I finally watched “Aladdin” this last weekend and honestly, it was everything I was hoping for and more!
Aladdin was one of those stories that my dad and mom used to read to me, and probably one of the firsts I read by myself. I had this book that was a compilation of stories for kids and Aladdin was the one I’d read over and over again.
Then, I watched the Disney movie and loved the Genie, to the point where he was my favorite Disney character.
But as I grew older, I stopped being a fan of Disney princesses. I stopped reading their stories and watching their movies. Except for Mulan, who was and probably still is, my hero, I never cared for princesses and love stories where the girl waits for the prince to come and rescue her, and they get married the day after they meet. And I was so bored of this same old story that I completely forgot that Aladdin is not even about a princess. After watching this movie that took me back to my childhood, made me fall in love with the Genie all over again (especially since Will Smith was a huge part of my childhood as well) and gave me all kind of feelings after listening to “A Whole New World” after so many years, I can say that Aladdin is not the typical “Disney prince-saves-the princess” story. So here are some lessons Aladdin has opened my eyes with:
- At the end, it only matters that you stay true to who you are.
Aladdin thought that he needed to be a rich prince to marry the princess (because that was the law), but from the beginning there is a connection between the two of them. Jasmine doesn’t like pretentious princes; she sees people for who they truly are, and appreciate their soul more than who they pretend to be on the outside. Aladdin’s value as a person is not measured by his money or power, but by his kindness and his humbleness.
- Power comes with chains
We often think that if we ever get to be rich and powerful our problems will go away, but the truth is that the more power you have in your hands, the bigger your problems become. With power come responsibilities; people end up becoming slaves of their power. And also remember that we, as humans, tend to be ambitious. The more we have the more we want. It’s a never ending game. In the genie words: “there isn’t enough money and power in the world for you to be satisfied”.
- Love means letting go
I’m not a mother, but I understood Jasmine’s father because of my own parents. They are scared of letting me and my sister go because they know that the world isn’t that pretty. They don’t want us to get hurt, but loving someone means that you have to be able to let them go at some point. We can’t keep the people we love locked in a castle for the rest of their lives. The more we go out into the real world the more we learn to defend ourselves.
- Don’t ever let anyone silence you
I said before that I never really liked Disney princesses because they’re always waiting for a prince. But after watching this movie I can see now that Jasmine was not that typical princess. She wanted to be Sultana and she didn’t want to marry a prince just because. She followed rules mostly because of the great respect she had for her father and because she understood his fear of losing her, just like they had lost her mother. But we can see through the movie how she gains her power and finds her own voice, and that’s what we all should do.
- We can only be as happy as your least happy subject
Can you imagine how the world would be if every leader lived by these words? Jasmine says that her mother taught her this, meaning a leader should be equally happy as those that follow him. When you end up in a position of leadership or authority, remember that you’re there to serve others, not yourself. So maybe more leaders of the world should watch this movie, right?
- Nothing makes you a better person than caring for others
One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when Aladdin asks the genie what he would wish for. The genie replies that no one had ever cared for his own wishes. I think is from this moment on that the friendship between them starts to develop. At the end, Aladdin uses his third and last wish to give the genie his freedom. It’s ok to be a little bit selfish every now and then, we do need to put ourselves first after all, but never forget to put yourself in others’ shoes too. If there is something you can do to make someone else’s life a little bit better, do it.
I could go on and on about all the amazing things this movie made me realize, but I think it’s better if you just go watch it and find them out for yourself.
Naomi Scott (Jasmine), Mena Massoud (Aladdin), Will Smith (Genie) and Marwan Kenzari (Jafar) did an amazing job and I just can’t imagine a better cast. If you have already watched the movie tell me what you think of it in the comments!