John Payne quotes passages from Galland's unpublished diary: recording Galland's encounter with a Maronite storyteller from Aleppo, Hanna Diyab. According to Galland's diary, he met with Hanna, who had travelled from Aleppo to Paris with celebrated French traveller Paul Lucas, on March 25, 1709. Galland's diary further reports that his transcription of "Aladdin" for publication occurred in the winter of 1709–10. It was included in his volumes ix and x of the Nights, published in 1710, without any mention or published acknowledgment of Hanna's contribution. Paulo Lemos Horta, in the introduction to his translation of Aladdin, speculates that Diyab might even be the original author of at least some of the "orphan" tales, including Aladdin.
To return to Payne, he also records the discovery in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris of two Arabic manuscripts containing Aladdin (with two more of the "interpolated" tales). One was written by a Syrian Christian priest living in Paris, named Dionysios Shawish, alias Dom Denis Chavis. The other is supposed to be a copy Mikhail Sabbagh made of a manuscript written in Baghdad in 1703. It was purchased by the Bibliothèque Nationale at the end of the nineteenth century. As part of his work on the first critical ion of the Nights, Iraq's Muhsin Mahdi has shown that both these manuscripts are "back-translations" of Galland's text into Arabic.
The Sorcerer traps Aladdin in the magic cave.
The story is often retold with variations. The following is a précis of the Burton translation of 1885.
Aladdin is an impoverished young ne'er-do-well, dwelling in "one of the cities of China". He is recruited by a sorcerer from the Maghreb, who passes himself off as the brother of Aladdin's late father, Mustapha the tailor, convincing Aladdin and his mother of his good will by pretending to set up the lad as a wealthy merchant. The sorcerer's real motive is to persuade young Aladdin to retrieve a wonderful oil lamp from a booby-trapped magic cave. After the sorcerer attempts to double-cross him, Aladdin finds himself trapped in the cave. Aladdin is still wearing a magic ring the sorcerer has lent him. When he rubs his hands in despair, he inadvertently rubs the ring and a jinnī (or "genie") appears and releases him from the cave, allowing him to return to his mother while in possession of the lamp. When his mother tries to clean the lamp, so they can sell it to buy food for their supper, a second far more powerful genie appears who is bound to do the bidding of the person holding the lamp.
With the aid of the genie of the lamp, Aladdin becomes rich and powerful and marries Princess Badroulbadour, the sultan's daughter (after magically foiling her marriage to the vizier's son). The genie builds Aladdin and his bride a wonderful palace, far more magnificent than the sultan's.
The sorcerer hears of Aladdin's good fortune, and returns; he gets his hands on the lamp by tricking Aladdin's wife (who is unaware of the lamp's importance) by offering to exchange "new lamps for old". He orders the genie of the lamp to take the palace, along with all its contents, to his home in the Maghreb. Aladdin still has the magic ring and is able to summon the lesser genie. The genie of the ring cannot directly undo any of the magic of the genie of the lamp, but he is able to transport Aladdin to the Maghreb where, with the help of the "woman's wiles" of the princess, he recovers the lamp and slays the sorcerer, returning the palace to its proper place.
The sorcerer's more powerful and evil brother plots to destroy Aladdin for killing his brother by disguising himself as an old woman known for her healing powers. Badroulbadour falls for his disguise and commands the "woman" to stay in her palace in case of any illnesses. Aladdin is warned of this danger by the genie of the lamp and slays the impostor.
Aladdin eventually succeeds to his father-in-law's throne.
The opening sentences of the story, in both the Galland and the Burton versions, set it in "one of the cities of China". On the other hand, there is practically nothing in the rest of the story that is inconsistent with a Middle Eastern setting. For instance, the ruler is referred to as "Sultan" rather than being called the "Emperor", as in some re-tellings, and the people in the story are Muslims and their conversation is larded with devout Muslim platitudes. A Jewish merchant buys Aladdin's wares (and incidentally cheats him), but there is no mention of Buddhists or Confucians (or other distinctively Chinese people).
For all this, speculation about a "real" Chinese setting depends on a knowledge of China that the teller of a folk tale (as opposed to a geographic expert) might well not possess. In early Arabic usage, China is known to have been used in an abstract sense to designate an exotic, faraway land.
Motifs and variants
The story of Aladdin is classified in the Aarne-Thompson-Uther index as tale type ATU 561, "Aladdin", after the character. In the Index, the Aladdin story is situated next to two similar tale types: ATU 560, The Magic Ring, and ATU 562, The Spirit in the Blue Light. All stories deal with a down-on-his-luck and impoverished boy or soldier, who finds a magical item (ring, lamp, tinderbox) that grants his wishes. The magical item is stolen, but eventually recovered thanks to the use of another magical object.
"The Nobility of Faith" by Jonathan Clements in the anthology Doctor Who Short Trips: The Ghosts of Christmas (2007) is a retelling of the Aladdin story in the style of the Arabian Nights, but featuring the Doctor in the role of the genie.
An 1886 theatre poster advertising a production of the pantomime Aladdin.
The traditional Aladdin pantomime is the source of the well-known pantomime character Widow Twankey (Aladdin's mother). In pantomime versions, changes in the setting and story are often made to fit it better into "China" (albeit a China situated in the East End of London rather than Medieval Baghdad), and elements of other Arabian Nights tales (in particular Ali Baba) are often introduced into the plot. One version of the "pantomime Aladdin" is Sandy Wilson's musicalAladdin, from 1979.
New Crowns for Old, a 19th-century British cartoon based on the Aladdin story (Disraeli as Abanazer from the pantomime version of Aladdin offering Queen Victoria an Imperial crown (of India) in exchange for a Royal one)
The 1926 animated film The Adventures of Prince Achmed (the earliest surviving animated feature film) combined the story of Aladdin with that of the prince. In this version the princess Aladdin pursues is Achmed's sister and the sorcerer is his rival for her hand. The sorcerer steals the castle and the princess through his own magic and then sets a monster to attack Aladdin, from which Achmed rescues him. Achmed then informs Aladdin he requires the lamp to rescue his own intended wife, Princess Pari Banou, from the demons of the Island of Wak Wak. They convince the Witch of the Fiery Mountain to defeat the sorcerer, and then all three heroes join forces to battle the demons.
The 1938 animated film Have You Got Any Castles?, Aladdin makes a brief appearance asking for help but gets punched by one of the Three Musketeers.
The animated feature Aladdin et la lampe merveilleuse by Film Jean Image was released in 1970 in France. The story contains many of the original elements of the story as compared to the Disney version.
Aladdin, the 1992 animated feature by Walt Disney Feature Animation (possibly currently the best known re-telling of the story). In this version several characters are renamed or amalgamated. For instance the Sorcerer and the Sultan's vizier become one character named Jafar while the Princess is re-named Jasmine. They have new motivations for their actions. The Genie of the Lamp only grants three wishes and desires freedom from his role. A sentient magic carpet replaces the ring's genie while Jafar uses a royal magic ring to find Aladdin. The names "Jafar" and "Abu", the Sultan's delight in toys, and their physical appearances are borrowed from the 1940 film, The Thief of Bagdad. The setting is moved from China to the fictional Arabian city of Agrabah and the structure of the plot is simplified.
The 1940 British movie The Thief of Bagdad borrows elements of the Aladdin story, although it also departs from the original story fairly freely: for instance the genie grants only three wishes and the minor character of the Emperor's vizier is renamed Jaffar and becomes the main villain, replacing the sorcerer from the original plot.
A Thousand and One Nights (1945) is a tongue-in-cheek Technicolor fantasy film set in the Baghdad of the One Thousand and One Nights, starring Cornel Wilde as Aladdin, Evelyn Keyes as the genie of the magic lamp, Phil Silvers as Aladdin's larcenous sidekick, and Adele Jergens as the princess Aladdin loves.
In the 1960s Bollywood produced Aladdin and Sinbad, very loosely based on the original, in which the two named heroes get to meet and share in each other's adventures. In this version, the lamp's jinni (genie) is female and Aladdin marries her rather than the princess (she becomes a mortal woman for his sake).
Gary Wong and Rob Robson produced Aladdin the Rock Panto in 1985.
In 1986, an Italian-American co-production (under supervision of Golan-Globus) of a modern-day Aladdin was filmed in Miami under the title Superfantagenio, starring actor Bud Spencer as the genie and his daughter Diamante as the daughter of a police sergeant.
A 1990 TV movie was based on the Prince Street Players stage musical.
A 1998 movie A Kid in Aladdin's Palace directed by Robert L. Levy.
The characters of Aladdin, Jasmine, Jaffar and the Sultan, along with Agrabah as the setting and the genie (jinn) of the lamp were adapted into the sixth season of TV series Once Upon a Time and into Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, both produced by ABC Television Studios and based on the Disney version of the story.
In Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger, the sixteenth installment in the long-running Super Sentaimetaseries, the Djinn (voiced by Eisuke Yoda) which appears in the eleventh episode ("My Master!" Transcription: "Goshujin-sama!" (Japanese: ご主人さま!)) reveals that he was the genie from the tale of "Aladdin and the Magic Lamp" which was actually real.
In 1962 the Italian branch of Walt Disney Productions published the story Paperino e la grotta di Aladino (Donald and Aladdin's Cave), written by Osvaldo Pavese and drawn by Pier Lorenzo De Vita. As in many pantomimes, the plot is combined with elements of the Ali Baba story: Uncle Scrooge leads Donald Duck and their nephews on an expion to find the treasure of Aladdin and they encounter the Middle Eastern counterparts of the Beagle Boys. Scrooge describes Aladdin as a brigand who used the legend of the lamp to cover the origins of his ill-gotten gains. They find the cave holding the treasure—blocked by a huge rock requiring a magic password ("open sesame") to open.
The original version of the comic book character Green Lantern was partly inspired by the Aladdin myth; the protagonist discovers a "lantern-shaped power source and a 'power ring'" which gives him power to create and control matter.
Manga and anime
The Japanese manga series Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic is not a direct adaptation, but features Aladdin (voiced by Kaori Ishihara) as the main character of the story and includes many characters from other One Thousand and One Nights stories. An adaptation of this comic to an anime television series was made in October 2012.
A number of video games were based on the Disney movie:
The video game Sonic and the Secret Rings is heavily based on the story of Aladdin, and both genies appear in the story. The genie of the lamp is the main antagonist, known in the game as the Erazor Djinn, and the genie of the ring, known in the game as Shahra, appears as Sonic's sidekick and guide through the game. Furthermore, the ring genie is notably lesser than the lamp genie in the story.
The Disney version of Aladdin appears throughout the Disney/Square Enix crossover series Kingdom Hearts, with Agrabah being a visitable world.
Sega Sammy have released a line of pachinko machines based on Aladdin since 1989. Sega Sammy have sold over 570,000 Aladdin pachinko machines in Japan, as of 2017[update]. At an average price of about $5,000, this is equivalent to approximately $2.85 billion in pachinko sales revenue.
Aladdin trades the silver plates to a Jew for a piece of gold
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Larzul, Sylvette. "Further Considerations on Galland's "Mille Et Une Nuits": A Study of the Tales Told by Hanna." In: Marvels & Tales 18, no. 2 (2004): pp. 258-71. Accessed May 9, 2020. www.jstor.org/stable/41388712.
Marzolph, Ulrich. "Aladdin Almighty: Middle Eastern Magic in the Service of Western Consumer Culture." The Journal of American Folklore 132, no. 525 (2019): 275-90. Accessed May 9, 2020. www.jstor.org/stable/10.5406/jamerfolk.132.525.0275.
Nun, Katalin; Stewart, Dr Jon (2014). Volume 16, Tome I: Kierkegaard's Literary Figures and Motifs: Agamemnon to Guadalquivir. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. ISBN9781472441362.