Aladdin Analysis

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“Aladdin” is a cultural production about a young man, Aladdin, who endures the malicious vizier, Jafar, while attempting to win the heart of Princess Jasmine. Consequently, I will discuss the orientalist portrayal, the source of knowledge, and the effects of American exceptionalism in “Aladdin”. This is done by reviewing the symbols in the film that represent the Middle East, which are depicted through Disney’s lens of intermingling of Arab and American values creating a postcolonial interpretation of the film. (Borthaiser) To begin with, the portrayal of the Middle East – specifically India – is that it is a “… far away place … where they cut off your ear, if they don’t like your face.” (Menken) The producers are essentially attempting to create the image of a barbaric society that lacked any good ethics or morals. This orientalist approach by the producers to portray the Middle East was on par with an extremely biased news source. For example, other than cutting off your ear, there is a scene where Jasmine was nearly subject to the common punishment of hand amputation. If one were to view another movie about a Disney princess a similar case would be hard to find. Moreover, in the beginning of the film, the thief Gazeem, tells Jafar that he “had to slit a few throats” to get him what he needed. As if it were normal, Jafar lacks any emotional response. This issue stems from the foundation of knowledge, or lack thereof, used by the producers. To source the knowledge of the

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