You might not remember if it’s been a minute since your last viewing, but Disney’s Aladdin has a bit of a framing device. The film begins with some golden landscapes and a man on a camel singing “Arabian Nights.” He eventually slides off his desert steed and breaks the fourth wall.
“Ah, salaam and good evening to you, worthy friend.”
It’s Robin Williams (doing a questionable accent), who also, of course, brought the Genie to life. Fans have long speculated that the merchant is actually the Genie. From their similar clothes, to similar facial hair, to their shared trait of four fingers, the clues all seemed to point to the shared identity.
Now, the theory has been confirmed. In an interview with E! News, co-director Ron Clements said: “That was the whole intention, originally. We even had that at the end of the movie, where he would reveal himself to be the Genie, and of course Robin did the voice of the peddler. Just through story changes and some editing, we lost the reveal at the end. So, that's an urban legend that actually is true.”
Clements, along with co-director John Musker addressed a few other theories, like that one about whether Frozen and The Little Mermaid exist in the same universe, so hop on over to original story to get a few of your burning questions answered.