Fact Snacks!

ron-clements-co-director-of-aladdin-confirmed

Ron Clements, co-director of Aladdin, confirmed the fan theory that the merchant at the beginning of the film is actually Genie. 

“[we] had that at the end of the movie, where he would reveal himself to be the Genie… [through] editing, we lost the reveal at the end. So, that’s an urban legend that actually is true.” 

(Source, Source 2)