Aladdin, starring Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, and Will Smith, comes to theaters this week, hoping to successfully transition the classic Disney animated film into the world of live-action. But before you enjoy 128 minutes of Smith doing his best to make you forget one of the most iconic performances of all time, you may have a few questions about the film’s ending. Does it have the same conclusion as the original Aladdin or does it offer up something new? And does the ending set up the possibility for a sequel?
Warning: This post contains mild Aladdin spoilers.
For the most part, the ending is pretty much the same in both versions of Aladdin. The titular street rat manages to trick Jafar into turning himself into a Genie so he can then be trapped in a lamp. Rather than use his third wish for himself, Aladdin chooses to free the Genie. Despite the whole “lying about who he was” fiasco, Aladdin and Jasmine end up together.
However, there are a few key changes in the new live-action Aladdin, most notably, Jasmine is named Sultan of Agrabah by her father after he sees her leadership when standing up against Jafar. And while the law that forbids Jasmine from marrying anyone except a prince is abolished in both versions, in the new Aladdin, the law is abolished by Jasmine instead of her father. This goes hand-in-hand with the movie making Jasmine a more empowered character than her animated counterpart, as she makes her desire to be a good leader to her people known throughout the film.
The other main change is what the Genie does after he is freed by Aladdin. In the original, he decides to travel the world but in the live-action Aladdin, the now-human Genie declares his love for Dalia, Jasmine’s loyal handmaiden/BFF who the Genie had connected with earlier in the movie. The two are then revealed to have started a family and sail the world on a boat. And in a classic story-within-a-story twist, it turns out that the whole movie was Genie telling the story to his children on their family boat (this will not come as much of a surprise to most viewers, as Will Smith is a pretty recognizable figure and the movie opens with him on the boat).
So while Aladdin mostly remains the same in its ending, it does make a few changes that add some depth to two of the film’s main characters. As for a sequel, there’s no real indication, although the existence of Aladdin and the Return of Jafar suggest there is certainly potential if Aladdin performs at the box office.
Aladdin opens in theaters nationwide May 24.