‘What if Aladdin never found the lamp?’ A Whole New World is a new twisted take on Disney’s version of Aladdin. The main diversion of the plot being that Jafar gets his hands on the lamp and uses the Genie instead of Aladdin. In order to defeat Jafar, Jasmine and Aladdin must lead a revolution before Jafar is able to use his magic to make his scheme of world domination a reality.
I enjoyed the approach the author makes in exploring the politics of Agrabah, from the tyranny of Jafar to the criminality of the street rats who are only trying to protect the poorest and most vulnerable in the city. The two main protagonists, Jasmine and Aladdin, are both likeable but both different from the Disney film version of Aladdin. Jasmine is portrayed as the main leader of the people’s revolution, whilst Aladdin’s role is to hold Jasmine back if he feel that Jasmine’s actions are misguided by her need to avenge her father.
Jafar, like in the Disney film, is portrayed as man corrupted by his desire to rule all people and to control the most powerful forms of magic. However, I found it interesting that Jafar’s main objectives was to marry Princess Jasmine and to have all his people love him. Jafar was the Grand Vizer and was probably jealous that people loved the Salton despite the fact he ignored the plight of the poor and left the running of the city to the merchants, guards and Jafar himself.
The writing itself is easy to read but deals with complicated issues, including belief, poverty and corruption. Jafar promises infinite gold to win the support of the people of Agrabah, whilst Jasmine promises greater freedom and a government that is based on community rather than the wealthy treating the general populace as slaves.
A Whole New World is a fun easy read for anyone who likes Disney and re-interpretations of old tales.
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars