- “In the palace, right here, lived a wicked vizier; the advisor to Sultan Hamed. And this part-time magician, this amateur seer, wished his boss, the good sultan, dead. He was charming and slick, but unspeakably sick, this despicable parasite. What a villain, boo hiss! Further proof, dears, that this is another Arabian night...”
- ―Lyrics from a demo of "Arabian Nights"
Jafar was portrayed as an amoral psychopath who'll not hesitate to destroy anyone he perceives as a threat to his own sinister designs. Like numerous clinically-diagnosed psychopaths, Jafar wears a metaphorical mask of normalcy throughout the film, establishing himself as a cool-headed schemer and gaining the trust of those around him, despite his rather untrustworthy physical appearance. Even with this mask, Jafar's psychopathic tendencies tend to seep through and become apparent to the viewer, particularly in the opening sequence, where Jafar, outside of immediate initial anger over Gazeem not being the one who is the Diamond in the Rough and thus being killed, displays no remorse in sending Gazeem the thief to his death in the Cave of Wonders, simply proclaiming that "Gazeem was obviously less than worthy" in a rather dry tone of voice. The deleted song "Humiliate the Boy" also establishes Jafar as an emotional sadist, getting a laugh out of seeing "another fellow's dreams turn into nightmares one by one" and treating the Genie in an especially harsh manner. In addition, in Return of Jafar, Jafar, outside of using loopholes to bypass the ban on Genies killing people via having Abis Mal arrange Aladdin's murder for him or using the environment to have death become an inevitability during the final battle, was proven to not mind the Genies can't kill rule because "you'd be surprised at what you can live through," implying that he could torture people to the fullest extent without killing them. Jafar also displays narcissistic tendencies, his most obvious ones being his obsessive desire for power and sense of entitlement, as well as manipulating the Sultan to achieve his goals. It is not until Jafar gains control of the Genie's lamp that he fully shows his true colors, becoming arrogant and short-tempered with his subjects after usurping power from the Sultan. He also was depicted as laughing excessively and in a deranged manner shortly after banishing Aladdin to the North Pole as well as when he was revived by Hades when undergoing a fit that resulted in severe damage to the Underworld, suggesting that Jafar was also insane and suffered from hysteria. It is this impulsive behavior that leads to his downfall, as he uses his third wish to become an omnipotent genie, unaware of the life inside the lamp that he now has to endure. At the start Jafar is a somewhat shadowy character as his face is seen in the shadows during the beginning with Gazeem.
Jafar can have a somewhat comical edge that helps to add some humanity to his character, for example proclaiming "Ewww..." when contemplating decapitation, a trait unusual in a Disney villain. Furthermore Jafar has a sense of humor himself, spurting several puns in a row while keeping Aladdin and his friends from getting the lamp during the film's climax ("Your time is up!", "Don't toy with me!", "Things are unraveling fast now, boy!", "Get the point?", "I'm just getting warmed up!"), as pointed out by Hades in Hercules and the Arabian Nights. This sense of humor does not carry over in the film's direct-to-video sequel, which aimed to make Jafar more sinister and ruthless.
He also was somewhat abusive towards his minions, as evidenced by his interactions with Iago and, later, Abis Mal. Ultimately, this proves to be his final downfall, as Iago ends up turning against him twice in large part because of his abuse and not giving them credit when it is due, and Abis Mal (albeit unintentionally) ended up buying enough time for Aladdin and his allies to try to steal Jafar's lamp when he stopped mid-wish for Jafar to be freed the lamp to ask Jafar whether he was going to actually allow him to keep the treasure, after he endured some abuse regarding his wishes, and thus result in Jafar's lamp being destroyed, and thus Jafar's death.
Like some villain characters from other franchises, Jafar is attracted to a beautiful girl or woman that is a protagonist. Here, he's attracted to Princess Jasmine, but primarily for her good looking body, and not for Jasmine herself as a person. His final wish was initially for Jasmine to fall desperately in love with him so he could make her his queen (he and Iago originally planned on killing her as soon as he became Sultan, but at some time later he refused to kill her, instead sparing her life); he first creates a golden crown for her from her shackles to do so with a wave of his hand, saying that a girl as beautiful as her "should be on the arm of the most powerful man in the world". Genie couldn't grant this wish, but after she's spotted Aladdin and Abu above Jafar and the Genie in a balcony, Jasmine then got the idea to pretend to do so, and she and Jafar have shared both their first kiss together on the lips, in the order for Jasmine to distract Jafar's attention from Aladdin as he tried to get the lamp back. (Much earlier, though, he says in what we would consider to be) a sexist manner that Jasmine's speechlessness is "a fine quality in a wife").
Deleted scenes for the original film implied that most of his negative traits and motives stemmed from having to grow up impoverished and bullied on by the populace of Agrabah, making him almost similar to Aladdin, although their similarities differed in how they handled their suffering.
Appearance and Outfits
Jafar is a tall, bony man dressed in extravagant clothing, always seen carrying gold, ruby-eyed, cobra headed staff to supplement his magical powers. Jafar has a twisted, black goatee and a faint mustache, as well as grey eyeliner. He was supposed to be designed as ugly, and Genie makes this obvious when he refers to him as "a tall, dark, sinister, ugly man." He is apparently completely bald, as evidenced by when he removes his beggar disguise, acting as the only time Jafar did not wear his distinctive headdress, although it was never made clear whether he was naturally bald or if he shaved his head for the disguise. He also carries a cobra-head staff, which he uses for his sorcery. Jafar was animated by Andreas Deja, who used the character Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty and voice actor Jonathan Freeman, as basis for Jafar's design.
As Royal Vizier, Jafar wears black robes that reach the ground over top a red garment with bell sleeves. Underneath this second garment, Jafar wears yet another shirt, this one black with very close-fitting sleeves that reach his wrists. The shoulders of his outer robe are pointed and connect to a long, billowing black cape with a blood red interior. His shoes are brown and the tips curl inward. A red-violet sash is tied around his waist. He also wears an odd, light-colored garment that covers his neck, the back of his head, and his chest. He sports a distinctive black headdress, seemingly a type of mitre, with a thin, yellow pattern wrapping around the middle, what seems to be a ruby set in the front, and a bright red feather placed just above it. The headdress itself is apparently made out of metal, as evidenced by the hollow sound it made when Iago briefly knocked on it while trying to get Jafar to calm down from a laughing fit due to thinking he went insane (not realizing he was actually laughing because he realized that not only did the lamp actually survive, it's actually in close proximity due to Prince Ali, or rather, Aladdin, owning it). More red-violet cloth hangs from the miter, draping over Jafar's shoulders. As Sultan, Jafar wears a white version of this outfit.
When he's turned into a sorcerer, Jafar's wardrobe goes to a more exaggerated form of his normal attire, with a head-dress sporting horn-like protrusions. It doesn't have a red feather on it as it is used to, only conserves the ruby on the front. The shoulders of his outer robe are even pointer and maintain a higher position than before. His red-violet sash on his waist is slightly different. Here he regains his iconic snake staff, but notably with an open fanged-mouth that fires beams magic on command.
Once Jafar makes his third lamp wish, he takes on a form resembling Genie himself, with some differences. Jafar's skin becomes blood red, his ears become pointed, his right ear gains a gold piercing, his hair becomes tied in a topknot, and his eyes become completely yellow (although there are instances where Jafar gains pupils, such as in You Are Only Second Rate), and when he uses legs, instead of his genie smoke, the legs look muscular and somewhat demonic, with claws. He retains his red-violet sash and five-fingered hands (albeit with claws, compared to Genie, who has four-fingers). When he's in his normal human form, Jafar wears a slight recolor of his sorcerer outfit, with red more prominent than before. Interestingly, his sash on his waist is seen black instead of being red. He retains his snake staff. when he guest appeared in an episode of Hercules, he regains his sorcerer outfit back.
Powers and abilities
At the start of Aladdin, despite having an extensive knowledge of arcane lore, Jafar did not seem to possess any genuine magical powers and thus could have been no more than an alchemist. The closest he had ever come to using actual magic prior to becoming a sorcerer was with his Snake staff's hypnotic properties. In the demo for Arabian Night, however, he was mentioned to be a part-time magician as well as a seer, although he was specified to be an amateur in the latter job. He was also surprisingly effective at disguising himself when he was a regular human, as evidenced by his posing as an old prisoner to recruit Aladdin into retrieving the Magic Lamp from the Cave of Wonders after arranging for his arrest, and later to trick Hercules into fighting Aladdin. However, after wishing to become the most powerful sorcerer in the world, he could levitate objects, breath fire, summon objects, and transform himself and others. In addition, he also was immune to the effects of fire, as evidenced by his passing through the flames generated by him unharmed immediately before transforming himself into a giant Cobra. Jafar's next wish - to become a Genie - made him arguably one of the most powerful entities in the Disney universe. However, after he was killed and later revived by Hades as a spirit in an episode of the Hercules animated series, Jafar no longer has his genie powers, but remains as a sorcerer.
Jafar is unique among Disney Villains in that he initially starts off as being relatively normal (ie, non-magical, his staff's hypnosis capabilities aside), yet eventually gains genuine magical powers late into the film, as most Disney Villains before him either lacked magic from their various appearances (ie, Gaston, McLeach, or Madame Medusa), or otherwise were magical from the start (ie, Ursula, the Evil Queen, or Maleficent).
As far as Jafar's family goes, he has a twin sister named Nasira, who tried bringing her brother back to life in the game, Nasira's Revenge. Jafar's sister is very similar both in appearance and actions as Maleficent. She respects Jafar and the sibling bond between them is quite strong.
In Aladdin, Jafar is introduced as the sinister Royal Vizier to Agrabah's Sultan who desires power over Agrabah. He is the second most powerful authority in Agrabah, answering only to the Sultan. He is always accompanied by his sarcastic, devious pet parrot, Iago.
Whilst presenting a charming and respectable exterior to the Sultan and the people of Agrabah, he secretly holds everyone around him in contempt and manipulates the Sultan by means of hypnotizing him with a magical snake-headed staff, which he always carries on his person. Even regarding his desiring marriage for Jasmine afterwards, it was solely so he could gain control of the throne and intended to kill her soon thereafter—though he later reneges on this in an attempt to make her his queen consort. He's traveled widely and amassed a wide knowledge of magical artifacts and legends. Until he uses Genie's powers to become a sorcerer, however, his magical abilities are limited to the use of such artifacts as he's collected, and his prowess as an accomplished alchemist.
He also had some contacts within the Agrabah underworld, including the thief Gazeem, whom he hired to find the Scarab half. He eventually managed gain it after some delays, although he was unable to retrieve the lamp after further delays that resulted in Gazeem's death, relating to a Diamond in the Rough. Undeterred, he returns to Agrabah, and upon learning from the Sultan that Jasmine doesn't wish to marry a prince, offered to help in exchange for the Sultan's familial sapphire ring, with hypnosis being involved. After departing, however, he makes it clear to Iago that he intends to usurp the Sultan's authority. He eventually used the Sultan's ring as the diamond in the rough at his laboratory, Jafar then identified the individual necessary to access the Cave of Wonders, Aladdin. He then had the royal guards arrest Aladdin as a subtle means of recruiting him, although he did not expect Jasmine to have accompanied him (she had escaped from the palace earlier to avoid having to find another Prince at her doorstep).
Nonetheless, after being confronted by Jasmine, he lied about having executed Aladdin (or rather, covered a half-truth, as he was already intending to execute Aladdin after retrieving the lamp anyway). With Jasmine out of the way of his plans, he then made his way to the dungeons and disguised himself as an old prisoner, offering to help Aladdin escape from the dungeons in exchange for aiding him in retrieving the Lamp from the Cave of Wonders. After accepting the deal, they then made their way to the Cave of Wonders, and after Aladdin was accepted in to retrieve the Lamp, Jafar then promised his reward after Aladdin retrieved the lamp. Some time later, Jafar then demanded the lamp from Aladdin before saving him. Afterwards, he then attempted to give Aladdin his reward (stabbing him while he was hanging on for dear life in the collapsing cave), but Abu bit him in the wrist. Unbeknownst to him until after the cave collapsed, Abu also stole the lamp from him when he bit him. Afterwards, Jafar ended up reprimanded by the Sultan for executing a prisoner without his consultation (Jasmine had earlier informed him earlier of Jafar's supposed execution of Aladdin), with Jafar swearing that it won't happen again. Although Sultan forgave Jafar instantly, Jasmine still distrusted him.
Secretly, however, Jafar was still fuming at the loss of his lamp, and was forced to find another means of taking control of Agrabah. He eventually deduced a means regarding tricking the Sultan into using a fake provision in the law that would allow a royal vizier to marry a princess to have him marry Jasmine. He then attempted to hypnotize the Sultan to ensure the plan worked, although Ali's arrival interrupted the process. Jafar, sensing a potential rival with Ali (who unbeknownst to him was actually the alias of Aladdin due to his possession of the Lamp), then attempted to arrange for Ali's death after his attempt at suggesting the Sultan to drive him away failed. However, he also exposed himself to Ali when Jafar decided to attend to watching the guards ambush of Ali personally, which ultimately proved to be a big mistake. Jafar then hypnotized the Sultan successfully and had him visit Jasmine (who at that time had just returned from night-long tour with Ali across the globe) to inform her of her marriage to Jafar. Jafar then covered up his attempted murder of Ali by claiming that he had "gone away." However, Ali then confronted Jafar and attempted to inform the Sultan that Jafar attempted to murder him. Jafar then tried to convince the Sultan that he was lying, but Ali had managed to deduce how Jafar managed to persuade the Sultan and proceeded to smash the source of the hypnosis: Jafar's staff.
The Sultan, upon being informed of Jafar's treachery, then tried to have the guards arrest Jafar. Jafar, however, escaped with a smoke bomb, although not before glancing the lamp inside Ali's turban, having him deduce Ali's true identity of Aladdin. He then revealed this to Iago, and ordered him to steal the lamp from Aladdin, which he succeeded in the task by tricking Aladdin into thinking that Jasmine was calling him. Jafar, observing the marriage announcement from his lab, then unleashed the Genie, and made himself his new master, declaring his wish to become the sultan of Agrabah. He then revealed himself as the new sultan, and revealed to Aladdin that he's the new master when Aladdin attempted to stop him via the Genie. Afterwards, after Aladdin managed to mention that he will still be stopped even if he was Sultan, Jafar then proceeded to wish to become the most powerful sorcerer in the world, and then banish Aladdin, Abu, and the carpet to the arctic, although not before exposing Aladdin as being the true identity of Prince Ali to Jasmine. Jafar then attempted to wish for Jasmine to become his queen, after a first attempt to have her betroth to him willingly had failed (creating a crown for her from her chains). Although Genie claimed that Genies can't make people fall in love, Jasmine seeming made the wish come true, although he later discovered that Jasmine actually faked it to ensure Aladdin retrieved the lamp when seeing Aladdin reflected on her crown. He then fought against Aladdin with all of his powers.
Jafar transformed himself into a giant cobra to kill Aladdin, but just as he was about to squeeze him to death, Aladdin told Jafar how the Genie was more powerful than Jafar was, stating how Genie had given Jafar power and could take it away. Realizing how Aladdin was right about Genie's power exceeding his own, Jafar demanded Genie to grant his third and final wish to become an all-powerful genie himself. After transforming into an evil red genie, he then boasted about his new powers and abilities, such as the ability to command and control the universe. However, Aladdin reminded Jafar that Genies were prisoners within their lamps as Aladdin raised a black lamp that took shape during the transformation. As a result, the lamp sucked in Jafar, and Jafar managed to grab Iago's tail before being trapped in his lamp by his own selfish wish for power. Genie then flung the lamp to the Cave of Wonders for 10,000 years.Abis Mal. Because his genie form can't directly kill Aladdin due to its inherent limitations, and since he can't actually travel outside of close proximity of the lamp, he attempts to arrange for Abis Mal to do it for him. However Abis Mal is terrified of his genie form and is at a loss for words, so Jafar transforms into his human form to communicate with him better. Abis Mal demands his three wishes straight away, but Jafar, after initially venting his powers in anger at Abis Mal's defiance and nearly striking at him, decided to trick him into wasting his first two wishes in order to force him to assist in his plot for revenge against Aladdin in order to get his third wish or he will wish he had "never been born", but continues to say that if he co-operates he will see that he is amply rewarded. Abis Mal, having earlier encountered Aladdin, tells him he would've assisted him anyway after learning this due to sharing a mutual desire for revenge against him as well.
After Abis Mal infiltrated the palace without being spotted by the guards, Jafar then noticed Iago with Aladdin and Jasmine, and decided to exploit Iago's new friendship to factor into his plot for revenge against Aladdin. Jafar then arrives reunites with Iago and, after assuring the terrified bird that he has no intention of exacting revenge on him for his earlier actions, demands him to lure Aladdin and the Sultan into a trap. Iago successfully gets Aladdin and Sultan to go for a flight on Carpet and while they're gone, Jafar invades the palace and begins to torment Genie and Abu. After the torture, he captures the two and begins the next part of his plan.
Aladdin, Sultan, Carpet and Iago reach the destination and what seems to be a peaceful and relaxing area, turns out to be a death trap as Sultan is kidnapped by hooded men on magic flying horses (actually all Jafar in disguise, save for Abis Mal). Aladdin threatens Iago saying he'll deal with him later and rushes off on Carpet to save the Sultan. Aladdin fails and is thrown down a waterfall by Abis Mal but rescued by Jafar. Abis Mal's in shock but Jafar explains their act of revenge is not completed just yet, making clear that having him dashed against the waterfall rocks was not what he had in mind for revenge. Jafar frames Aladdin for the murder of the Sultan who's really being held in captivity by Jafar. Presumably, he also brainwashed the guards into executing him in order to ensure that the plan worked. Jafar disguises himself as Jasmine and right before Aladdin's executed via decapitation, Jafar reveals himself to torture Aladdin even more. However unknown to him, Iago, consumed with guilt for helping Jafar set up his new friends, frees Genie who saves Aladdin in the nick of time.
At the palace, Jafar rewards Abis Mal with all of the treasure his heart desired, with the only thing he requests in return is for Abis Mal to grant his freedom. Before he can, however, Abis Mal ends up interrupting his own wish to wonder whether Jafar was sincere, thus resorting in Jafar issuing a threat to Abis Mal to torture him if he doesn't. Shortly afterward, the lamp is taken by Aladdin who knows that the only way to destroy him is to destroy his lamp. Jafar transforms into his genie form and battles the heroes, confident that they'll never destroy him because of his great power. He creates a wasteland in the palace's garden creating pits of lava as a trap for Aladdin and knocks out Genie. When it seems like he is succeeding, Iago unexpectedly comes to the rescue. Jafar is furious at this betrayal and tries to attack him as well. He badly weakens his former ally, but with his last ounce of strength, Iago kicks the lamp into the lava which results in Jafar violently imploding into a cloud of dust, destroying him. Peace is restored and Iago is welcomed into Aladdin's home.
Because of his ultimate demise in The Return of Jafar, Jafar made no physical appearances in the television series. However, he was often mentioned by the cast, mostly Iago. His secret hideout in the palace remained intact even after his death, and the heroes occasionally explored it to find new, magical ways to defeat a powerful enemy. An antagonist in the series named Mozenrath, is a powerful sorcerer who Iago often called "Jafar, Jr." because of the similarities.
In the film series' final installment, Aladdin and the King of Theives, Jafar makes no physical appearance but is briefly mentioned by Genie in the film's opening song "There's a Party Here in Agrabah". Genie believes that with Jafar gone, there is no possible way the wedding of Aladdin and Jasmine can be interrupted by trouble. Genie is also holding a Jafar mask at this time.
In the episode Hercules and the Arabian Night of Disney's Hercules TV-show spin-off, Jafar was temporarily revived by Hercules' arch-enemy, Hades. Due to his demise, he no longer had his genie powers and was an ordinary sorcerer again. The two villains teamed up to eliminate their enemies. Using his godly abilities, Hades enchanted Jafar's snake staff with the ability to transform the former vizier into living man, once again. Should Jafar lose hold of the staff, however, he'll revert back into a lifeless spirt. Jafar visited the island of Hercules' hero trainer Philoctetes, where he summoned several giant beasts to battle Hercules. However, Hercules was able to defeat the creatures, sending Jafar back to the Underworld. Meanwhile, Hades sent his lackeys, Pain and Panic, to do away with Aladdin and friends, but Aladdin proves too clever for Hades' imps, so Jafar and Hades concur yet another plot. By kidnapping Abu, and Hercules' friend Icarus, Aladdin and Hercules were told that each other was the kidnapper, and battled.
Jafar himself was responsible for getting Hercules involved, using his old prisoner's disguise to trick Hercules into thinking that Icarus was kidnapped by Aladdin, although Hades inadvertently nearly ruined the disguise shortly afterwards by removing the cloak. Eventually, the heroes caught on to the plot after Hercules informed Aladdin of Jafar's revival. In the Underworld, Jafar battled both Aladdin and Hercules, but the heroes defeated him once more, and when Hercules broke his staff, Jafar was sealed in the River Styx forever.
Despite his death, Jafar also had a recurring role on House of Mouse. He was even the central villain of the direct-to-video film Mickey's House of Villains, in which he relieved the villains of the Halloween boredom at the House of Mouse by taking it over and transforming it into the House of Villains. However, Jafar is later sealed into his magic lamp and the other villains flee with their most powerful member defeated. Jafar also went on a date with Maleficent in one episode and ended up getting burned by her literally. Many fans noted that the two characters possessed many similarities. The two are often compared as both have regal bearing, bird side-kicks, are exceeding tall and dress in long, dark robes and peculiar head-wear.
Two additional notable appearances on the show are on "Donald's Lamp Trade" where he tricks Donald into thinking Mickey's not his friend so he can obtain a lamp. Donald steals Genie's lamp from the prop basement when in reality Jafar wanted Mickey's lamp. And in "House of Magic", in which he and Iago use the famous magic spell Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo to return the House of Mouse after Daisy Duck magically causes it to vanish, and were tricked by Mickey to receive "Agrabah" as a reward for their good deeds.
Jafar makes a brief, non-speaking cameo in the animated short, watching in the crowd as Disney character models walked down the runway.
In his early life, he was the "bastard child" of the Sultan that was abandoned by him. Jafar's mother Ulima (who worked as a Healer) died when Jafar was young and he is sent to a palace to meet his father. Jafar attempts to steal a guard's dagger, though he is caught and brought before the Sultan. The Sultan learns from Jafar that Ulima is dead, and thus allows Jafar to stay at the palace as a servant to the Royal Family, though he must not call him father. Jafar later accidentally breaks this rule, causing the Sultan to almost drown him and leave him in a garbage dump. He is then taken in by a blacksmith, who constantly punishes him. One day, Jafar encounters a sorceress named Amara (colloquially known as "the Serpent") with whom he trains to take revenge on the Sultan. As his training progresses, he lets a man named Alik die from a poisoned wine in order to learn spells. Amara and Jafar plan to obtain genie magic to become the most powerful sorcerers in the world. Jafar and Amara successfully obtain a genie bottle each, though Jafar learns of a third in Agrabah. He then tricks Amara, transforming her into a snake and converting into his staff. Jafar later confronts the Sultan where he kills the Sultan's heir Mirza.
Ten years later, Jafar forms an alliance with the Red Queen, though he only uses her as a pawn to bring Alice to Wonderland. He then attempts to kill the Red Queen until she reminds him that she is the only one who knows of Alice's location. In a flashback, it is shown that Alice's love Cyrus was saved from being thrown into the Boiling Sea by Jafar (who had his magic carpet appear beneath Cyrus), who is now keeping him prisoner in his home. Following Cyrus' escape and the plot to use Edwin to have Alice use her second wish, it is revealed that the Old Prisoner also in Jafar's home is the Sultan. Jafar keeps him from falling to his doom, keeping him alive long enough to witness his final move on Alice. The Red Queen's servant is shown to have an allegiance with Jafar, stealing Cyrus' genie bottle from her palace and giving it to Jafar. However, Jafar soon realizes this to be a fake, and casts a storm to kill the Red Queen, who captures Cyrus and orders him to locate the pair to Alice.
There, they meet the Knave and White Rabbit, and the Red Queen pleads for Alice to order the White Rabbit to create a portal to escape, though Alice demands to know why she formed an allegiance with Jafar to begin with. She reveals the reason to be because she wants Jafar to change the Laws of Magic in order to go back in time and stay with Will. Alice reluctantly orders White Rabbit to dig, though a lightning bolt rebounds from the Red Queen's genie bottle and injures the Knave. Because of Alice's first wish, she temporarily dies in Cyrus' arms, until the Knave makes Alice's final wish by wishing for her suffering to stop. Alice awakens and learns that the Knave has freed Cyrus from his genie status, though the Knave trades his place within the bottle.
Jafar later claims the bottle from the Red Queen and prepares to use his magic to tap into the genie magics. When he is unable to, Jafar finds out that the Knave of Hearts doesn't have his heart in him after it was removed by Cora and plans to claim it. Even though Jafar manages to claim the Knave of Hearts' heart, his staff suddenly works against him causing Jafar to retreat. Upon placing the Knave of Hearts' heart back into his body, Jafar then stabs the Red Queen.
When Jafar invokes the ritual with the three bottles, he gains the ability to change the laws of magic. His first act was to make his father love him like he should've been loved before making water appear in his father's lungs. After pinning the Jabberwocky to the wall with the Vorpal Blade, Jafar raises an army of previously dead soldiers to help in his conquest of Wonderland. When it came to the fight at the Well of Wishes, Jafar dissolved Amara into the water she planned to return to Nyx. When Alice makes her attempt to return the water in order to break Nyx's genie curse, Jafar steals the water from Alice. This results in Nyx evoking the genie curse on Jafar and sending his bottle to another location. Once that was done, Jafar's change on the laws of magic were undone.
Jafar has regularly appeared in various printed media throughout the years. After the release of the original film, he was featured in a sequel story, similar to Return of Jafar, where he and Iago were freed from the lamp and plotted revenge against Aladdin and friends.
Jafar appears in the fourth and fifth book of the saga. In Power Play he encounters Maybeck and Willa at the Morocco Pavilion in one of their missions. He first appears as a fragile old man but then reveals his true appereance and asks for the "window magic" of the Keepers. He also seems in opposition or in a sub-division of Maleficent's Overtakers. After he shows he can turn into a cobra, like in the movie, to threaten them, Willa uses a flute in an exhibition to "charm" Jafar and she and Maybeck run away. In Shell Game he seems to have joined Maleficent and is seen in Castaway Cay speaking to Tia Dalma. According to him, Maleficent had promised him the lamp, something which he has not yet received. He also despises signing autograph, something he finds "an insult to my dignity". He also seems to be on good terms with Tia Dalma, as he says to her "Go in peace", to which she responds in kind. Here it is revealed that his Cobra staff can transform into a real cobra and into a wooden stick, which he uses to protect the surrounding areas.
Jafar is a primary focus in the game where his villainous sister Nasira plots on gaining revenge on Aladdin for the murder of her brother, and plans on bringing Jafar back from the dead in the process. She succeeds in turning the kingdom of Agrabah against Aladdin through magic, imprisons the Sultan, Genie, and Jasmine, and nearly succeeds in her plot until Aladdin reaches her lair then's foils her, killing Jafar once again.
Jafar is a recurring villain in four installments of the Kingdom Hearts video game series. He is a member of Maleficent's group, and appears to be her second-in-command. His eventual genie form returns in this game series, but for some reason the snake form he obtains before even becoming a genie does not. He is voiced by Jonathan Freeman in English, and His Japanese voice is done by Akira Takarada.
In Kingdom Hearts , he uses the Heartless (courtesy of Maleficent) to successfully take over Agrabah; however, he was unable to find the Keyhole to his world as well as Jasmine, the sixth Princess of Heart, who had managed to escape the takeover. By the time Aladdin is rescued by Sora, Donald, and Goofy, Jafar manages to kidnap Jasmine and steals the lamp from Aladdin before he can save her, forcing Genie to work for him. In the Cave of Wonders, he wishes for the Keyhole to be revealed, and then uses his second wish for Genie to crush Sora and friends when they arrive. However, the group is able to defeat Jafar. Losing, Jafar uses his last wish to become a genie himself out of desperation. But even with his newfound power, Jafar ends up getting sucked into his lamp with Iago.
Jafar returns in Chain of Memories as a figment of Sora's memory. In order to get the lamp, he tricked Aladdin to get the lamp in an attempt to make Jasmine marry him. When Jafar stole the lamp from Aladdin, his first wish was to have Jasmine in his clutches, his second being for Genie to protect him from a sneak attack led by Sora and Aladdin, and his third wish was to become an all-powerful Genie. He teleported Sora and his friends to the center of the earth and attacked them. His attacks were similar to that seen in the first game, except ice could not damage him. Instead of attacking Jafar directly, Sora attacks Iago, grabbing the lamp, and trapped Jafar inside like the previous encounter. He also appeared in Riku's story representing Riku's dark memories.
In Kingdom Hearts II, Iago has managed to escape from the lamp while Jafar was still trapped within in the lamp. Eventually, the Peddler finds the lamp, but Pete later steals it so that Jafar can be released and turned into a Heartless. While chasing the Peddler, Iago intervenes and snatches the lamp, enabling the group to seal Jafar's lamp away. Unfortunately, the Peddler was later manipulated and found Jafar's lamp again, releasing him. Jafar then forces Iago to keep Sora occupied while Jafar kidnapped Jasmine. Once Sora and Aladdin discover the ruse, they return to the Palace to find Jafar with an incarcerated Jasmine. Upon discovery, Jafar attacks Aladdin, but hits Iago instead, who falling unconscious. Jafar then turns into his Genie form to finish off Sora once and for all, but he is defeated and explodes while his lamp dissolves into darkness.
Jafar returns within Jiminy Cricket's Journal's data in Kingdom Hearts coded.
Along with Captain Hook, Jafar has his essence drained from the Cartoon World for the Heart Power it can give Mizrabel to escape Wasteland. He serves as the second boss in the story, having been given a room in the castle by Mizrabel, who claimed to have turned him into the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Jasmine was even given to him. After being beaten in his cobra form, Jafar reverts and realizes that Mizrabel was just using him. Much like Hook before him, Jafar abides by Mickey's request to stay in his room and not bother the non-villainous characters than need to be saved.
When sent home to reunite with his cartoon self, Jafar is told taking care of his friends it more important than power by Jiminy Cricket. Not really getting the cricket's message, Jafar says he's right as it's good to have friends in high places; he needed to get back and help the Sultan, who's helpless without him. A not-entirely false statement.
In the Broadway adaptation of the film, Jafar is notably portrayed by his voice actor Jonathan Freeman, and plays out a role fairly similar to that of the 1992 animated film, but with a few key differences.
In this version, Iago is no longer a parrot, but instead Jafar's diminutive human assistant. Along with this, the vizier is given several new musical numbers to accompany his original reprise of Prince Ali including "Diamond in the Rough" and "Why Me?", a song originally meant for the film, to take place during Jafar's hostile take over, though it was cut due to time restrictions, among other things.
His three wishes differed in the musical than the film, his first wish was to make Jasmine his prisoner, second was to become sultan (though not to rule high, so the palace stayed where it was) and the third, like the film, was to become a genie.
Also notable, during the climax, Jafar doesn't turn into a snake, though he retains his transformation into a genie via Aladdin's quick-thinking.
Jafar appears occasionally in the Disney Parks as a meetable character.
In the 2015 rendition of World of Color, Jafar was featured during the brief montage celebrating villains.
In the Walt Disney World version of Fantasmic!, Jafar is summoned by The Queen when she plots to destroy Mickey Mouse and take over Disney. In the show, Jafar turns into his snake form in an attempt to eat Mickey. When the villains get the upper hand, Jafar becomes a Genie. Soon Mickey saves the day and Jafar is killed off along with everyone else.
In the live castle stage show in the Walt Disney World Resort's Magic Kingdom, Jafar is summoned by Maleficent along with other villains. In the show Jafar and the villains celebrate Halloween with music and mingling. As of 2011, Jafar no longer appears, having been replaced by Frollo, with Dr. Facilier becoming the host.
Jafar was one of the villains that joined in the attack on Mickey Mouse and Friends. Like the other villains, Jafar was only seen through water projectors.
Jafar appears as the main antagonist in the Broadway-style show. Jafar is first seen at the Cave of Wonders to retrieve the lamp. However his plans are foiled when the thief he hired was not worthy. Later on Jafar eventually steals the lamp ceasing control over Agrabah. He is defeated by Aladdin.
Aboard the Disney Magic and Disney Dream cruise ships, Jafar makes an appearance at the very end of the show during Hot Talk, a spoof on popular talk shows. Here, Iago was interviewed to speak his mind about Jafar. After a series of disrespectful comments, Jafar appears but reveals to Iago that deep down, he still sees him as his best friend. Jafar is lastly seen during the finale song Villains Tonight.
In Adventureland, Jafar is released from his lamp by Hades (referring to himself as Prince Azure) and recruited to help find the Crystal of the Magic Kingdom. Secretly however, Jafar plans on stealing back his lamp from Hades so that he can wish him free and may answer to no one, and trap Hades in the Cave of Wonders. Jafar uses a diamond ring from Iago to locate the crystal. Before he can retrieve it, Merlin the Wizard interferes. Hades orders Jafar to eliminate Merlin but the villain himself finds Merlin to be elusive. Jafar meets the heroic park guests set to abolish Hades' plans. Jafar sends a snake to battle the guests. While the guests were in battle, Jafar managed to kidnap Merlin and imprison him in a lamp. Together, Genie and the guests travel to the Cave of Wonders, where Jafar and the crystal are found. A battle follows, ending with Jafar being sucked back into his lamp by Merlin. Jafar, as a genie, is summoned by Hades at the final battle against the park guests. However, when the villains meet their defeat, Jafar and the other were all sucked into Merlin's Crystal of the Magic Kingdom.
- Prince Ali (Reprise)
- You're Only Second Rate
- It's Our House Now
- Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo (House Of Magic)
- Why Me? (deleted)
- Humiliate the Boy (deleted)
Differences from the original tale
There were several differences between his role in the Disney film and the original Aladdin tale in 1001 Arabian Nights:
- In the original tale, Jafar was actually Aladdin's uncle. In the Disney film, it is implied that they aren't related at all.
- Also, while Jafar did indeed intend to use the Magic Lamp to conquer a kingdom in the original tale, he was not a member of the Sultan's court, or connected in any way to Princess Jasmine.
- In the original tale, Jafar only discovered that Aladdin had the lamp by deducing him as the prince after hearing the news that he'll wed Jasmine. In the film, he discovered Aladdin having the lamp after the evil advisor was caught trying to commit treason against the Sultan.
- In addition, Jafar originally got the lamp from Aladdin by scamming him with a "new lamps for old" trick, while in the Disney version, he had Iago retrieve the lamp by distracting him.
- Jafar also never became a genie as his downfall in the original tale. Instead, Aladdin outsmarted him with help from his ring genie.
- Similarly, Jafar in the original tale was actually killed in the story instead of transforming into a Genie, via poisoning via the princess. This plot point was subtly referenced late in the film (see Trivia for more details).
- Over the years, Jafar has become one of the most popular Disney Villains, being second only to Maleficent.
- "Jafar" means "stream" in Arabic.
- Jafar's attraction to Jasmine's beauty could be an allusion to paedophilia.
- Sir Patrick Stewart was originally offered the role as Jafar's voice but had to decline due to scheduling difficulties, noted by himself as something he now regrets.
- After Jafar removes his beggar outfit, it is shown that he's bald. If he naturally is bald, then that would make Jafar the only Disney villain to be totally bald.
- Jafar is listed 2nd in Ultimate Disney's Villains countdown right after Maleficent.
- Jafar has a resemblance to Dr. Nefarious Tropy from the video game series Crash Bandicoot.
- Jafar is also the first Disney Villain to be kissed by a heroine (although the kiss was a distraction attempt by Jasmine).
- Jafar's death is one of the slightly more graphic deaths of a Disney villain, where he behaves in a manner similar to electrocution as his lamp melts and his skeleton can even be seen.
- The DVD release, however, censors this by removing several frames of his skeleton (though the last two scenes of his skeleton remain intact) This is due by the fact that the frame rate of the DVD version is different from the VHS since the the parts of his skeleton flicker in a different frame rate from the last two scenes.
- He is also the fourth Disney villain to be killed via electrocution, after Roscoe, Desoto and Ursula.
- He is the only Disney Princess villain to survive his original film, and return and die in the sequel. For non-Disney Princess villains, Yzma is seemingly killed in her second film, but the TV series depicts her to survive.
- Jafar is seen as the main protagonist in the Starkid musical Twisted, which is the tale of Aladdin told from Jafar's point of view. Jafar is portrayed by Dylan Saunders.
- The old heretic in The Hunchback of Notre Dame resembles Jafar in his old man disguise from Aladdin.
- In Hercules, Jafar does not appear to have his beard. This might have been a drawing error. However, the show also has continuity errors with the Hercules film.
- It is unknown how Jafar knows Aladdin's name, though it's possible he learnt it in disguise at the Cave of Wonders.
- Jafar's eventual refusal to kill Jasmine (making her his personal slave and offering the chance to become his queen) may be the only instance that the former vizier has goodness of heart in him (although it can be debated he was only doing this out of desire for heirs).
- During the scene where Genie is discussing his wish for freedom, he briefly transforms into a red, sinister-looking form similar to what Jafar will assume at the climax, even adopting a similar cosmic background and body language. Whether this is intentional on Disney's part or not is unknown.
- In the stage production of Aladdin, he is again portrayed by Jonathan Freeman.
- Jafar's defeat in Mickey's House of Villains is similar to that of the original film; he gets sucked into the lamp, albeit in sorcerer form rather than in genie form, and the one who trapped Jafar in the lamp was Sorcerer Mickey.
- Also, Jafar's death in Hercules and the Arabian Night is almost similar to that of The Return of Jafar, where after his source of life (snake staff in Hercules and the Arabian Night, Jafar's lamp in The Return of Jafar) gets broken, he gets killed (via electrocution in The Return of Jafar, via imprisonment in River Styx in Hercules and the Arabian Night).
- Originally when he made his wish to become sultan, Jafar did more than merely steal the Sultan's attire and have Genie place the palace atop a mountain behind them: He also unleashed a shockwave that resulted in history being altered to make it appear as though Jafar had been the sultan all along instead of usurping the position from the actual Sultan. The only ones immune to this and retaining knowledge of what really happened were the Magic Carpet (due to being immune to the effects of the wave), Aladdin and Abu (the latter two being covered by the Magic Carpet at the last second). This plot point was cut due to it being too confusing, although a similar plot point would eventually be enacted in the Aladdin TV series via the character Sadira against Princess Jasmine, and the ones immune to the spell were Iago, Abu and Rajah due to Sadira neglecting to include animals in the spell.
- In the scene where Jasmine tried to get Jafar to drink the red wine by flirting with him was an easter egg to the original tale of Aladdin where the Evil Moroccan Magician was poisoned by the princess by putting poison in his wine and flirting with him.
Incorporated Films and shorts: Alice in Wonderland | Aladdin/The Return of Jafar | Beauty and the Beast | Cinderella | Fantasia | Hercules | The Hunchback of Notre Dame | Lilo & Stitch | The Lion King | The Little Mermaid | Mickey, Donald and Goofy: The Three Musketeers | Mulan | The Nightmare Before Christmas | Peter Pan | Pinocchio | Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl | Sleeping Beauty | Steamboat Willie | Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs | Tangled | Tarzan | Tron/Tron: Legacy | The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Villains: Master Xehanort | Ansem | Xemnas | Maleficent/Dragon Maleficent | Pete | Organization XIII | Vanitas | Xigbar/Braig | Xaldin | Vexen | Lexaeus | Zexion | Saïx/Isa | Demyx | Luxord | Marluxia | Larxene | Terra-Xehanort | Young Xehanort | Xehanort's Guardian
Other Characters: Jiminy Cricket | Naminé | Ansem the Wise/DiZ | Yen Sid | Xion | Axel/Lea | Master Eraqus | Dilan | Even | Aeleus | Ienzo | Lingering Will | Data Sora | Data Riku | Data Naminé | Data Roxas | Hayner | Pence | Olette | Riku-Ansem | Kairi's Grandma | Riku Replica | Anti-Saïx | Anti-Sora | Anti-Riku | Sora-Heartless | Jiminy's Journal
Disney Characters and Villains: Queen Minnie | Daisy Duck | Pluto | Tarzan | Winnie the Pooh | Aladdin | Genie | Tron | Magic Brooms | Peter Pan | Quasimodo | Judge Claude Frollo | Merlin | Tigger | Eeyore | Rabbit | Ariel | Mulan | Mushu | Jack Sparrow | Chernabog | Simba | Timon | Pumbaa | Nala | King Triton | Jafar/Genie Jafar | Alice | Cheshire Cat | Jack Skellington | Esmeralda | Phoebus | Beagle Boys | Scrooge McDuck | Huey, Dewey and Louie | Master Control Program | Sark | CLU | Rinzler | Beast | Stitch | Hercules | Tick-Tock the Crocodile | Snow White | Wendy | Ace "Chicken Little" Cluck (More coming soon)
Objects: Sea-salt ice cream | Wayfinder | Door to Darkness | Keyblade | X-blade | Mickey's Letters | Thalassa Shell | Kingdom Hearts Encoder | Keychain | Gummi Blocks | Bug Blox | Black coat| | Keyblade Armor
Locations: Land of Departure | Disney Castle | Disney Town | Timeless River | Datascape | Radiant Garden/Hollow Bastion | Keyblade Graveyard | Destiny Islands | Traverse Town | Dive to the Heart | End of the World | Realm of Darkness | Castle Oblivion | Twilight Town | The World That Never Was | Castle That Never Was | Halloween Town | Neverland | Wonderland
Music: Dearly Beloved | Simple and Clean | Sanctuary | Mickey Mouse Club March | Swim This Way | Part of Your World | Under the Sea | Ursula's Revenge | A New Day is Dawning | Destati | Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo | He's a Pirate | Beauty and the Beast | This is Halloween | It's a Small World | Night on Bald Mountain | Winnie the Pooh | The Sorcerer's Apprentice | The Pastoral Symphony
Soundtracks: Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack | Kingdom Hearts Final Mix - Additional Tracks | Kingdom Hearts II Original Soundtrack | Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack Complete | Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep & 358/2 Days Original Soundtrack | Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance Original Soundtrack | Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX Original Soundtrack | Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX Original Soundtrack
Media: Kilala Princess
Characters: Kilala Reno | Rei | Snow White | Doc | Grumpy | Happy | Sneezy | Bashful | Sleepy | Dopey | The Evil Queen | Cinderella | Lady Tremaine | Anastasia Tremaine | Drizella Tremaine | Aurora | Maleficent | Ariel | Flounder | Sebastian | Ursula | Belle | Beast | Gaston | Jasmine | Aladdin | Jafar | Iago | Tippe | Erica Ange | Sylphy | Kilala's Parents | Valdou
Media: Descendants | Soundtrack | Descendants: Isle of the Lost Rush | Descendants: Isle of the Lost | Disney Descendants Yearbook | Disney Descendants: Secrets of Auradon Prep: Insider's Handbook | Descendants: Mal's Spell Book | Descendants: Junior Novel | Descendants: Mal's Diary
Locations: Isle of the Lost | Forbidden Fortress | Dragon Hall | Auradon Prep | Auradon | Auradon City | History Island | Skull Island | Winter's Keep | Camelot Heights | Neverland | Faraway | Westerly | Summerlands | North Riding | East Riding | South Riding | Olympus