Aladdin III: Aladdin and the King of Thieves
Aladdin and the King of Thieves VHS.jpg
North American VHS cover
Directed byTad Stones
Screenplay by
Produced by
  • Tad Stones
  • Jeannine Roussel
Starring
Edited byElen Orson
Music by
Production
companies
Distributed byWalt Disney Home Video[2]
Release date
  • August 13, 1996 (1996-08-13)
Running time
81 minutes
CountriesUnited States[1]
Australia
Japan[3]
LanguageEnglish

Aladdin and the King of Thieves (also known as Aladdin III: The Case of the King of Thieves or simply titled Aladdin 3) is a 1996 American direct-to-video animated musical fantasy adventure film produced by Walt Disney Television Animation. It is the second sequel to the 1992 film Aladdin, and serves as the final chapter and installment of the Arabian Nights-inspired Disney franchise beginning with the first film, and continuing with its first direct-to-video sequel The Return of Jafar and the animated TV series.

The film is inspired by the tale Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves from One Thousand and One Nights, replacing Ali Baba with Aladdin, and for the first time since the original Aladdin, the film has a completely new soundtrack instead of the rearranged music from the original film for The Return of Jafar and the series. This film also marks the return of actor Robin Williams, reprising his role as Genie from the first film and not by Dan Castellaneta, who voiced him in the second film, the series and other media afterwards.

Though the film serves as the series finale of the television series, the characters also appear in a 1999 crossover episode of the animated series Hercules, titled "Hercules and the Arabian Night", as well as the 2007 direct-to-video title called Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams, both of them after this plot. The film received mixed to negative reviews, although it was deemed an improvement over The Return of Jafar.

Plot

As Aladdin and Princess Jasmine make ready for their marriage, Aladdin recovers a dagger, his only memento of his lost father, who was abandoning his family when Aladdin was a young child. During the ceremony, the couple and the assembled guests find themselves the targets of a raid by the infamous Forty Thieves. Their leader, a man calling himself the King of Thieves, is after a particular piece of treasure: a staff which is the receptacle of a powerful oracle. After driving off the Forty Thieves, Aladdin, Abu, Jasmine and the Genie discover the Oracle, who has the power to answer a single question about absolutely anything to any individual. When Iago unintentionally asks her why the thieves want the staff so badly, she says they were searching for the "ultimate treasure". Learning of the Oracle's power, Aladdin becomes inquisitive about his past. She hints to him that all his questions can be answered by his father, who is alive still, much to Aladdin's surprise. After some encouragement from Jasmine, Aladdin asks the oracle about his father; the oracle reveals that his father is with the Forty Thieves, "trapped within their world".

Aladdin, along with Abu, Iago and Carpet, tracks them down and stows away into their hideout, Mount Sesame, where he discovers, to his surprise, that his father, Cassim, is actually the King of Thieves himself. Though Aladdin shares a brief, heartfelt reunion with Cassim, Cassim's chief subordinate Sa'luk tries to punish Aladdin for entering the hideout. Cassim, however, cleverly suggests that Aladdin instead face "the Challenge" — an initiation ritual where he should defeat another one of the Forty Thieves and take his place. Sa'luk fights Aladdin, but the latter just barely manages to prevail by throwing his opponent off a cliff into the sea. He is welcomed into the band, and Cassim reveals to Aladdin why he was leaving his wife and son: to find the Hand of Midas, a powerful artifact that can transform anything it touches into gold. Cassim believed that, with the Hand, he would return to his family and give them the life they deserved instead of one living out in the streets, and was instigating the raid so he would capture the oracle's staff and question the seer as to the precise whereabouts of the artifact. Aladdin convinces Cassim to return with him to Agrabah to live an honest life. Initially hesitant, Cassim finally agrees when Iago inadvertently reveals that Aladdin's wedding can be his last chance to get the Oracle.

For a while, Cassim is glad to spend quality time with his son. Cassim meets with Genie, Jasmine and the Sultan, and they take a liking to him at once. However, Cassim decides to carry on his original scheme with Iago as his new henchman. Meanwhile, Sa'luk makes his way to Agrabah, reveals himself to Razoul and sells out his fellow thieves by telling Razoul the password to their hideout in exchange for immunity from prosecution. After all but nine of the thieves are captured, Sa'luk tells Razoul Aladdin is one of the forty, and his father Cassim is the King himself. While attempting to steal the Oracle from the palace treasure chamber, Cassim and Iago are captured by the royal guards, and Razoul reveals to the Sultan that Cassim is the King of Thieves. The Sultan has Razoul detain Cassim and Iago in the dungeon for life. Aladdin frees Cassim, but is discovered by Razoul. Despite being a criminal, Aladdin returns to the palace to take responsibility for his actions. The Sultan makes ready to teach Aladdin a lesson, but Genie and Jasmine come to his defense, stating that all he wanted was to give his father a second chance. The Sultan accepts his apology and pardons Aladdin, much to Razoul's disappointment.

With the oracle in hand, Cassim and Iago head back to Mount Sesame, only to be captured by Sa'luk and the remaining seven thieves. Cassim is forced to use the stolen oracle in order to find the location of the Hand of Midas and lead his men there afterwards. The Oracle directs them to the Vanishing Isle, a great marble fortress built on the back of an enormous undersea turtle that periodically dives to the bottom of the ocean, where the Hand is hidden. Iago gets away and goes off to lead Aladdin and Jasmine, Abu and Carpet to his imprisoned father. Aladdin manages to free and reconcile with his father. Working together, they retrieve the Hand just as the turtle is starting to submerge when they are ambushed by Sa'luk. While trying to depart from the flood, Sa'luk takes Aladdin hostage, demanding that Cassim surrender the Hand. Cassim throws the Hand of Midas to Sa'luk. Sa'luk grabs the Hand—but by the gold hand itself instead of the bronze handle—and is transformed into a lifeless gold statue, while Cassim and Aladdin depart. Realizing that his obsession with the Hand has only brought trouble and his son is actually his ultimate treasure, Cassim throws the Hand into the ship with the remaining thieves aboard, turning it into gold and sinking it.

That night, Aladdin and Jasmine finally get married, with Cassim attending in the shadows, since the Sultan had only punished him with an exile. Also among the guests are several cameos from characters from the TV series. Iago decides to join Cassim as a traveling companion for some time, and Aladdin and Jasmine both go off to see the world one more time, with the Peddler, who was seen at the beginning of the first movie, singing Arabian Nights and send both the newlyweds and Cassim and Iago off on their merry way, to adventures unknown.

Voice cast

Main article: List of Disney's Aladdin characters

Production

Following the success of The Return of Jafar, Disney announced in January 1995 that a third film was in production.[4][5] Later in June, it was scheduled for a home video release in 1996.[6] In September 1995, it was confirmed that Robin Williams would reprise the role of the Genie reportedly for a $1 million salary after he received an apology from Joe Roth for Disney breaching an agreement not to use his voice to merchandise products inspired by Aladdin.[7][8] With Williams on board, all recordings and animation footage of Dan Castellaneta as the Genie was scrapped, and all of the Genie's scenes were rewritten to fit Williams' comedic style.[9]

Songs

No.TitlePerformer(s)Length
1."There's a Party Here in Agrabah"Robin Williams, Merwin Foard & Gilbert Gottfried 
2."Out of Thin Air"Liz Callaway & Brad Kane 
3."Welcome to the Forty Thieves"Merwin Foard & Chorus 
4."Father and Son"Robin Williams 
5."Are You In or Out?"Jerry Orbach & Chorus 
6."Arabian Nights Reprise[10]"Bruce Adler 

Adaptation

Two comic adaptations of the movie were on sale September 1996.

Release

Upon its release, the film was accompanied by a marketing campaign at more than $70 million with commercial tie-ins with Best Western, Welch's, Chuck E. Cheese's, Tropicana, Reese's, Hershey's, TGI Fridays, Red Lobster, Friendly's, Applebee's, SEGA, Hasbro, Dairy Queen, Popeyes, Wendy's, Mattel, McDonald's, Scholastic, General Mills, Wawa, Kellogg's, Mars, Nestlé, Cadbury, Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn, Days Inn, Capcom, Oral-B, Duracell, Energizer and Kodak.[11][12][13]

Home media

At the time of its release, King of Thieves was reportedly outselling The Return of Jafar, but Disney declined to disclose actual sales figures for the release.[13] In 1996, the film sold 10.3 million units in the United States,[14] generating at least $130,000,000 (equivalent to $225,000,000 in 2021) in sales revenue.[15] It was the sixth best-selling film video release in the United States during 1996.[16]

On January 18, 2005, the film was re-released as a special edition DVD and VHS, the same day as the previous film, The Return of Jafar, with the DVD version receiving digitally restored picture, remastered sound, two additional games, and a behind-the-scenes bonus feature. However, the film was matted into a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen ratio (an aspect ratio Disney has rarely used for television animation at the time).[17] The DVD went back into the Disney Vault along with the other two films in the series in January 2008.[18] Aladdin and the King of Thieves, along with The Return of Jafar, was released on Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD Combo Pack on January 5, 2016 as a Disney Movie Club exclusive in North America (with both films matted into a 1.78:1 widescreen ratio this time).[19]

Reception

Based on 12 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, the film received a 33% approval rating from critics, with an average score of 4.84/10.[20] Caryn James of The New York Times praised the sequel as "far better than The Return of Jafar", while acknowledging that "the video has some other weak spots, but these hardly matter when Aladdin and the King of Thieves is so brimming with comic invention and adventure."[21] Scott Blakey of the Chicago Tribune wrote that the story grows tedious after an hour and recommended The Fool and the Flying Ship instead.[2] The Washington Post stated the "art of animation is strictly Saturday morning quality again (jobbed out to Disney's overseas JV team), and the score is a long step backward from the original, meaning the movie lacks the lingering resonance and memorable visual moments of Disney's big-budget affairs. Essentially, the movie is comparable to other reputable animated titles like The Swan Princess and Balto – pretty good, but not exactly Disney."[22]

Awards and nominations

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1997 Aladdin and the King of Thieves Annie Award for Best Home Video Production Won[23]
1997 Mark Watters, Carl Johnson Annie Award for Best Individual Achievement: Music in a Feature/Home Video Production Nominated[23]
1997 Aladdin and the King of Thieves World Animation Celebration Award for Best Direct to Home Video Production Won[23]

Cancelled sequel

In 2005, screenwriter Robert Reece pitched a fourth Aladdin film to DisneyToon executives, although it never came to fruition.[24]

References

  1. ^ a b "Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1998)". British Film Institute. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Blakey, Scott (September 5, 1996). "Disney's Final 'Aladdin' is not for Younger Viewers". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  3. ^ Strike, Joe (March 28, 2005). "Disney's Animation Cash Crop — Direct-to-Video Sequels". Animation World Network. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
  4. ^ "Company Town Annex". Los Angeles Times. January 31, 1995. Archived from the original on March 11, 2012. Retrieved September 17, 2014.
  5. ^ "Sequel To 'Lion King' Set To Roar Into Vcrs Within The Next Year". Orlando Sentinel. January 31, 1995. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  6. ^ "As Long As It Sells, Keep Doing Sequels". The Sun-Sentinel. June 23, 1995. Archived from the original on August 19, 2014. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  7. ^ Cerone, Daniel Howard (September 27, 1995). "Genie Grants Disney's Video Wish". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  8. ^ "Williams Returns In 'Aladdin' Sequel". Los Angeles Times. November 10, 1995. Archived from the original on August 19, 2014. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  9. ^ Westbrook, Bruce (August 16, 1996). "Robin spins 'Aladdin'". The Houston Chronicle. Retrieved August 15, 2014 – via Aladdin Central.org.
  10. ^ The Music Behind the Magic: The Musical Artistry of Alan Menken, Howard Ashman & Tim Rice: Disc 3: Aladdin (Compact disc liner notes). Various Artists. Walt Disney Records. 1992. p. 4 Note: Track 28 on Disc 3 is called "Arabian Nights, Reprise (Unreleased Master)" that is later used in Aladdin and the King of Thieves. 60014-7.((cite AV media notes)): CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  11. ^ Moore, Steve (August 9, 1996). "'Aladdin' Sequel With Robin Williams Goes Direct To Video". The Washington Post. The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  12. ^ Moore, Steve (August 16, 1996). "Disney Has Wish For Genie". The Washington Post. Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  13. ^ a b Snow, Shauna (August 29, 1996). "'King' of Sales?". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on August 19, 2014. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  14. ^ Wroot, Jonathan; Willis, Andy (2017). DVD, Blu-ray and Beyond: Navigating Formats and Platforms within Media Consumption. Springer. p. 22. ISBN 978-3-319-62758-8 – via Google Books.
  15. ^ Orwall, Bruce (January 17, 1997). "Video buying is surprise hit with viewers". The Wall Street Journal. p. B1.
  16. ^ Alsop, Ronald J., ed. (1997). "Top Selling Videos in 1996". The Wall Street Journal Almanac 1998. New York City: Ballantine Books: 914. Source: Paul Kagan Associates Inc.
  17. ^ Bonanno, Luke (January 16, 2005). "Aladdin II & III Collection DVD Review". DVDizzy.com. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  18. ^ "Out of Print Disney DVDs". UltimateDisney.com. Archived from the original on September 29, 2006. Retrieved September 24, 2006.
  19. ^ "Aladdin sequels arrive on Blu-Ray, Exclusive to Disney Movie Club members". Hi-Def Ninja. October 14, 2015. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  20. ^ "Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1996)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  21. ^ James, Caryn (August 12, 1996). "Williams is Back as Big Blue". The New York Times. p. C13. Retrieved July 11, 2021.
  22. ^ "Kids In-Plugged". The Washington Post. August 28, 1996. Retrieved July 11, 2021.
  23. ^ a b c "Aladdin and the King of Thieves". 16 November 1997 – via IMDb.
  24. ^ Armstrong, Josh (June 3, 2014). "From Snow Queen to Pinocchio II : Robert Reece's animated adventures in screenwriting". AnimatedViews.