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Aladdin and Its Morals

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Submitted By chaiteasophie
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Aladdin is one of the tales in the book One Thousand and One Arabian Nights. There are several moral lessons in the story. The main moral lesson on Aladdin is that its best to be yourself. Greatness and strength comes from within, not from without. Its not whats on the outside that' count; what is important is what's on the inside.

The moral of the original Middle-Eastern tale 'Arabian Nights' is that greatness and strength comes from within, not from without. This is demonstrated by Aladdin's bravery and intelligence despite his humble upbringing.
In Disney's animated musical version of the story, the writers updated this theme to a single phrase, calling Aladdin a 'diamond in the rough'.

There are many differences between the movie and the original tale of Aladdin, because the filmmakers believed that the original had an inappropriate moral message. And I have to agree with this for at least two reasons. First, Aladdin never tells the princess who he really is; he becomes a prince thanks to the jinni, but he never considers telling his wife about who he was before that. The original story doesn’t even mention this. Lying and pretending to be someone else is, indeed, something that should not be promoted in a children’s movie.Then, in the original story I really couldn’t stand the princess, Badr al-Budur. She is naïve, has no personality and no opinion, she does what she is told to, and never asks questions. She is so easily tricked, that she almost gets Aladdin killed twice. I’m not sure she even realizes it. In other words, she is merely a puppet that is there to trigger Aladdin’s next adventures, to make him want more than just a comfortable life together with his mother. In respect to all these, I must say Disney’s Aladdin is a much more educational and insightful version. However, it’s a shame that a lot of people don’t know the original story of Aladdin, as it appears in the Arabian Nights.
The theme of friendship is predominant in the movie, as well as the moral message that it is always better to tell the truth and be yourself even when you’re afraid that others will judge you and reject you. Jasmine has a strong character, as opposed to the silly princess in Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp. She is wise, witty, funny, and determined to marry who she wants. So, although I did like the original story of Aladdin, I think the movie is amazing and anyone should watch it at least once. It always manages to cheer me up. There is also a sequel that I intend to watch for the third time, The Return of Jafar, and a TV series – Aladdin and the King of Thieves.

The feminist movement is portrayed strongly through all Disney films and their heroines.
The Disney films directly reflect where feminism was at during that time period, for example the first three; Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, who’s movies were released in the fifties, all portray the classical ideal of beauty. They are helpless pawns to the power struggles of other characters, waiting for rescue by a handsome prince. These princesses merely reinforce patriarchal stereotypes, being passive and disengaged from the actions surrounding them, serving no function but to decorate, and cater to men’s desire. In society at this time, women were seen as below men, and served the simple purpose of to cook, clean and respect their husband – the typical “housewife” role. These initial three princesses accentuate these traits of being kind, helpful and obedient, as well as being passive and submissive.
However, In the late 80s and early 90s, Disney princesses take on a stronger role. They have goals of their own, and ways of achieving them, jasmoine being pone of these characthers, who disguises herself as a peasant to escape the confines of palatial life. Although the feminist movement dates back to the 19th century, it is not until the 1960s that women’s liberation truly gained prominence in popular culture, partly due to the well-publicised bra-burning events. The Disney princesses from this era reflect the changing ideals on gender equality – women are no longer weak and submissive to men but not independent of them.

Jasmine added diversity the line of princesses as the Indian or Arabian (Middle Eastern) princess. The movies central themes address the importance of a person’s character rather than appearance, being true to one, and feeling trapped within the rules and expectations of society. In the Disney movie
Jasmine, daughter of a sultan, is sick of living a life confined within castle walls and constrained by the laws of her land; in this case the law that says she must marry a prince by a certain age. She rebels against her patriarchal father by running away and even says “well maybe I don’t want to be a princess anymore”. She sheds light on the negatives of life as a princess as she tells Aladdin “people telling you what to wear and where to go, you’re not free to make your own choices”. More importantly she challenges the notion of women just being “a prize to be won”. In the end Jasmine is able to choose her own path and although she does choose Aladdin, a woman’s independent choice is a basis of feminism Aladdin also performs acts contrary to traditional Disney movies; when talking about Jasmine to Genie he first mentions personality traits rather than physical ones.
There are still minor issues feminists could pick out from Aladdin, including the fact that. Jasmine is the only woman in the movie who has a name and a real role in the film also, Even Jasmine cannot escape being sexualized in the film. She helps save Aladdin by using her sexuality - She pretends to be attracted to Jafar to try to save Aladdin. While a little kid watching the film just thinks she tried to help Aladdin by kissing Jafar (which she clearly found repulsive), the men who created the movie saw it as perfectly acceptable that Jasmine uses her sexuality to help save the day. While Jasmine is the only woman in the film with a real role and sexualized, she does actively controls her fate. She actively fights the men in her life who mistreat her and try to control her fate. She stands up for herself and fights for what is best for her.

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