I've seen Aladdin on the big screen twice this year. The first time it was in February for an event where there would be a different Disney movie every weekend (in select cinemas, though). The second time was last weekend for the 25th Annviersary Screening at the TriBeCa Film Festival. Brad Kane even showed up and led a sing-along version of A Whole New World
Looking back at Aladdin, and the other Disney Princess films, I've noticed a few things.
I love collecting Disney stuff and the stuff I collect is usually original stuff from when the movie came out. For me, it's mostly the 90's stuff, since it's not hard to find, and less expensive. Most of the stuff I've bought is Aladdin stuff, and notice the packaging on the stuff I found:
Now compare it to some stuff that I didn't buy:
I also watched Siskel and Elbert's review of Aladdin and Doug Walker's Disneycember review and in both of those films, they described it as a movie "for boys".
If you think about the movie, it's more violent than most of the other Princess films. For instance, look at the scenes where Aladdin and Abu escape the collapsing Cave of Wonders, nearly getting swallowed by flames. Also, look at the scenes where Aladdin fights off Jafar as a giant massive snake. These are the kinds of scenes that boys will likely enjoy more than girls, at least small ones.
Think about those scenes compared to the scenes where Aladdin and Jasmine build their relationship. There are different colors to set the mood of those scenes. In the more violent, action oriented scenes, they seem to use "masculine" colors, such as reds and golds. In the more romantic scenes, they use pinks, blues, purples, and turquoise greens.
If you notice, this sort of applies to how they marketed the film when it came out. The more boy-oriented products were packaged in reds and golds, while the girl-oriented products were in pink and purple. The Jasmine products they release today are in turquoise green.
A few years ago, when Frozen came out, I read an article titled, Frozen is the first Princess film that boys will love too, and I disagree with that. At that time, I'd read an article about Disney Princesses and gender-stereotyping and it said that there was a "for girls" rule to the Disney Princess films, and Aladdin was the only exception to that. They included a survey done in 2007 among college students and it stated that more male students owned copies of it than female, and the males spoke positively about Aladdin himself, as opposed to the other Disney Princes, besides the Beast.
Overall, what's interesting about this is that Aladdin is one of the few Disney films (at least one of the more successful ones) centering on the guy that gets the Princess. When making this film, the filmmakers knew that since a boy was going to be the main character, both the film and the marketing had to have boy-oriented aspects in it, in addition to the girl-oriented ones. I feel that because of this, Aladdin still needs to have that kind of marketing, in addition to the kind it already has. There need to be products based around Aladdin himself, in addition to Jasmine. Also, it can't just focus on Aladdin being a prince, or have the same colors on the boxes for Jasmine stuff. If Aladdin himself is going to be marketed, they need to focus on the action-adventure aspect, with the boy-oriented colors. Just look at the poster from back then, compared to how they'd do it today: