16. The same performer voiced Abu, Rajah, and the Cave of Wonders.
A legend in the field of voice actors (with jaw-dropping IMDb stats), Frank Welker provided the voices of Aladdin’s thieving monkey pal, Abu; Jasmine’s pet tiger, Rajah; and the feline-shaped Cave of Wonders.
For Aladdin’s faithful companion, Welker studied spider monkeys at the zoo and tried to find a way for a way for Abu to react by “speaking.” “In seeing what kind of monkey he was, I knew he kind of had to have a little voice, and at first there was no dialog whatsoever,” Welker told ET. “He didn't speak at all, but they wanted to give the impression that he had his own little language.”
Rajah’s noises, he revealed, were a combination of a lion, a tiger, a dog and a “kitty cat for the purring sounds.”
17. Several songs did not make it into the movie.
More than twice as many songs were written than were used in the final film. Famed composer Alan Menken first collaborated with songwriter Howard Ashmore, and later Broadway lyricist Tim Rice after Ashmore passed away during production. Some of the songs that Ashmore composed, including “Proud of Your Boy,” were later repurposed for Disney’s Broadway adaptation of the animated film.
18. Menken saw Aladdin and Jasmine as “Valley kids.”
For Aladdin’s songs, Menken explained it was their mission to find a middle ground between pop culture and authentic Middle Eastern music. “It's so much of the Disney style to make the characters also very recognizable, American types within that context,” he said. “So, Aladdin and Jasmine are kind of Valley kids, as well as being these Arabian characters.”
19. The singers had just met each other when they recorded "A Whole New World."
Brad Kane and Lea Salonga, who has returned to Broadway this year in Once on This Island, provided the singing voices for Aladdin and Jasmine, respectively. They met for the first time when they recorded the movie’s iconic ballad. “We're standing there singing to each other. It was weird. It was a strange situation, because when you just meet someone you know nothing about them,” Kane said.
20. The movie broke Disney records for its box office performance and VHS sales.
Grossing over $217 million domestically and over $504 worldwide, Aladdin became the most successful Disney movie until The Lion King was released two years later. When it was released on VHS, it sold over 10.6 million copies from just over 100,000 outlets in its first week, eventually selling over 25 million copies.