I saw Aladdin in the theater on my first-ever, non-adult-chaperoned date - a date my mom allowed only because A) it was with a trusted boy from Youth Group, and B) my father was out of town on a business trip and never needed to know.*
The date ended up being as painfully platonic as an Amish quilt circle, though, so in the end it was the movie that won my heart.
[*Until now, of course. Hi, Dad!]
My friend Chris and I immediately adopted Aladdin as our own personal playbook of spontaneous quips and sing-alongs, right there in the back of Freshman Science. We discovered this movie has a quote for literally any situation, and to this day, I still tell John where he stands on a scale of 1-10.
Chris and I weren't as interested in the love story bit, so while all the girls in our grade were caterwauling "A Whole New World" to the radio, we were belting out "Arabian Nights," "Prince Ali," and "Friend Like Me."
We memorized the merchant peddler's intro ("also makes julienne fries!"), all of Genie's lines ("Talk about your trunk space, check this action out!"), and the delightful back-and-forths between Iago and Jafar. (Though mercifully the "NOT!" grew old pretty fast.)
This bit was always one of our favorites:
You'd be amazed how often two determined teenagers can work those lines into everyday conversation.
... each filled with clumsy comedy routines which would one day come to surprisingly good use for a certain goofy cake blog. (I think half my Aladdin references over there sail by unnoticed, but that's ok; *I* know.)
Many years later, when Disney released the special-edition DVD, Chris surprised John and me by showing up at our door with a copy. It remains a kind of icon of our long friendship, and one of those rare memories that will remain forever sweet.
I love that fandoms give us that. How geeking out together gives us that. If every awkward 14-year-old could just have a nerdy partner in crime to sing and laugh and love-what-they-love with, I bet the world would be a bit less cynical - and a heckuva lot more fun.
Anyhoo, I'm taking this little trek down memory lane because something fascinating hit the interwebz this week regarding Aladdin. Something that, for all my years of fangirling, I never knew.
It turns out, this guy?
This peddler I've been quoting for - sweet StayPuft - over 20 years*? He's actually Genie, after Aladdin frees him. Apparently this has even been a common fan theory, but it was just recently confirmed by one of the movie's directors.
AND I HAD NO IDEA.
Of course, now I see the similarities in their clothes and facial hair - and recognize Robin William's voice - but I never would have guessed!
So now I can't stop grinning. Week. MADE.
Hmm, I wonder if John will watch Aladdin with me tonight...
Oh, and I guess I should go warn Chris that I'm talking about him on the internet again.
[*I AM SO OLD YOU GUYS]
Time to announce this month's Art Roundup winners!
So congrats to:
Rebecca Davenport, who wins Baby Harley
Brina (who asked me about finding artists), who wins Year of the Snake
Helen Wilbers, my Wild Card winner!
Congrats, you three, and please e-mail me your mailing addresses!