Aladdin and the King of Thieves is a 1996 American animated film that is a second direct-to-video sequel to the 1992 animated Aladdin and the 1994 animated film The Return of Jafar. It marks the end of the 1992 film and the Aladdin animated series.
Robin Williams returned to voice the Genie after Disney apologized for the use of his likeness in the promotion of the original Aladdin film (Williams believed Disney had broken the terms of his contract). Dan Castellaneta had actually recorded all the dialogue of the Genie for this film, as he did with the previous sequel due to Disney's differences with Williams, but his recording session was not used when Robin Williams agreed to reprise his role.
This film grossed $186 million, making it the fourth highest grossing direct-to-video animated feature film of all time. In 2005, the film was re-released as a Special Edition DVD, with digitally restored picture and remastered sound. The DVD went back into the Disney Vault along with the other two films in the series in January 2008.
The film is inspired by the tale Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves from the 1001 Arabian Nights, replacing Ali Baba with Aladdin, and for the first time since the original Aladdin, the film has a completely new soundtrack instead of the rearranged music from the original film for The Return of Jafar and the TV series.
Aladdin (Scott Weinger) and Princess Jasmine (Linda Larkin) prepare for their marriage. Aladdin returns once more to his old hideout to recover a dagger, his only memento of his lost father, who had abandoned his family when Aladdin had been a small child (it is implied that his mother has died). But during the ceremony they and the assembled guests find themselves the targets of a raid by the infamous Forty Thieves, led by a man named Cassim (John Rhys-Davies), who is after a particular piece of treasure: a staff which is the receptacle of a powerful oracle. Aladdin, Abu, Jasmine and the Genie fight back against the thieves, driving them off. Aladdin asks the oracle about his father; the oracle reveals that his father is with the Forty Thieves, "trapped within their world".
Believing him to be their prisoner, Aladdin, along with Abu, Iago and Carpet, tracks them down and stows away into their hideout, Mount Sesame. He is shocked to find that his father is not their prisoner at all, but their leader: Cassim, the King of Thieves. But, family or not, Aladdin has trespassed in their lair and Sa'luk (Jerry Orbach), Cassim's irate right-hand man, is eager to have him punished for it. Cassim, however, slyly suggests that Aladdin instead face "the Challenge"—an initiation ritual—where he must defeat another one of the Forty Thieves and take his place. Sa'luk fights Aladdin, but the latter just barely manages to prevail by throwing his opponent off a cliff into the sea. He is welcomed into the band, and Cassim reveals to Aladdin why he had left his wife and son: to find the Hand of Midas, a powerful artifact that can transform anything it touches into gold. Cassim believed that, with the Hand, he could return to his family and give them the life they deserved instead of one living out in the streets, and had instigated the raid so he could capture the oracle's staff so he might question the seer as to the precise whereabouts of the artifact.
Aladdin convinces Cassim to come back with him to the Palace as his guest and, for a while, Cassim is happy to spend quality time with his son. Cassim meets with Jasmine and the Sultan, and they immediately take a liking to Aladdin's father, not knowing (since Aladdin and the Genie choose not to reveal the fact) that he is actually the King of Thieves himself. Yet, despite the warm welcome, Cassim cannot resist the urge to recover the Hand, and he decides to carry on his original scheme, winning Iago as a new friend and accomplice.
Unknown to all, however, Sa'luk has managed to survive his fall and made his way to Agrabah. He reveals himself to Razoul and sells out his fellow thieves by telling Razoul the password to their hideout in exchange for immunity from prosecution. After thirty-one of the thieves are captured, a disgruntled Sa'luk (who got angry upon not seeing Cassim in the cells) tells them that Aladdin is one of the forty, and his father Cassim is the King himself.
While attempting to steal the Oracle from the palace treasure chamber, Cassim and Iago end up captured by the palace guards, who were ready for him, and Razoul reveals to the Sultan that Cassim is the King of Thieves. With no other choice, the Sultan has Razoul incarcerate Cassim and Iago in the dungeon for life. Aladdin is heartbroken, but decides not to leave his father to rot in the dungeons. He frees them both the very same night, but is discovered by Razoul. Now branded a fugitive himself, Aladdin still refuses to turn his back on all he has come to love and returns to the palace to take responsibility for his actions. The Sultan prepares to punish Aladdin, but Genie and Jasmine come to his defence, stating that all he wanted was to give his father a second chance. The Sultan accepts his apology, much to Razoul's dismay.
With the oracle in hand, Cassim and Iago return to Mount Sesame, only to be captured by Sa'luk and the remaining Thieves, whom Sa'luk has swayed to his side. Cassim is forced to use the stolen oracle in order to find the location of the Hand of Midas and then lead his men there. The Oracle directs them to The Vanishing Isle, a great marble fortress built on the back of a gigantic undersea turtle that periodically dives to the bottom of the ocean, where the golden Hand is hidden. Iago manages to escape from the group, and goes off to lead Aladdin and Jasmine, Abu and Carpet to his imprisoned father.
Aladdin manages to free and reconciles with his father. Working together, they retrieve the Hand just as the turtle is beginning to submerge, when they are attacked by Sa'luk. Then, after struggling to escape the flood, Sa'luk takes Aladdin hostage, demanding that Cassim surrenders the Hand, and Cassim throws the Hand of Midas to Sa'luk. Foolishly grabbing it by the gold hand, Sa'luk turns into a gold statue. Aladdin and Cassim manage to escape with the Hand, but, finally realizing how much disaster his obsession with the item had caused, Cassim decides to toss it into the sea, realizing that his ultimate treasure is actually Aladdin, and seeing the great man his son has become. The Hand of Midas lands on the ship with the remaining thieves aboard, turning it into gold and sinking it.
Aladdin and Jasmine finally get married, with Cassim attending in the shadows, as he is still wanted for his crimes. Also among the guests are several cameos from characters from the TV series. Iago decides to join Cassim as a traveling companion, and they both go off once again to see the world. A reprise of Arabian Nights is then sung; the Peddler makes an appearance at the end of this film to mark the end of the legend of Aladdin (originally planned for the end of the first film) as Aladdin and Jasmine fly past him and wave good-bye to Cassim and Iago.
Main article: List of Disney's Aladdin characters*Scott Weinger as Aladdin (Brad Kane singing)
Like The Return of Jafar, the film received a mostly mixed response, only slightly higher this time. While Top Critics gave it a 22% "Rotten" rating, the User Community gave the movie a mainly positive 59% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Two comic adaptations of the movie were on sale September 1996.