The world of Walt Disney is full of myths, dreams, fantasies and fairy dust. But some of those myths are just…well, they’re lies. Sorry. Over at E! News, Ron Clements and John Musker, the dudes who directed Aladdin, stepped away from their busy schedules and overflowing bank accounts to clear up some of the misconceptions that have taken hold of the popular psyche over the years. Here’s everything you need to know from the interview:
The myth: Aladdin is set in a post-apocalyptic future
The verdict: false. So false, in fact, that Musker has never even heard this one. What’s a little more weird is that Agrabah, the name of the city where the film is set, came about because of real-life politics. Aladdin, Musker tells E!, was originally supposed to take place in Baghdad. But that got a little awk when the whole Gulf War thing went down, just as the movie was in production. “Roy Disney said, ‘This can’t be in Baghdad,'” said Musker. “So, I took letters and did a jumbled anagram and came up with Agrabah.”
The myth: The peddler at the beginning of Aladdin is the Genie.
The verdict: true. Clements says that the original script even included a big reveal at the end of the film, but it got cut thanks to story alterations and editing. Even so, he confirms, “that was the whole intention.”
The myth: At one point in the movie, you can hear Aladdin say, ‘Take off your clothes” to Jasmine.
The verdict: false. Get your mind out of the gutter. Not only did it not happen, but actor Scott Weinger, who voiced Aladdin, made the obvious-in-hindsight point that it would have been in very poor taste to pull such a stunt. “Let me tell you, being in the recording studio with Robin Williams…there’s no way I would have made some dirty joke,” he told E!.
The myth: In 1997’s Hercules, the title character saw a shooting star that was actually Aladdin and Jasmine flying on the magic carpet.
No one at Disney thinks about this as much as you do Unclear. “Pegasus is sort of watching over Hercules until he joins with him,” Clements told E!. “The shooting star, we were thinking, is Pegasus. Though no one, I guess, can ever know for sure…”
So, that’s that. Not sure why these guys didn’t address the only Disney rumor we’ve ever heard—that Ariel can be seen naked in a single frame of The Little Mermaid—but maybe that’s all just part of the Disney magic.