Aladdin is one of Disney’s most popular and beloved classic animated films. Set in the bustling Arab village of Agrabah, Aladdin, an orphaned street kid, embarks on a risky adventure in the Cave of Wonders, where he finds a magic lamp and meets the Genie. The magical being grants him three wishes, and Aladdin intends to use them to win Princess Jasmine’s heart. And in the end, the “prince” and princess defeat the evil Jafar and live happily ever after.
But while the movie wants viewers to believe that Aladdin used all of his wishes, that may not be the case. In a Youtube video, SuperCarlinBrothers offers the theory that Genie never really granted Aladdin’s three wishes. In fact, he only had one. Let’s break down each wish and examine why all three weren’t granted.
The three wishes Aladdin “asks” in the film are to be a prince, to be saved from drowning, and to free the Genie. However, the theory posits that the first two wishes are illegitimate, as the first never comes true and the second does not. When Genie grants the first wish, Aladdin becomes Prince Ali but does not become an actual prince. The Genie gives him everything a prince would have – servants, exotic animals, elaborate clothing – giving him the appearance of royalty. But Genie and Aladdin are well aware that Aladdin isn’t a prince, and this is evident by the way Genie presses “Ali” throughout the film to tell Jasmine the truth.
The video explains in more detail how complicated this wish is. For Genie to truly grant Aladdin’s wish to be a prince, he would have had to create an entire kingdom for him to rule or go back in time and rewrite history for Aladdin to be born into a royal family. The genie has unlimited power (except for the inability to grant a person more than three wishes and break free), so he could do that, but he doesn’t. Therefore, it’s fair to say that Aladdin didn’t get his first wish.
Aladdin’s second wish was the most dubious of the three because he never asked for it. In the scene where Aladdin is drowning, Genie saves him using one of Aladdin’s wishes. But Aladdin doesn’t want Genie to save him – he physically can’t because he’s unconscious and drowning. Instead, Genie shakes him a bit, causing him to nod, and he interprets this as Aladdin wishing to be saved. Genie then saves him using wish number two when in reality he saved him of his own volition.
In the end, Aladdin frees Genie using his one true wish. But while Aladdin doesn’t actually get his other two wishes, things between him and Jasmine still work out. This means, like most Disney movies, Aladdin ends with a happy ending, even though the theory was correct and the protagonist got screwed.
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