So, this might come as a surprise to you, as it did to me, but Disney hasn’t quite gotten their facts straight about Aladdin. Shocking I know. At this point in our family we aren’t even quite ready to let the kids see the Disney version as it is a bit intense and scary, but we were eager to get the library version and hear this Arabian tale, read as it originally was told.
Here’s what I mean about the twisted truth displayed in the film version. Aladdin is an Arabian tale. True. Aladdin is the only one who can enter the forbidden cave. True. A sorcerer finds Aladdin to gain access to the ancient lamp. True. Aladdin is Arabian. FALSE!! Aladdin marries the daughter of the Sultan. Also False. Strangely enough Aladdin is CHINESE and he marries the daughter of the Chinese emperor. The old Arabic version of the story is that an Arabian sorcerer learns that the only one who can enter into the hidden cave is a Chinese boy named Aladdin.
This is the story not told and the children, quite enthralled with its conflict and drama have wanted to read it over and over again.
Here’s the version we got from the library.
Notice the Asian-looking Aladdin. Not at all the Prince Ali that I remember.
The other stories in this book are fascinating as well, although there is quite a bit of death by sword. Perhaps that is what draws in my eldest adventurer with ears and eyes that can’t be swayed once the tale begins.
I’m still working on some crafts from Yemen, but in the meantime we’ll keep the Arabian stories of old.