Top 10 Aladdin Easter Eggs You Totally Missed
VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton
WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
You probably didn't notice any of these before, but from way up here they're crystal clear. For this list, we're taking a look at references hidden throughout this 1992 animated feature. Our list includes Temple of Zeus, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” References, Hidden Mickeys, The Beast, The Many Voices of Robin Williams, and more! Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Aladdin Easter Eggs.
Top 10 Aladdin Easter Eggs
You probably didn’t notice any of these before, but from way up here they’re crystal clear. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Aladdin Easter Eggs.
For this list, we’re taking a look at references hidden throughout this 1992 animated feature.
Fans like to think that every Disney movie is connected, especially when it comes to royalty. While the city of Agrabah is probably miles away from Cinderella’s kingdom, this Easter egg provides an unlikely link between the two fairy tales. In the Sultan’s toy room, you can spot a horse and carriage. Although the carriage isn’t an exact replica of Cinderella’s, it does have a certain je ne sais quoi that screams, “bibbidi-bobbidi-boo.” On the other side of the room, there appears to be a doll concealed under a certain. It’s difficult to make out, but the doll’s blue dress has a fair deal in common with Cinderella’s. Well, if the glass slipper fits!
#9: Why the Caged Jasmine Sings
Sometimes the subtlest visuals can sum up a character’s internal desires and struggles. Princess Jasmine’s palace is more like a prison and the idea of marrying a suitor she doesn’t love ultimately motivates her to leave. Before Jasmine escapes to the streets of Agrabah, though, she releases a flock of white birds from a cage. This is obviously symbolic of Jasmine’s dream to fly away and be free, but did you ever notice another detail that gives the scene even more weight? Later when Jasmine returns to the palace, we see that the pattern around her bedroom door matches the design of the birdcage.
#8: Temple of Zeus
During “A Whole New World,” Aladdin and Jasmine take a magic carpet ride over some exotic locales. They even go the distance and fly past the Temple of Zeus. Part of what makes this so interesting is that directors Ron Clements and John Musker would follow-up the success of “Aladdin” with Disney’s “Hercules,” which hit theaters five years later. Whether you view this as a happy coincidence or ingenious foreshadowing, the temple ultimately bridges together these two films, both of which focus on protagonists who go from zero to hero. It’s even cooler when you take into consideration the crossover Hercules and Aladdin had on the small screen. It really is a small world after all!
#7: “Raiders of the Lost Ark” References
Aladdin and Indiana Jones are two peas in a pod, what with their mutual thirst for adventure and talent for getting out of sticky situations. Both are also accompanied by monkeys with the voice of Frank Welker. The most blatant parallel between “Aladdin” and the “Indiana Jones” films occurs during the Cave of Wonders sequence. As Aladdin locates the magic lamp, one can’t help but recall the golden idol Indy retrieved in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” The ensuing race out of the collapsing cave is also in the spirit of Indy’s daring escape. The filmmakers actually apologized to Steven Spielberg, but he didn’t mind since “Raiders” was already a homage to other adventure movies.
#6: Director Cameos
In many movies directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, you can briefly spot a pair of extras who share a likeness with the two directors. In “Aladdin,” Ron and John make cameos as Prince Achmed arrives at the Sultan’s palace. Each character delivers a line of expositional dialogue and contributes little else to the movie. While it may not seem like much at first, the scene is a lot more amusing when you reflect on how one character possesses Ron’s bushy beard and short physique while the other has John’s grey mustache and slim body.
#5: Hidden Mickeys
If you freeze-frame at just the right moment, you’ll find a couple of Hidden Mickeys throughout “Aladdin.” The most eye-popping set of mouse ears can be seen after Jafar is defeated and Rajah morphs from a harmless kitty back into a full sized tiger. In the midst of his transformation, Rajah briefly sprouts a pair of ears that resemble Mickey’s. Rajah even shares many of Mickey’s facial features, from his wide eyes to his round nose. Kind of ironic seeing how a fearsome cat like Rajah would be inclined to eat mice!
#4: The Beast
Disney animation could do little wrong in the early 90s with “Beauty and the Beast” breaking new grounds in 1991 and “Aladdin” coming out a year later. The Beast actually makes a cameo in “Aladdin,” although trying to point him out is like skimming through a “Where’s Waldo” book. As the Sultan stacks up several of his figurines, a toy modeled after the Beast is visible towards the top of the tower. Just as the Beast turned out to be more than what he seemed, this Easter egg is truly a diamond in the rough.
#3: The Many Voices of Robin Williams
The Genie possesses phenomenal cosmic powers, including the ability to impersonate pretty much anyone. The filmmakers took full advantage of Robin Williams’ knacks for improvisation and impressions, allowing him to channel everybody from Arnold Schwarzenegger, to Jack Nicholson, to Robert De Niro, to Rodney Dangerfield, to Peter Lorre, to Jerry Lewis, to Groucho Marx, to Arsenio Hall, to William F. Buckley Jr., to Ed Sullivan. That’s quite a list! While we all know Williams voiced the shape-shifting Genie, fewer people realize that he also voiced the Peddler from the film’s opening. The Genie and the Peddler were originally meant to be one in the same, although this reveal was cut from the finished film.
#2: Sebastian the Crab
This is one of the easier Easter eggs to spot, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome. While reading through a cookbook of royal recipes, the Genie’s finger gets snapped by a red crab we all recognize. It’s none other than Sebastian from “The Little Mermaid,” which Ron Clements and John Musker directed three years before “Aladdin.” You can even hear a short instrumental snippet of “Under the Sea” during the crab’s cameo. This isn’t the only time the Genie directly references another Disney movie, as he also mimics Pinocchio’s elongated nose. A fitting comparison since both Aladdin and Pinocchio often have trouble telling the truth.
Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
Cave of Wonders Fire
Magic Carpet’s Design
#1: “Back to Neverland” (1989)
After Aladdin sets him free, Genie sets out to see the world. It’s safe to assume that he’s headed for a Disney theme park, seeing how he’s wearing a Goofy cap. While the Genie’s tourist outfit is amusing in itself, it’s even funnier if you’ve seen the short film, “Back to Neverland,” at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Directed by Jerry Rees of “The Brave Little Toaster,” this attraction provided a behind the scenes look at Disney animation. It starred anchorman Walter Cronkite and Robin Williams, who wears a getup identical to the Genie’s at the end of “Aladdin.” And to think, this short was released three years before “Aladdin” and just two years before Williams played Peter Pan in “Hook.”