40 YEARS, 40 DISNEY MOVIES: COUNTING DOWN TO DADDY’S BIRTHDAY NIGHT 36 – ALADDIN!

Well here we are…at the last-to-last-to-last RUNNING OUT OF TITLES FOR THIS WHOLE 40TH BIRTHDAY MOVIE THING.  Yup, after this one, we got like 2 more movies left. And this works out because we have like 5 DAYS UNTIL DISNEY WORLD. Check this out…

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All our bags are packed. We’re ready to go. 

And still….its like….we have to squeeze 2 more movies into 5 days. Remember when there were weeks when I didn’t post anything? I am totez paying for that mess now. But we will do it. Together.

So for this one, we watched that movie about the dude that grants all those wishes for that other dude.

genie in a bikini

HA…noooooo. Oh you.

No we of course watched Jasmine.

Ugh…ah…I mean Aladdin. We watched Aladdin.

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I rubbed this lamp. And my wish came true. I wished to singe off my fingerprints. Now to put my plan into place.

And for this night, the in-laws came over. Sharon (Nickie’s mom) and her husband Alan came over to enjoy this one with us. They also gave me my birthday presents early. And they were all kinds of Star Wars. But we ain’t here to talk about that. Even though they were awesome…

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Cawfee talk. We’ll tawk about dawgs, we’ll tawk about dawters.

Come with me…

trust me

You shouldn’t. You SHOULD NOT trust Aladdin.

The food

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Look at all this food….that we won’t eat.

So we had quite a feast for this one. We went all kinds of Mediterranean and had some hummus, tabbouleh, stuffed grape leaves, falafel, kafta, chicken shawarma, pita and then some almonds, etc. on the side.

grape leaves

Hey remember Grape Ape? Man, he was big. 

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Q: What’s Katniss’s favorite kind of bread? A: Pita.

meats

I would eat all of this. Again and again.

For dessert, we had some baklava and Sharon made some Aladdin cupcakes.

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The empty spaces in each of these dessert trays make me contemplate the mysteries of life.

Oh and of course we had some bourbon chicken. Erm. We definitely weren’t sure WHAT the kids would eat. Prince A-bourboun.

Oh…and in addition to beer and wine with our meals, we also had some Goldschlager shots. On account of gold. Right? There’s like a lot of gold in this movie. So we decided we should drink some. We take this stuff pretty seriously.

gold

Also, Sharon brought over a magic potion for us all to drink and make a wish. It tasted suspiciously like watered down grape juice. Which is obvs magical.

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The secret ingredient? It’s love. And benadryl.

The activity

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Well I know my name is Simon. And I like to do drawings.

For the activity, we had the kids create magic carpets to sit on during the movie using poster board and markers. But, of course, both Sharon and I saw some extra poster boards and decided to make some magic carpets of our own. On account of I don’t like to let kids have all the fun. Like, ever.

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SO good. And comfy too.

The movie

Aladdin came on the scene in the midst of that late 80’s/90’s Disney renaissance I have mentioned before, which started with The Little Mermaid and trailed off after The Lion King. And out of those four movies (Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King), Aladdin is actually my least-favorite. But this shows how strong that run really was because even the least of these four movies is still a pretty great movie.

During that renaissance, the music was key, right? I mean look at the music that came out of those movies. Not only were they great Disney songs, but a good number of them became actual radio hits. Sang by Peabo Bryson. Man, what the heck is Peabo Bryson even UP TO these days? The world needs a little more Peabo Bryson. Saying “Peabo” is literally the funnest. Oh…sorry…Aladdin was no exception here in terms of good music. In addition to its Peabo track “Whole New World,” songs like “Friend Like Me,” “One Jump Ahead” and “Prince Ali” are all pretty frackin rocktown.

Side note – way back in my college years, I attended a party that ended up getting raided by the cops. I had brought one of my more amazing mix tapes to play there. And on it (in addition to some Sinatra, Beastie Boys and Dr. Dre) was “Friend Like Me.” This song will forever be associated with this party for me now because my friends and I sang it at the top of our lungs. Before the party got broken up. So. I don’t know. I still have trouble figuring out if this makes me super cool or the exact opposite of super cool. So we will just say this was a thing that happened and not read any more into it.

And of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how great Robin Williams is as Genie. Now, I have many many times not loved Robin Williams. I feel like as a standup comedian, he essentially just said nonsense really fast and we were supposed to laugh. And while I do like some of his movies, a good chunk of them are crud. I mean, Bicentennial Man anyone.

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Shudder.

But – as Genie, he shines man. This was HIS. Even if this was the only thing Robin Williams ever did, I would say we lost a great talent. Genie IS this movie. And what Genie does is (pun intended) bottle that manic energy that was Robin Williams and surround it with heart. Seriously, love me some Genie.

I also can’t really NOT mention the most midriffy of princesses – Jasmine. RAWR. But again, Jasmine is a pretty kickass princess as well. She doesn’t want to just be married to any prince. She wants to forge her own path in the world. So she’s pretty awesome. And hawt.

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Eh. Close enough.

OK, and obviously there is a message here. The main takeaway from this movie is be handsome and find a magic lamp and everything will be yours if you want it.

THE END

Nahhhhhh

Of course that’s not the message. Genie says it best…

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No no no…

Bee Yourself

There you go.

The whole movie, Aladdin wishes to be something he is not to win the princess and escape his life on the streets. But of course, with every lie he tells, things go wronger and wronger. And towards the end, he not only almost loses everything but he has also lied and turned his back on everyone he cares about. And his first decision to NOT free the genie is essentially what sets in motion the awfulness of the last act. So…wait…why is he the hero?

Oh right – because in the end, he realizes his mistake. And admits who he is. After Jafar tells everyone who he is. Hrm. Aladdin kind of sucks.

But finally, when the truth is revealed, he sort of comes-to and figures out a way to save the day himself. Without wishes. Without lies. I mean, kind of with lies. Sort of. Hm. Crap. I am in a moral wormhole. AHHHHHH.

But no, seriously…Aladdin does finally do the right thing in the end. He saves the day, gets Jasmine and sets the Genie free. So he does finally do the right thing. But to be fair, Aladdin acts as sort of a “not to do” example throughout the movie. In the end, it all only becomes right once he starts being himself. So he does redeem himself. But he’s still not good enough for Jasmine.

The point of the whole thing is…yeah, be yourself. Right. Now run along kids.

Hey, isn’t that “Friend Like Me” song awesome?

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