Jafar is the evil Royal Vizier from Disney’s film Aladdin. He is a psychopath who is in love with Princess Jasmine, and will not stop at anything to make her love him back. Jafar’s appearance lends himself to the theme of Race, Exoticism, and Ethnography. His skin is much darker than that of the protagonists in the film, and he is always seen wearing black clothing and headpieces, with red accents. In the movie, the Genie calls him a “tall, dark, sinister, ugly man,” showing how the darkness of Jafar correlates with his hideousness. Jafar is exotic due to the excessive ornaments he adorns and surrounds himself with. He is always wearing extravagant clothing and can often be seen with riches around him. Jafar also has a gold cobra-headed staff with ruby eyes that he carries, which foreshadows Jafar’s later change from a human into a giant, black cobra. The color of the cobra demonstrates the theme of race more clearly, because instead of being a normal snake color, it is pitch black – therefore more evil. Jafar’s appearance correlates with Cohen’s “Monster Theory (Seven Theses)”. One of Cohen’s theses is that the monster is the “other.” To American audiences, Jafar is very much the “other.” He is not Americanized like Aladdin and Jasmine are, and this separation from the audience makes it easier for the audience to see him as a monstrous villain.
Aladdin. Dir. Ron Clements & John Musker. Walt Disney Home Video, 1992. Film.
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