It's hard not to come across a fan theory online these days, as avid appreciators of entertainment concoct some seriously outrageous ideas. While most of these theories are fun and obviously far from the truth, there are a rare handful that are so solid and well-supported that it seems as if they really were the filmmaker's notion all along. When it comes to the beloved Disney classic "Aladdin," it was a long held belief that the peddler who helped set the scene at the very beginning of the movie was actually the Genie all along. It's a well-known fact that the late and great Robin Williams voiced both characters — but as it turns out, this theory is so convincing because it is true.
To celebrate the digital and Blu-Ray release of "Aladdin: The Diamond Edition," directors Ron Clement and John Musker (who were behind the Arabian adventures along with "The Little Mermaid" and "Hercules") sat down with Entertainment Weekly to debunk some long-held beliefs concerning their films. When presented with a fan theory claiming the peddler and the genie are the one in the same, Clement responded in the best way:
"That's true! 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."
It's not hard to see how this concept got lost in the shuffle, as it doesn't add much to the actual plot line of the film. But clever fans were quick to pick up on this connection. Along with Robin Williams lending his iconic vocals to both characters, there is the fact that the peddler and the genie look pretty similar, especially with that wispy facial hair. There is also the fact that both are rocking the four-finger look quite gracefully.
Yet this isn't the only fan theory Clement and Musker tackled. Another long held belief is that all of the events of the film take place in a post-apocalyptic future — because, you know, everything that happens in a sandy location is obviously the wasteland backdrop that is looming in our future. This concept made Musker laugh, with him claiming he never even heard of this one. So that one is a no. However, he did add that composers Howard Ashman and Alan Menken's original version had been set in Baghdad, Iraq. That was all fine and dandy until the first Gulf War happened and Roy Disney stepped in to change the location. Getting crafty, Musker took the letter of the city and did a jumbled anagram, finally settling on Agrabah.
Probably one of the most disputed and dirty theories surrounding the film concerns the infamous scene when Aladdin, dressed to the nines in his Prince Ali garb, is floating on the magic carpet right outside Jasmine's balcony, slyly sneaking in the line "Take your clothes off" (which can only be heard if you have turned the volume all the way up to ear-bleeding levels). Scott Weinger, who voiced the titular character, wanted to set the record straight on this one. "I feel bad because people are so excited to figure it out, but it's not true: the thing about Aladdin saying, 'Take off your clothes.' There are websites dedicated to it. Like, 'If you play it in slow motion at this frame rate, you can tell that he's definitely saying that.' The truth is that I never said it. I never said it! I feel bad being a myth buster, although it's probably a good one to bust," he admitted. "Let me tell you, being in the recording studio with Robin Williams, wanting to do a good job and not blow it, there's no way I would have made some dirty joke."
Well, there you have it. The record is finally set straight from those who created such a enchanting and magical world. To check out their comments on some other tightly held beliefs concerning "The Little Mermaid" and "Hercules", be sure to check out their full interview.