The following is a guest post by Arafat A. Razzaque, a PhD candidate in History & Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. He specializes in medieval Islamic social and cultural history, and has a secondary interest in the Thousand and One Nights, stories from which he first read in Bengali translation.
Responding to the news about Disney’s Aladdin , many on social media began circulating photos of their favored Bollywood celebrities. However, others protested that it would be wrong to cast an Indian actor for a Middle Eastern role. This generated further confusion, as those who have read the original story pointed out that it actually takes place in China.
Coming on the heels of the direct-to-video sequel The Return of Jafar , the series picked up where that installment left off, with Aladdin still living on the streets of Agrabah , still engaged to the beautiful and spunky Princess Jasmine. "Al" and Jasmine go through many adventures together into peril among sorcerers, monsters, thieves, and more. Monkey sidekick Abu and the fast-talking, shape-shifting Genie comes along to help, as does sassy, temperamental and complaining parrot Iago , formerly Jafar ’s pet but now a grudgingly good and neutral guy.
Like most TV shows, Aladdin has it's fair share of running gags throughout the series. One involves Rajah threatening to eat Iago if he doesn't do as the group says and another features an injured Genie telling the audience not to play with different objects or people as "someone always gets hurt."
This article is the first of a two-part series about Aladdin. Part two, entitled 8775 Who wrote Aladdin? The Forgotten Syrian Storyteller, 8776 can be found here.
An English soldier and the daughter of an Algonquin chief share a romance when English colonists invade seventeenth-century Virginia.
Today, ten of the 56 recognized ethnic groups in the People’s Republic of China are predominantly Muslim, inhabiting mostly the western provinces. Many readers have therefore interpreted Aladdin as referring to the Turkestan region of Central Asia, what used to be known in Europe as Great Tartary.
Debuting simultaneously on Saturday morning and as part of the syndicated weekday Disney Afternoon , the show set a pattern for several future Disney series. Many of the films' stars provided the voices of their TV counterparts with Dan Castellaneta filling in for the late Robin Williams in the Genie role, as he did for The Return of Jafar .
Aladdin is a poor street urchin who spends his time stealing food from the marketplace in the city of Agrabah. His adventures begin when he meets a girl who happens to be Princess Jasmine, who is forced to be married by her wacky yet estranged father. Aladdin's luck suddenly changes when he retrieves a magical lamp from the Cave of Wonders. What he unwittingly gets is a fun-loving genie who only wishes to have his freedom. Little do they know is that the Sultan's sinister advisor Jafar has his own plans for both Aladdin and the lamp. Written by Blazer896
Global trade and the craze for Chinoiserie in early modern Europe also turned the story’s setting into a mirror for contemporary projections. In his pioneering dramatic adaptation of Aladdin first staged at Covent Garden in 6788, the Irish playwright John O’Keefe included a sarcastic song urging the English to give up imported china and “buy local” instead.