The Heroic Journey of Aladdin: the Diamond in the Rough

Topics: Aladdin, Princess Jasmine, Ron Clements Pages: 4 (1490 words) Published: December 12, 2010
The same hero wearing a different mask appears throughout great literature and films. The “hero’s journey” motif, as Joseph Campbell, the acclaimed American mythology professor and famous author identified, has been present in all cultures since the first documented stories. From Odysseus and the other great figures of the ancient Greek myths to the more modern character of Frodo in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the audience essentially accompanies the same hero throughout a series of stages and obstacles that compose the original heroic journey. The hero’s journey can be particularly followed in the various animated Disney films that give existence to some of the most loved heroes of all time. For instance, the successful film, Aladdin, released in 1992 and directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, brings to the public the interesting journey of a young man on a quest to find himself. The character of Aladdin fits the profile of the hero as he embarks in the hero’s journey unintentionally but proves to have undergone a complete maturation of character while attaining valuable insight about his true nature and worth by the end of the adventure.

The film Aladdin narrates the emotive love story of a poor young man who falls in love with the beautiful princess Jasmine and begins a meaningful journey to conquer her love. Aladdin, a “street rat,” as he is often called by those who know him, is a true “diamond in the rough, whose worth lies far within” that has great potential but has not been given the opportunity to shine yet (Clements, Musker). Because of this reason, he is the only one who can enter the Cave of Wonders. He does so to retrieve a magic lamp for Jafar, the Sultan’s evil vizier. This event initiates the departure of the hero’s journey as Aladdin’s encounter with Jafar disguised as an old prisoner signifies the call to adventure. Even though Aladdin is not aware that this is the beginning of his journey, from this point on everything will change. The...
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