There’s a Party Here in Agrabah

Aladdin and the King of Thieves is the better sequel compared to The Return of Jafar. It’s still direct-to-video, but the animation is slightly better and the story feels more conclusive. Although Aladdin and the King of Thieves was part of my VHS collection growing up, my brother and I didn’t watch it as much as The Return of Jafar. It’s an improvement, but it still can’t compare to the original. Aladdin and the King of Thieves serves as a finale to the 3 season animated series and the Aladdin trilogy in a whole. It was enough to bring back Robin Williams as the unreplaceable voice of Genie. Only after Disney apologized did they rewrite his scenes to fit Williams’ unpredictable brand of comedy. There’s a ton of pop culture references that I didn’t get as a kid and a few too many Disney references. Even Mrs. Doubtfire makes an appearance. Genie is always entertaining, but he’s only along for the ride.

Unlike other Disney Princes and Princesses, it took 2 sequels and an animated series for Aladdin and Jasmine to finally get married. The wedding captures the attention of the fabled Forty Thieves. Since Aladdin is based on One Thousand and One Nights, it only made sense to base a movie on Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. Including the magic word “Open Sesame.” Most of the Forty Thieves are exaggerated stereotypes except the titular King of Thieves. Aladdin now wears shoes and dresses in more than just his signature outfit. Since he’s more mature, he wonders about his long lost father who turns out to be the King of Thieves. John Rhys-Davies is a suitable voice for Aladdin’s charismatic rogue father Cassim. The father-son theme gives the sequel some emotional weight. They have bonding experiences like riding Magic Carpet and stealing the movie’s treasure. An oracle voiced by CCH Pounder leads them to the golden hand of King Midas hidden inside a world turtle.

Although Abu and Iago have become an animal sidekick duo, Iago finds himself drawn to Cassim’s misguided greed. They trick the Sultan and end up pursued by the antagonistic guard Razoul, but the true villain is Forty Thieves betrayer Sa’Luk voiced by Jerry Orbach. He’s no Jafar, but Sa’Luk is intimidating with his muscles and golden claws. There’s much more action that even Jasmine participates in and the songs are a little better than The Return of Jafar. “There’s a Party Here in Agrabah” is easily the catchiest number that introduces the wedding. “Out of Thin Air” is sweet, but I’m still distracted by Jasmine’s replacement singing voice. “Father and Son” is so sentimental that I wish it was sung be someone other than Genie. “Welcome to the Forty Thieves” and “Are You In or Out?” are two villain songs for the price of one. Since this is the official ending, “Arabian Nights” was the best way to close the book. Aladdin and the King of Thieves ends the franchise on a high note.

2. Aladdin and the King of Thieves

Aladdin flies with Jasmine and his father

Preceded by: The Return of Jafar

2 thoughts on “There’s a Party Here in Agrabah

  1. Aladdin and the King of Thieves might have been one of the last videos I rented from my local store before it went out of business. I remember thinking it had solid storyline and brought the characters back to original form. John Rhys-Davies was an excellent choice to play the role of Aladdin’s father, his voice was familiar for years, but I couldn’t place it was him until sometime later. Didn’t know Jerry Orbach was one of the villains, that’s pretty cool info.

    Liked by 1 person

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