August 13, 1996 – The Direct-to-Video Movie Aladdin and the King of Thieves is Released
“Knock ’em dead, kid. Seriously.”
On August 13, 1996, the direct-to-video sequel Aladdin and the King of Thieves was released. The third and final film in the Aladdin trilogy, the story is based on the tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. It was written by Mark McCorkle and Robert Schooley, and was directed by Tad Stones. The film stars Scott Weinger as Aladdin, Robin Williams as Genie, John Rhys-Davies as Cassim, Gilbert Gottfried as Iago, Linda Larkin as Jasmine, Jerry Orbach as Sa’luk, and Frank Welker as Abu.
A mysterious man appears near Agrabah, which is preparing itself for a big celebration. He travels through the gates with several camels carrying baskets, which contain some frightening men inside. A merchant stops at the gate to talk to the guard, who reveals that the princess is getting married, although he is not too thrilled about the choice of groom. The merchant reveals himself to be none other than Genie, who is there to help celebrate. Unfortunately, the only thing that’s missing seems to be the groom: Aladdin. Aladdin has gone back to his childhood home to pull out a small box. Genie finds him, and Aladdin reveals that the box includes a dagger that belonged to his father. Aladdin continues to say that he never knew his father, as he had died long ago. Aladdin then reveals his fears about getting married, as he doesn’t feel prepared to raise a family. Genie helps him feel better, and gets him back in time for the wedding.
The mysterious man from earlier enters the stables with his camels, and gets in an argument with his henchman Sa’luk. The man is there to get something called “the Oracle,” and is certain that it’s there. The wedding soon begins, and the man starts his plan to retrieve the Oracle, freeing all the other men from their baskets. They cause the elephants to stampede the wedding ceremony, and in the confusion, the men make their move. The man looks through the wedding gifts while his men loot the guests, and it is soon revealed that these men are the infamous forty thieves. Aladdin tries to stop the King of Thieves, and the two fight over an object. The rest of the thieves flee under Sa’luk’s orders, and the king manages to escape without the Oracle. While studying it later, Iago asks out loud why the King of Thieves would be interested in that simple object, which responds that it will answer his question. The item, known as the Oracle, reveals itself to be an all-knowing magic being, and answers that the King was looking for the ultimate treasure. She also reveals that she works by the rule of one: one question per person, and one answer. She also reveals to Aladdin that his father is actually alive, and can answer all of his questions about the past.
Aladdin returns to his childhood home once again, troubled by the revelation that his father is, indeed, alive. Jasmine goes to comfort him, and he confesses that he isn’t sure about wanting to know his father, as he is hurt that his father just abandoned him and his mother. Jasmine reassures him that it’s okay to learn about his father, and although Aladdin has reservations, he decides to go and meet his father. Aladdin asks the Oracle where his father is, and is told that Aladdin’s father is trapped within the forty thieves. He decides to go rescue his father, and travels across the desert. He finds that the thieves stop at the edge of a beach, and when he sneaks away to hide, he watches carefully to see the King call out “Open Sesame,” and a large cavern opens for the thieves to enter, parting the water in the process. Aladdin quickly follows them to find an underground city inside. He watches the thieves arguing, and discovers that the King is his father. When Sa’luk tries to attack Cassim, his father, Aladdin rushes in to protect him. He then reveals that he is Cassim’s son, with the dagger serving as proof. Sa’luk then points out that Aladdin is an intruder, and must die. Cassim decides to have Aladdin face “the Challenge,” with Sa’luk volunteering to test him.
Sa’luk and Aladdin are brought to an area to fight to the death. Cassim believes that Aladdin will win, and the fight proceeds. Aladdin fights well in the beginning, but is soon struck by Sa’luk; the fight ends when Aladdin succeeds in kicking Sa’luk off a cliff into the ocean below. The thieves welcome him into the forty thieves, unaware that Sa’luk actually survived his fall. Meanwhile, in Agrabah, Genie does his best to cheer up Jasmine while she waits for Aladdin to return. Aladdin is taken deep into the lair of the forty thieves with Cassim, who reveals that they never hurt the innocent. He then admits the reason he left Aladdin and his mother when Aladdin was a baby: he’s looking for the Hand of Midas, which has the power to turn anything to gold. He wanted to provide for his family everything they deserved. Aladdin tells him that he never wanted gold, he wanted his father, and invites Cassim to his wedding. After Aladdin leaves, Iago convinces Cassim to accept the invitation for the sole purpose of stealing the Oracle to find the Hand of Midas. In Agrabah, Sa’luk plots his revenge for Cassim, and decides to give up the location of the hideout to the royal guards.
Aladdin continues to bond with Cassim, while the guards head to the location of the hideout. Back at the palace, Genie meets Cassim, and helps him look more like a father rather than a thief. Cassim is a hit with Jasmine and the Sultan. However, all the thieves have been arrested, and Sa’luk is angry that Cassim was not one of those arrested. When the Sultan refuses to sentence any of the prisoners due to the wedding, Sa’luk reveals that Aladdin’s father is the King of Thieves, and both should be arrested. The wedding is delayed due to Cassim’s stealing of the Oracle, and he is arrested once he enters the room. When Aladdin finds his father has been arrested, he is disappointed, thinking that this was the only reason his father came with him. Cassim and Iago are sent to the dungeon, for life. To return everything back to the way it was, Aladdin will enter the dungeon dressed as his father, break Cassim out of the dungeon, and get him out of his life forever. His identity is soon revealed, but Cassim saves Aladdin, and the two ride out of Agrabah. While Cassim tells Aladdin that he should run away with him, Aladdin refuses, and decides to take the punishment he deserves.
Back at the forty thieves lair, the remaining thieves are surprised to find Sa’luk alive, and he convinces them that it was Cassim that betrayed them all. The thieves believe him, and decide to go back to their old, ruthless ways, with Sa’luk as the leader. When Cassim comes back to the lair, the men are waiting to kill him. They take him out to sea, and have him ask the Oracle where to find the Vanishing Isle where the Hand of Midas is. Iago slips away and heads back to Agrabah to warn Aladdin about the thieves, and finds that Aladdin has been absolved. Although Aladdin first refuses to go, he is soon convinced by Genie and Jasmine to go and rescue him. As he gets there, the Vanishing Isle appears on the back of a turtle. Cassim and Aladdin enter inside to get the Hand of Midas, although they don’t have much time to get it before the turtle goes back underwater. Although they are able to steal the hand, Sa’luk appears, threatening to kill Aladdin unless he gets the Hand of Midas. To save Aladdin, Cassim throws the hand over, but when Sa’luk touches the bare hand, he turns into gold, and falls into the water as a golden statue. Aladdin retrieves the hand, and he and Cassim struggle to get out of the building on the Isle before the turtle submerges. Aladdin gives Cassim the Hand, but Cassim decides once and for all that he doesn’t need it, and throws it into the ocean. Aladdin returns home to marry Jasmine in front of their friends and family, including Cassim, who watches from the shadows. Cassim and Iago talk, and Cassim decides to head off on his own, and Iago heads off with Cassim. Aladdin and Jasmine wish him farewell as he rides off into the desert.