So Aladdin was Chinese?


As a child, I pretty thought my now missing storybook called "Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp" was merely a rewrite of Aladdin which I thought was from the Middle East. So pretty much the names are very Middle Eastern yet amazingly, Aladdin was set in CHINA?! Yup, that's what I discovered and of course, the Disney's Aladdin is a radical adaptation with a lot of changes and most versions of Aladdin that usually stay faithful to most of the book's events are shown in the Middle East but China? It had me baffled. The French translator Antoine Galland added it into the collection. You can read more here to find the information.


Yup I remembered watching Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp in Faerie Tale Theatre which was set in the Middle East. I don't know why only a few people knew of Aladdin being Chinese. In that one, Aladdin had the genies of the ring and the lamp (both James Earl Jones). The princess was originally named Badroulbadour and of course, the royal vizier was no magician and the magician was just a magician... nothing more about taking over the world. But even with the changes from the original, it sounded a little more authentic. I guess Disney only kept seeing Aladdin as an Arabian as most adaptations do plus it feels more authentic to get it Arabic than Chinese because the names are so Arabic, not Chinese plus many times, China is erroneously described in the story.

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