You Aint Never Had A Slave Like Me
I’m sitting here watching Aladdin with my daughter and I realize now that I really need to get out more. Is there a predefined limit to how much children’s programming an adult can take before he snaps? I know this sounds crazy but I feel like my subconscious is trying to relate to this movie on an adult level and that is totally ruining my feelings towards something that I loved as a kid.
When I was little, Aladdin was just a funny cartoon. Now that I’m watching it as an adult I’m thinking to myself, Somebody had to write this story and draw the movie. I’m 100% sure that it wasn’t a kid. So what motivation did the adult have when they wrote it. I mean, that’s the basic truth behind any cartoon, old or new. An adult wrote it. Shrek is great because it appeals to both kid and adult humor without the kids picking up on the adult message. So with all of this said, what are those bastards at Disney trying to say to me?
The way I see it, Aladdin is glorifying slavery. (I told you that I’ve snapped.) I keep telling myself that it isn’t true but…c’mon! You have a guy who’s been imprisoned inside a lamp for ten thousand years and the first thing he does when he gets free is become excited that he has a new master. He sings this elaborate song about how you aint never had a friend like me. Are we really calling it friendship these days? You’ve had several masters of the past few millenia and each time they use you like a wet wipe and send you back to your prison and you’re happy about it?
I know it sounds crazy and I may be reaching but the whole movie mirrors American history. Aladdin is stuck in the cave and needs to get out. He tricks the genie into getting him out without using a wish. Didn’t the Native Americans rescue the settlers scott-free one winter? They didn’t get a single thing for it but smallpox.
Aladdin wants to become a prince so that he could get Jasmine. Princes have power, wealth and influence. Is it not true that America became a wealthy nation because of its free labor (slaves)?
Aladdin gets tossed in the river and almost drowns but the genie uses his second wish to save his life. Remember the Civil War? When the North started losing Lincoln switched gears and said that he’d end slavery altogether if they won. This got Europe to join our side AND incentivized slaves to fight too thus saving the country’s life.
Aladdin reneges on his promise to free the genie. Lincoln freed the slaves but he got popped before they could get equal rights, land and education. This left free Blacks to work the same plantations while Jim Crow laws ensured that nothing changed.
The genie rescues Aladdin one last time and then he gets his long overdue freedom. Blacks fought in WWI, WWII, The Korean War and were in the middle of the Vietnam War before the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964.
Doesn’t really sound like a whole new world anymore, does it? Yeah…I’m tripping. It’s just a movie.