You gotta be smart to survive: that's what our hero finds out as he's growing up on the mean streets of Agrabah in Aladdin. Dude's got no parents…and no food to eat, either, so he needs to be clever to stay on out of the hands of the law. Of course, once Aladdin finds the Genie and gets a few coins in his pocket—not to mention those 75 golden camels—he stops the quick-thinking and starts flashing his cash instead. It's not a good look for him: in the end, he's gotta go back to what works—his brains—to defeat the bad guys and save the day.
Questions About Cunning and Cleverness
Different characters are clever in different ways. Compare and contrast the cleverness of Aladdin, Jasmine, and Jafar.
Why do you think the Sultan is portrayed as so emptyheaded? How did his daughter turn out so differently, even though she's never been outside the palace?
Why do you think Aladdin is able to trick Jafar into wishing himself into a genie in the end? Why isn't Jafar more suspicious of Aladdin's taunts?
Chew on This
Aladdin grew up as a poor orphan on the streets of Agrabah. He didn't have material goods, so he had to rely on his wits and cleverness to get by in life.
Jafar and Aladdin both rely on their intelligent animal companions—Abu and Iago—to help them come up with plans and get them out of sticky situations.