Before I get started may I just note to the reader that this is not a full review of this Disney feature film. It is just my excerpt of what captured my attention right away and something I felt compelled to write a short post about.
I am sure many are aware of this Disney feature film. If not then I suggest you buy it and watch it with your kids. It carries with it a good message about the dangers of wanting power and what it entails, and in the end how truth always prevails even if the outcome should be that one remains powerless because weakness and truth is power.
So I bought this movie for my son. it was in fact a kind of selfish desire of my own to buy it also as I wanted to revisit my childhood years in watching it.
So apart from other messages in the film I picked up on the part where Aladdin and the Princess escape the market from the guards who wanted to capture them for being thieves. When they do finally escape they have a conversation where the princess is saying something like ”I hate the rich life of being a princess, always being locked up and never getting out. ” While she is saying this Aladdin ( a poor thief and begger boy ) is saying ”I hate being poor and being trampled on and would love to make it big and rich someday.”
They both look at each other, realise what it is they are saying and then erupt in laughter before moving on.What I find interesting about this is that such a conversation proves that both of them are miserable regardless of their material position, that is, one being poor and the other being of great wealth.So it is not our material disposition that gives us happiness. It is Christ from on high.
It reminded me of that part of the Gospel where the rich man approaches Jesus and has a conversation with him about wanting to follow him. The man of great wealth asks Jesus what it is he must do in order to be a follower of his. So Jesus tells him to follow the commandments. But the wealthy man replied that he already does this. Jesus then tells the man of great wealth to give up all he owns. But then the man walked away sad because he was extremely wealthy. He was not prepared to give all his material possessions up.
But there is something even deeper about Jesus message about giving up what one owns. It’s not just about being detached and getting rid of our ”material” possessions but also our ”worldly” riches. The riches of egoism, prestige and desire for power and to commit sin. The desire of pleasure in worldy things. Poor or rich many of us are unwilling to give up these things in order to truly follow Christ.
So here we have Aladdin and the Princess. One rich, the other poor and both miserable. The solution to their depression lies not in their getting of one thing, But their dropping of another, that is, their attachment to the world and all it offers. It is their attachment to materialism amongst other deeper attachments that lay more hidden in their soul that keep them locked in a cage they created for themselves.