Treasures of the ASIFA-Hollywood’s Animation Archive: Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp

In this 1934 cartoon, Aladdin is a slave who has to clean lamps. When he rubs one the lamps that is magic, a genie appears. Wishing himself into the palace, Aladdin is off to the sultan, where he meets a beautiful princess.

The short was produced at the Ub Iwerks Studio and was directed by Ub Iwerks, with animation by Grim Natwick and Benny Wolf.

Ub Iwerks was the artist who designed Mickey Mouse. He left Disney in 1930 to form his own studio. Soon he lost interest in the day to day supervision of the cartoons and turned the directing duties over to Grim Natwick, the creator of Betty Boop. 

Grim Natwick was one of the greatest animators who ever lived, and this cartoon is one of the most skillfully directed cartoons he made for Iwerks. You can see his hand everywhere- in the curlicue filagrees on the Genie, the beautifully composed background layouts, and the Betty Boop-esque heroine.

To view more videos on ASIFA-Hollywood’s YouTube channel, click on the image below.

Please be advised that some of these early cartoons feature behavior, stereotypes and cultural references common to the time that they were produced, but may be interpreted as insensitive or derogatory by today’s standards. Nevertheless, in an effort to provide a look at our history and the evolution of our art form, we show these films uncensored and in their entirety.