The 'Aladdin' Deleted Scene (That Would Have Ruined Gilbert Gottfried's Iago)
The 1992 Disney animation Aladdin is famous for many things. It’s one of Disney’s biggest money-maker movies, it features one of the top-rated Disney villains of all time, and it teaches kids that Agrabah is a “city of mystery” with some tanned folks who either have American or British accents and that's all anyone needs to know about it. That, and they have some pretty big class divides, just like everywhere else.
To refresh everyone’s memory: The movie ends with both Jafar and his grumpy parrot Iago imprisoned inside the genie’s lamp. Hard to say who has it worse, here, because that parrot sure yells a lot. But in the sequel movie, The Return of Jafar, we get to see a different side of Iago (eventually) as the pet parrot has a solid arc that turns him into the show’s true protagonist.
Simply charming. It turns out, though, that Iago never would’ve been able to make such a character turn if Disney had kept this scene in the original movie:
Yes, yes that song is delightfully camp, but also, yikes. That's a tad darker than we expected. Here’s an extract from the lyrics:
JAFAR: And it's so rich!
IAGO: So rich!
JAFAR: And it's so rare!
IAGO: So rare!
JAFAR: To take his shirt, his shoes, his jewelry.
IAGO: And then we'll thin his hair.
JAFAR: Oh, we'll emasculate him slowly.
BOTH: All the better to enjoy.
How delicious, to humiliate the boy!
We can practically hear little Timmy turning to mom and asking, “What’s ‘emasculate?’” That sing-song scene is harsh, and while both Jafar and Iago were bullies with nefarious plans and schemes throughout the first film, they were never so … gleefully bad. This (thankfully cut) scene that sees Jafar play pattycakes with Iago while they strip Aladdin of hat and hair is so much meaner than what we eventually got. Just look at this deranged parrot:
Yeah … no one would’ve wanted to suddenly have to root for this feathery fiend once the sequel came around. Then again, Iago was almost British, so maybe that’s where the original cold-hearted cruelty came from.
(RIP Gilbert Gottfried. You were our favorite, fiery-hearted talking parrot.)
Top Image: Walt Disney Pictures