When it comes to Hollywood movies, I love unnecessary sequels. (Full disclosure: I’ve written several.) But the most unnecessary sequel trend is Disney’s penchant for live-action versions of animated classics. Depending on when you read this, the latest example is either Aladdin, The Lion King, or Steamboat Willie (give them a minute, they’ll get there eventually).
Let’s talk about Aladdin. No one’s been this obsessed with lamps since George Carwardine invented the adjustable lamp that stays in place when you move it. (Yeah, I know, deep cut. But learn your lamp history.) As far as we know, Carwardine never rubbed any of his lamps until something magical came out. So Aladdin for the win.
But Al could’ve used his wishes better, if you ask me. The kid got three wishes and he wasted two of them on becoming a prince and saving his own life? Selfish-jerk alert!
Sure, he used his final wish to grant the Genie freedom, which gives him a satisfying character arc. We’ll give Aladdin props for that one. But his other two wishes could use some rewriting.
Which is why Gleek has created a list of Things We Wish Aladdin Wished For.
There’s always the old stand-by: “I wish my butt was an ATM, so instead of pooping poop, I pooped money.” On the surface, this seems selfish. But once he’s pooping cash, he’d use his riches to help the poor in Agrabah. Who doesn’t want crisp, bright new Benjamins straight from Aladdin’s money-butt?
Of course, if Aladdin wanted to be part of the current cultural conversation, he’d have gone with: “I wish Game of Thrones nailed the landing.” Actually, this wish is depressing. It just reminds us that we can’t get everything we wish for.
But the most obvious wish Aladdin should have made is simple: “I wish I was in an original movie instead of a live-action remake of a movie everyone’s seen a million times.” That’s truly a wish everyone can get behind, right?
Even if Disney was determined to use their Intellectual Property and make another Aladdin, wouldn’t you rather see the character in a new scenario? Like, say, Aladdin vs. Aliens vs. Predator? (Which they could actually make now that Disney owns Twentieth Century Fox.)
Picture it: after Aladdin has an unfortunate encounter with a Face Hugger, Jasmine channels her inner Ripley to defeat both alien species and enact revenge for her dead lover. And trust me, the Predator’s version of “Prince Ali” will have you dancing and ripping out spinal cords in the aisles.
Speaking of other Disney/Fox properties the Aladdin universe could pillage, I’d be first in line to see Aladdin About Eve. Jafar Channing is a huge Broadway star, but he’s worried about aging out of the limelight. Enter Aladdin Harrington, who has dreams of his own, and who inserts himself into Jafar’s life in an attempt to become the Next Big Thing. Backstabbing, theatrical antics, and cosmic control of Midtown Manhattan ensues.
Or if Disney wanted to go for a straight-up lazy money-grab, they could make Aladdin and the Chipmunks. Get rid of Dave Seville and make Aladdin the uncle. In fact, get rid of the chipmunks and make them three versions of Abu. You could call it Aladdin and the Chipmonkeys!
They could even sing all the same songs, but in their little chipmonkey voices! Just imagine Abu & Simonabu & Theodoreabu singing “Friend Like Me.” That’s an ear worm we all need.
Someone get me Bob Iger on the phone, stat. I’m ready to pitch these movies right now. And call them remakes or reboots or rewhatever-you-want-to-call them. I’ve changed my tune about sequels. As far as I’m concerned, all of these Aladdin spin-offs are very necessary.