My opinion right after watching the film
My opinion right after watching the film is that it is very generic. The songs are very cookie-cutter, and the stories are decent at best. It is obvious that they were trying to heavily capitalize on the ever growing Disney Princess lineup, but this was during the end of DisneyToons as we knew it.
There is actually a decent amount of information regarding the production of the film for once. This was supposed to be a series of Disney Princess package films, and the first one to be released was supposed to be another Aurora story, with the Belle story taking over Jasmine’s. Like I briefly mentioned earlier, this was around the time where John Lasseter was taking over the studios, and wanted all the DisneyToons films to be halted, which could be why there were no more editions.
Keys to the Kingdom
The story starts off with King Stefan (Corey Burton), Queen Leah (Barbara Dirikson), King Hubert (Jeff Bennett), and Phillip (Roger Craig Smith) telling Aurora (Erin Torphey) that they will be leaving for a royal conference for a few days, and reassuring her that she will be fine handling the kingdom on her own. She starts to sign a few of the large stacks of papers she needs to sign, but she wants to read them all first before signing, which is actually smart. The issue is that it will take too long to do that. The three fairies Flora (Barbara Dirikson), Fauna (Russi Taylor), and Merryweather (Tress MacNeille) check up one to ask her if she needs any help, which Aurora rejects. She sees King Hubert’s speech, and recruits the fairies to shop it off to him. Merryweather leaves her wand to Aurora just in case, before they leave.
Finishing the long stack of paperwork, Aurora plays with the wand for a bit before going to bed. The next day, she needs to deal with the problems of the peasants. Things soon get out of control, and she ends up using the wand to help her out. This works for a while, but things soon turn into a mess. After giving him the speech, the fairies go back, and find out that Merryweather gave Aurora her wand. Everyone makes it back to the castle, only to see that Aurora had to problem solve to clean up the mess she made. That is nice, but something about how they told the story was pretty messy. I am sure a part of the reason I had trouble getting into this short is because of the timespan between the film and this short. The voices are really modern, and it did not really seem timeless, especially when they would sing.
More Than a Peacock Princess
Jasmine (Linda Larkin) is continuing on her duties with selling camels at the marketplace, and overseeing shop openings. Apparently Aladdin and the Genie are away for a few days, which leads me to question and think…….. WHY are they away? Aladdin has no duties or responsibility as royalty, and what in the world could Genie be doing? Are they visiting Hercules in Greece? There is no reason as to why they are gone, and why Iago (Gilbert Gottfried) is back. Anyways, she loses it after she is having a peacock portrait, and sings about how she is more than a peacock princess………. After speaking to her father (Jeff Bennett), he gives her a job of being a teacher.
She goes there the next day, and it is a mess, and the kids run all over her, causing her to give up. The day after, the stable boy
Aladdin’s long lost brother named Hakeem (Zack Shada) tells Jasmine that her father’s horse Sahara is missing, and he will get fired if the horse is not found. The crew go out to look for the horse (turns out Abu (Frank Welker) let him go when trying to get a piece of food), and when they find the horse at the oasis, it is crazy, and wild. Jasmine does everything she can to tame it, before bringing it back to her father, who is getting tired of being distracted all day. Jasmine eventually goes back to the school to conquer those kids.
Honestly, there is barely anything to go over when it comes to the characters. Aurora learns not to take the easy way out all the time, and Jasmine learned to be determined, though we have seen her do that countless times. The side characters are literally the same, and the new characters are decent, but not worth going over in detail.
Compared to the two Aladdin sequels, I am impressed with how nice it was to see Agrabah receive nice animation once again. Even in the Sleeping Beauty world, it was fairly accurate, though it was never going to receive the same amount of detail. There was a slight difference that were noticeable with the Sleeping Beauty characters, but otherwise, there is nothing to really complain about.
Regarding the music, I like how they somewhat tried to keep the scores similar to the ones in their perspective films, but there was still an undertone of pop underneath, that I cold not really get over.
Reception at Release
When this film was released on September 4th, 2007, it underperformed in sales, which is one of the reasons why there were not any more editions. Many people, including Mary Costa (Aurora’s voice in 1959) were not impressed with the film, and called it one of the cheapest products Disney has ever created.
From what I have seen today, no one really gives this film a thought, outside of it being a cheap attempt to market off the franchise.
23.5/40 = 59%