to finish, the back speakers played a strangely dominant role. To be sure, I enjoy movies that make use of the rear channels, but Aladdin tended to go overboard to the point where the surrounds threatened to overwhelm the forward domain.

This meant that dialogue stayed concentrated on the front but music and effects broadened more aggressively. I did hear obvious music and effects in the forward domain, but outside of the dialogue, I thought the track used the back speakers more prominently than the front.

That didn’t make for an especially natural mix. The balance wasn’t badly out of whack, so even with the emphasis on the surrounds, the track created a fairly convincing sense of place. Nonetheless, I felt the forward channels should’ve had more to do, so the mix felt somewhat “off” to me..

Audio quality seemed positive. Speech came across as natural and crisp; a few lines could be a bit edgy, but not many. Music varied somewhat but usually was solid, with clean highs and taut lows.

Effects always sounded accurate and dynamic. Those elements presented good bass response and seemed bright and well defined with no signs of distortion. Overall, this was a pretty positive track, but the lack of balance created some concerns.

How does the 2019 Blu-ray compare to the original 2015 BD? Both appeared virtually identical, except for aspect ratio.

The prior Blu-ray opted for a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, while this Blu-ray went with 1.66:1 – which was what we got from the 2004 DVD as well.

Which one offered the correct theatrical dimensions? I’ll be darned if I know. Disney has long tended to play fast and loose with home video aspect ratios, so while I suspect the 1.85:1 fits the theatrical exhibition, I can’t say that with certainty.

Note that the 2004 DVD’s Dolby 5.1 track offered the most natural soundfield of the lot. Despite its lossy nature, it remains superior to the 7.1 mix on the Blu-rays.

The 2019 Blu-ray mixes old and new extras. I’ll mark new materials with asterisks.

We find two separate audio commentaries, and the first presents remarks from producers/directors John Musker and Ron Clements and co-producer Amy Pell, all of whom sit together for a running, screen-specific chat. They get into a nice mix of topics.

We learn about the visual design of the movie and how this represents themes, influences, the characters, their development and casting, the music and the songs, cut sequences and various changes made along the way.

They toss in fun stories about working with Robin Williams and also make sure we know what animators did what on the film. The commentary moves at a good pace and provides a winning exploration of the flick.

For the second commentary, we discover remarks from supervising animators Andreas Deja, Will Finn, Eric Goldberg and Glen Keane. All four sit together for their running, screen-specific discussion as they cover a mix of subjects related to animation and the general production of the film.

They point out who did what for the art and also talk about influences, inspirations, and character design and development. They also relate notes about changes and cuts. An awful lot of this information already appears in the first commentary, so don’t look here for great insight.

That comes as a disappointment. This track includes four men with a ton of animation experience, and I hoped to hear a lot about their styles, methods and whatnot. Instead I got a pretty general chat with only occasional examples of revealing information.

They devote much of the track to praise and tell us how much they like different parts. While the occasional nugget of value appears, this commentary mainly comes across as redundant after the prior one.

Two *Alterrnate Endings appear. With a total running time of two minutes, five seconds, these are actually the same finale.

They vary in their stage of completion. While neither comes with finished animation, the first offers cruder art and a demo sung by Alan Menken, and the second offers better-drawn cartoons and a vocal from “Peddler” vocalist Bruce Adler.

Whichever flavor you choose, the “Alternate Ending” proves underwhelming. It just adds a wee coda that delivers a less-than-surprising reveal of the Peddler’s identity. It’s cute but insubstantial.

The set also provides Disney’s Song Selection. This basically acts as an alternate form of chapter menu.

“Selection” lets you jump to any of the film’s seven song performances, and it also allows you to show on-screen lyrics. In the same vein, a Sing-Along Version supplies lyrics as you watch the movie.

A section called The Genie Outtakes runs eight minutes, 53 seconds and offers an intro from Clements, Musker and Eric Goldberg. They tell us about Robin Williams’ work in the studio and we then get outtakes from his recording sessions. It becomes a delightful addition that I wish lasted longer.

For a look at a stage show, Aladdin: Creating Broadway Magic goes for 18 minutes, 52 seconds and features Menken, Freeman, Disney Theatrical President Thomas Schumacher, director/choreographer Casey Nicholaw, book writer/lyricist Chad Beguelin, and actors Darren Criss, James Monroe Iglehart, Courtney Reed and Adam Jacobs.

They talk about the development of the stage show and the challenges it faced. Though this occasionally feels like an advertisement, it’s usually fairly interesting.

With Genie 101, we get a four-minute featurette. It comes with comments from Weinger, as he identifies the personalities impersonated by the Genie. Viewers of a certain age will already know these identities, but this can be a useful oveview.

We focus on the directors in the five-minute, 36-second Ron and John: You Ain’t Never Had a Friend Like Me. Clements and Musker discuss their long-time relationship in this witty, fun little chat.

The most substantial new addition, *Aladdin on Aladdin spans 30 minutes, 27 seconds and comes hosted by actor Scott Weinger. He visits various locations with his mom Barbara and also chats with Clements, Menken, original dialogue recordist Doc Kane, actor/Weinger’s movie premiere date Candace Cameron Bure, Weinger’s wife Rina Mimoun, son Misha Wiand actors Linda Larkin, Jonathan Freeman, and Gilbert Gottfried.

“Aladdin” lets Weinger take us on a trip down memory road, as he discusses elements of the production with his co-workers. No one should expect a blunt, hard-hitting overview, but we get some nice observations, and the inclusion of a few Weinger audition tapes add fun material.

With *Let’s Not Be Too Hasty, we locate a two-minute, 58-second clip. Subtitled “The Voices of Aladdin”, we see the actors in the studio paired with final scenes from the movie. It’s short but fun.

The 2019 “Signature Collection” Blu-ray drops a slew of extras from the prior BD and the DVD, but never fear! The 59-second *Classic Bonus Preview reminds us of the omissions and tells us we can find them via streaming/downloads.

Would it really kill Disney to include these extras on discs? Nope, but they do this anyway. Maybe someone in their home video department owns shares in eBay stock and benefits from sales from out-of-print old copies of their movies.

A sensation when it first appeared in 1992, some parts of Aladdin now seem a little creaky. Nonetheless, a stellar performance from Robin Williams helps overcome most of its problems and means that the movie continues to provide a lot of entertainment. The Blu-ray offers excellent visuals with mostly positive – though overly aggressive – audio and a fairly nice set of supplements. While the “Signature” Blu-ray works fine, I prefer the original Blu-ray because it includes a more substantial package of bonus materialsl.

To rate this film, visit the DVD review of ALADDIN

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main