Aladdin

 

Episode posted Nov. 17, 2017

It only took Disney 55 years to animate a story about non-European characters, and we celebrate Aladdin's 25th anniversary by asking how well the House of Mouse handled characters who were slightly tan. The answer? It's a mixed bag, as far as racial stereotypes and gender roles are concerned, and it's a split vote on whether Robin Williams' performance as the Genie is comedy genius or ADD nightmare. Comic writer and artist Sina Grace joins Chris and Drew to show off his own personal Cave of Wonders.

 
 

EPISODE NOTES

@ 3:19: Sina talks up writing Iceman’s first solo series, in which he becomes Marvel's first big-deal gay male lead

@ 3:50: Sina's indie stuff @ Image Comics 

@ 4:05: Drew's 2015 interview with Sina for Frontiers, the bygone L.A. gay magazine

@ 4:09: Self-Obsessed: The Web Series

@ 5:55: The good-for-its-era CGI of the Cave of Wonders  

@ 6:03: The carpet is perhaps not *the* first CGI Disney character, but it's at least one of the earliest successful examples

@ 9:14: The stuffable Genie doll (non-sexual sense)

@ 14:13: Frank Welker has voiced basically every non-talking cartoon animal in history, plus a ton of other roles

@ 16:43: Bask is the beauty that is the voice of Shohreh Aghdashloo

@ 17:30: That thing where good characters talk like Americans, but bad characters "talk foreign" 

@ 19:25: Disney princesses with realistic waistlines is totally a thing

@ 19:36: In designing Agrabah, Persian-born layout artist Rasoul Azadani was inspired in part by his hometown of Isfahan, Iran

@ 20:10: The genie apparently writes "turkey pilaf" in Farsi (not Arabic)

@ 21:04: The Myths & Legends podcast has a great explainer on how Aladdin was originally set in China but is still essentially Arabian

@ 21:41: Princess Badroulbador > Princess Jasmine

@ 23:46:The uproar over the offensive lyrics in Aladdin's original opening song was actually a big new story at the time

@ 24:20: How the "teenager who wants a different life" gets a little more problematic as Disney moves out of Western Europe

@ 27:03: The group, BTW, was the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

@ 28:14:People are already angry about casting in the live-action Aladdin, mostly because Prince Achmed was made into a Caucasian character, Prince Anders

@ 32:21: James Adomian on gay-coded cartoon villains

@ 32:37: Gummi Bears was a real show, and Duke Igthorn was very gay

@ 33:56: Why Scar and a lot of other Disney villains sound gay

@ 37:25: Yes, Robin Williams really did record 16 hours' worth of audio in playing the Genie

@ 40:16: Robin Williams changed animated features forever

@ 40:57: The Genie was the big important role, but don’t forget that Robin Williams was in Fern Gully before he was in Aladdin

@ 51:10: What is a Mary Sue?

@ 54:01: Are those harem girls or prostitutes?

@ 56:40: I actually looked for gay erotic art of the Sultan and found this instead, which I think is a lot better

@ 58:46: How Aladdin: The Musical ended up fulfilling Howard Ashman's dreams years after he died

@ 1:00:50: Okay, Peabo Bryson's name was originally Peapo, but he wasn't the one who changed it

@ 1:03:29: Sina is correct: Polaris has consistently amazing costumes

@ 1:04:06: Jafar's only musical number is a reprise of “Prince Ali” 

@ 1:04:13: Robin Williams’ fight with Disney (and eventual return to the Aladdin threequel)