Despite its festive vibes and inhabitants’ ability to break out into song and dance, Agrabah sounds like a pretty average place to be if you’re a gal. Or at the very least, a royal gal.
Praise the Disney gods then that Jasmine, the sassy-independent-woman-who-needs-no-man-but-is-given-men-anyway-because-Agrabah, decides to use her strength and fight against the will of her (admittedly adorable) father and a couple of thirsty suitors.
Been on the run without electricity for 27 years? Here’s the plot: We meet ol’ mate Aladdin – also known as a “street rat” by royal guards and anyone who used to bully others in school because of their own insecurities – who has grown up without the luxuries of those royal buggers and therefore has to resort to knicking food to you know, stay alive. How dare he, amiright?
So Aladdin’s going about his daily routine, evading the guards and making them feel incompetent (because they are) when he spies the stunning sass-pot we touched on earlier, Jasmine.
The kicker? Jasmine’s a princess from the city palace and she’s currently the subject of unwanted attention and an even more unwelcome arranged marriage. Seriously Agrabah, get it together.
After realising her princess status, Aladdin has a bit of a sulk ‘cos he thinks Jasmine wouldn’t be into a street rat such as himself because of class inequality, but he underestimates Jasmine’s own sense of agency and frankly does far too much to try to woo her. Think lamps, genies, fraternising with evil villains, disguises, magic carpets, catchy love songs – you name it, he whipped it out.
This is why Jasmine’s a true icon though (and I don’t use the term lightly) – from the get-go, she isn’t having a bar of any of it.
First off, when her own father tries to convince her to go through with an arranged marriage, she fobs it off and hammers that final nail into the wedding’s coffin. Jasmine can make her own choices and she sure as shirt won’t be marrying someone she doesn’t want to.
Also, let’s just keep in mind how much the norm would be in Agrabah for royal women to just enter into marriages to please their family. Going against such a tradition would be a genuine no-no. Kind of like how it was illegal in the ’60s to eat anything remotely healthy. Am I lying? You’ll never know.
I digress. Jasmine already enters the league of legends just by going against the norm and she works damn hard to maintain her status. When Aladdin’s being a fake prince, she shuts that down almost immediately.
When Jasmine’s forbidden to enter the marketplace, do you think she gives a rats? You know she doesn’t, she marches on down there and mingles with the plebs like a regular person.
And who can forget the iconic line from the ’90s flick when Aladdin and *certain* others (spoiler-free, you’re welcome) are fighting over Jasmine?
“How dare you? All of you, standing around deciding my future? I am not a prize to be won!”
When chatting about her role as Jasmine in the upcoming Disney’s Aladdin flick (out on May 23), actress and singer Naomi Scott assures us that Jasmine will be an independent and resilient heroine which stays true to the ’90s Aladdin while also adding a modern flare.
I’m also personally excited to see the newest addition to the Agrabah – Jasmine’s go-to girl and handmaiden Dalia (played by Nasim Pedrad). Unlike the OG story where Jasmine had to deal with nothing but men, the introduction of Dalia will give us a further glimpse into Jasmine’s psyche and frankly I can’t wait to indirectly pick her brain.
There are honestly countless times Jasmine proved herself to be somewhat of an icon and if the info we have for the upcoming live-action flick is anything to go by, we can expect even more Jasmine badassery in the very near future.
Catch a peak of Jasmine in all her glory right here:
You can watch Disney’s Aladdin in its entirety when it lands in cinemas on May 23.Image: Disney