10 Times Disney Blatantly Stole From Other Movies

10. Aladdin (The Thief & The Cobbler)

Aladdin Thief And The Cobbler
Disney & Miramax

Disney's 1992 classic Aladdin remains a key entry into the much-ballyhooed Disney Renaissance, and with damn good reason: it's one of the company's most visually stunning and charmingly performed efforts to date.

However, Aladdin bears a remarkable similarity to The Thief and the Cobbler, an unfinished animated film which was in development for almost 30 years starting in the 1960s. Various cut-to-shreds versions of the incomplete project were eventually released in a few territories, and it's clear from even these piecemeal versions that Aladdin owes a great debt to it.

The story, the animation style and especially the characters of The Thief and the Cobbler had an obvious influence on Aladdin, namely antagonist Zigzag, whose pencil-thin moustache and angular jar immediately resemble Aladdin's Jafar, and whose blue face clearly influenced Disney's design of the Genie.

It's not terribly surprising that many of the personnel working on The Thief and the Cobbler's complex animation eventually wound up hired for Aladdin, making the plagiarism even more blatant.

Though the former movie was initially intended to release long before Aladdin, ultimately the over-schedule and over-budget production caused the insurance company to panic at the competition posed by Aladdin and take the film away from director Richard Williams.

Ironically, many might view The Thief and the Cobbler as a low-rent Aladdin rip-off at first glance, but the truth is actually far more unfortunate and depressing than that. It doesn't really take much away from Aladdin's brilliance, but it's just a shame that its direct progenitor was never fully completed or appreciated.

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