March 19, 2008

3 years old is a very important age. 3 years old is the earliest at which a child can actually be expected to sit down and watch a film, from beginning to end. That being said, even though my son just turned three, he doesn’t yet seem inclined to sit down an watch an entire movie from beggining to end – not even his two favorites – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Wizard of Oz. Regardless, we (okay, my husband more than me) have been making an effort to make more family programming available to our son. We can’t just continue to let him watch reruns of Two and Half Men (his favorite TV show after Sesame Street) – eventually, he’s going to start getting the jokes!

Last week, we decided to start watching Aladdin. My husband bought me the Platinum Edition DVD 3 years ago when I was pregnant with our son and it hadn’t even been taken out of the shrink wrap yet. Aladdin was the last animated Disney movie that I saw in the theater as a kid – what, 16 is still a kid – up until a decade later when I made it back for Lilo & Stitch. Excepting The Lion King (which I haven’t seen yet, but is widely loved), Disney made some stinky crap in that ten year period. Pocahontas. The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Hercules. Tarzan. The Emperor’s New Groove. Atlantis. Not to mention all the shitty straight-to-video sequels. (A trend which, ironically, Aladdin started with the insanely lucrative The Return of Jafar.) Did Cinderella REALLY need a sequel? I’m sure I’ll be forced to watch them all soon – but for as long as I can, I’m going to try to stick to the good ones.

Aladdin is all about Robin Williams. The film is slow and boring until Aladdin finds that lamp and lets Robin Williams out of his prison. His performance as the genie made it “okay” for big Hollywood stars to do voice work in animated films. Mike Myers just might want to send Williams a thank you card – his big Shrek payday wouldn’t have been possible without Aladdin.

Although Princess Jasmine is the strongest of the Disney heroines up to this point, she’s still just another motherless Disney Princess. That is the ONE thing about Disney that pisses me off to NO end – all the missing and/or dead mothers. I guess it’s no coincidence that Disney Bridal sells Wedding gowns, Maid of Honor gowns and even Flower Girl dresses – but absolutely no gowns for the Mother of the Bride!

As much as I like Aladdin, I still detest “A Whole New World.” However, I don’t mind “A Whole Nude World”.

Back to my kid – his interest in good old fashioned animation is pretty low right now. Unless it was Robin Williams or a musical number, he pretty much ignored Aladdin. Also, he hasn’t asked to watch it again, so I guess that means Aladdin sucked. Oh well, I liked it.


Year – 1992
Rating – G
Runtime – 90 minutes
Genre – Disney Animation
Director(s) – Ron Clements, Musker
Writer(s) – Roger Allers, Ron Clements
Actor(s) – Scott Weinger, Robin Williams, Linda Larkin, Jonathan Freeman, Gilbert Gottfried
BOB Rating – Three BOBs
Favorite Quote – "Rule number three, I can't bring people back from the dead. It's not a pretty picture. I don't like doing it!" - The Genie (Robin Williams)