Aladdin, the clever hero of Agrabah, continues his adventures with the help of his fiancee Princess Jasmine, his pet monkey Abu, Magic Carpet, Iago the greedy parrot, and of course his best friend the semi-cosmic Genie.
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Aladdin is adjusting to his new life as part of the upper crust. He and Princess Jasmine may not be married yet, but the pressures of palace society have already begun. On top of that, Iago (the parrot pet of Sultan's ex-vizir turned genie, Jafar) appears asking for help and no one is happy to see him. But things begin to look up when Genie returns from his trip around the world. Meanwhile, Jafar's black lamp is discovered by an idiot crook called Abis Mal. By using Abis Mal, Jafar makes his way back to Agrabah with ideas of payback for Aladdin and his friends. Written by
Has its moments, but is still a significant drop in quality from its predecessor
I was a huge fan of Disney's "Aladdin" during my childhood, so I obviously wanted to see this straight-to-video sequel when it came out in 1994. From what I remember, I was not disappointed at all. However, after discovering that I still liked the popular 1992 Disney flick a lot after many years, I rented "The Return of Jafar" to see what I thought of it after all these years, and while I'm still not one of the haters, I can now understand the criticism!
Jafar, who is now a genie trapped in his lamp, and his parrot, Iago escape from the Cave of Wonders and work their way up to the desert surface. Iago gets out of the lamp, and Jafar expects him to rub it so he can get out and return to Agrabah, where he plans to have his revenge on Aladdin! Instead, Iago turns against the former grand vizier, and drops the lamp in a well, with Jafar trapped inside! However, when a thief named Abis Mal finds the lamp in the well, Jafar is finally out, and is ready for his revenge! To make it worse for Aladdin, Abis Mal wants revenge on him as well, due to a recent encounter in Agrabah! Meanwhile, Iago has returned to the city, and obviously, most people do not trust him, but Aladdin begins to. Is this a good idea?!
There are several things that make "The Return of Jafar" far inferior to its predecessor. First of all, some of the characters are not quite the same. Aladdin and Princess Jasmine seem a bit sillier and less mature than they are in the first movie, and there are some ridiculous scenes involving the two, such as the one where the Sultan praises Aladdin, and Aladdin then looks over to Jasmine with a smug look on his face, and she looks back at him with look of romance (a rather silly one). Another character who is not the same is the Genie. He is responsible for a lot of the humour in 1992's "Aladdin", but isn't usually funny in this film. This time, he is voiced by Dan Castellaneta, instead of Robin Williams, and Castellaneta voices many funny characters on "The Simpsons", but as the Genie, I guess he's not so great. That reminds me, this film is generally a lot less funny than its predecessor. Two other downsides I can think of are the animation (not too bad, but certainly not as good), and the forgettable songs, none of which have ever fully stuck in my head, and some of which still aren't stuck in there at all!
Sequels aren't usually as good or better than their predecessors, but even with that in mind, this one is still disappointing. Since I at least found an occasional laugh in the film, as well as some excitement, I give it a 6/10. Nevertheless, I found the film a bit bland overall, lacking several things that made the classic original so great. For hardcore fans of Disney's "Aladdin", this straight-to-video sequel might be worth checking out, but if you decide to do so, don't be surprised if you find that a lot is missing from the original! Judging by the few episodes of the "Aladdin" TV series I've seen, it seems to have the same problems as "The Return of Jafar", or very similar ones. Fortunately, at least these problems did not persist in "Aladdin and the King of Thieves", the final installment in the franchise, which is definitely somewhat superior to what came in between.
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