Like many classic Disney films, they hold a special place in our hearts. It isn’t hard to recite your favorite movie, hero, villain, or song. But something happened at Disney Animation in the early 90s when the animated movie musicals really soared their way into the social consciousness. I was lucky enough to be the perfect, target age for these films, which is why I love them so much. And one such film was Disney’s Aladdin.

I was only 6 years old when it hit the big screen on Thanksgiving in 1993. Since then, it has been apart of my (whole new) world ever since. Looking back at the past 23 years, it’s hard to pick just one Aladdin-related memory. So instead I figured I’d list a couple.

1. Iago the Chicken?

Although I didn’t understand it at the time, when I was cast as Iago in my school production of Aladdin, everyone would tell, “Oh you’re perfect for the part.” Looking back now, it’s easy to see why. I still had a high-pitched and “squawky” voice. I was loud, impetuous, and somewhat obnoxious at timed (in the most adorable sense that is). Iago had been one of my favorite characters in the movies, so I didn’t mind the judgements. The costume I wore, I still find baffling. If you’ve ever seen one of those Foster Farms chicken commercials with the renegade hens, that’s pretty much what I looked like except I also had a black vest which I suppose made me appear more menacing. I’ll never forget the pocket filled with loose feathers that I would throw at the audience when I said the line, “Look at me! I’m so ticked-off that I’m molting!”

2. Whole New Worlds

Another Aladdin memory comes from my summer working as a counselor at a family camp in Lake Arrowhead. At the end of every week we would perform a play for our guests and in this particular show, the love song was sung to the tune of ‘A Whole New World’. However, instead of the regular lyrics, they were changed to fit our made-up show’s story which was pretty ridiculous when you consider the opening words were, “I can show you our camp, it’s the bestest place ever. Tell me Helen, whenever you want something, let me know.” Now picture two people being pulled around the stage in a wagon made to look like a canoe and that’s a show I’ll never forget.

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In addition to these two moments, there have been plenty of movie nights where I’ve watched Aladdin with family and friends as well as countless karaoke bars that have heard me belt out “A Whole New World.” For all these reasons, Aladdin will always be a very special film for me to enjoy again and again.

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