37

At the end of the 1992 Disney adaptation of Aladdin, Aladdin uses his last wish to set the genie free instead of wishing to be a prince (which is odd in itself).

One thing I have always wondered is, why is there at most one wish remaining? Sure, Aladdin only has one wish, but none of the other characters have used any!

Why couldn't Aladdin, say, give the lamp to Jasmine, let her make a few wishes ("Oooo you're a prince again, we're married already, and **** it I want a blimp"), then have Jasmine give it to the Sultan ("History will remember me fondly, let's abolish crackers, and give me 1091 stackable animal toys") and then maybe let Abu have a wing at it ("gold, gold, and gold").

And, at the end of the day, Aladdin can still use his last third wish to keep his promise!

  • 11
    Power corrupts and any future wishes may have an impact on his ability or desire to free the genie. Better to do it now then wait for maybe. – Valorum Oct 10 '14 at 6:21
  • 40
    Because if you go back on your promise to free somebody from slavery/prison and instead extend that imprisonment for your own kicks, you are probably not a great person, and definitely not that somebody's friend. By the end of the movie, Aladdin and Genie are friends. Friends don't do that to each other. – Shisa Oct 10 '14 at 6:58
  • 25
    For the record, 10 to the power of 91 stackable animal toys would weigh about as much as 10000000 Ayers Rocks, instantly killing everyone in the Middle East. – Valorum Oct 10 '14 at 7:47
  • 8
    The whole moral in the story is that procrastenating something you have to do for someone else is not the way to go. – Kevin Oct 10 '14 at 10:44
  • 9
    @Richard: You clearly don't understand how exponents work. By my rough calculation, that would weight between 10^70 and 10^75 Ayers rocks. In fact, it is around 10^33 times the mass of the observable universe. This is one thousand trillion trillion trillion. – ThePopMachine Oct 10 '14 at 16:25
63

The question is not about there being a limit to people who could wish stuff, or even things to be wished for.

It's that Aladdin promised Genie that he'd use his last wish to set him free.

ALADDIN: Fair deal. So, three wishes. I want them to be good. (To GENIE) What would you wish for? ...

GENIE: Freedom.

ALADDIN: You're a prisoner?

GENIE: It's all part-and-parcel, the whole genie gig. Phenomenal cosmic powers! Itty bitty living space.

ALADDIN: Genie, that's terrible.

GENIE: But, oh--to be free. Not have to go "Poof! What do you need? Poof! What do you need? Poof! What do you need?" To be my own master, such a thing would be greater than all the magic and all the treasures in all the world! But what am I talking about, here? Let's get real here. It's not gonna happen. Genie, wake up and smell the hummus.

ALADDIN: Why not?

GENIE: The only way I get outta this is if my master wishes me out. So you can guess how often that's happened.

ALADDIN: I'll do it. I'll set you free.

GENIE: Uh huh, right. Whoop!

ALADDIN: No, really, I promise. After make my first two wishes, I'll use my third wish to set you free. (He holds out his hand)

GENIE: Well, here's hopin'. (Shakes ALADDIN's hand.)

By the end of the movie, Genie and Aladdin have become friends. Friends enough that when its time for Aladdin to make his third wish, and it looks like Aladdin and Jasmine may not actually get to be with each other because of the law, Genie offers to forgo his freedom for the two of them.

ALADDIN: Jasmine, I'm sorry I lied to you about being a prince.

JASMINE: I know why you did.

ALADDIN: Well, I guess...this... is goodbye?

(GENIE pokes his head around the corner shocked at what he is hearing.)

JASMINE: Oh, that stupid law. This isn't fair--I love you.

GENIE: (Wipes away a tear) Al, no problem. You've still got one wish left. Just say the word and you're a prince again.

ALADDIN: But Genie, what about your freedom?

GENIE: Hey, it's only an eternity of servitude. This is love. (He leans down next to her.) Al, you're not gonna find another girl like her in a million years. Believe me, I know. I've looked.

Sure, Aladdin could have wished for something else and passed the lamp around. And hey, Genie's waiting 10,000 years, what's 5 minutes more?

But it would prove to Genie (and the audience) that Aladdin

  1. Has no respect for Genie as a person.
    Sure, it's terrible that Genie has to serve others and can't be his own master, but he can be his own master once he's finished serving all my friends, that seems cool.

  2. Gives no hoots about fulfilling his promises.
    His promise was to use his third wish to free Genie' not 'I'll force some other shmuck to give up their third wish to free Genie'

But then, what assurance does Genie or Aladdin or anyone have that whoever ended up being the last in the Genie-wish train would use the third wish to free Genie? Genie's best rapport in the group is with Aladdin; if even that guy wouldn't give up his third wish to free his friend, why would anyone else? Everyone would always have that just one more friend for Genie to fulfill wishes for.

So whatever kind of person Aladdin would have to be to turn around and do this, that is not the kind of person we saw Aladdin being in the movie, and Aladdin was not willing to pretend to be someone he was not, any longer.

And, tbh, that's not the kind of person movies would ever uphold as a Heroic character (which Disney's Aladdin is supposed to be) either.

  • 6
    To clarify: I was suggesting that the other characters get all three of their wishes, but then that Aladdin still uses his last wish to set the genie free like he promised. +1 since I think you're getting close with the not-being-heroic and just-one-more-friend problems. – imallett Oct 10 '14 at 9:08
  • 10
    @GraphicsResearch That just delays the inevitable. It implies that Alladin is the sort of person who would try to game the system or get the most out of his 'deal' with the Genie, but he's not trying to do either of those things. Genie has been a slave long enough, and as far as Al is concerned, he has more than earned his freedom already. – Zibbobz Oct 10 '14 at 13:37
  • 5
    Genies, like the rest of us, have trouble serving two masters at once. What makes you think Aladdin will get that lamp back to make his third wish once someone else takes over, even "temporarily". (PS - How long is it acceptable for someone to live as a slave?) – ebyrob Oct 10 '14 at 14:12
  • 3
    I don't buy the 'good person' argument at all. If someone offers my friend $8,000,000 to pinch my arm I won't consider him a bad person if he takes it...I'll consider him an idiot if he doesn't (even if I just put in a full work day at a manual labor job). It's a simple matter of cost/benefit ratio; the genie has spent millennia in the lamp and here we're talking about 5 extra minutes in exchange for immeasurable good for his friends. If anything I'd call him the bad person for not offering it! I think the fear of power corrupting is the only real rational reason. – Nicholas Oct 10 '14 at 15:40
  • 2
    @Nicholas It's really not equivalent to a single arm-pinch though. It's more like if you'd been stuck getting pinched against your will so that other ppl could get 8mill for years and nobody would help you because 8mill and then your friend comes along and promises he'll stop you from getting pinched - then pinches you for the 8mill, and gets all his other friends to come and pinch you for 8mill each too. After that, even if he did follow through and get it stopped, you and that guy wouldn't really be friends anymore. You might thank him for the help, but friends? I don't see how. – Shisa Oct 10 '14 at 17:34
10

I think it's made pretty obvious why the lamp isn't shared around when you see how it affects Jafar.

Sure he's a lot a more evil than everyone else but the point is that with all that power you couldn't guarantee what each person would do.

Neither could you be sure that Aladdin would ever get the lamp back to make his final wish, so it shows his integrity that he sets Genie free right then and there.

1

This is similar to this discussion: https://movies.stackexchange.com/questions/28214/why-didnt-aladdin-disney-1993-lend-the-lamp-to-jasmine/28245#28245

To copy from those answers - Aladdin is a good guy. He's basically a man of his word. disney doesn't want to show kids that there will be loop holes and it's ok to use them. :)

-4

It was just a few more minutes to solve a possible major dilemma. If Aladdin was so concerned about Genie being a slave for even a short time, he would have freed him immediately. No, the only rational explanations are: A) He didn't entirely trust Jasmine and the Sultan or, more likely, B)It's a plot hole.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.