Disney Color Palettes

So, when I was working on this, I spent quite a few minutes searching my screen caps for a close-up picture of Aladdin. More time, in fact, than I would care to admit, considering it should have taken just seconds to find a shot of the main character of the movie. But the issue I was having was that so many of the shots were colorized, with the color, aura, mood lighting, whatever you want to call it coloring the characters’ faces in addition to the backgrounds.  Shots like these:

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In fact, the only time you get an accurate color shot of the characters are in just a few scenes (the marketplace and in the palace during the day). This got me to wondering if this was just my imagination, a coincidence, or something very much intended. So I took a sample of the screenshots that I had downloaded from disneyscreencaps.com (an awesome site, by the way), about 10% of them, and put them together to get an idea of the colorization. This is the result:

Aladdin color palette final copy

You can click to enlarge to prove to yourself that I’m not manipulating the image. These are unaltered screenshots (though a bit low-res to keep the size down).

Remind you of anything? This is the thought that popped into my head after I had assembled the finished product:

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Yup, it looks like Carpet. It wasn’t intentional, but the width I had used for my collage (which I kept thin so that the stripes of color would be thicker for emphasis) makes the finished product resemble Carpet, but not just in shape, but in color. The main colors are there: Dark and light purple, gold, and maroon. This was almost certainly intentional by the artists: they chose a palette of colors and stuck with it, weaving threads of it into both the characters and the backgrounds themselves. Aladdin’s got a maroon fez and a purple vest, Jafar’s main color accent to his black is maroon, and he’s got a gold staff. But the rest of the colors don’t follow this pattern: Jasmine wears a kind of light turquoise, the Sultan wears off-white, Genie is bright blue, etc. So the colors we’re seeing in the overall scheme mostly come from the backgrounds themselves, and the reflected light onto the characters’ skin and clothes that gives this illusion. It’s done for mood. Darker scenes have darker colors, big scenic shots are often pink or purple, often at sunset/sunrise to give it a emphasized beauty. The oasis and Jasmine’s gardens are mostly shot in broad daylight, so most of the green color comes from the foliage in the background. Jafar’s takeover is in a cloudy purple to show the darkness overtaking Agrabah and is later red to reflect Jafar’s signature color and his eventual red genie form. (Even Jasmine and the Sultan’s outfits are colored red to reflect Jafar’s total takeover. By the end of the movie, everything is back to normal, with totally unaltered color and bright blue skies.

So this got me to wondering again… This color scheme was so intricately woven into the movie that it could be not be anything but intentional, so what about the other movies of the time? I turned to the rest of what I (and many others) call The Fab Four: The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty & the Beast (1991), and the Lion King (1994). (Aladdin was 1992, BTW). Here’s what their color palettes look like:

The Little Mermaid Color palette final copy Beauty and the beast color palette final copy The Lion king color palette final

The Little Mermaid (Left), Beauty & the Beast (Center), The Lion King (Left)

Disappointed? I was, at least a bit. There’s not the same coherence of color in these movies as there was in Aladdin. Let’s do a detailed analysis for each (because, if you haven’t noticed this about me yet, that’s sort of my thing).

The Little Mermaid:
Out of all of them, Little Mermaid seems to lack a coherent color palette, and seems much more subdued than the others. This is actually rather understandable, considering where Disney was coming from at the time. Many people signal TLM as the game-changer for Disney, bringing them back out of a slump into the glorious age that brought us the Fab Four, plus other awesome movies like Mulan and Hercules which are definitely on par quality-wise. Before, the movies were a lot darker, with things like The Brave Little Toaster, Oliver & Company, the Black Cauldron, and the Great Mouse Detective. Plus, you have to realize that Little Mermaid takes place under water half the time, and if you remember from that one oceanography class you might have taken in college (and that I definitely did), there’s only a thin layer of the entire ocean where light can penetrate, so I imagine it was a challenge to make it look realistic and yet look like they’re underwater. I also have to give Disney credit because, if you look closely at the underwater shots, they do a fantastic job of varying the light and making it act correctly underwater in a way unequaled until the glory that is Finding Nemo.

But there’s the difference, and this applies to the other two as well: they went for a more realistic approach. Sure, it’s an animated movie about mermaids and magic and whatnot, but there’s nothing too imaginative about their take. It’s not stylized like Hercules to make the characters (and clouds) more closely resemble Greek pottery or Mulan with the backgrounds that resemble Chinese watercolors. It’s just a Disney movie underwater.

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Disney should know ears don’t look like sticky buns.

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Check out the trees. That’s definitely an art style choice. They even allude to the art style of Chinese watercolors in the opening credits.

Back to Little Mermaid. There’s a ton of detail in the scenes, which kind of muddies the zoomed-out view of the movie. Some of the water scenes have so many details in the rock formations that the brilliant blues and turquoises are darkened, making them not pop quite as much as they could.  Even on those scenes where the background art is gorgeous (like the sunset right before Eric’s wedding to Ursula-in-disguise, the misty greys of the opening sequence of the ship at sea, and the purples of most of Ursula’s scenes, the colors are not as obvious in the grand scheme because the character coloration generally remain constant, so you’ve got a red-haired, purple-shelled, green-tailed, pale-skinned girl against a teal sky with grey clouds and a tan shore. It’s hard to see what the dominant color is supposed to be. Even when there is a dominant color, it’s not as stark a color choice. Check out the rowboat scene with Ariel & Eric. It’s got a kind of teal hue to it, but the characters themselves only look as if the darkness got cranked down a bit, but their color balance stayed the same as usual. You can tell it best by looking at Ariel and Eric’s sleeves, which we know to be white. They’re just a bit of gray, not teal like the background.

Beauty & the Beast:
This color scheme bears a resemblance to Aladdin’s (lots of reds, purples, golds and blues), but it’s far more subdued. There are pops of color here and there (mostly around “Be Our Guest”, with all the colored spotlights they use), and some tonal color changes: Murky blue for the Beast’s castle interior, ominous green for the fight scene, which fades to a more melancholy blue when the Beast’s death/transformation occur. Everything else is mostly just realistic interiors like wallpapers, blue skies, etc. Note that the screenshots were taken from the extended version of the movie, which includes the song “Human Again”. This song’s coloring does a lot more to set the tone than a lot of other scenes. It’s mostly in pinks and purples, which are very bright and hopeful about (you guessed it) being human again. Beast & Belle’s dance sequence and subsequent balcony chat I think is interesting color-wise because the ballroom is gold (matching Belle’s dress) and the nighttime sky is a royal blue (matching Beast’s coat). Similarly, the hunting lodge/tavern scene for the “Gaston” number is very similar in color to Gaston himself, a sort of reddish brown to match his bright red shirt. All of his cronies, too, (except the Bimbettes) blend into the background, giving you this hint that Gaston’s got a kind of control over the town. (Also, what is it with villains and red?)

I’m not saying the comparison between Aladdin’s clear design decision about color and that of B&tB is fair, or that one style is intrinsically better than the other. In fact, I think the absolute single greatest frame of any animated Disney picture is this one:

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The colors are amazing, the shot is wonderful, it’s just…gorgeous. I had a Beauty and the Beast trading card collection as a kid and this was my all-time favorite one. But when you zoom out of it, you can’t really get the bright blue sky, the fiery oranges, the fluffy pinks…you just get a tan mess. That’s the point I’m trying to make. The details are great, but it’s colorization is more down-to-earth and realistic.

The Lion King:
The colors definitely pop in this one. They do a great job of setting a color scheme, if not as pronounced as Aladdin’s. You definitely get a feeling in the zoomed-out version that this is an outdoor movie. There’s the greens of the grasslands and jungle, the browns of the desert, and the bright blue African sky. They even set the mood for the villain, though all of the movies do a pretty good job of that. Scar’s early scenes are darker, bland in comparison to the bright colors of the Pridelands. The elephant graveyard background is practically the same as the hyenas’ coats. Scar’s “Be Prepared” scene is ominous, to say the least, with eerie greens and dark silhouettes (and goose-stepping hyenas for that Nazi vibe). Mufasa’s death is a smoky tan from the dust of the wildebeest, with all of the colors so subdued to echo the somber tone. They could have done the standard dark, rainy scene, but they’ve got to save that for the end, of course (although it works better there, with the rain being life-giving instead of mournful as Simba becomes king). And, of course, Simba and Scar’s confrontation is a dark, subdued pink that blazes into fiery red once, obviously, the fire starts. It all works really, really well. This is done, as with the other films, mostly in backgrounds and not in an overall color mask like in Aladdin, with the few exceptions of the fire and nighttime scenes, for obvious reasons.

Anyway, so I hope you like my take on the colors of the Fab Four (most notably, Aladdin), and hopefully you’ll give more thought to this easily overlooked subject when rewatching your favorite Disney movies.

 

Related Posts:
Little Mermaid Comics
The Disney Animal Paradox
Disney Heroine Body Swap – Part One
Disney Heroine Body Swap – Part Two

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Minimalist Disney – Snow White

So, it’s definitely been done before, but I wanted to do some minimalist designs.  I’ve started with Disney because minimalism is at its most awesome when it’s with something iconic, and Disney knows how to do iconic.  As proof of concept to myself before moving on to other minimalist things, I decided to start with Snow White.  Snow White herself is probably the most iconic of the Disney princesses, mainly because she was the first and…come on, that dress.  Add Dopey and Doc to the mix and you’ve got a pretty iconic group.  More to come after this.  It was super fun and didn’t take half as much time as a gender swap, so I might be able to chug one of these out more often than just once a week. (I’m thinking some Star Trek after this.)

Snow White Minimalist copy

[Click for larger view]

I had considered using the facial feature that best described each of the dwarfs for clarity rather than naming them–Doc is obviously the glasses and Dopey is the ears, which I kept in–but I considered doing some sort of scowl for Grumpy and round cheeks for Happy and red cheeks for Bashful, etc.  Unfortunately, it kind of spoils the minimalist look by adding too much detail.  I’m even at odds with myself for putting belts and buttons on some.

Also, yes, these shapes are based off of the international symbols for restrooms, with some tweaks (including necks, a longer dress for Snow White and some pudge for Doc and Happy.) You might also notice some color recursion.  No doubt this was intentional by Disney, either to 1) make their lives easier, 2) save money by not having to buy so many different color inks for their animation cels or 3) to create a definitive color scheme and pallet to work its way through the movie as a kind of way to make the dwarfs distinct, yet keep them cohesive.  Take your pick.

You may also be wondering about my opinion on the dwarfs vs. dwarves argument.  Growing up as a fantasy nerd, I prefer the Tollkien-esque “dwarves” but for this post I’m going for the Disney “dwarfs,” which is technically the acceptable spelling but not an acceptable way to refer to little people outside of the fantasy genre (yes, I include Game of Thrones in fantasy despite it being super popular among the…I call them “normies.”  Though it would be interesting if people started calling the story Snow White and the Seven Imps.)

Don’t believe me about the Disney spelling? Check it out:

snow-white-disneyscreencaps.com-

Boom.

 

Obligatory copyright notice: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, plus its characters and designs, are copyright of Disney.  My work is a creation of fan art.  No copyright infringement is intended.

Disney What-Ifs: Aladdin’s daughter

So, I’ve done a lot of theorizing about various Disney character’s families, either the missing parents (Aladdin and Ariel’s moms) or extrapolating younger versions of known characters (Triton, for one), but now I will be focusing on a different branch of the family tree: children.  What would the kids of famous Disney couples look like?  Here’s my first attempt with the hypothetical offspring of Jasmine and Aladdin:

Aladdin and Jasmine offspring copy

[[Author’s note: I decided to make Aladdin’s child a girl because, for one, it’s a Disney movie and princesses sell.  Look at the sequels… Little Mermaid sequel: daughter.  Lion King sequel: daughter.  One of the few exceptions is Lady & the Tramp, which has a bunch of female puppies that look like Lady, and one Tramp-like mutt that hates his well-to-do life and goes out on the streets.  Hence, another reason I made Aladdin’s kid a girl, because I would be tempted to do something similar with her story.  Son of a street rat wanting to reject his posh life to become a street rat? I wanted to step out of the Disney trap of the recurring return-to-the-origin kind of story, as was done in Little Mermaid II, Lady & the Tramp II, and possibly some other ones I’m forgetting.

Artistic note: Layla is truly an amalgam of both Jasmine and Aladdin.  If you look carefully, you can see Aladdin’s nose, Jasmine’s body, Aladdin’s hair, Jasmine’s eyes (reshaped to more closely match Aladdin’s), Aladdin’s mouth but Jasmine’s lips, plus Aladdin’s altered hair and eyebrows.  I gave her Jasmine’s necklace as well, because I like the idea of mother passing jewelry to daughter, but the rest is hers.]]

 

Layla had an interesting childhood, growing up in the palace of Agrabah as the daughter of the Sultan.  It took her many years to realize how extraordinary her life was, and she was nearly ten years old before she even began to suspect that being entertained by a wise-cracking genie and flying around on a magic carpet were anything but normal.

But despite the very real magic that surrounded her life, Layla was more enchanted by the magic of books and stories.  She spent hours in the palace library, reading books and scrolls recounting wondrous tales of far-off places and evil sorcerers.  Her father, though often busy with his duties as sultan, would spend his spare hours indulging her love of stories with a few of his own.  When Aladdin had tried to tell her of a young street rat who married a princess and later became sultan, Layla hadn’t believed him.

Though Layla shared her father’s thirst for adventure, she had also inherited her mother’s fiery spirit.  Like Jasmine before her, Layla soon found herself chafing behind the palace walls.  By the time she entered her teenage years, she was longing to finally see the places in her books, not just read about them.  Her first escape over the walls on her father’s flying carpet went poorly; Genie had spotted her and, after a failed attempt to convince her to return home, had transformed into a World War II dogfighter and shot her down before she had even flown beyond the palace walls.  But she had seen the palace from above, the city streets of Agrabah below, and there was nothing that could stop her from attempting to see that whole new world awaiting her beyond.  After Layla’s second attempt–Carpet was no longer an option, but Abu was always open to bribes of bananas–landed her with a scolding from her father.  “The streets are not safe for a princess,” Aladdin warned.  “Trust me, I know.” Still, her father promised to take her on a tour of Agrabah soon enough.  Days turned into weeks, however, and weeks into years, and her father’s duties as sultan always delayed the trip.

For Layla’s sixteenth birthday, there was a great festival in Agrabah with royal and noble visitors from all across the land to celebrate.  Many sultans from other lands approached Aladdin and Jasmine with offers to arrange a marriage with Layla with their own sons.  They politely refused all offers, explaining that in Agrabah, a princess is allowed to marry whomever she wishes–although the offer from Sultan Achmed, who as a prince had wooed Jasmine and found himself attacked by her pet tiger instead, was less than politely refused.  Achmed’s mere presence had reminded Jasmine of the succession of suitors forced upon her by her own father and she resolved to not allow her own daughter to suffer the same.

Nonetheless, Layla found herself besieged with suitors, princes of neighboring lands all hoping for a dance or even a short conversation with the sultan’s daughter.  She was eager for their company, not because thoughts of romance had entered her mind but because of the stories they brought with them.  They told her of intrigue in their courts, of folktales and adventure stories, romances and mysteries.  One young man in particular, Malik, captured her imagination with flowery descriptions of his own palace by the sea, for Layla had never seen a body of water bigger than an oasis and longed for this new experience.  When Malik offered to take her with him, she jumped at the chance.

It was the first escape Layla ever made that had succeeded.  The palace was so full of visitors that not only Aladdin and Jasmine were distracted, but also the palace guards.  No one noticed Layla and Malik leaving–that is, except Carpet.  After some difficulty trying to get across his meaning through pantomime (and Genie trying to guess a la an elaborate game of Charades), Aladdin was off to find his daughter and bring her back.  With Carpet’s aid, Aladdin caught up with them quickly enough, finding them in the middle of the searing desert.  Aladdin’s heartfelt plea for her return and the promise of a long-awaited journey–as a family–began to work it’s magic on Layla.  However, when she told Malik that she had changed her mind, his true form was revealed.

The handsome Malik’s disguise fell away, and he revealed himself to be a creature made of fire and shadow, possessed of magic the likes of which Aladdin had not seen since the return of the sorcerer Jafar.  With a scimitar of flame, Malik was able to defeat Aladdin and kidnap Layla, taking her away upon wings of fire.

[[Side note: if this were a Disney movie, I imagine we would get to see Aladdin and Jasmine’s point of view as a side plot: Aladdin returning home defeated, explaining what he had seen in the desert.  Genie would undoubtedly do some schtick, like going through his rolodex and trying to remember why he recognized Malik’s name, with people popping out of the rolodex as he named them.  “Let’s see…M, M, M…Mark Twain…Maleficent…Mork & Mindy…” Cartoon Mork (i.e. Robin Williams): “Na-nu, na-nu.” Genie: “Ugh, I hate that guy… Oh, here it is… Malik.” Genie reveals that Malik is an ifrit, a creature of fire and shadow with magic as powerful (or more so) than a genie.  Malik and Genie have history from thousands of years ago before he ended up in the Cave of Wonders.  Genie is terrified of him, but reluctantly agrees to help Aladdin rescue Layla.  But this is Layla’s story, so we’ll be sticking to her from now on.]]

Malik took Layla far away from Agrabah to his palace by the sea.  However, it was far from the paradise he had described to her, its towers and domes fallen into near ruin.  Upon arrival, Malik revealed that he stole Layla away in order to marry her.  He has a palace and has made himself a sultan…and now he needs a bride.  They are to be married that very night.

Thinking quickly, Layla protested, “You can’t marry someone the same day you’ve met them!” “Why not?” retorted Malik.  “It’s bad luck! Don’t you know the story of the Fisherman and his Bride?” Malik: “No, and do not try to distract me with idle tales!” Layla offered him a coy shrug.  “I guess if you’re willing to suffer the same fate, then that’s fine with me…”  Just as Layla hoped, Malik demanded that she tell him the story so that he could avoid the same calamity.  When her story had ended, Malik agreed to stall the wedding until the next evening.

Layla was still a prisoner, but at least she was free enough within this ruined palace.  She combed the grounds, searching for points of weakness or any hint of an escape route.  Unfortunately, though the palace was in shambles–crumbled towers, whole rooms without roofs–the walls were tall and intact, and this time, she didn’t have a flying carpet.  Besides, if she escaped, where would she go? She had no idea where she was, and there was nothing but desert to one side and an endless sea to the other.  She might have been the only person in hundreds of miles.

During her exploration of the palace, Layla discovered a menagerie filled with exotic animals–parrots, monkeys, goats and even an elephant.  She realized after just a few moments that the elephant’s size might be just enough to give her the boost she needs over the palace walls.  However, that hope is quickly dashed as she spied the chains around the elephant’s ankles, preventing it from leaving its pen.  “Oh, you poor thing!” she exclaimed, entering the pen and tending to the animal.  “I’m not a thing!” replied the elephant.

Layla: “You can talk!”
Elephant: “Of course I can.”
Layla: “But you’re an elephant.  Elephant’s can’t talk.”
Elephant (confused): “They can’t?”
Layla: “Not as far as I know, though I do know a talking parrot…”
Elephant: “Don’t be ridiculous.  Parrots can’t talk.  At least, I don’t think they can.  My memory’s a little spotty.”
Layla grins.  “I thought an elephant never forgets…”
Elephant: “Wait, I’m an elephant?”

It turns out that the elephant’s memory was indeed not very good, and he often forgot crucial parts about his past, even the most obvious fact that he had a trunk, which tended to have a mind of its own.  The only thing he could say with confidence was that his name was Bashir and that he had been Malik’s prisoner for over a year.  From her extensive knowledge of stories and folklore, Layla has identified Malik as an ifrit, a cunning and wicked magical being, and she explained to Bashir that she’s trying to escape and promises to take him with her when she does.  “You’ll be welcome in Agrabah.”

When night fell the next day, that fateful evening when Layla was fated to wed Malik, she tried to stall with another story, this time one so long that it lasted late into the night, and Malik struggled to keep his eyes open during it.  That’s when Layla discovered Malik’s weakness: she could put him to sleep with her stories.  All of those hours in the library had paid off!  She implemented her plan right away, continuing her winding, unending tale until Malik couldn’t help but fall into a deep sleep, delaying her marriage for yet another night.

That’s how her stay at the ruined palace progressed for several weeks: Layla delaying her inevitable marriage to the ifrit with stories at night and plotting her escape during the day.  She prayed for a rescue, but she never gave up hope that she could find a way out on her own.  If only Bashir had been a camel and not an elephant, she would have braved the desert with him the instant she found an escape route.

Yet there was a light in this endless darkness: Layla had Bashir, not just a fellow prisoner trapped by Malik, but a true friend.  One day when visiting him in the menagerie, she broke down and confessed her regret at the rashness of the actions that led her here.  She has realized what wonderful, supportive parents she has always had and how foolish she had been to think she had been a prisoner under their care.  The world was such a cruel place, she realized, and they were only trying to protect her from it as long as they could.  This was the real prison.

Bashir, in turn, looked forward to Layla’s daily visits, asking her about everything imaginable in the hopes that something would spur his memories to return.  She told him stories as well, not the long, boring ones meant to trick Malik to sleep but her favorites, ones of daring swordfights, magical spells and faraway lands.

Then, the moment Layla had been waiting for arrived: Layla discovered where Malik hid his keys.  She put Malik to sleep as she always did, then stole the keys and unshackled Bashir.  As she did so, Layla explained, “I have Malik’s keys.  Tonight, we’re going to escape.” “I can’t leave,” replied Bashir.  “Why not?”  “I don’t remember.  I just know I can’t leave.” “Did Malik put an enchantment on you to prevent you from leaving?” However, Bashir doesn’t know.  Either way, Bashir decided to help Layla escape, even if he couldn’t leave himself.

As Layla opened the front gate of the palace, she found that what Bashir said was true: neither one of them would be able to leave, for Malik had created a magical barrier around the palace that alerted him to their escape.  Back in his true form of smoke and fire, Malik flew down into the main courtyard to stop them.  With his magic, Malik turned Bashir into a beetle with the intention of squashing him once and for all, but Layla flung herself between Bashir and the fiery ifrit foot, begging him not to hurt Bashir.  “I’m the one who set him free,” she explained, “and I’m the one who wanted to escape.  But I promise that if you change him back and let him go, I’ll marry you.  No tricks, no stories.”

Before Malik could agree, there was a knock at the palace door, which then swung wide to reveal Genie in a loud sportscoat and a mustache, doing a fast-talking door-to-door salesman schtick.  He managed to distract Malik for a while until at last the ifrit became suspicious, ripping off Genie’s fake mustache.  “It’s you!” Malik exclaimed, recognizing Genie from their past dealings some ten thousand years ago.  In a Ricky Ricardo impersonation, Genie shouted, “Lucy, I’m ho-ome!” just as Aladdin flew in on Carpet and Jasmine rode in upon Rajah, proud parents willing to risk their lives to rescue their daughter.

Scooping up Bashir and clutching the beetle to her chest, she decides to help her parents fight off Malik by freeing all the animals from the menagerie for a distraction.  Malik is powerful, however, and soon has bested both Aladdin and Jasmine, who must duck out of the action or risk mortal injury.  Their family is reunited though not yet safe as Malik unleashes his full power.   However, the ifrit and the genie have a face-to-face, full-on magical confrontation, Genie emerging from the fray victorious.

“Genie!” cried Layla when it was all over, laying the beetle-Bashir on the ground.  One of his frail legs looked broken from the scuffle and he was barely moving at all.  “Can you help him? Can you change him back?”

Genie offered to try his best, doing his hand-waving with his usual flair and using his magic to reverse Malik’s spell.  A warm, red glow surrounded Bashir as he began to transform, growing larger and larger.  Two of his beetle legs began to disappear as the others began enlarging, a head growing up out of the black beetle shell.  When the magic faded away and the transformation is over, Bashir is barely a quarter of his elephant’s size, with two legs instead of four and no trunk to be seen.  He is human.

“Did I pick up the wrong beetle?” Layla asks, astounded.  She studies him for a moment, then asks, “Bashir?”

The man, who had been looking at his arms, legs, and other body parts, touched his nose and suddenly shouted in alarm, “Ack! What happened to my trunk?”

“It’s is you!” she exclaimed, throwing her arms around him in a tender embrace. “But how?”

Bashir, whose memory slowly began to return now that Malik’s magic spell had been reversed, explained how he found Malik and was tricked into bringing him back to his palace.  “Your palace?” asks Layla.  “Then you’re a prince?”  Bashir smiles.  “I am–well, I was–the sultan.   I was young and foolish, and Malik promised to serve me and use his magic to help me rule.  Instead, he took over my palace, turned me into an elephant and proclaimed himself sultan.  And now look at it.  It’s ruined…”

“Nothing a little spitshine won’t fix,” Genie offers, using his magic to return the palace to its former glorious state, complete with a banner that says, “Welcome Home, Bashir!”

Aladdin, Jasmine and Genie gave Layla and Bashir a moment alone. “Thank you for saving me, Layla.  Without you, I might have been an elephant forever.”  He took her hands in his.  “I guess you’ll be going back to Agrabah now…”

“I guess I will,” she replied, “but what I said was true: you will be welcome in Agrabah.” She gave him a gentle kiss on the cheek.  “Come and visit any time and I’ll visit you as often as I can.  Oh, and don’t forget to write.”

Bashir smiled.  “An elephant never forgets.”

 

Related stuff:
Disney What-ifs: Aladdin’s Mother
Disney Without Magic: Aladdin
Disney What-ifs: Ariel’s Mother
Disney What-ifs: Young Triton

 

Obligatory copyright notice: All characters belong to Disney, with the exception of Layla, Malik and Bashir, who are my creations.  This is a work of fan art.  No copyright infringement is intended.

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.

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…

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

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.