Julia AlessioMrs. MartynEnglish 10HJanuary 26, 2018Aladdin The well known Disney movie of Aladdin, was a very high profile release, one of the most successful movies in Disney’s history, and a winner to many Academy Awards. However, what is most often overlooked is the unmistakable portrayal of thoughtless racism towards the Arab culture, which can be seen in the illustrations of characters, the statuses of these characters, and many lyrics in the movie depicting their homeland. Disney animated films are characterized as perfect family movies, however it is undisclosed to many that the unacceptable messages supporting racism, sexism, and stereotypes are being disguised as innocent and wholesome, which is exposed to children at a very young age. The Disney movie, Aladdin, has perpetuated an institutionally racist society based on harsh stereotypes, severely sexualized females of a very young age, and has created an offensive, unrealistic generalization of Arab men. One of the most thoughtless problems in Aladdin, is the stereotyping of the Arab culture, which immediately begins the movies depiction of Arab culture with a downright racist tone. In the first scene of the original movie (1992) a character sings the lyrics, “Oh, I come from a land, from a faraway place where the caravan camels roam. Where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face. It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home” (0:00:30). The film instantly characterizes the Arab world as a place of endless deserts, barbaric behaviour, and cruelty. Shortly after releasing the movie, there were countless protests against these offensive lyrics. In 1993, Disney was forced to change the lyrics to, “Oh, I come from a land, from a faraway place where the caravan camels roam where it’s flat and immense and the heat is intense it’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home”. Even after the changing of the lyrics, it is still taken offense to, and is teaching outrageous Arab stereotypes to children of a very young age. Many characterizations were made in offense to the Arab culture, however one of the most reoccurring themes of Arab culture was their violence. Almost every male character is seen carrying an enormous sword, and is always looking for someone to punish no matter how small the mistake may have been. Aladdin, having stolen a loaf of bread, is forced to run for his life in order to not be killed. This is an inaccurate portrayal of the Arabic countries and the people living within it. The erotisizing of women seems to be a constant theme in all Disney movies, however is more apparent in Aladdin, showing women as more of an object than an actual human being. In one scene, Aladdin is shown to be running away from a few of the palace guards, and ends up in a brothel. Every single one of the female characters in this scene is wearing very sexual outfits with sheer veils over their faces. The fact that the veils are completely see through, turns something taken very seriously in their religion and makes it into a sexual innuendo for children to watch. In another scene with Jafar, the main antagonist, he puts princess Jasmine in a sheer red veil while forcing her to feed him grapes, keeping in mind she is only 15 years old. In this scene, Jasmine, being forced to wear red while having to respond to Jafar’s every request diminishes her to being his property, and his personal sex slave. Her offensive outfit, resembling lingerie, shows her wearing this exact outfit the entirety of the movie, being exactly the same to the women in the brothel. Not only does her outfit suggest a sexual implication of her before the viewers even have a chance to meet the character, but it also shows that she contains no different qualities than the women in the brothel; she nothing more than a sexually desired object. These scenes wrongly portray women in every culture, causing young viewers to believe that this is how they are supposed to act. Throughout the entirety of Aladdin, it depicts the Arabic world and the people within it as exotic, unreasonable, and violent. The men in this movie are severely stereotyped as emasculated palace guards, sultans, or sorcerers all the while being shown as needlessly cruel, with too many of the characters making references to beheading. In one scene, a merchant tries to cut off Jasmine’s hand just because she could not pay for an apple that she gave to a starving boy. There is not a single part in the movie that it shows an upscale, wealthy Arab man living among their culture, which is not only insulting to the Arabic culture, but is also very unrealistic. When it comes to the illustrations of the male characters, Disney turns out to be very racist. Almost all of the smaller parts in the movie, and especially the villain-like characters all seem to have very distinct Arabic appearances. Jafar, the villain in the movie, has a distinguishable Arabic accent, a large amount of facial hair, an unproportional nose, and ominous eyes. On the other hand, Aladdin, the hero, has very light skin for being Arabic, and talks with a perfect American accent, all the while wishing to be known as Al, an American name rather than to be called his Arabic name, Aladdin. The key point in his and the villains illustrations, is that Aladdin, according to Disney, fits the part of a hero relating to more of an American culture, while Jafar, fits the part of the villain by being Arabic. Disney’s movie Aladdin, is a poor attempt in trying to make a movie about another culture. From the first few seconds of the movie it shows an appalling representation of the Arabic culture, which puts an immense dent in Disney’s reputation. With the amount of viewers worldwide the company influences, it is difficult to comprehend a company as large as Disney can get away with putting this film out to the public and its young viewers.