Jafar - Thursday, October 22, 2015

Disney.  Two syllables.  Dizz.  Nee.  Say them together, and a world of magic and wonder is evoked.  Animated movies that have made people laugh and cry for almost eighty years.  Theme parks around the world that compel people to spend all their savings so they can vanish in fantasy for a week.  Cruises, resorts, clothing lines - there is so much that the name Disney evokes. And yet it all started with cartoons.  Officially, there are fifty-four films in the Disney library, starting with 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and their most recent release, last year's Big Hero 6.  In 1992, Walt Disney Studios released a film called Aladdin, starring the voices of Robin Williams as the Genie, Scott Weinger as Aladdin, Linda Larkin as Princess Jasmine, and Jonathon Freeman as Jafar.  Today, we would like to talk about Jafar, who is honored by a cardboard standee in our Toy Box.

Disney villains have a special, albeit a little odd, place in our hearts.  They are often as interesting as the heroes of the story, even if we don't agree with their approaches towards life.  Jafar is not a nice guy, and he is a little preoccupied with a greed for riches and power. He has a sidekick, an outspoken and sarcastic bird named Iago (voiced by Gilbert Godfried) who seems to share his ambitions, which include brainwashing the sultan into arranging a marriage between Jafar and Princess Jasmine.  If you don't remember the story, it's time to watch Aladdin again. It was part of the revitalization of Disney's animation studios - one of their funniest movies ever!  [The comment about Aladdin being one of Disney's funniest is an opinion, and should not be regarded as fact.  Please note, Pixar films are not included in this assessment, either, since we all know they can be pretty hilarious, too!]
QUESTION:  In his frustration with Disney for ignoring promises they made regarding publicity for Aladdin, Robin Williams did not work with the company again until he received a formal apology.  What film did he star in for them then?
A)  Mrs. Doubtfire
B)  Jumanji
C)  The Birdcage
D)  Good Will Hunting
ANSWER BELOW

BIG DAY!  As per the heading, October 22nd was, indeed, a big day.  Lots of important stuff happened today in history.  In 1777, Patriot defenders won a resounding victory against Hessian (German) soldiers at the Battle of Red Bank, in southwestern New Jersey.  Sam Houston - the only American to be governor of two different states (Tennessee and Texas) - became the first President of the Republic of Texas in 1836.  And the farthest-reaching anniversary is attributed to Thomas Edison, who in 1879 tested the first practical incandescent lightbulb today!  Good times.  

NYUK CUBED.  Lots of good people celebrate birthdays today, too, including Daniel Boone (1734), N.C. Wyeth (1882), and Joan Fontaine (1917), but we have to make a special call out to 1903's baby boy Jerome Lester Horwitz, more famously known as Curly Howard.  Likely the most popular of the Three Stooges, Curly certainly tickled people's funny bones for most of his short life.  He died at 48 of a cerebral hemorrhage, but will be remembered for his life.

QUOTE:  If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking until you do succeed. - Curly Howard

ANSWER:  A)  Mrs. Doubtfire.  It came out in 1993, the next year.  So clearly, issues were resolved fairly quickly.