The Thief of Bagdad
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Jaffar kills the sultan of Basra, the princess' father. The scene is not graphic, but it's disturbing; the sultan walks willingly into the arms of a magic statue that strangles him.
What's the story?
The blind beggar Ahmad (John Justin) tells the story of his former life as the King of Bagdad and his dog Abu's past life as the human boy. Through flashbacks, he reveals that when the conniving Grand Vizier Jaffar (Conrad Veidt) tricks King Ahmad into leaving the palace disguised as a subject, Jaffar arrests the rightful ruler and imprisons him. From the palace's dungeon Ahmad and young Abu (Sabu) -- the title character and a fellow captive -- escape to Basra. In Basra, Ahmad falls in love with a princess whose ridiculous father wants to marry her to Jaffar. When Jaffar recognizes Ahmad, he blinds the king and turns Abu into a dog to prevent them from spoiling his marriage plans. Then the real action begins as Ahmad and Abu try to save the princess and, after separation, reunite with each other.
Is it any good?
Kids shouldn't watch this DVD expecting the story of Aladdin. The similarities are superficial, and the focus of the overly long film -- love at first sight -- may be disappointing for seekers of fantasy and adventure. The boy and genie who are larger than life on the DVD's cover really play small parts compared to the lovesick Ahmad. Furthermore, the genie sorely lacks the charm and humor of Robin Williams' genie from the Disney film.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about role models in this story and what makes a heroic character. How does the father in this story differ from the dads in most other family films? Does the princess have any control over her future? In what ways do her father, Jaffar, and Ahmad objectify her? Who's really the star of the film, and what makes someone a leading character?