Disney VHS: Aladdin and the King of Thieves w/ Case Robin Williams


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Aladdin and the King of Thieves [VHS]
Scott Weinger (Actor), Robin Williams (Actor), Tad Stones (Director) Rated: NR (Not Rated) Format: VHS Tape

Robin Williams returns as the voice of the hyperactive genie in this, the second direct-to-video sequel to Disney’s hit animated feature. Aladdin, the street beggar turned Prince, risks all to find his father among the cutthroat 40 thieves and joins his quest to find a Midas-like stone that turns everything it touches into gold. A significant cut above most made-for-video animation, this energetic adventure largely leaves Princess Jasmine and the genie behind for a father-and-son quest. Guest voice Jerry Orbach suggests Sean Connery with his thick-as-molasses delivery as the master thief Sa’luk and, despite his limited screen time, Williams once again delights with his wild flights of fantasy as the big blue Genie. A rousing tale full of last-minute escapes and spectacular, kid-sized thrills that even parents will find entertaining.

Actors: Scott Weinger, Robin Williams, John Rhys-Davies, Val Bettin, Jim Cummings
Directors: Tad Stones
Writers: John Musker, Mark McCorkle, Robert Schooley, Ron Clements, Ted Elliott
Producers: Jeannine Roussel
Format: Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Number of tapes: 1
Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
VHS Release Date: August 13, 1996
Run Time: 80 minutes

On the tape:
101 Dalmatians Trailer
Muppet Treasure Island Preview
Oliver & Company Preview
James and the Giant Peach Preview

The film is inspired by the tale Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves from the 1001 Arabian Nights, replacing Ali Baba with Aladdin, and for the first time since the original Aladdin, the film has a completely new soundtrack instead of the rearranged music from the original film for The Return of Jafar and the TV series.

Though the film serves as the finale of the series, the characters would later return in a crossover episode of the animated series Hercules, titled “Hercules and the Arabian Night.”

The list of direct-to-video stinkers made by Disney seems to be endless. Fortunately, Aladdin and the King of Thieves is the exception. Released early on before Disney decided to defile it animated classics, Aladdin and the King of Thieves features a solid, new storyline that does not simply rehash the original. Maybe this extra attempt at quality was made to get Robin Williams to reprise one of his coolest roles? After two movies and countless tv episodes, Aladdin and Jasmine are finally getting married. Then the forty thieves show up and trash the wedding, and Aladdin goes on a quest to find his father and a unique treasure with the golden touch. While not targeted to older kids like Disney’s Atlantis was, this movie is slightly darker than the two that came before it, which is a good thing. A lot of this comes from the forty thieves, who sing about robbing, plundering, in an endearing kind of way. There is a sword duel conveyed in hellish reds, murky blues, and shadows, and lightning is used to symbolize Aladdin being wounded. And the villain’s demise is quite original, not the usual “falling to their death” we’ve seen over and over. In fact, I daresay Atlantis even borrowed the demise for their film’s climax. All in all, it’s an entertaining, never-boring, thrill ride, and ties up the saga nicely, with a nod to the street merchant who began this whole thing.

The songs in Aladdin and the King of Thieves are not up the quality of the original, but they are much better than all the other Disney DTV’s. The two songs the forty thieves sing are quite hilarious and memorable, the romance song didn’t make me cringe at all, and the opening number gets the ball rolling really well. The only semi-clunker is the father and son song, but that wasn’t bad either. The animation isn’t cinema-quality, but it’s also above-average and commendable. My only curiosity with this movie is some of the Genie’s jokes. The animators went with whatever ad-libs Robin Williams came up with.

Aladdin and the King of Thieves is a high-quality Disney DTV, and as things stand, their ONLY high-quality release ever. Worth picking up on video, or even on the eventual DVD release.


Case slightly squished. VHS itself is near mint. Tape is completely rewinded for your convenience.