Aladdin and the King of Thieves (also known as Aladdin 3: The King of Thieves) is a 1996 animated comedy-drama film that is the second direct-to-video sequel to the Disney animated feature Aladdin. Aladdin and the King of Thieves serves as the final chapter of the Arabian Nights-inspired Disney stories that began with the theatrical feature Aladdin (1992) and continued with its first direct-to-video sequel The Return of Jafar (1994) and the Aladdin animated TV series (1994–1995).
Robin Williams returned to voice the Genie after Disney apologized for the use of his likeness in the promotion of the original Aladdin film (Williams believed Disney had broken the terms of his contract). Dan Castellaneta had actually recorded all the dialogue of the Genie for this film, as he did with the previous sequel due to Disney's differences with Williams, but his recording session was not used when Robin Williams agreed to reprise his role. It is unknown if Williams used the script written for Castellaneta, or improvised all of his dialogue as he did in the first film.
This film grossed $186 million, making it the fourth-highest-grossing direct-to-video animated feature film of all time. In 2005, the film was re-released as a Special Edition DVD, with digitally restored picture and remastered sound. The DVD however has the film matted to 1.85:1 Widescreen, an aspect ratio Disney never uses for animation. The DVD went back into the Disney Vault along with the other two films in the series in January 2008.
The film is inspired by the tale Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves from the 1001 Arabian 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 TV series.
During their wedding ceremony, Aladdin and Princess Jasmine find themselves the targets of a raid by the infamous Forty Thieves, led by a man named Cassim. Although Aladdin, Jasmine and the rest of their gang successfully stop the raid and drive the thieves away, they are unable to prevent the wedding from being ruined. Determined to learn what the thieves were after, Aladdin finds an unusual staff (which The King of Thieves tries to steal) among the treasures given as wedding presents. The staff contains an oracle, able to see into the past or the future, but is only able to grant an answer to one question asked per person.
Overcome with desire to know more about his family, Aladdin asks the oracle about his long-lost father, and is told to follow the trail of the Forty Thieves, stating that Aladdin's father is "trapped within their world". Believing him to be their prisoner, Aladdin tracks them down and stows away into their hideout. He is shocked to find that his father is not their prisoner at all, but their leader: Cassim, the King of Thieves, the very man he fought during his wedding's invasion. But, family or not, Aladdin has trespassed in their lair and the Forty Thieves are eager to have him punished for it. Cassim, however, suggest that Aladdin instead face "the Challenge" - an initiation ritual - where he must defeat another one of the Forty Thieves and take his place. Aladdin eventually defeats Cassim's right-hand man, Sa'Luk, in battle, gaining him a place among the thieves. It is then that he learns the true motives behind the raid, and his father's leave of absence from his family: he had discovered evidence of the existence of the Hand of Midas, a powerful artifact that can transform anything it touches into solid gold. Cassim believed that, with the Hand, he could return to his family and give them the life they deserved instead of one living out in the streets, and had instigated the raid so he could capture the oracle's staff so he may question the seer as to the precise whereabouts of the artifact.
Aladdin convinces Cassim to come back with him to the Palace as his guest and, for a while, he is happy to spend quality time with his son. But the pull of his obsession with the Hand is too great, and he ends up stealing the Oracle's staff and getting captured by the guards of the palace. Aladdin helps his father escape, but is recognized by the Captain of the Guard, forcing him to flee the city with Cassim and Iago, Aladdin's treasure-loving parrot. Rather than abandon Jasmine (like his father had left him), Aladdin angrily confronts Cassim and returns to Agrabah to take responsibility for his actions. Meanwhile, Iago and Cassim return to the thieves' cave to find that Sa'Luk is still alive and is now the leader of the remaining thieves. Sa'Luk convinces the remaining thieves that Cassim sold them out to the palace guards and was to blame for the recent raid upon their hidden fortress (in actuality, it was Sa'Luk who told the guards so he could frame Cassim). Cassim, desperate to prove his loyalty, is forced to use the stolen oracle in order to find the location of the Hand, and then lead his men there. The Oracle directs them to The Vanishing Isle, a great marble fortress built on the back of a gigantic undersea turtle that periodically dives to the bottom of the ocean, taking the golden Hand with it.
Iago manages to escape from the group, and goes off to lead Aladdin and Jasmine to his imprisoned father. Aladdin and Cassim reconcile, and retrieve the Hand just as the turtle is beginning to submerge when they are attacked by Sa'Luk. Then, after struggling to escape the flooding fortress, Cassim throws the Hand of Midas to Sa'Luk, who doesn't know the legend of the Hand. Foolishly grabbing it by the gold hand (instead of the bronze handle), Sa'Luk is turned into gold. Aladdin and Cassim manage to escape with the Hand but, finally realizing how much pain his obsession with the trinket had caused, Cassim decides to toss it into the sea. However, it does not hit the sea just instantly. It hits the thieves' ship instead, turning it gold, and it sinks. As the movie closes, Aladdin and Jasmine finally tie the knot, and Cassim accepts the parrot Iago as a traveling companion as he goes off once again to see the world.
A reprise of Arabian Nights is then sung; the Peddler makes an appearance at the end of this film to mark the end of the legend of Aladdin (originally planned for the end of the first film) as Aladdin and Jasmine fly past him and wave good-bye to Cassim and Iago, and the two kiss.
- Aladdin, voiced by Scott Weinger. Brad Kane provides his singing voice.
- The Genie, voiced by Robin Williams
- Cassim, voiced by John Rhys-Davies
- Princess Jasmine, voiced by Linda Larkin. Liz Callaway provides her singing voice.
- Iago, voiced by Gilbert Gottfried
- Sa'Luk, voiced by Jerry Orbach
- Abu, voiced by Frank Welker
- The Sultan, voiced by Val Bettin
- The Oracle, voiced by C. C. H. Pounder
- Razoul, voiced by Jim Cummings
Behind the scenes
- Robin Williams returned to voice the Genie after Disney apologized for the use of his likeness in the promotion of the original Aladdin film (Williams believed Disney had broken the terms of his contract). Dan Castellaneta had actually recorded all the dialogue of the Genie for this film, as he did with the previous sequel due to Disney's differences with Williams, but his recording session was not used when Robin Williams agreed to reprise his role. In fact, this was Williams' only true reprise of the Genie.
- Earlier ideas for the film included Aladdin finding out that Mozenrath is actually his brother. They did not use this idea because the voice actor did not agree to reprise his role, and also because the filmmakers felt they should draw attention away from the TV show, though Sadira as well as Prince Uncouthma and his family make cameos as Aladdin and Jasmine walk down the aisle at the end.
- Early trailers for the original release showed Aladdin having a visible blood stain on his arm in the "Welcome To The Forty Thieves" song, obviously from the injury he suffered during his battle with Sa'Luk. However, in the finished film, as well as later versions of the trailer, the blood stain is edited out, instead only being barely shown right when Aladdin is clutching his arm after Sa'Luk slices at it.
- Robin Williams' many impersonations included a live-action character he portrayed: The title character of the 1993 Fox comedy film, Mrs. Doubtfire.
- At the very end of the credits, the Genie appears in front of the black screen and says, "Game over man, game over!" This is a spoof of an identical speech by the character Hudson in the movie Aliens. The scene also serves to indicate that this is the last installment in the Aladdin trilogy.
- The "security system" set up by the Genie has the classic Cylon "rotating eye" found in Battlestar Galactica.
- During the first song, the Genie turns into Rocky.
- Ali Baba and the forty thieves are mentioned in the first Aladdin movie, during the opening verse of the song "Friend Like Me".
- Various references included Pocahontas from the 1995 film of the same name, Pumbaa from The Lion King, Rocky, ED-209 from RoboCop, all of which Genie turned into or made with magic.
- Genie transforms into a parody of Forrest Gump during the wedding fight scene and says "Mama always said, 'Magic is as magic does.'"
- The connection and parody, "Lifestyles of the Rich and Magical", along with a Genie as a host doing the show for Aladdin and Jasmine's wedding was from the 1984-1995 American reality television series, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous starring Robin Leach and Shari Belafonte.
The film received mixed to negative reviews. The film received a 30% rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. It also received 58% from the RT community.
- There's a Party Here in Agrabah: Sung mostly by Genie, and partly by Iago, some of the Forty Thieves, Aladdin, and Jasmine. There is a brief pause in the song in which Aladdin takes out his father's dagger. It tells about what Genie does during the beginning of the wedding, complete with his sight gags and impersonations.
- Out of Thin Air: Sung by Aladdin and Jasmine. Aladdin reminisces about his childhood and Jasmine urges him to find his father, saying their wedding can wait until he returns.
- Welcome to the Forty Thieves: Sung by the Forty Thieves after the defeat of Sa'luk and Aladdin's acceptance into the team.
- Father and Son: Sung mostly by Genie after Cassim arrives at the palace in Agrabah and Genie says how Aladdin and Cassim are together again.
- Are You In or Out?: Sung by Sa'luk and those who remained of the Forty Thieves, where Sa'luk turned them against Cassim. During the song, the Forty Thieves make several attempts to kill Sa'luk, but he easily defeats them even when they gang up on him in groups.
- Arabian Nights Reprise: Sung by the peddler seen in the beginning of Aladdin Originally meant for the first movie.
- One of the forty thieves, clearly identifiable as a fakir, is graphically similar to the Mad Doctor.
Two comic adaptations of the movie were released in September 1996. The first was in Disney Adventures Volume 6 #12, while the other was in Marvel Comics' Disney Comic Hits! #12. Curiously, the latter adaptation starts off the story after the 40 Thieves' initial attack.
A third comic adaptation was produced in Europe in 1997, with its first printed publication being in France. However, this comic would not see print in the United States until its inclusion in Disney Princess Comics Treasury in 2015.
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