Original 'Aladdin' Writer Not Happy With Disney's Remake

There were plenty of opinions regarding Disney's teaser of their live-action Aladdin, and one in the negative column has to do with one piece of the original.

For those who saw the teaser, it takes a few pieces from the original animated film, including a few memorable pieces of music and lines from the film's script. That's actually part of the problem for original Aladdin screenwriter Terry Rossio, who wrote the script with Ted Elliot. Rossio took to social media to express his frustrations with Disney over having direct lines lifted from the script and not getting compensated in some way (via We Got This Covered).

"So strange that literally the only words spoken in the new Aladdin trailer happens to be a rhyme that my writing partner and I wrote, and Disney offers zero compensation to us (or to any screenwriters on any of these live-action re-makes) not even a t-shirt or a pass to the park," Rossio wrote.

As for how that is possible, it all comes down to foresight and contracts. As Rossio explains in a later tweet, at the time the original animated film was made, no one foresaw the trend of live-action reimaginings. As a result that is nowhere to be found in the original contracts, but according to Rossio that is not for lack of pleading their case.

"The studio owns the content on an animated feature. When the films were made, no one foresaw a live-action remake so nothing was contracted. Disney has been approached many times for some kind of compensation fee (I asked for a Disney pass) but they answered no, zilch, nada," Rossio wrote.

It does seem odd that those who helped create the original classic film wouldn't be able to receive some sort of perk for their work, and from Rossio's account, it seems it doesn't just have to be monetary compensation, as he says he asked for a pass to the park.

With more and more animated films under the Disney umbrella coming to theaters, we expect this not to be the last we hear about it. Classics like Lion King, Dumbo, and Mulan are all hitting theaters over the next few years, with more undoubtedly to come as projects like Beauty and the Beast and Jungle Book grossed over a billion dollars, and Aladdin and Lion King are expected to be in the same ballpark.


Aladdin hits theaters on May 24th, 2019.