The Walt Disney movie, “Aladdin”, is about a poor “street rat”, Aladdin, loving the Princess Jasmine. They can’t marry each other because of the law. This movie, yet entertaining, portrays stereotypical and discriminative things against Middle Eastern culture and race.
The movie starts with a merchant in a vast, barren, desert riding a camel over sand dunes. The desert area includes an oasis also. Then it moves into the town of Agrabah, with other merchants selling goods and onion shaped domes on the Saltins palace.
In Agrabah, thievery is normal; also thieves appear unclean and very poor with rags as clothes. Also if they were caught stealing, store clerks would cut off their hand. Also women are portrayed wrong in it. The married women being fat while the single women look basically like a belly dancer. Also in the movie the princess Jasmine is too stupid to even think of paying for an apple. The merchant in the beginning tries to sell you things that are broken. Like when he says but this antique coffee maker and fry maker combo, indestructible and it then just breaks. Making the impression that the merchants sell crappy merchandise. Also in the movie it mentioned that the ones with the money make all the rules, which isn’t true.
Many things in this movie are out of place with things that are ahead of the time period and things that are different traditions from Middle Eastern culture. These traditions are India’s traditions they include the snake charmer, fire eater, man lying on a bed of nails, a sword swallower, and girls with the Indian red dot in the middle of their forehead. Many of the things ahead of the time period were from the Genie. Such as turning into a submarine, being a plane stewardess, magician, newscaster, or using lights, cars, slot machines to name a few of the many. Most of these are to add comic relief in the movie, but it ruins the main time period it is based in.
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Aladdin had two sides good and evil. Good being Jasmine and Aladdin. Bad being Jafar and the guards. These two groups have significant differences. Such as the good people looking nicer and having lighter clothing and skin tones. Also they use and carry straight swords. While the bad have darker skin tones and clothing. Jafar, as a magician is tall and very thin. The guards appear big and wide. They also carry curved scimitars. The Sultan is short and acts not how you portray a leader. Like him playing with his toys.
I think that Disney’s movie Aladdin is both stereotypical and discriminative to Middle Eastern people. I think this because of the way they put traditions from India as Middle Eastern culture and traditions. Disney movies are mainly towards the younger audience age, from 5 to 10. So what do you think this is teaching second graders about Middle Eastern people? I think it’s not teaching them the truth. Like would a person with and Arabic accent be a potential evil person? Or animals like tigers and monkeys are found there. Also the city folk appear with missing teeth and the way of portraying the women as stupid, fat, or belly dancers. Or like merchants selling you cheap crappy things. The violence in it makes the mid east seem like a barbaric country. Like punishing thieve by cutting off a hand or worse death by beheadings. The big controversy was of what the merchant in the beginning sang. It was, “a land where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face, it’s barbaric but hey its home.” This became so big that Disney would have been sued if they didn’t fix it by changing the lyrics. Even though some things in Aladdin are for pure entertainment or comical value it still portrays the mid eastern people and culture not the real true way it is. Think of like if they portrayed all Americans as fat obese people who eat fast food all the time and never work out. Would that make us think that’s not true and ban it? I would sure hope so; I would want my country to seem the true way it is. Like not all Arabians are terrorists or such. So overall I can see why it was banned in many countries for discriminative things.
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