Aladdin directors Ron Clements and John Musker have confirmed one of the most obvious Disney fan theories ever to be true. The peddler from the film’s frame story is indeed the Genie.
“That’s true!” Clements told E! News. “That was the whole intention, originally. We even had that at the end of the movie, where he would reveal himself to be the Genie, and of course Robin [Williams] did the voice of the peddler. Just through story changes and some editing, we lost the reveal at the end. So, that’s an urban legend that actually is true.”
Even without whatever reveal was cut from the film, the peddler’s true identity seemed pretty clearto the 7-year-old me who first saw the movie in theaters. The peddler breaks the fourth wall the same way the Genie does, is voiced by Robin Williams, and the Genie’s “made you look” at the end of the film seems in reference to the story he just told as the peddler.
Not all fan theories about the film are true. The directors denied that the film was set in a post-apocalyptic future, as some had concluded based on the Genie’s anachronistic impressions. Scot Weinger, the voice of Aladdin, also denies the longstanding rumor that he whispers a subliminal message telling kids to take off their clothes.
Aladdin: Diamond Edition is now available on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital.