My friends and I got drunk the other night at a party, and at some point we stumbled to the television room. We were in the mood to sit back and watch a movie, but unfortunately, the girl whose house we were at had very few movies. Eventually, we decided on Disney's Aladdin, the animated feature that was one of my favorite childhood movies.
Perhaps it was my altered state, or perhaps it was the fact that I had recently read Dumas' classic, but I was amazed, entirely and utterly amazed, by the connections I made between Aladdin and The Count of Monte Cristo. I'll start at the beginning, which is generally a good place to start.
Aladdin is set up as a relatively poor man who does what it takes to get by, similar to Edmund Dantes. The beginning part is a stretch, but it slots into place later. Let's continue.
He meets princess Jasmine, and they fall for eachother. She becomes his Mercedes, the beautiful and sought after woman who for some reason loves the man who is below her state. At the same time, Jafar, the antagonist, is Aladdin's Count Mondego, attempting to steal away Mercedes, and essentially sending him to jail.
Jail, here, isn't the jail that Aladdin is thrown into by the guards, but the cave that he is tricked into exploring. He is double crossed by the old man (secretly Jafar) just as Dantes was double crossed by Mondego, and is trapped in the Cave of Wonders, analagous for the Chateau D'If.
Abbe Faria, Dantes' old teacher who eventually bestows him with innumerable wealth in the form of the Treasure of Spada, is represented by the Genie of the Lamp. The Genie not only gets Aladdin out of prison and onto a far away island, but he bestows him with treasure beyond belief, and allows him to change his identity to Prince Ali, just as Dantes changes his identity to the mysterious Count of Monte Cristo.
The rest is also a bit of a toss up - Aladdin uses the money to exact revenge on Jafar (even though he didn't know Jafar had betrayed him before) just as Dantes does to Mondego, all the while saving the kingdom. Aladdin gets the girl just as Dantes reunites with Mercedes... It made alot more sense the other night, and even if it doesn't make any sense now, I'm at the very least glad I've attempted to share my crackpot theory with the rest of the world.