A Comparison of the Tale of “Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp” and the Disney Movie Aladdin: a Cultural Study

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A Comparison of the tale of “Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp” and the Disney Movie Aladdin: A Cultural Study
According to N. J. Dawood, the translator of The Thousand and One Nights, “Aladdin has been retold or presented to so many different generations all over the world that it can perhaps be rightly described as the most renowned story invented by man”. Interestingly enough, “Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp” was not part of the original collection of stories that composed The Arabian Nights. No one knows exactly when a given story is originated, but it is obvious that some stories circulated orally for centuries before they actually were collected or written down. The story of Aladdin appeared for the first time in Antoine Galland’s (1646-1715) translation of the Thousand and One Nights, the first major European version. Before Galland, there was no known Arabic version of Aladdin and his lamp. The first Arabic version showed up after Galland’s version and very well could have been translations of Galland’s French version. One of the more recent and most popular versions of “Aladdin” was an animated feature produced in 1992 by Walt Disney Pictures. Aladdin made over $217 million in revenue in the United States, and over $504 million worldwide. Even though the American film and the medieval Arabian tale share common elements and are both plotted around a young impoverished boy named Aladdin, the moral lessons they offer differ in ways that can be described through the values of the culture out of which the story emerges.
In the written version of “Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp”, Aladdin is a boy who is lazy, “headstrong and incorrigible good-for nothing” (Dawood 165). His unruly ways even make his own father grieves over this “perverseness” (Dawood 165), causing him to die. After his father dies, Aladdin depends on his mother to make money to provide food, and…...

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