1. Why did I choose this toy/these toys?
This isn’t just one toy, it’s a whole bunch of toys in two formats: Barbie style fashion doll and (mostly) plush animals. Aladdin was my favorite of the “Disney Renaissance” two dimensional animated movies of the 1990’s.
Part of the attraction of this movie was the voice cast. As if Robin Williams as the Genie wasn’t brilliant enough, we also get Gilbert Gottfried as the villainous vizier’s hench-parrot Iago. Frank Welker provides the voice of Aladdin’s adorably mischievous pet monkey Abu. I think Welker may also have been Jasmine’s tiger, Rajah. Another big name at the time was Scott Weinger, (D.J.’s boyfriend Steve on Full House) who provided the voice of title character, Aladdin.
In this picture, I have Aladdin dressed in his “Prince Ali” apparel while Princess Jasmine is wearing her usual light teal crop top and harem pants. They’re both “sitting” on Rajah’s back.
2. When was this toy first produced?
Since the movie was released in 1992, I’m going to guess these toys went into production sometime in 1991 or 1990. I don’t know what kind of lead time Disney had to produce toys for each of the movies.
3. Is it still being produced (in some form)?
Yes, Disney toys are all over the place in my niece’s playroom. My niece has plush versions of the princesses of her childhood: Anna and Elsa from Frozen, Rapunzel, Moana, and Bo Peep (Toy Story 4 version) as well as Ariel and Jasmine.
4. Was there a cartoon?
The movie itself was animated and Disney did have a cartoon series that followed the movie. There were also two direct to home video sequels with Dan “Homer Simpson” Castanella performing the voice of the genie in the sequel and TV series. Robin Williams made his return in the third film.
One of the really fun things about the Aladdin toys was that the commercial featured a little jingle: “The beautiful Princess Jasmine, Aladdin, and Genie!” Unfortunately, the commercial also had clips of Robin Williams despite a deal the comedian made with the studio agreeing to take a lower salary in exchange for his image/ voice not being used in advertising for merchandise from the movie.
5. Was there an established villain in the canon?
Yes, the first movie featured the terrifyingly power hungry vizier, Jafar. I did not have the toy version of Jafar and I think Aladdin and Jasmine were happy to not have to relive the more traumatic events of their adventure.
6. Where did I acquire this toy?
I’m guessing these toys came from a combination of the Disney store and/or KMart or Walmart, but I don’t remember exact or specific details of acquiring any of them.
7. Was it a gift?
No, I don’t think they were gifts, but they could have been.
8. Did I buy it myself? What store was it purchased from?
I think I used babysitting money to buy most of them and again, it was likely a combination of the Disney Store and KMart/Walmart/Target.
9. Do I still have this toy or anything from the original packaging?
I still have the Barbie/Ken style dolls in their boxes, but the plush toys have all been donated to the local Goodwill. It wasn’t an easy decision, especially since I was doing my clean up around the time Gottfried passed away.
I have a lot of memories associated with several of the plush toys. I was able to take Abu to school with me for a presentation for my Spanish class. We were supposed to take a Spanish idiom and illustrate it in some way.
There’s a saying about how you can dress up a monkey in silk, but it’s still a monkey. I got some fabric from my mom and she made a silk dress for the plush Abu.
I also let my niece play with the plush toys (Jasmine and Aladdin are in their boxes in the Barbie stack.) and she liked putting her dolls on Rajah and letting the dolls ride on him.
In addition to the toys, I also had multiple canteens from the Disney store featuring characters from my two favorite animated movies: Peter Pan and Aladdin.
I had some fast food toys too. I think there was one of the Genie with a cloud between him and Magic Carpet. I don’t know why there wasn’t a plush toy made of the Magic Carpet. That could have been very nice from a decoration standpoint.
10. Did anything surprise me while researching this toy line?
Not really, I have kept up with Disney partly through my own pop culture interests but also through my nieces. This picture is also a fun time capsule of my various interests during this period, including subjects of previous articles like my favorite Another World love triangle (Victoria Hudson and the Harrison brothers-Detective Ryan Harrison and Senator Grant Harrison) Ethan Embry (then Randall) and David Lascher (Hey Dude). The poster above my bed is Mike Myers and Dana Carvey as “Wayne Campbell” and “Garth Algar”.
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