Origins: This quip occurs during a scene in which Aladdin, in the guise of Prince Ali, flies up to Jasmine's balcony on his magic carpet to convince her that he is not just another self-absorbed, empty-headed prince. When Aladdin steps onto the balcony, Jasmine's tiger Rajah threatens him and backs him up against the railing. As Rajah growls, Aladdin tries to shoo him away with his turban and then supposedly whispers, "Good teenagers, take off your clothes."
What is actually going on with the soundtrack at this point in the film is difficult to determine. Disney claims that the script calls for Aladdin to say,
The "take off your clothes" rumor started soon after Aladdin was released on home video in 1993. A garbled and whispered portion of dialogue that could barely be heard in the theater was being replayed over and over in millions of homes but was difficult to distinguish. Someone came up with a salacious phrase that sounded somewhat like the original portions of dialogue, and the power of suggestion took over. People began to hear what they were being told they should hear, much like Beatles fans eagerly sharing backwards-masked Paul is dead aural clues.
The Aladdin rumor spread by word of mouth during 1994 and was eventually printed in Movie Guide magazine, an Atlanta-based Christian entertainment review. Due in part to that article, the controversial phrase was brought to the attention of the American Life League, a religious organization which had been boycotting Disney films since the previous April as a protest over the movie Priest. The American Life League gave new prominence to the rumor in September 1995, when it claimed the phrase was yet another piece of evidence that Disney had been sneaking "sexual messages" into their animated films (The Little Mermaid being the most notorious example) for the past several years.
The sound files below give you a chance to decide for yourself: naughty message or innocent confusion?
|History of the Aladdin rumor||Audio clip (normal speed)|
|Audio clip (slow speed)||Audio clip (long version)|
Last updated: 19 August 2007
Bannon, Lisa. "How a Rumor Spread About Subliminal Sex in Disney's 'Aladdin.'" The Wall Street Journal. 24 October 1995 (p. A1). Kreck, Dick. "Is 'Aladdin' More Than Meets Ear?" The Denver Post. 4 June 1994 (p. E8). Rossmiller, David. "Get Naked? Aladdin Allegedly Makes Crude Remark." The Phoenix Gazette. 12 March 1994 (p. A1). Smith, Leef. "Disney's Loin King? Group Sees Dirt in the Dust." The Washington Post. 1 September 1995 (p. F1).