Friday, November 25, 2022

Aladdin 30th Anniversary

For thirty years, the movie Aladdin has enchanted me.  From the very first animated view of Agrabah, I've been completely hooked on all of the adventures and magic. 

When the movie was originally released back on November 25th, 1992, I was in the second grade and my brother Jeremy was in kindergarten.  We were both already big fans of Disney, and this movie blew us away.  I remember us learning the words and singing the songs all the time.  (In fact, Aladdin was most likely the first soundtrack that I memorized the lyrics to all of the songs.)  Our parents probably got tired of hearing "Friend Like Me" for the millionth time, but they never complained.

Back then, A Whole New World was just about the most magical and romantic thing I had ever seen.  I was obsessed with that scene of the movie.  And that's probably the first time I ever saw most of the wonders of the world and wanted to visit them.

Jasmine's outfits were everything to me, so when it came time to dress up as a Disney character for our elementary school's spring Disney concert, I had to have a Jasmine outfit.  Both Mom and Nana thought her aqua outfit was a little much for a K-5th grade school concert, so they convinced me to wear her purple dress that covered her midriff.

Of course, back then you couldn't just go out and buy a princess dress like you can nowadays.  Instead, Nana made my purple dress.  I vaguely remember going up to Joann Fabric with her and Mom to pick out the fabric... light purple for the main dress with a shimmery hot pink organza for the overskirt part.  Nana also found some old costume jewelry or buttons to use as the giant gems for her jewels.  I absolutely loved it and to this day that's the first thing I think of when I see Jasmine in purple.  (I don't have any pictures of the dress here at our house, but I'm sure Mom has got some hidden away somewhere; I'll update this post if I can find them!)

I also have fond memories of all the skits Jeremy and I did with our cousins when we were kids.  We used to do skits at all of our family get togethers with our cousins on Mom's side of the family.  Of all the plays we did, Aladdin was our favorite and I can remember we did it on three separate occasions.  I was always Jasmine and Kaitlin was Rajah.  Jeremy insisted on always being the Genie.  Luke and Matt switched back and forth between playing Aladdin, Jafar and the palace guards.  We were obsessed.

Through the years, Aladdin has held a special place in my heart.  I think it's because it was the first Disney movie that I really remembering sharing the experience with Jeremy.  We played with his Aladdin action figures all the time.  We did all of those skits with our cousins.  We spent many hours singing songs and reciting the speaking parts while watching the movie.  To this day, I can still recite most of it while watching!

Of course, I was devastated when the world lost Robin Williams.  He was such a light and he created our beloved Genie with such magic... we will never have another friend quite like him.  Anytime I see or hear the Genie, I always think of Robin and what an amazing legacy he left all of us with.  He's still making me smile.

I always love seeing Aladdin stuff in the theme parks.  The Broadway style musical show at Disney's California Adventure was a favorite before they got rid of it.  I love seeing Agrabah whenever I ride on the Storybook Land Canal boats.  Eliot and I have also had our pictures taken with some of the characters from Aladdin during different Halloween parties at the Magic Kingdom.

In October of 2018, Eliot and I went to see Aladdin on Broadway during my birthday trip to New York City.  My parents had got me tickets to the Sharks game against the New Jersey Devils and Eliot's parents paid for our tickets to see Aladdin the other day we were in the city.  Eliot and I had so much fun at the show and it was incredible!

The following year, in May of 2019, the live action movie was released.  I couldn't wait to go see it.  The stars aligned and I was able to go see it with Eliot, Jeremy and my parents and Nana.  Aladdin was such a big part of my childhood that it was extra magical to experience it for the first time with them.  I absolutely loved the story, the costumes, the bright colors... everything about it.  I even saw it two more times on the big screen: with Eliot's Dad and Elissa in Nashville and one more time at the drive in.

With the live action movie, also came new merchandise.  And let's just say that I took full advantage of the fact that Disney was releasing a bunch of stuff in conjunction with the new movie.  It was around that same time that I decided the theme for Eliot's and my larger guest bedroom was going to be Aladdin.  I found a beautiful comforter set, and the room was already painted teal to coordinate with the original rust and orange stuff that Eliot and I had used in our master bedroom in Woburn.  Modifying the theme to Aladdin was a simple change, so I started to collect items for it.  Eliot and I haven't made the switch over yet, but I have plenty of decor, plushies, wall art, and other items ready to go once I have some time to make the change!

Aladdin has had a pretty big impact on my life, both as a child and an adult.  This is definitely one of my all time favorite Disney animated movies, and I can't believe that it's already been thirty years since it first debuted and made its way into my heart.

Happy 30th Birthday Aladdin!!!  °o°

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