Aladdin as a Cinderella Story?

Although Aladdin is another Disney story that has been so engrained into many of our lives, I believe that it fits the criterion of being a Cinderella story. A rags to riches story as Aladdin, a “street rat” who is living in the most poor conditions, falls in love with the Princess Jasmine at first sight. With the magical help of the Genie, Aladdin is able to attain his Princess and move from the lowest class status to that of a Prince. Though no ball-type event really takes place, there is the introduction of Aladdin as Prince-Ali, as he is disguised as a prince because the Princess must marry a prince. The difference in this story though, is Jasmine is displeased with the prospect of another prince at first, and preferred the “street rat” Aladdin she met outside the palace. Though there is no stepfamily, the Character of Jafar is the closest that there is. Although he is not going after the Princess directly, as the stepsisters typically go after the prince, but he is in fact going after the throne in his attempts to harness the Genie’s powers and as a last resort, take Jasmine as his bride-doing anything he can to gain power. For these reasons I believe that Aladdin could in fact be viewed as a Cinderella story.



About Elisabeth Gruner

English professor, University of Richmond
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5 Responses to Aladdin as a Cinderella Story?

  1. Alex Ordel says:

    Aladdin’s story has a lot of the main points to create a cinderella story. Although, Aladdin does not have any known family, he, unlike other boy cinderella’s, is rewarded with romantic love in the end. His connection with Abu is another parallel of cinderella’s relationship with animals. While I agree that Aladdin is a rags to riches success story, he lacks the usual riches in the beginning of the story. Lastly, I think Aladdin’s glass slipper manifests itself as the lamp. It serves as the ultimate connection to his happy ending after fighting off evil.

  2. carolinemihok says:

    I agree that Aladdin is very much like a Cinderella story. Although there are crucial elements missing as well. For instance, there is no evidence of a step family that makes him do chores, he is just born into poverty. Also, Aladdin and the princess have an encounter before he becomes the Prince. In Perrault’s version, this had not happened to Cinderella, she only met him once she was transformed. This meeting gives more depth to Jasmine and Aladdin’s relationship, especially because she still wants to be with him once she realizes who he actually is.

  3. Christina Amorose says:

    Even though there are many elements of Aladdin which separate it from the traditional Cinderella tale such as the absence of the step family, it does parallel Cinderella with the fairy god mother character, rags to riches structure, and happily ever after. Also this Disney story resembles the Rodgers and Hammerstein Cinderella in which the fairy god mother repeatedly tells Cinderella that she earns everything and gains success through being herself. This motif presents itself in Aladdin as the genie tells Aladdin to “be himself” when he meets with Jasmine. Also at the end of the movie, Aladdin must save both Jasmine and the genie without magic suggesting this Cinderella character’s independence.

  4. ersatzme says:

    It also parallels that both Aladdin and Cinderella fall from their “high” after the ball. Cinderella goes back to work for her stepmother, while Aladdin is stripped of his royal status. The palace guard could also be seen as the step-family oppressing Aladdin at Jafar’s wishes.

  5. erinob says:

    I definitely think that Aladdin can be considered a Cinderella story. Aladdin begins the story with virtually nothing. He lives on the street and probably still would be if he didn’t run into the genie. The genie relates to the magic that Cinderella usually receives from her fairy godmother. The only difference between Cinderella and Aladdin is the difference in gender. It is interesting to see the story from a males point of view and how he also dreams and longs for his princess. Aladdin achieves his happy ending, but would not have had the confidence to approach Jasmin without the use of magic, just like Cinderella would not have gone to the ball without her fairy godmother.

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