Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Return of Jafar/Aladdin and the King of Thieves |
Aladdin 2 & 3 Collection
Actors: Scott Weinger, Robin Williams, John Rhys-Davies, Jonathan Freeman, Dan Castellaneta
Directors: Alan Zaslove, Tad Stones, Toby Shelton
Genres: Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Musicals & Performing Arts, Animation
Aladdin's thrilling adventure continues with ALADDIN: THE RETURN OF JAFAR and ALADDIN AND THE KING OF THIEVES -- together for the first time on DVD in the ALADDIN II & III COLLECTION. This exciting two-movie set features t... more »
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Two pleasing sequels for Aladdin
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 01/19/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Disney suddenly recognized the marketing potential of direct-to-video sequels in the 90's. The 1994 sequel to Aladdin entitled The Return of Jafar had none of the style that made Aladdin so memorable. With second rate songs, a second rate story clearly designed as a pilot for the TV series The Return of Jafar could have been produced by any studio and the generic quality of the film is one of its principle flaws. On a scale from A to F, I'd have to rate Jafar as a C-. The animation has little of the character one expects from Disney and has bottom of the barrel production values. The only redeeming qualities are the return of actors Jonathan Freeman, Gilbert Gottfried, Scott Weinger, Linda Larkin. Dan Castellaneta stands in for Robin Williams who got into a royal pissing match with Disney when they used his voice without permission for toys and marketing purposes. In "The Return of Jafar" the evil sorcerer returns to try and take over the kingdom and get revenge against the "street rat" Aladdin. Even a guest appearance by Jason Alexander can't save this from being strictly mediocre at best. The songs are second rate and can't hold a candle to the brilliant material written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman from the first film. This film is in a standard aspect ratio meaning it was designed for a square TV screen. "Thieves", on the other hand, has been presented in a 1.78:1 widescreen format so it will play well on 16x9 widescreen TVs. I know the original VHS version of "Thieves" was in a standard format and this is the first I've seen of the film in 1.78:1 widescreen (although it might have been in that format for laserdisc).
"Aladdin and the King of Thieves" improves on Jafar. With a larger budget, smoother animation, better production design and the return of Robin Williams as Genie, the third film almost approaches the majesty of the first. Aladdin goes in search of his father and, with the help of an enchanted septer found among the King's treasures, he finds him only to discover that his father leads the 40 Thieves. With appearances by the late Jerry Orbach and the return of the principle cast from the first film, Aladdin and the King of Thieves rates a solid B. Although the songs aren't quite up to Menken and Ashman standards are improved with a variety of songwriters contributing material.
The vibrant colors and slick production design bring the third film closer to the original although it can't quite match the first film for sheer invention. John Rhys-Davies ("Lord of the Rings", "Raiders of the Lost Ark", "Sliders") turns in a great performance as Aladdin's father. It sounds as if the director had Sean Connery in mind as Rhys-Davies' performance sounds quite a bit like Connery. Likewise, the late Jerry Orbach's performance as one of the villans of the film is a highlight as well.
Both films come with games that can be played by tykes. Careful What You Wish For and Disneypedia are the two extras included with Jafar. The former make keep tykes interested one or two times but will lose them with later viewings. The latter discusses different wishing traditions from around the world and is pretty decent although short and very sketchy in terms of details. The best featurettes are saved for Thieves. Loot in the Liar and Bag the Bad Guys are the two games included here. Again, like most Disney games designed for their DVD releases, they'll keep kids interested a couple of times at best. Both of these are at least equal to if not better than the single game on Jafar. Behind the Microphone takes us on a visit with the people who did the voices for Thieves. It's a solid featurette and once again better than that included on Jafar. There's also a song selection with lyrics that pop up on the screen. That feature will come in handy when the kids want to sing along with the songs for both films. As I mentioned before, none of the tunes can hold a candle to the Menken/Ashman songs but the superior material in Thieves at least has a sense of melody (although Orbach's In or Out song from Thieves should have been left out as its probably one of the worst of the bunch).
Jafar will provide an entertaining diversion for kids who loved Aladdin. While the film compare to the original or the third film Thieves its enjoyable. Thieves, on the other hand, could have been a contender. If Disney had chosen to put a bit more effort and money into it I have no doubt that they could easily have created a classic equal to the original. As it is, Thieves is very close to the quality of the original film with a witty script. The film is hampered by the same limited animation (although superior to Jafar) and by songs that can't hold a candle to the Menken/Ashman songs. The image quality, transfer, sound and extras are all exceptionally good given that these were created for the video market only.
Six More Wishes!
Mark Clegg | Great Britain | 10/29/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Aladdin has proven to be one of Disney's more popular modern classics and is the only Disney animated feature to spawn two straight-to-video sequels (until Lion King 1 1/2's release).
The first (and the first ever Disney DTV sequel) is Return of Jafar. Actually four episodes of the TV show, this mainly suffers from inferior animation (although not bad for TV) and a distinct lack of Robin Williams (Dan's great as Homer but is no Genie!). The character of Iago (one of my favourites but not everyone's cup of tea!) gets a much bigger part and swaps over to the good guys. The plot nicely compliments the original and expands the story without obviously being a cash-in. The songs are surprisingly good and the Song Selection feature allows for the words to appear on screen. The rest of the 'special' features are pretty poor and include the weakest Disneypedia to date and a couple of games that hardly hold the attention never mind challenge the mind.
More successful as a film is King of Thieves. Being better animated and seeing Williams return as Genie (what happened to his vow never to work for the studio after the original film?), the irony is that Genie has very little to do with the plot which concerns Aladdin and his reunion with his father. Williams adds his improv skills to the script and comes up trumps with several stand-out scenes including the opening wedding scene and a wonderful cameo by Hope and Crosby. Again the songs are surprisingly good (better than Return of Jafar's) and this DVD also has the Song Selection facility. The rest of the extras on this disc are even more bland than the last and neither deserve their 'Special Edition' tags.
King of Thieves makes up for Return of Jafar's short-comings but neither are a patch on the original."
Average movies, but entertaining. Never made for widescreen.
Adam | 01/18/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Being Disney's first direct-to-video/DVD sequel, the animation of "Return of Jafar" is understandably lacking compared to the modern DTV's such as "Lion King 1 1/2" or the upcoming "Lilo & Stich 2". However, for what it was, it's quite an enjoyable film and a must-buy for any big fans of Disney's Aladdin franchise, or of the villain Jafar.
Jafar is likely one of Disney's most popular villains; and as such the third film in this trilogy, "Aladdin & the King of Thieves" is somewhat lacking without him. This movie does have one thing going for it, though, and that is Robin Williams returning to reprise his role as the Genie, who was voiced by Dan Castellaneta in "Return of Jafar".
As for those reviewers complaining of the lack of a widescreen release of these two movies; neither of these movies were animated for widescreen. Being direct-to-video products of the mid-1990's that never achieved theatrical release, their original aspect ratios are 1.33:1, the same as most television programs."
Extremely FUN Sequels
B. S. Windon | Gold Coast, QLD, Aus | 03/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't understand why these movies are so panned by everyone. I actually like the sequels just as much as the original, infact, in the case of "The Return of Jafar" I like it more than the original classic. Why?
They are incredibly FUN movies. Fun to just get lost in and have a blast with the characters. "Return of Jafar" features some of the best Disney songs ever to sing along too. "Forget About Love" actually has the honor of being my FAVOURITE Disney song of all-time. It starts off very humourous and fun to just sing along to, then slows down and takes a more romantic spin. If you haven't heard this song... I'd reccommend seeing the movie for it alone. "Only Second Rate" and "Nothing like a friend" are also fantastic songs.
As for "King of Theives"... Robin Williams back as the Genie just works so well. I think the Genie is at his comedic BEST in "King of Theives". A story of greed, family and love. Fantastic family film. Kids will love it... Hell, anyone that likes good dumb fun and cartoons will love it.
Bottomline is... People love the original so much that having sequels to it "have to be blasphemy". But if you open your mind, you'll see these are adorably fun movies that not only kids would love... You could too."