Disney’s Aladdin sequel Return of Jafar solely occurred due to Iago

Twenty-five years in the past this month, Disney, what we all know now as a company, cultural monolith that dominates the worldwide field workplace and a serious entity within the upcoming streaming wars, was venturing into new territory. The corporate was releasing their first unique, straight-to-video characteristic and their first sequel to a “Disney Renaissance” tentpole: The Return of Jafar.

The primary of two sequels to the very best grossing movie of 1992, The Return of Jafar additionally served because the pilot for the Aladdin tv collection, which ran for 86 episodes over three seasons. Disney tasked Alan Zaslove and Tad Stones with bringing Al, Jasmine, Genie and Apu to the small display, and each had been greater than as much as it, having been the inventive forces behind Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers and Darkwing Duck. However earlier than the primary scripts had been written and features had been drawn, Stones wished to convey yet another character in to affix the ensemble.

“I said, ‘I want the parrot in there,’” Stones recalled to Animation World Community of his preliminary pitch to Disney. “I thought the best character in the movie was Gilbert Gottfried’s Iago.”

Stones wished, of all characters, the loudmouth, brash Purple Macaw on the present. To do this they’d first want to show Iago from a sarcastic, sleazy, conniving henchman, to a sarcastic, sleazy, conniving hero. Then after all, there was the truth that Iago was nonetheless within the lamp with Jafar, each tossed out of Agrabah by Genie within the first movie’s climax after the wise-cracking magical being granted Jafar his closing want of changing into an all highly effective genie — a final minute trick pulled by Aladdin, enjoying off the villains personal egotism. To perform each feats, Stones mentioned that he, Zaslove, and the remainder of the writing staff, “got here up with a convoluted story that defined all the things and that ended up being The Return of Jafar.”

Happening one yr after the occasions of the unique movie, Return of Jafar finds Aladdin and Jasmine nonetheless blissfully in love, the previous road rat and his monkey now residing within the palace. Jasmine’s father, The Sultan, is planning to make Aladdin his new royal vizier, the place as soon as held by the sinister Jafar. If life wasn’t already adequate for Al, Genie returns from his journey all over the world, realizing that what he actually needs to do along with his newly earned freedom is to dwell a life surrounded by his pals.

Unbeknownst to the Agrabah Avengers, Jafar has escaped, and with the assistance of a lowly thief, Abis Mal (Jason Alexander), plans on getting revenge on Aladdin and his pals.

iago and genie in return of jafar

Walt Disney Residence Video

Despite the fact that it’s Jafar’s title within the title and it being a sequel to Aladdin, ROJ is actually Iago’s story. The movies foremost arc is Iago turning over a brand new feather; becoming a member of Aladdin and his pals to take down his former boss. He saves Aladdin early within the film, releases Genie after he’s captured and emasculated by Jafar (within the film’s solely good musical sequence), who then saves Al from being beheaded; and it’s Iago who lands the ultimate blow on Jafar, knocking over his oily black lamp into the pit of lava Jafar created, doing so after swooping in — Han Solo fashion — to cease Jafar from touchdown a deadly blow to Aladdin. With out Iago, there’s no story.

A sequel to Aladdin was about as positive hearth successful you will get in 1994, the continuation of a serious hit that made Disney sufficient cash from merchandise and video gross sales to fill a pair Caves of Wonders. Nevertheless, there was some hesitation from the Home of Mouse.

Whereas all the time supposed as a feature-length story, Return of Jafar was initially presupposed to premiere on TV, billed as a particular to advertise the brand new collection. There was additionally some fear that the straight-to-video strategy would diminish the animated options.

“At the time I was told that Peter Schneider, who was in charge of Feature Animation was at a meeting with Michael Eisner,” Stones mentioned in a separate AWN interview. “Peter said, ‘You shouldn’t do sequels, their quality hurts the Disney reputation,’ and Michael said, ‘I’m not sure we should be doing these either.’” These fears dissipated as soon as the primary week’s gross sales numbers got here in.

The Return of Jafar bought 1.5 million copies in its first two days of launch, greater than 4.6 million by the tip of its first week. In whole, The Chicago Tribune reported that 15 million copies had been bought, bringing $300 million {dollars} to Disney, off a $3.5 million greenback finances (Aladdin price $28 million). This all occurred with out Robin Williams, the late actor had a falling out with Disney due to the over commercialization of his character in Aladdin’s advertising and marketing. He was changed with Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson); Williams would return for the third movie, Aladdin and The King of Thieves.

Seeing a brand new option to make tons of cash, Disney began churning out straight to video options primarily based on all of their theatrical titles till 2008 (we’ve even made a listing of them). Whereas Stones admits that he isn’t a fan of the film (“I don’t even own a copy,” he mentioned to AWN) it’s nonetheless an essential movie within the historical past of Disney and animation as a complete. A film that began a profitable pattern and one we bought due to one man’s love for a loud, obnoxious parrot.

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