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Ulrich Marzolph, “Aladdin Almighty: Middle Eastern Magic in the Service of Western Consumer Culture download,” Journal of American Culture 132 (2019): 275-290. (its attached as a file)
The story of Aladdin is indisputably the most famous story from the Nights, but how much do most people really know of the original story? The story as it appeared in the pages of Galland’s French text, which he allegedly wrote up from notes taken from sessions with the young, Syrian storyteller Hanna Diyab, varies greatly from the Disney version.
erhaps the most jarring difference is the change in setting — no longer in China, the Disney version is set in a [non-existent] Agrabah. Read this Titter thread by myself about this change in setting, read the above article by Marzolph about Aladdin’s many transformations at the hands of Disney and other, and watch this excerpt from Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People (Links to an external site.) (2006) about how modern films adaptations contribute to negative stereotypes about Arabs. In your reaction paper, I would like you to imagine that you were assigned the task of “rebooting” Disney’s rebooting of Aladdin . What are three of biggest problems that you’d want to address? Just in case it’s been a while since you’ve seen Disney’s Aladdin – or in case you’ve never seen it – I’m linking video clips of some its most iconic musical numbers. If you’ve never watched the entire movie before, feel free to focus merely on the clips. —


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