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The Stinger

The Stinger

Aladdin, the Timeless Fairy Tale and the Movie

I’m sure you’ve heard of Aladdin. He’s been featured in Disney movies, but before that, he was the hero of an Arabian fairy tale told in One-Hundred and One Arabian Nights.

The story of Aladdin originated in China. However, it eventually made its way to the Middle East, then into the collection of Middle Eastern fairy tales, One-Hundred and One Arabian Nights. Disney’s animated movie Aladdin tells the story of a young thief on the streets of Baghdad, Iraq. Some say the story of Aladdin was loosely based on real events. The first known manuscript of the story dates back to 1712, however, the story is likely much older than that.

Disney’s Aladdin features key parts of the original fairytale, combined with some of Disney’s ideas. The story of Aladdin, also known as The Wonderful Lamp, features the prominent character, Aladdin, who is known by the people of his city as a “street rat,” meets the princess, and they fall in love. However, the princess must marry a prince. Aladdin is thrown into the Cave of Wonders by Jafar, the sultan’s grand vizier, who is also the villain in this story. Aladdin finds a magic lamp inside the cave which has a genie inside. The genie offers him three wishes. Aladdin wishes to become a prince, so that he may marry the princess. Aladdin has not reached the end of his trials though. Trouble follows him throughout the movie.

In contrast, in the original story of Aladdin, Aladdin is befriended by a mysterious uncle, who seems to have good intentions, despite his suspiciousness. He offers food and money to Aladdin and his mother in their poverty after the death of Aladdin’s father. However, one day, he takes Aladdin into the desert, and forces him into a trap door, commanding him to bring out a lamp from within the mysterious chamber beneath the ground. Aladdin does what he is told, but his uncle commands the lamp before helping Aladdin out of the chamber. Aladdin ends up falling to the bottom of the chamber, however, in his uncle’s refusal to help him Aladdin never handed over the lamp. He takes the lamp home and gives it to his mother. As his mother is rubbing the lamp clean, the genie comes out of the lamp. Aladdin’s mother wishes for something to eat, and the genie brings her food, then disappears back into the lamp. Through wishes, Aladdin and his mother collect many riches, such as silver, china, and jewels. Aladdin’s mother presents their riches to the sultan, who thinks that the riches are worth his daughter. There is talk of Aladdin marrying the princess, however, it had been planned out that the grand vizier’s son was to marry the princess. With the help of the magic genie, Aladdin can sabotage the princess’s wedding. Of course, like many fairy tales, at the end of the story, everything comes together, and things work out for Aladdin.

One of the main differences between the original story and the Disney versions is that in the Disney versions, Aladdin only has three wishes, however, it seems that in the original it may have been unlimited. Another big difference is that in the original, Aladdin had at least two genies on his side, whereas in the movie, he had only one. The third big difference is that in the original, Aladdin was up against many “bad guys” or villains, whereas in the Disney version, it was just Jafar.

Aladdin is a timeless fairy tale character who has made his journey across the world. He has been featured in many movies and his story has been told countless times. Today, we know him as the boy who had nothing but made his way to the top and found his happy ending.


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About the Contributor
Abigail Abd, Writer
“You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald  
My name is Abigail Abd. I play trombone in the Marion Center Marching Band, along with concert band. I am also a member of the Junior High Choir. I joined the newspaper because I love writing, and think it's a good way to share my opinions.
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