The Disney Easter Eggs In ‘Aladdin’ Reference So Many Of Your Animated Faves
Disney is known for putting callbacks to their previous movies into the ones that come after. It's somewhat of a game to find all of the Easter eggs that the animators managed to sneak into the movies. There's Pumba, the warthog from The Lion King, appearing as a gargoyle in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Rapunzel and Flynn Rider from Tangled attending Elsa's coronation in Frozen, and the King and Grand Duke from Cinderella as guests at Prince Eric's wedding to Ursula (in disguise) in The Little Mermaid. There are also plenty of Disney Easter eggs in the new Aladdin, proving that this isn't just an animated trend.
The original 1992 animated Aladdin was a part of the references tradition too. Since the Genie could turn into anything, the Disney catalogue was a perfect place to mine for some fun references. When the Genie wants to call Aladdin a liar, he transforms into Pinocchio, complete with growing nose. Sebastian the crab from The Little Mermaid pops out of a cookbook. The Beast from Beauty and the Beast can be seen in the Sultan's menagerie of toy animals. And Genie sports a Goofy hat when he heads out on vacation at the end of the movie.
The live-action version isn't any different, packing in a ton of nods that Disney super-fans will love searching for. Here's what we spotted — spoilers ahead!
During the opening credits of Aladdin, as star Will Smith sings a revamped "Arabian Nights," the camera dips and dives into various scene throughout the city of Agrabah. In one of these moments, citizens of Agrabah are seen releasing floating lanterns. The imagery here is super reminiscent of the scene from Tangled, where the citizens of Corona release floating lanterns to honor Rapunzel's birthday.
One of Princess Jasmine's potential suiters in the new Aladdin is Prince Anders from the kingdom of Skanland, played by Billy Magnussen. Magnussen's casting was met with some criticism, with some wondering why Aladdin had to include a white character. But Anders is only around for some comic relief, and it's clear that his character is a kind of call back to Frozen. Anders looks like Prince Hans in his cold-weather furs and sounds like the shopkeep Oaken with his Scandinavian accent, suggesting he came from the far north to check out Agrabah's princess.
One of the Genie's big musical numbers, "Friend Like Me," is a huge extravaganza that shows off all that the Genie is capable of with his magical powers. At the finale, when Genie has pulled out all of his impressive magic, there's a huge celebratory moment of fireworks, dancers, and animals, some of which are elephants standing on huge colorful balls. The elephants definitely feel like a callback to the circus elephants of Dumbo, which just had its own live-action remake released earlier this year.
In the live-action Aladdin, when Genie is explaining to Aladdin how the three wishes work, they are lounging in the desert, and Genie pulls out a manual with moving illustrations. The pictures that comes to life are the spitting images of the Aladdin and Genie from the original 1992 animated film.
5. & 6. Disney World
Meanwhile, as Aladdin and Genie speak, the magic carpet is off to the side building a super elaborate sandcastle. The project grows and grows in size until it resembles the iconic Cinderella's Castle from Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida.
Later in the movie, when Aladdin is pretending to be Prince Ali, he's attempting to fool Jasmine by showing her Ababwa on her maps. While Genie futzes with the map to put in a fake Ababwa, he also throws in Adventureland and Fantasyland, making the whole thing resemble a map of the Magic Kingdom park.
7. 'Robin Hood'
Right before Aladdin wishes Genie free, just like he does in the original, Genie proposes some new princely identities for Aladdin to wish for. One of them is a bow and arrow sporting charmer that looks a lot like Robin Hood, a story which Disney made into an animated feature starring a fox in 1973.
Also, Jafar's hypnotizing snake staff, which is a staple from the '92 film as well, resembles the Robin Hood character Sir Hiss, who uses his eyes to hypnotize other characters. Sir Hiss, in turn, is a reuse of Kaa, the hypnotizing snake from 1967's The Jungle Book.
In fact, Disney reused a lot of animation in its earlier films, which might explain the studio's love of hiding Easter eggs now. But instead of reusing animated sequences, the more recent films, both live-action and animated, have found a fun way to pay homage to the movies that came before.