by DAVID KEYES
make another Aladdin sequel. Never EVER try to to
stick us with a crummy direct-to-video release like Aladdin
And The King Of Thieves, where audiences are confronted
with apalling frustration. You made a respectable effort
with the original film, as was the case for itís first sequel,
The Return Of Jafar.
afraid, however that the effort no longer exists in the
franchise with Aladdin And The King Of Thieves, not
because of its poor production background, but because of
the fact that it introduces characters and a plot so pathetically
scripted that not even the creators of Ishtar would
movie condemns itself with dimwitted dialogue, humorless
jokes, pathetic new characters, and (yes) even tasteless
ambition. It is a demonstration of what every animator fears:
a movie that happens before it thinks.
somewhat different story is told with amazing boredom: when
the movie opens, we see a crowd of peasants gather at the
Agrabah palace. They are getting ready to celebrate the
long-awaited Jasmine and Aladdin wedding, when a familiar
voice comes from a beggar, as he asks one of the palace
guards what all of the commotion is about. The guard exclaims
"the princess is to wed some common street rat."
beggar then melts away his guise to reveal the one and only
Genie. The voice is that of Robin Williams, who finally
makes his long-awaited return to the series here. Popping
into his most-known form, the Genie bounces back at the
guard, praising "itís no common street rat. Itís Aladdin!"
title of the film comes up afterwards, and then everything
begins to go wrong. The first problem we spot occurs during
the opening number, when the hordes of people chant "Aladdinís
getting married and itís gonna be the wedding of the century."
You will notice that the crowds hold in their possession
a newspaper that reads "Aladdin and Jasmine to wed."
I know that animation can go beyond the possibilities of
real life, but there is something called "common sense"
that not even animators can avoid. Agrabah is in the desert,
so how in the world would these people in Agrabah possess
newspapers that look like they have been printed on a professional
press? I donít care if there is a Genie in this movie: newspapers
in the desert is like having snow in Florida during July.
the wedding reception finally arrives after the opening
number, everyone turns their heads in absolute amazement
to Princess Jasmine, who has a wedding dress so bright that
it tones her skin to a color I didnít even know existed.
Everyone (especially the men) drop their jaws and widen
their eyes, like she is the queen of raw beauty or something.
way the animators have sketched out Jasmine this time is
completely unnecessary. How can everyone at the wedding
drool over her when she is colored like a Planterís peanut?
Itís not like I have anything against these things, but
Jasmine was beautiful in the first two films: she was inked
well with colors that suited her. What forced them to change
is the only one in the movie who has changed: is this a
tan that animators gave her, or was this a last-minute decision
to possibly save time? I imagine I shall never know, and
I fear that I donít even want to know.
the wedding ceremony is interrupted by the notorious 40-thieves,
who have come in search of a mystic oracle that, in a few
minutes time, is learned to be the key for unlocking the
mystery to the whereabouts of the deserts most prized treasure;
the legendary Hand Of Midas. When Aladdin also learns from
this spirit within the oracle that his own father (whom
he has never known) is trapped within the hidden world of
those exact thieves.
in search of his father, Aladdin quickly learns that his
father is actually the king of thieves, an overwrought greedy
man named Cassim, who is the one after the Hand Of Midas
and the Oracle from which he can find it from.
then invites his father to his and Jasmineís wedding, and
on the second attempt of this decorated disaster, the Sultanís
guards learn that Cassim is the leader of those 40 outlaws,
mainly by watching him attempt to recapture the Oracle to
learn where the Hand Of Midas is. Aladdin himself is heartbroken
at his fatherís greediness, nevertheless helping him to
escape from prison that very night.
go off to find the Hand Of Midas, but in the end, Cassim
goes all noble and realizes that his true treasure is not
the Hand Of Midas, but his own son.
would not dare describe the villain in this picture. Looking
at him, I was overcome with sickened thoughts of how negative
the Disney studios can be in perpetrating their villains
with racial messages, as they partially did in The Rescuers
Downunder. Every character in AATKOT has the
same skin-tone, but this crazy, absent-minded villain named
Saíluk has the palest skin on a human since Dracula. Children
are going to watch these movies, and, believe it or not,
they may get the wrong impression of the difference in skin-tone
from villain to hero. Thereís no telling what this could
do to younger viewers.
take notice that this pathetic excuse for entertainment
receives a half star in my film rating. Okay, so the movieís
not so inept that it deserves zero stars, but that is not
saying anything of praise. Itís kind of difficult for me
to do this, too, because Robin Williams returned to the
series here. His humor, however, was a completely recycled
treatment, and was so spoofed and dumb that it insults movies
from which the jokes were first derived.
am literally shocked at him for wanting to even make this
mess. He is a great actor, and can be very funny most of
the time. Itís just sad that he has to be heard in a movie
where the only thing funny is the filmís name.
1998, David Keyes, Cinemaphile.org.
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