Can we all agree that a whole new world is like the most romantic Disney song of all time? I mean, a magical starlight flight around the world? Beautiful.
And then then you mix in some of the best lyrics of all time, Like “when did you last let your heart decide”.
Smooth as butter there, Aladdin.
“Soaring, tumbling, freewheeling through an endless diamond sky”.
“Don't you dare close your eyes”.
What'd you say there? Let you know real talk Aladdin.
Maybe you don't need to be a prince to get Jasmine, maybe, I don't know, you just stop interrupting your beautiful love song with creepy threats.
Hello Internet Welcome to Film Theory the YouTube equivalent of Abu: Getting my dirty paws in everything that you don't want me touching And then ruining it for everyone.
Today we're finally talking about Aladdin.
Ah ha ha! Ah, dat's hot.
Indeed it is hot, YouTube and Tik Tok star Will Smith, because with it being the holidays I finally got around to seeing The Fresh Prince get decked out like a smurf to reboot Aladdin gotta be honest There was a lot more screen time dedicated to the genie crushing hard on a human handmaiden than I was expecting The reboot genuinely surprised me I did not anticipate walking out of this movie contemplating the physics of Genie human relations Glad we rebooted this animated class to insert the clearly important story thread Oh, yeah, and to also insert the fact that Jasmine is totally woke in this version Even though she was already the most outspoken and independent princess from the original animated era But you know, maybe that was too subtle or maybe the audience was just distracted by her outfit back then or something So now we're gonna beat it over your head with a song about being strong AF and having a voice of your own which ironically enough No one hears because it's a song that's happening in your head womp womp confused messaging is confusing but if I'm being honest I really like this movie definitely more than I expected and definitely not as much as the original Kind of sums up my feelings about most of these live-action remakes except for the Jungle Book one Which was really awesome.
Anyway, as you might have suspected Revisiting this movie also got me to revisit all the old nitpicks people have about the movie's wishing system Specifically the nitpicks around Aladdin's first wish to become a prince I wish for you to make me a prince I found it interesting that in both the original 1993 version as well as the better at not being racist But worse at being entertaining live-action remake that Aladdin's first wish ultimately goes nowhere It's a waste in both versions of the story It just doesn't work.
Sure we get ourselves a delightful song and dance number but both times Jasmine is fairly unimpressed and Aladdin has eventually recognized to be the old street rat he was from before which honestly brings up some interesting questions about how exactly genies powers work But that's a theory for another day now obviously Aladdin's number one goal is to marry Princess Jasmine and the law says that she can only marry a prince and the genie can't make people fall in love So I get where Aladdin's coming from with this wish it is the best workaround that Aladdin can think of but clearly it doesn't work.
So that begs the question what should Aladdin have done given the rules that the film is established for its own universe and also the historical /political system in which the movie set what would have been the best wish Aladdin could have made to marry Jasmine and live happily ever after in only one wish which then leaves two others left for I don't know whatever he wants.
a lifetime supply of classic 90 snack foods? 3d Doritos You were so gnarly and you are so dead before your time.
So let's not waste any more time! Mr.
Aladdin, sir What should your one wish be? Let's do some research get creative.
You ain't never had a theory like me In order to give Aladdin the best advice possible We need to first narrow down where the events of the movie are taking place so we can at least give him some insight into The political system that we're dealing with because guess what Agrabah doesn't really exist.
Now, obviously we're dealing with the Sultanate He is the Sultan but what exactly does being the Sultan mean? Well, a Sultanate is really just a term for any region ruled by a leader who bears the Islamic title of Sultan Sultanate's have been found historically from Turkey all the way to Indonesia Which as you can imagine creates a huge problem for us? We are talking about a massive area of the globe as such it should come as no surprise that Different sultanates are gonna have themselves different rules, different structures, different levels of intermingling between religion and politics as such it's extremely important to nail down Agrabah's location so that we can give Aladdin accurate and regionally specific advice.
Lucky for us We do get some clues from the movies as to where our fictional setting might really exist Some people are quick to point out the design of the Sultan's Palace is awfully reminiscent of the Taj Mahal which would you know it It is located in Agra, India And Agra sounds a whole lot like Agrabah so many people conclude that Agrabah must be somewhere in India But I don't really think that's our best conclusion at the beginning of the animated Aladdin the merchant mentions Agrabah's relation to the River Jordan The Jordan River is just off the Mediterranean Sea in modern-day Syria Israel and unsurprisingly Jordan.
Additionally the song Arabian Nights pretty strongly implies that we're in Arabia which historically referred to what's now Saudi Arabia and the surrounding countries? So if we're in what's historically known as Arabia and we have ourselves some proximity to the river Jordan Then Agrabah is most likely part of the Ottoman Empire Which sprawled from Turkey through much of the Middle East from the 14th century until the early 1900s, still a massive area But much more targeted than we were before So if we accept that Agrabah somewhere in the ottoman empire, is it good for Aladdin to wish to become a prince? well It depends on what you mean by Prince Exactly strictly speaking a prince in this form of government would literally be the son of the Sultan So if his goal is to marry the daughter of a sultan, let's be sure to specify that He wants to be a foreign prince Otherwise that prankster genie might fulfill on his wish to the letter and marrying Jasmine might get super awkward Super quickly depending on how the genie chooses to fulfill on that wish So Aladdin to make sure that his wishes airtight wishes to become a foreign prince That's the fix then right? Well, not really in the very earliest days of the Ottoman Empire marriages with foreign powers were Tactical but Aladdin is allegedly the prince of a place so small and unimportant that Jasmine's never heard of it before She can't even find it on a map As such it's highly unlikely that the Sultan would be willing to marry her off to such a minor Figure in the greater political scheme of things that said there is another consideration here the Ottoman Empire was divided into provinces called eyallets which are further divided into districts called sanjaks and while the government of these provinces and districts were not hereditary meaning that they shouldn't have had princes per se many of the sanjaks were established to serve Lordships that had existed before the territory was a part of the Empire therefore if Aladdin made himself part of the elite class of one of the sanjaks that may technically make him a “prince” eligible to marry Jasmin.
The problem here though is well, he might be eligible at that point He wouldn't be very special there were hundreds upon hundreds of sanjaks throughout the Empire So again, it's unlikely that any title relating to that sanjak is gonna get in much respect in Agrabah It would be like rolling into Washington DC and demanding respect because you're the member of a City Council of a small town in Montana They probably never heard of ya, they probably don't care, probably gonna send you back to your herd of buffalo So Aladdin's wish to be a prince isn't a very good one whether you're interpreting that to mean that he'd have to be related to Jasmine, gross or otherwise a small player in a very local government So that pretty much sums up why the wish he made wouldn't really work the way he made it which leads us to the question What should? Aladdin have wished for here.
Well since the Sultan made the law in the first place, why not? Skip being a prince and go directly to the top wish to become the Sultan himself and he could presumably change the law and allow Jasmine to marry whomever she wanted so what if Aladdin had wished himself to be a sultan? Unfortunately, there are two pretty big problems here, too The first is that genie wish-granting doesn't seem to magically affect everyone involved in that wish so that they just Automatically go along with what the wish was for Jafar winds up learning this the hard way in the live-action Aladdin remake when he himself wishes to be Sultan and starts ordering around the imperial guard And then fast forward one Jasmine speech later And he suddenly got a mutiny on his hands Let's think this through the Imperial Guard basically just decides whom they want to follow Regardless who actually holds the title of Sultan and if they're willing to turn on the Grand Vizier Closest advisor to the Sultan do we really think that they would have respected? Aladdin's authority if he just showed up and magically made himself the Sultan? They would have probably had him executed for trying to usurp the throne And that's a whole mess that Aladdin doesn't want to get himself mixed up in.
The Ottoman Empire wasn't exactly shy about committing executions and well Let's just say that the quality of your execution could vary a lot If you were lucky you got yourself a quick and pleasant way to die like being strangled to death by someone's bare hands If you were unlucky, you might get yourself hung from a meat hook Chainsaw Massacre style The Ottoman Empire did not mess around And that's not all let's assume that the Imperial Guard and the rest of the government was okay with Aladdin living as the usurping Sultan Even if they were okay with it other people definitely wouldn't be you see Succession in the Ottoman Empire was often a pretty messy business When a Sultan died any of his sons who wanted to claim the throne which spoiler alert was all the sons conducted a sort of ancient Fortnight, a Battle Royale in which the last one standing was the new Sultan, but matpat Aladdin wouldn't have to worry about that because the Sultan's only child was jasmine true You're absolutely right, but it doesn't mean that he's out of the woods just yet And it's later years the Ottoman Empire practiced what's called Agnatic Succession meaning that the eldest living male in the dynasty would take over when the Sultan died so if the Sultan had himself a brother or a male cousin or some crusty old uncle any of those would likely have had a similarly strong claim to the throne And could have tackled Aladdin and trust me when you took the throne that someone else wanted in the Ottoman Empire You were gonna have yourself a bad time assassinations happened all the time in this culture Now there are lots of assassination stories from this period in history But my personal favorite is Sultan Osman II who was assassinated by a guy called get this Pehlivan the oil wrestler No way my friends.
There's more to this story.
You see the method of death in this assassination.
It's officially listed as quote Compression of the testicles.
Wow, just so many questions there Pehlivan.
Long story short Aladdin's gonna have himself a lot of problems if he wishes to become the Sultan the nicest Of which is that everyone ignores him? and the worst of which is that someone is gonna come and squeeze his magic lamp so hard that his diamonds pop out of the rough All right So it's gonna be hard for a land to hop into this line of succession without neither getting himself Ignored if he shoots too low or killed if he shoots too high So what if he just gets creative and breaks the system outright? What if Aladdin just wishes Agrabah stop being a Sultanate and that would get rid of the rule that prevents him from marrying Jasmine right? It would but then it would open up a whole new set of problems for him For commoners during the Ottoman Empire young men and women had zero say in whom they got to marry It was really just an arrangement brokered by the two sets of parents Aladdin has himself no parents around to help him even approach the situation and we know that his long-lost father Is it gonna be getting involved in his life until he needs help finding the ultimate treasure #straight-to-video-sequel So Aladdin has himself an uphill battle He somehow needs to get the law changed Without altering Agrabah social order or ruffling the feathers of those in charge by creating a successional crisis So when you actually look at Aladdin's situation, it's pretty darn complex He has one wish to get Jasmine to marry him but most of those wishes are either gonna be a waste like him Asking to become a prince or worse he wishes something that winds up getting him executed, but there is a solution here There is actually one wish that practically guarantees him.
Jasmine's hand in marriage Aladdin should wish for Jasmine to become the Sultan after their flirtatious meeting in the market Jasmine already has the hots for Aladdin Certainly much more so than any of her other suitors like that weird blonde prince guy from the live-action movies so she would be Incentivized to do away with the law that states that she has to marry a prince if she where the Sultan that's totally within her Right to do as Sultan's effectively answer to no one during the Ottoman Empire so that box gets itself a big checkmark Next question would this create the same crisis of succession as if Aladdin became a Sultan? well it's not likely remember that when Jafar names himself the Sultan and it takes Jasmine less than five minutes to turn the imperial guard to her side The Sultan himself wouldn't seem to put up too much of a fight either because he literally gives up control of Agrabah toward the end of The live-action remake.
Hey, why shouldn't she rule? She's charismatic enough to lead.
She has Agrabah's best interests at heart Plus she has herself a pet tiger and she likes to study maps But I'm sure you're all thinking one thing here would the Ottoman Empire have been ready to accept a female as Sultan? Here's the twist.
Yeah, actually they would in the 16th and 17th centuries the Ottoman Empire had what's called the Sultanate of women in which the wives and mothers of the Sultan had themselves great political and social power while running the day-to-day Operations of empire and yes, there are instances in history of female Sultans or Sultanas There's even an instance where one Raziya al-Din refused the title Sultana in the 13th century Because she didn't want her title to be distinct from a man there's even some occasions in history in which a female Sultan ruled without connection to a male Sultan If Aladdin really wants the best chance at being with Jasmine in one wish and not setting everyone against him his best bet is not to wish for his own power but to wish for Jasmine to finally get hers and ironically enough it would get that strong female theme across way more effectively than any Imaginary power ballad ever could.
But hey, that's just a theory A film theory You want your wish granted well rub that magic subscribe button So all your wishes come true provided your wishes to wish for more theories about your favorite film TV and YouTube series or maybe your wishes to help us get that Diamond play button in which case, thank you for helping to grant that wish my wish to RUB IT! RUB IT! DON'T YOU DARE CLOSE YOUR EYES! Wow, that.
that is disturbing.
I apologize for that one *Apology Accepted MatPat ;)*.