tek's rating:

Aladdin and the King of Thieves (not rated)
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Caution: spoilers.

This is the second direct-to-video sequel to the theatrical movie Aladdin, following The Return of Jafar. It came out in 1996, and I'm sure I saw it on VHS sometime in the 90s (maybe even the summer that it was released). And then I think I didn't see it again until I watched it on DVD in 2016. (Actually on August 13, the 20th anniversary of its release.) Robin Williams returned to voicing Genie (after having been replaced by Dan Castellaneta for the first sequel and the TV series).

So, it begins on the day Jasmine and Aladdin are supposed to get married. Unfortunately, the Forty Thieves crash the ceremony. While most of them are plundering all the guests of their loot, the King of Thieves, Cassim, goes after a very specific treasure: a scepter that contains an Oracle. Aladdin manages to stop him from stealing it, and later the Oracle informs him that his father, who he thought had died years ago, is actually alive. The Oracle's exact words cause him to assume his father is a prisoner of the Forty Thieves, so he goes to rescue him (along with Iago, Abu, and Carpet). But Aladdin is shocked to learn that his father isn't a prisoner; he's the King of Thieves. (Incidentally, Cassim was voiced by John Rhys-Davies, though the whole time I watched the movie I thought he sounded kind of like Sean Connery.)

There's obviously tension between Cassim and one of the other thieves, Sa'luk. And when Aladdin shows up in their hideout, Sa'luk wants him (and his friends) put to death. But Cassim provides a chance for Aladdin to live, albeit a slim one: Al has to fight Sa'luk to the death. Despite being outmatched physically, Aladdin manages to win... though it soon turns out that Sa'luk survived, and he will find a way to get revenge against both Aladdin and Cassim. But not before Aladdin tries to convince his father to come to his (postponed) wedding. Which goes about as well as you'd expect. And... there's also a search for a treasure, the nature of which I won't spoil. But I will say it's on an island that is never in the same place twice. (When I first heard that, I thought of Lost, though when I actually saw the island, I thought of Avatar: The Last Airbender. It's kind of funny to me, because neither of those shows existed, the first time I saw this movie.)

That's pretty much all I want to say about the plot. But of course there's a happy ending. And there are some decent songs (though certainly not as good as in the original movie). And the whole long-lost father drama was good, along with Aladdin's mixed feelings once he found out who his father was. And there was lots of humor. (As usual, Genie makes a ton of anachronistic pop culture references that no one else in the movie could possibly get. But as long as the audience gets them, that's all that matters. And I really enjoyed how many of the references were to other Disney movies, and at least one reference to another Robin Williams character.) To be honest, I felt like the movie started out a little shaky. I wasn't sure how much I'd like it. But before too long I thought it started getting better, and continued getting better right up to the end. So ultimately, it was pretty fun. Oh, and I also gotta say I really dug the relationship that developed between Cassim and Iago, which was summed up nicely by Iago's line at the end, about Cassim being a good guy, but not too good. (I really do think Cassim was a perfect medium between Aladdin and Jafar, and therefore a perfect companion for Iago.)

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Is it just me, or does the Sultan look kind of... Odin-y?