Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves vs. Aladdin The movie Aladdin and the story Ali Baba and the 40 thieves havemany similarities and differences. We read the Arabian folktale in our 6thgrade elements of literature books while we watched the movie Aladdin thatwas created by Disney in the early 1900s. In fact, the folktale Ali Baba andthe 40 thieves was mentioned by the genie in Aladdin! There are many similarities between Ali Baba and the 40 thieves andAladdin. In both folktales there’s a magical cave filled with riches whichhave a specific type of key that is needed to enter the cave. In Ali and the40 thieves the password is “Open sesame”. This moves the giant boulderblocking the entrance to the cave. Of course the thieves can’t just leave thecave wide open for the whole world to see, so to close the cave the passwordis “Close sesame”. In Aladdin the key to the cave is the golden beetle. Thecave is a big lion head and the beetle has two halves which once put togetheropen the cave….but there’s a catch. If you aren’t considered worthy then thecave will make you vanish from the Earth, Scary right? In this case you needthe beetle, be worthy, and not touch anything but the floor and the genielamp. Another similarity between Ali Baba and the 40 thieves and Aladdin istheir genre. Ali Baba and the 40 thieves and Aladdin are both not onlyArabian folktales, but they’re both fantasy. In Ali Baba and the 40 thieves Ihighly doubt you could get a bit boulder to move by simply saying “Opensesame” or “Close sesame”. It also seemed a little far fetched in places likewhere Morgiana killed the thieves with such ease just by using hot oil. InAladdin there’s a brilliant genie whose life-long dream is to be set free.Genies would be amazing to have in reality if they stayed in good hands anddidn’t get seized by evil but sadly genies do not exist. This fact provesAladdin is a fantasy movie. The characters in Ali Baba and the 40 thieves and Aladdin are similartoo. They both have an intelligent trickster character. In Ali Baba and the40 thieves the trickster is obviously Morgiana. Morgiana cleverly protectsAli Baba by secretly mimicking the thieves marks that they placed on the
door, This eventually pushed the thieves to go straight to Ali Baba’s house tokill him for taking their gold. Fortunately, Morgiana was 1 step ahead andkilled the thieves until only 1 remained – the leader. Appearing in an Arabianoutfit Morgiana stunned the guests with her dancing which included adagger. When close enough she plunged that dagger right into the thievesheart, killing him once and for all. In Aladdin the trickster was Aladdinhimself. He escaped all guards and did it like it was as simple as breathing.These actions made Aladdin “worthy” of entering the cave and Japhar knewit. By fooling Aladdin, Japhar gets the lamp while Aladdin plunges to themolten lava below. He’s saved though by a magic flying carpet! In the endAladdin beats Japhar sending him to a life of being a genie. As there are similarities between Ali Baba and the 40 thieves andAladdin, there are differences. One for example is how in Ali Baba and the40 thieves, the only magical thing is how the rock moved by the commands“Open sesame” or “Close sesame” while in Aladdin there’s a big blue genie,and a cave that lets you enter only if you’re considered worthy. Oh, and did Imention there’s a MAGIC FLYING CARPET TOO?! Comparing these magicfilled items to a cave, which do you think is more magical? There is way moremagic in Aladdin than in Ali Baba and the 40 thieves. Another difference would be the background of the women. Morgianafrom Ali Baba is just a regular girl who has quick wits and high intelligence.She’s loyal to Ali Baba and would do anything for him. Jasmine from Aladdincould marry any prince in the world if she wanted but refuses them all.Jasmine is a beautiful princess who doesn’t care if you’re poor or rich, butwhat’s on the inside. Out of all the people in the world Jasmine choosesAladdin, a dirty street boy with a good heart. A regular girl to a royalprincess - big difference. The fates of the villains are different too. In the folktale Ali Babathe fate of the lead thief was a quick death. While trying to get revenge hewas stabbed by Morgiana quickly putting his life to an end. Now in Aladdin,Japhar was put to work as a life as a genie. Hopefully nobody sets him free!I honestly don’t know which fate is better – a life as a lonely genie or no lifeat all.
As you now know Ali Baba and the 40 thieves and Aladdin have manysimilarities and difference. Both are FANTASTIC Arabian folktales but if Ihad to choose just one I would definitely pick Aladdin. I can guarantee youit’s not because Aladdin is a movie and Ali Baba is text because if Aladdinwas text too I bet I would like it just as much. I loved the many twists andturns that took place in Aladdin. While thinking “Oh, Aladdin and Jasmineare going to marry now and live happily ever after,” I thought that was theend of the movie but then Japhar ordered to marry Jasmine instead and setoff a whole line of new events to happen, I like Aladdin because it constantlykept me entertained and interested. I look forward to reading/watchingmore Arabian folktales. By,` Ellen Tsao