The Return Of Jafar

The Return of Jafar was a direct to video sequel to Disney's Aladdin, which was released in 1994. It was created by Walt Disney Animation Australia, now known as DisneyToon Studios. The action scenes were created by Walt Disney Animation Japan, which closed in 2004. It was released as a Walt Disney Television Animation production.

I liked the movie when it first came out, but I'll admit I let my distaste for Disney sequels cloud my enjoyment of the movie at the time when every DVD would have several sequels to the Disney classics advertised in the trailers. Now that I'm older, I appreciate that the movie is actually the pilot episode of the television series, rather than a true sequel. When viewed in that light, rather than put up against the original film, the movie is actually quite enjoyable.

I enjoyed the evilness of Jafar and Iago's conflict between his loyalty to Jafar and his newfound friendship with Aladdin. I also liked the songs, which while not as memorable as the original film, definitely are catchy and would get stuck in my head for a long time after I watched the movie. I wasn't too crazy over Gilbert Gottfried's singing voice though. It was quite overused, and not at all appealing to the ears. I liked it better when it was subdued and used sparingly in the series finale movie, Aladdin and the King of Thieves. I wish they had used one of Disney's great imitators with singing talent, like Jim Cummings or Bill Farmer. If Bill Farmer could make Goofy sound good singing in A Goofy Movie, I'm sure he could have handled Iago. :)

The thing I was most pleasantly surprised about in this movie was how well Dan Castellaneta performed the voice of the Genie. He really sounded like Robin Williams at times, and I was quite surprised that he was able to quickly switch to voices while singing, and that it sounded so good. He often drifted into the deeper Homer range, but it worked as the Genie since he's always going all over the place vocally anyway.

The quality of the film is nowhere near that of the Disney classics, but it was never meant to be. The movie was a great set up to the animated series, which I enjoyed a lot.

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