One thing I’ve always enjoyed especially when spending so much time on youtube and on other people’s blogs is some of the theories that come up from certain movies and programmes. I thought I’d put my thoughts about one across and keeping in with a Disney theme to suit my name I thought I’d go for the genie theory.
The Genie and the salesman are the same person.
The theory basically says due to the similarities between both the merchant and the genie that they must be the same person, both favouring red and blue colours, both having the same facial hair and both having only four fingers. With some people speculating it goes even further with the genie actually using the merchant as a disguise for a greater purpose.
Most likely by now everyone has heard this theory and before Disney spoke out about this theory it was one I could believe quite easily. Now that Disney has confirmed they are the same person and that they in fact had the intention of revealing this at the end of the film I feel we can actually take this theory in a different direction by asking why? Why after being given his freedom by Aladdin would the genie decide to mascaraed as a merchant on the streets?
Clearly throughout the film we can see that the Genie despite being a prisoner at the beginning is a carefree character that enjoys making jokes and using his powers to illustrate points further and always uses them for some light comic relief in the film. Therefore his transformation into a merchant could be just that, a way of staying light hearted and care free and finding a way to communicate with the people of Agrabha. If we consider the direct to video sequels in this then it could be the Genie’s way of communicating with citizens as he returns from travelling because he cannot enjoy it without his friends and this may also mean he enjoys all human interaction and enjoys being amongst the locals.
One person on Reddit stated that if we wanted to look further the Genie is actually almost trying to sell himself. We see him going through various items at the beginning of the film before landing on the lamp stating that we should not be put off by its “commonplace appearance”. This could imply the Genie is almost trying to sell himself to perhaps simply boost his ego by finding out who would be willing to have him or to sell it in order to gain his full powers back as he stated he lost a lot of his powers by not relying on the lamp. I think this is a fun way to go with this theory however I don’t believe he is trying to sell himself as by the time he is a merchant telling the entire Aladdin story he has been freed from the lamp and therefore if he is really trying to sell it surely it is only an empty lamp now unless there is a rule in the universe somewhere that once one genie is freed from the lamp another then moves in after it.
Personally I think he is using the merchant disguise as a way to tell the story of Aladdin to anyone that will listen, the way the original story was told years ago since Aladdin is believed to be a Middle Eastern folk tale. Following in the footsteps of all typical Disney films I think they are using this character as a way to deliver a simple message to the audience with the merchant telling the audience that they should not be fooled by the lamp’s simple appearance as it is what is inside that counts. Sounds a lot like a Disney life lesson to me. Following on from this the Genie may be using this to not only bring home the strong message of not judging a book by it’s cover but also using it as a warning to all individuals of the problems that can come from being greedy and caring more for physical goods than for others.
It’s clear that Disney had a reason behind their decision to make the Genie and the merchant the same person and whatever side you fall on I think this is one of those theories that is more fun to play about with because ultimately even if you think differently to me and want to believe that there is no greater meaning to it than Robin Williams was just too great an actor not to use as much as possible is completely fine because everyone loves the Genie.
Thanks again guys xxx