‘Aladdin’ Director Confirms Long-Held Fan Theory

Photo Credit: Disney

Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve seen Disney’s Aladdin, but, even if you’ve only watched it half as many times as I did when I was little, you won’t have any trouble remembering specifics.

You’ll for sure remember how the movie begins: A merchant on a camel breaks the fourth wall, speaking to the audience as he hocks his merchandise, and promises to tell us a very special story about a very ordinary-looking lamp.

Yes? You’re with me?

Well, it’s long been speculated that the merchant at the beginning of the movie and the genie are one and the same (both are voiced by Robin Williams). Their similar clothes, similar facial hair, and shared trait of four fingers are all clues that have been held up as proof.

Until recently, though, the theory has gone unconfirmed.

In an interview with E! News, co-director Ron Clements said:

“That was the whole intention, originally. We even had that at the end of the movie, where he would reveal himself to be the Genie, and of course Robin did the voice of the peddler. Just through story changes and some editing, we lost the reveal at the end. So, that’s an urban legend that actually is true.”

If you’re dying to get the goods on more Disney theories – including whether Frozen and The Little Mermaid exist in the same universe – head on over to the original story, where Clements and co-director John Musker answer (some of) your questions.