Cinderella Gender Swap

Inspired by my recent foray into the depths of my blog’s search terms, here’s a Cinderella-themed gender swap!

Prince with glass slipper copy

[Sorry for his facial expression.  You really don’t get to see the prince with any sort of personality, even in his expressions.]

The story starts out the same, with Cinderella (let’s call him Cinderedmund for fun) having a wicked stepmother (or stepfather, because it really doesn’t matter) and two wicked stepbrothers (these actually do matter, since they’re going to be trying to win the favor of Princess Charming at the ball, and for the sake of it being a Disney movie…).  Anyway, Cinderedmund is hardworking and eager to please his stepmother, who is passive-aggressive and a bit verbally abusive.  He’s got some mice friends and he dreams of a better life–through song! His animal friends help him make a fancy formal suit for the ball the king/queen (once again, you could gender swap him if you wanted to) is giving in honor of his/her daughter, Princess Charming.

Cinderella ball gown copy

The sole purpose of this ball is for Princess Charming to find a husband.  [[This is where the gender swap really emphasizes some of the really wrong parts of this story.  Disney, when adapting this story, didn’t even bother to give Prince Charming a name.  More than that, he’s totally a one-dimensional character.  His sole purpose is to find a bride, and he picks a girl totally just based on looks, despite the fact that we know Cinderella’s actually got a really good personality, is well-developed as a character and can take continual abuse with good humor and is intelligent, hardworking and kind.  Prince Charming, on the other hand, barely says anything at all, spends the entire ball being bored until he sees Cinderella.  They dance together, apparently fall in love with barely a conversation between them.]]

From the other perspective, the crime of poor character development is even more egregious: Princess Charming barely says anything at all during the ball, then at a single sight of Cinderedmund in his shiny, fairy-godmother-made suit that would make Liberace jealous, she falls instantly in love, purely on looks.  Just like every other Disney princess movie.

Anyway, midnight comes and Cinderedmund has to run or risk being exposed, Princess Charming runs after him, but only finds his crystal loafer that he left behind on the stairs.  Cinderedmund goes back to his peasant life, gets locked in the attic by his wicked stepmother just as the Grand Duke comes with the glass loafer to test it out on every eligible man in the kingdom.  (In this case, Cinderedmund probably has either tiny, pixie feet or huge, gorilla feet for it not to fit anyone).

There’s another problem with this.  Granted, it makes sense that the Princess (or the Prince) wouldn’t waste her time going door to door with the shoe to find her true love, but don’t you think it would help with the identification? But no, the princess is completely passive, not even bothering to go hunting for the man she loves.  [[As is true with Prince Charming.  He just has his minions go find her.  I mean, Prince Phillip freakin’ kills a dragon to get to Aurora, but Prince Charming just sits in his Lazy Boy while his true love is locked in an attic by her wicked stepmother.  Whatever.]]

So anyway, the glass loafer shatters but–yay!–Cinderedmund has the other one, which fits perfectly! Then (I assume), Cinderedmund gets hauled off to the castle to be reunited with his princess, and they get happily ever after! (One can only guess, because they haven’t really talked to each other yet…)

Bonus: Before and after pictures!

Prince with glass slipper before and after

Cinderella ball gown side by side

Other Disney Swaps:
Little Mermaid Gender Swap
Tangled Gender Swap
Sleeping Beauty Gender Swap

Disney Heroine Body Swap – Part One
Disney Heroine Body Swap – Part Two

 

Obligatory Copyright Notice: All original images, characters and stories belong to Disney.  The original images are provided by disneyscreencaps.com.  The photoshopping is mine.  This is a work of fan art.  No copyright infringement is intended.

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Search Term Extravaganza!

Okay, so WordPress provides bloggers with search terms of their viewers to help them find out how their audience is finding them.  Since February, there are 608 search engine phrases used to find my site.  538 of these are “Unknown” (i.e. they are not recorded by the search engine itself because they are private or whatever reason. Not included in either of these numbers are the views from people who access my pages through direct links (i.e. linked from Facebook or other social media sites, or those bookmarked pages.) The leftover 70 or so fall into several categories, which I will now share with you.  [[I apologize in advance if you see one of your search terms is listed here and for me poking fun at it.  Please be assured that I have absolutely NO idea who you are, as WordPress doesn’t identify who searched for what.]] I have capitalized things where appropriate because it’s easier to understand what they were looking for, but left spelling and grammar the same because, on the whole, my readers are pretty literate.

Category 1: “Right on!”
This category I reserved for the search terms that my site was made for, that is my blog’s main draw, that I specifically mentioned or made a big deal about on my blog.

Example search terms:

  • Anything with the words “swap”: gender swap, body swap, head swap, etc.
  • “Do Belle and Jane look alike?” The answer is yes.  See here.
  • Tour of the kingdom” (Multiple terms included references to Little Mermaid, Eric and/or Ariel)  See this comic.
  • “Reindeer are better than people” and “Reindeers are better than people” “Raindeers are better than people.” I did a rant about the pluralization of reindeer in my blog.  [[First search term: Yay! You spelled it the right way! Second search term: Well, that’s what it does say in the lyrics, even though it’s wrong.  Third search term: No.  Just…no.]]
  • “Daniel Radcliffe flaming branch.” Yup.  I definitely reposted this picture.
  • “Eric merman” and “Little Mermaid Ariel human” I certainly did make Eric into a merman and Ariel into a human.
  • “Devil’s Snare” is deadly fun but will sulk in the sun! (Also, I killed Neville with it.)
  • “Frozen who was in charge up to the coronation” I was really, really, really happy when  I saw this one.  It proves that more people than just me started digging around into the sheer weirdness of there being no one ruling Arendelle for the three years before Elsa came of age.  Seriously? This still bugs me.  Read this.  It’s probably my absolute favorite of any Disney What-if story I’ve done.
  • Related to the above search phrase: “What are Elsa and Ana’s parents names from Frozen.” Nope, they aren’t mentioned.  I named them Nikolas and Ingrid, because in the written word, people need names.  You can get away with stuff like that in movies and TV where all you have to do is be able to recognize someone.

Subcategory: “You’ve definitely been here before”

  • “Alice and Wendy” I’m certain I’m not the first person to find the similarities between Alice and Wendy (considering they’re voiced by the same person), but I feel like this is far less likely to be a common search term than gender swapped characters from the same movie.  This is two different characters from different movies.  I’m chalking this up to revisits.
  • “Megara as Jasmine” You, my friend, have been here before.  When doing the second part of my Disney Heroine Body Swaps, I had trouble figuring out who paired best with Ariel, Mula, Jasmine, Megara, Esmeralda and Pocahontas.  The fact that I put Jasmine and Megara together was a matter of statistical pairings: out of all of the possible pairs, which combinations maximized the similarities between them? This is not a common search term.
  • “Obliviate cartoon” Way too specific to be a coincidence.  Just “Obliviate?” Maybe.  Just “Harry Potter comic?” Almost certainly.  But not this one.
  • “Evil Olaf” Considering Olaf is the cutest, most cuddliest thing in the world, this is no coincidence.  Case in point.
  • “Animal paradox in movies” Sure, this one could be someone wondering why Disney movies vary so widely in how much an animal can speak, but I specifically called my post The Disney Animal Paradox. I’m calling this a repeat visitor.
  • “Ariel and Eric tour of the kingdom the Great Mouse Detective” These two search terms are so unrelated that they have to be trying to find my page.  My Tour of the Kingdom comic and my mention of the Great Mouse Detective in the Disney Animal Paradox were posted only 3 days apart.   Someone must have remembered parts of my two most recent posts (at the time) or the two they had read and they were trying to find me again.

Category 2: “I can see how you ended up here”
This category is for those search terms that are more than just your average amount of overlap.  They’re things that may have been quoted, mentioned or referenced in my blog, but are generally not something big or important.  Usually, there’s an overlap between things I commonly talk about (Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid, Frozen, Aladdin and Disney in general).

Example Search terms:

  • “Disney screencaps”, “[Insert name of Disney movie] screencaps”, etc.  I frequently cite Disneyscreencaps.com as the source for most of my images for my Disney photoshopping antics.  You should check them out rather than me.
  • People searching for a very specific image, things like “Gazeem Disney” “Aladdin restrained” “Aladdin drowning” “Hans sword” “Gaston proposal”, “Friend Like Me”, “The part where Ana turned into ice in Frozen”, “Prince Belle marry” “Disney Lefou” etc. I have definitely had Aladdin being restrained, then drowned, as well as Gazeem’s name in my Aladdin Without Magic, and similarly mentioned the other things in other writings.  A lot of these terms are so vague that they could just as easily lead you to any other Disney-themed website.
  • “Frozen Elsa introvert” A common personality quiz going around the internet is about “Which Frozen character are you?” and talking about personalities types with Ana being the extrovert and Ana being the introvert.  I searched on my site, and I used the word introvert in reference to Dumbo, but never about Elsa.  However, “Frozen” and “Elsa” are both common tags in many of my pages, so there’s the connection.

Category 3: “WTF?”
This category is for the search terms that either 1) are completely bizarre or indecipherable or 2) are totally messed up, wrong or helllll no.  Before you ask, YES! These are all 100% real and 100% not made up.  Don’t believe me? I can screenshot them for you.

Example search terms:

  • “Bondage Ariel y Eric” First of all, a cursory look in an online Spanish-English dictionary tells me that bondage (i.e. the sexual practice) in both languages is spelled the same, which explains why there’s that “y” in there.  Some Spanish reader is looking for some kinky mermaid action.  There is none here to be found.  Sorry.  [[Please note that this search term came up twice.]]
  • “Alarm merman” I have no idea what you’re searching for.  You probably got sent here because I had “merman” from my Eric-as-a-merman swap and I no doubt have the phrase “Raise the alarm” somewhere on my blog, but what exactly are you looking for? Are you looking for a merman alarm clock? Are you wondering if there are guard mermen standing sentinel over Triton’s underwater palace who are there to raise the alarm in case of invading sharks? I have no idea.
  • “Aladdin bird stone” Just “Aladdin bird?” Answer: Iago.  But what does “stone” have to do with anything? I know Maleficent’s pet crow gets turned into stone by one of the fairies in Sleeping Beauty, but not Iago.  Maybe you ended up here because of me referencing the stone Cave of Wonders and Iago in my Aladdin without Magic, (or maybe my mention of the Great Stone Dragon in Mulan) but I don’t know what to tell you.  I have no stone birds here, from Aladdin or otherwise.
  • “Belle double penetrated by Gaston and Adam!” As George Takei would say, “Oh myyyy…” Note: I did not put that exclamation point there.  Someone really, really wanted to see this.  Again, there is nothing like this on my site.  I probably was high up on the list of results because I actually call the Beast “Adam” in my Beauty and the Beast Without Magic.  His name is actually never mentioned in the film, so it’s not widely known.
  • “Aurora underwater gagged” Aurora was never underwater.  Maybe they meant Ariel? She was gagged by Flotsam and Jetsam, I believe.
  • “Elsa made her heat ice cold” Say what? If you made your heat cold, then it’s not heat anymore.  Elsa’s cryokinetic, which means she can control ice and snow.  Maybe this is a search about her body heat, like why doesn’t she freeze to death if she makes coldness with her bare skin? I got nothing.
  • “Body Jasmine Ariel images” This one wouldn’t be so bad if not for the word “body” at the front.  Are you just trying to check them out, or is there something more? Were you trying to find a body swap and forgot one of the words? Were you trying to figure out who was skinnier, or maybe just trying to find full-body images rather than just the torso or head/neck area?
  • “Cuzco and Elsa Disney” Okay, that’s just about the weirdest pairing I’ve ever seen.  A girl who makes winter and an emperor from South America.  Sure.  Maybe this is a strategy against global warming?
  • “Aladdin sexy” “Megara sexy” What, they aren’t sexy enough for you in the movies? Sheesh.
  • “Little Mermaid legs taken from Cinderella” Is that how Ariel gets legs? Ursula steals Ariel’s voice and, in exchange, takes Cinderella’s legs? Is Ursula the pawn shop of the magical world?
  • “Body swap inanimate comics” Are there animate comics? Don’t we just call those…cartoons? Or animated features? Or maybe you want me to swap pictures of comatose Penn & Teller…
  • “Aladdin giant” Are you looking for a large-sized, high-res picture of Aladdin? Or do you want a picture of him crushing the people of Agrabah like ants? There is definitely a part in the movie where Genie is giant, but not Aladdin.

Category 4: Questions I want to answer
These are people who were obviously trying to get some information from the internet.  I’ll take a stab at it.

Example search terms:

  • “In Frozen which girl had the powers” Elsa.  There’s nothing else to say to this.
  • “Lampwick’s fate” I actually had to look this one up myself, having watched Dumbo infrequently as a kid.  But you never find out what happens to Lampwick.  He just runs off as a donkey and no doubt gets sold with all the other boy-donkeys.  Drinking’s bad for you, kids.
  • “Deeper meaning to magic carpet ride from Aladdin” Whoa.  Lay off the weed, dude.  They’re flying…through the world…Stay with me here…on a magic carpet… Or maybe “There’s a magic carpet inside all of us.”
  • “Does Anna lose her white srtip [sic] of hair after Elsa thaws her frozen heart” Yes.  It’s gone. Elsa un-whited the rest of her hair at the end, so why not the original strip?

Category 5: Ideas you’ve given me

  • “Futurama Fry merman” I now want to make a merman version of Fry to show how he would have looked had he chosen to stay in the Lost City of Atlanta.
  • “Cinderella gender swap” I haven’t done one yet, basically for the reason that the prince is so not memorable.  I generally try to swap two characters and their positions in the story rather than actually change Cinderella into a man.  Therefore, it would be Cinderella in some sort of outfit that looks similar to the prince’s and the prince in a really pretty ballgown.  These kind of swaps don’t really work unless the outfits make sense.  (For example, when I swapped Eric and Ariel, I didn’t give Eric a seashell bra; I just showed what he would look like if he were a merman.  Ariel was a bit of a cross-dresser, but I made her outfit more feminine.  Kinda pirate-chic.)  I suppose I could make Prince Charming wear Cinderella’s work outfit, but with pants instead of a dress, and Cinderella wear the prince’s outfit modified to be a ballgown… Hmmm…the juices are flowing.  Stay tuned! [[Update: Check it out here]]
  • “Harry Potter fan fiction gender swap” You’re definitely here because of “Harry Potter” and “gender swap” but unfortunately, I’ve never done one of these before.  It’s hard to do swaps from live-action movies (well, harder than animated movies) because it still needs to look like real people. But, it would be interesting to do Harriet Potter and the Life That’s Hard When You’re a Boy But Even Harder When You’re a Girl Because People Expect You to Save the Wizarding World and Yet Still Look Pretty. Wait…never mind.  That’s depressing.
  • “Body swap Tarzan and Jane” This one I have thought of before, but it’s not super fun for me.  We’ve already seen Jane in a jungle-woman outfit at the end of the movie.  It’s no fun to do it again, just more work for a crappier product.
  • “Disney five muses mermaids” Oooooo! This could be fun! The Muses from Hercules redone as mermaids!
  • “Harry Potter awesome edition” Is this a fan fic? Or a recut of the original films? Either way, SOMEBODY TELL ME BECAUSE I WANT–NAY, NEEDTO KNOW!!!!
  • “Gender swap Ursula sea witch” I had considered this, and even mentioned it in my Little Mermaid Gender Swap.  I imagine she’ll look like a trucker as a man.  Give me time. [[Update: Check it out here.]]
  • “Frozen Arendelle in the cold huns giving blankets” I’m sure they meant “Hans giving blankets”, but this has given me an awesome idea from that typo: Shan Yu and the other Huns from Mulan handing out blankets to the people of Arendelle.  Mushu: “They popped out of the snow…like daisies! And then they gave us…blankets…”
  • “What else could Ariel of swapped” Well, that’s actually a really good (if poorly executed) question! (“Could have…” not “could of”) Wouldn’t it be funny if Ariel had swapped her arms for legs? Ursula: “You have your looks…your pretty face… And don’t underestimate the importance of eating with your toes!”) Or maybe her sight? She could be hitting on Max the dog and never known it. Or her hearing? She could just talk and talk and talk and not care how she sounds.  Eric can show her all sorts of cool new human things and she’d be making up crazy names for them because she can’t hear what he’s saying.
  • “Disney descendants daughters” Not quite sure what you mean.  This could be a search about Walt Disney’s daughters, mentioned in Saving Mr. Banks, but my personal interpretation gives me some ideas.  What would the kids of the Disney couples look like? We get a peek of some of them in the sequels (Simba & Nala have a daughter Kiara, Ariel & Eric have Melody, etc.  Yes, I have seen these sequels.  I just…needed to know…)  But merging facial features to make a composite is not out of the realm of possibility… What kind of kids do Prince Charming & Cinderella have? Or Aurora & Phillip? [[Update: Check some out Aladdin’s daughter here.]]

Well, that’s it for now! If enough people keep searching for weird stuff, I will undoubtedly have more stuff to discuss in a future post! Until then, keep reading!  See your search term and want to comment? Go ahead! I love to find out that people are actually reading my posts…

Disney What-ifs: Young Triton

So, what does Triton look like under all of that beard and hair? What did he look like before he went gray? Turns out, he looks like a trucker, or maybe a pro wrestler.

Young Triton copy

I decided to give him sort of red-brown hair, reminiscent of Ariel but not flat-out red.  I kept the mustache purely because I didn’t want to have to figure out what his top lip should look like, but I shrank it a bit so it wasn’t so ginormous. He got a haircut, too, plus less of a receding hairline.  I even shrank his muscles a bit, mostly in the shoulder area, which seems counter-intuitive considering a younger Triton should be in the prime of his life.  However, a great majority of his size is just making him look normal with all of that beard.  Once the beard is gone, his head is way too small for his body.

Bonus: Before and after pictures for comparison

Young Triton before and after copy

 

Other Cool Stuff:
Disney What-Ifs: Ariel’s Mother
Disney What-Ifs: Aladdin’s Mother
The Frozen Heart
Beauty and the Beast Without Magic
Aladdin Without Magic

 

Obligatory Copyright Notice: Original images and characters are copyrights of Disney.  Screencaps provided by disneyscreencaps.com.  Photoshopping was done by me as a work of fan art.  No copyright infringement is intended.

Ringwraith Pillow Fight

My friends and I went camping this weekend, and someone proposed this question: What if the Nazgûl from Lord of the Rings fought with pillows instead of swords?  Here’s my interpretation.

 

Single Nazgul pillow fight copy

You gotta admit, they are still pretty terrifying.

 

Frodo and Nazgul pillow fight copy

Frodo is about to be injured by a Morgul feather pillow, a wound beyond Aragorn’s power to heal.  He needs Elvish medicine to heal such a vicious blow.

 

Aragorn and Nazgul pillow fight copy

The Hobbits tend to Frodo as Aragorn faces off against the Nazgûl with a fiery torch and his own trusty pillow.  The fire is a lot more effective than just lighting the Ringwraiths on fire, especially if you can light the enemy’s own weapon on fire to disarm him.

As you can imagine, this got my mind thinking about making all swords in Lord of the Rings into pillows.  Gandalf’s trusty pillow Glamdring, the tattered shreds of Narsil, resewn into the mighty pillow Andúril for the one true king of Gondor.  I imagine Sting as one of those little sofa pillows, not fit for a man but perfectly sized for a Hobbit.

 

Obligatory Copyright Notice: This is a work of fan art.  No copyright infringement is intended.  All original images are copyright New Line Cinema and the books and characters are copyright J.R.R. Tolkien.  The photoshopping is done by me.

Totally Awesome Things I Didn’t Make – Avatar: The Last Airbender Edition

To those who have never seen Avatar: The Last Airbender, you should.  Just don’t watch the movie version.  FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY, DON’T WATCH THE MOVIE! (For a director who claims to be a fan of the show, they didn’t even get the pronunciation of the main characters’ names correct…) It’s only 3 seasons with half hour episodes; give it a try and I swear you won’t be disappointed.

In any case, here’s some stuff I didn’t make for your amusement.  I tried to credit the original authors when possible.  Sorry if I didn’t credit your work correctly.  There’s only so much I can do with the internet as a source.

 

Disney Characters as Benders:
Here’s just a few of my favorites.  Check out more on the link below.

Credit: Robby at cartooncookie.tumblr.com

 

Aang and Appa as Calvin & Hobbes:

Credit: Why Naut?

 

Appa Van:

Original van owner: Unknown
Pictures taken by At Last I See the Light

There is nothing cool in this post.

Hey, all.  Just wanted to tell you all that I’ve had a craaaazy busy weekend.  Just got home from out of town and I haven’t had a chance to put anything together for my usual weekend post.  I will hopefully have something soonish, even if it’s just a compilation of other people’s cool stuff.  Maybe I’ll do a gender swap if I’ve got time.  Going to become unconscious soon….

Disney What-Ifs: Aladdin’s Mother

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there (and a special shout out to mine! Love you, Mom!) In honor of our beloved mothers, here’s a tribute to a Disney mother that we never got to meet.  Unlike a lot of Disney mothers who are absent from the movies without explanation, we do get the tiniest hint of Aladdin’s mom.   We know from Aladdin that he’s a street rat, and we know he’s an orphan (“I’d blame parents except he hasn’t got ’em”).  Or is he?  We find out this is not the case in Aladdin and the King of Thieves when we meet Aladdin’s father, Cassim.

[[Can I just take a moment and try to convince you to watch this movie? No, I’m not asking you to watch Return of Jafar, unless you’re a glutton for punishment.  Granted, there are some good things about RoJ–a few decent songs, Iago’s redemption–but the plot’s convoluted, there’s two different villains (Abis Mal from the TV series and, of course, Jafar), and there’s no Robin Williams as Genie.  My advice is just skip the second movie and jump right into KoT.  All you need to know is that Iago now works with the good guys, though he’s still just as loud-mouthed and self-serving as ever.  In fact, the only mention of Jafar in the entire movie is in the opening song, saying, “Without Jafar and all his malice, everybody’s happy.  What could possibly go wrong?” That’s it. You don’t need to know how Jafar meets his end to know what’s going on here.  Plus, the songs are fantastic, it’s got John Rhys-Davies as Aladdin’s father, it’s got an entirely new plot, a decent villain, a magical object as intriguing as a genie’s lamp, plus Robin Williams back as Genie! The next time it’s out of the Disney Vault, just give it a chance.  I promise.  It’s good.  Quite possibly the only truly good Disney sequel.]]

In King of Thieves, Aladdin tells Jasmine, “My past…it’s a blank. My mother died when I was just a kid, and I never even knew my father. I have no idea where I come from.” Sad stuff, but it gets worse.  When Al finally meets up with his dad, we find out what actually happened to him all those years ago.  As Cassim tells it: “I knew exactly what I wanted for my family: the best.  I couldn’t give up and go back empty-handed. But the weeks turned into months and the months turned into years… I came back to Agrabah one night, but I couldn’t find my wife, or my son. I thought my family was lost forever. At that moment, I would have traded anything to get your mother back.” To which Aladdin responds, “We never wanted gold… We wanted you.  I wanted a father, I still do.” [[See? This movie is actually good.  It’s really a heartfelt investigation into Aladdin and his family and past.]]

From this conversation, we get a sense that, before their family broke apart, they had been happy.  There had been love between them.  We can see perhaps a glimpse into why Aladdin is such a “diamond in the rough”–it’s got to be his mother’s influence.  Let’s meet her…

Aladdin's Mom

Though Samira and her family never had much money, she felt like she was the richest person in Agrabah. She had a husband–Cassim–who worshipped the ground she walked on, who had been so infatuated with her that he had tried to convince her parents that he was a prince in order to win their favor.  It hadn’t worked, of course, but she had so adored his adventurous spirit and his winning smile that her parents eventually relented and agreed to the match.  Then, when their first son, little Aladdin, arrived, Samira’s heart leapt for joy.  She loved to watch Cassim tell Aladdin stories of far-off places and caves filled with wondrous treasure, of flying carpets and genies and sandstorms that a man could summon with a snap of his fingers.

Samira made a living taking in sewing and laundry; it didn’t earn much, but it was enough for her to live on.  Cassim helped when he could, disappearing for days on end and return with food and small gifts for her and young Aladdin.  She had long ago suspected that many of the items had been stolen, and though her conscience was heavy with the knowledge, she knew there was little she could do.  She could try to return the items, but since the punishment for thievery was having a hand cut off, it was not worth the risk of getting caught by the guards.  Instead, she did the best she could to urge Cassim to find steady work to provide for the family.  “Things will be different soon,” Cassim would say.  “I promise.” But all the promises in the world could not fill the hole in her heart left behind when Cassim went off in search of adventure and a better life for his family and never returned.

Raising a child on her own was not easy.  She had hated Cassim’s secret thefts of food for the family, but now that they were gone the money from Samira’s washing didn’t seem to stretch as far.  Aladdin was a growing boy, too, shooting up like a bean sprout every day.  It was hard to keep a belly like his full when he was always running around the streets of Agrabah, climbing up awnings like a monkey.  Aladdin was so like his father with a penchant for mischief and danger, but with a heart as big as the Sultan’s palace.  One day, she caught Aladdin stealing an apple from a merchant’s cart.  She was so ashamed by the act that she had slapped his hand away and brought him to tears right there in the middle of the marketplace.  Fortunately, Aladdin’s tears had been enough to distract the merchant and given them time to rush home before the nearby guards were alerted to the theft.

Once home, Samira scolded Aladdin, telling him how stealing was wrong and that the consequences of it were not worth the risk.  She never told Aladdin about his father, how she suspected that he had been captured and imprisoned on one of his foolish quests for gold and treasure.  She did not want her son, so like Cassim, to ever have to go down that path.

But Aladdin kept growing and eating, and even honest Samira questioned whether or not it would be so bad for young Aladdin, who had so effortlessly charmed the local ladies in town at the young age of five, to put his skills to good use and procure a little extra food for the family by whatever means necessary.  No, she told herself.  Never thievery.  Instead, Samira provided for her son the only way she could: when Aladdin’s dinner portions became bigger and bigger, Samira’s became smaller.  Aladdin was a smart boy, however, and began to notice the disparity in their portion size.  When asked about it, she would simply respond, “I’m not very hungry right now, Aladdin.  I ate while you were out playing.” Nights were always so cold in the desert, the days so hot.  Their already meager clothes began to turn to rags, and all the patches in the world weren’t enough to save them from the elements.  Samira and Aladdin would huddle together for warmth on those long, cold nights.

Hard work, long hours, cold nights, little food, ragged clothing… illness soon followed.  When Samira was too ill to work, Aladdin set out for help.  He was so young and such a charmer that he managed a few scraps for him and his mother–an apple here, a loaf of bread there–but nothing coming so close as the medicine he desperately needed.  Aladdin considered stealing what he needed, but he remembered his mother’s scolding and refrained.  Everything else he did, however, had not been enough.  Samira was gone; his mother was gone.

Aladdin was alone, just another street urchin without a family.  For a time, pity for the poor boy who had just lost his mother, combined with Aladdin’s natural charm, had earned him a meal or two.  But even the kindest of neighbors is not always so willing to take in an orphan when they already have so many mouths to feed.  But Aladdin was quick-witted and even quicker on his feet and found a way to outrun the local guards.  His mother had never wanted him to steal, but she was gone now, and he had to eat.

Still, he had inherited his mother’s kindness, her unwavering goodness.  There was never another urchin that he hadn’t tried to aid, whether it was to find them an abandoned building to use for shelter or to share his meal with them.  He never stopped dreaming, either, staring up at the palace and wondering what it would be like have everything his heart desired.  But he knew that even the Sultan himself couldn’t grant him his unspoken, secret wish: the mother he lost, that diamond in the rough.

 

Other Disney What-ifs:
Disney What-ifs: Ariel’s Mother
The Frozen Heart

 

Obligatory Copyright Notice: Aladdin, Return of Jafar, and Aladdin and the King of Thieves and characters are all owned by Disney.  The literary character Samira is my creation.  Original artwork is done by Disney, with screencaps curtesy of  disneyscreencaps.com.  Photoshopping was done by me as a work of fan art.  No copyright infringement is intended.