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The Return of Jafar

The Return of Jafar (1994) starring Scott Weinger, Linda Larkin, Gilbert Gottfried, Jonathan Freeman, Jason Alexander, Dan CastellanaThe Return of Jafar (1994) starring Scott Weinger, Linda Larkin, Gilbert GottfriedJonathan FreemanJason Alexander, Dan Castellana

Synopsis of The Return of Jafar

 Disney’s first original made-for-video movie, The Return of Jafar picks up where Aladdin ended, with the evil sorcerer Jafar trapped inside a magic lamp. But when a clumsy thief releases Jafar from the lamp, Jafar plots his revenge against Aladdin. Now it’s up to Aladdin and his friends to foil Jafar once and for all and save the sultan’s kingdom

Review of The Return of Jafar

I really enjoyed the original Aladdin movie, for a variety of reasons.  It had a compelling story, characters that we cared about, beautiful artwork, and compelling songs.  It’s sad to say that the sequel, The Return of Jafar, is pretty much the polar opposite.

The artwork is bland, and the entire movie looks like four episodes of the Aladdin television series stitched together.  Which is pretty much what happened.  Robin Williams does not voice the Genieand it clearly shows.  Several of the characters act out of character.  Remember how Jasmine was a strong, independent woman? That’s gone.

Remember the various memorable songs from the original Aladdin?  None of the songs from The Return of Jafar are very memorable.  And what truly saddens me is how this film treats the villain, Jafar.  He was one of the great Disney villains, and this film treats him poorly.

In summary, I really enjoyed Aladdin, and I really disliked The Return of Jafar.  The good news is, things get better in the final film in the series, Aladdin and The King of Thieves.

Editorial review of The Return of Jafar courtesy of Amazon.com

This 1994, direct-to-video follow-up to Aladdin (it’s actually four episodes of the Aladdin television program, back-to-back) is a wash-out compared to the Robin Williams-driven animation feature that kicked off the franchise. The story partially involves the villainous Jafar’s parrot–Iago–trying to leave his master and befriend Aladdin and Jasmine. Williams is nowhere to be found, unfortunately; the genie’s voice is provided by Dan Castellaneta, and the difference shows. –Tom Keogh