I stand firm behind my beliefs that the Disney Fairytales ingrained a mythology about gender codes, racism, and fantasy into the minds of Generation X. But the reality is, we bought, we saw and we treasured those fairytales and the life lessons they subliminally taught us.
Back to Aladdin, I just wanted to highlight what I saw as "the point, behind the point," of the three wishes.
First, let's remember the importance of the number 3. In numerology, as well as Children's literature, the number 3 represents the trilogy; specifically, the triangular components to spirituality. Interestingly enough, we are introduced to Abu, Aladdin's faithful companion (his monkey...smh, racist, but whatever) from the onset of the film. Then, we are introduced to the magic carpet... a representation of Aladdin's upward mobility. The trilogy is completed upon discovery of the genie in the lamp, who "illuminates" Aladdin to the possibilities of his life. This triumvirate is exactly what Aladdin needs to transform himself into a candidate for royal courtship.
His wishes, however, are what improve his worth...in particular, his "self-worth." Here's my breakdown of the metaphor behind the wishes of improving self-worth:
Wish/Step One: Getting Fit For Royalty-The first step towards improving self-worth, especially in the matters of LOVE, is playing the part. From the onset of the movie, Aladdin knew, if given the opportunity, he would be able to show the world there was "so much more" to him than his exterior. The funny thing about the world we live in is that people need to respect the exterior before they even inquire about the interior (The Philosophy of Aesthetics). Dressing the part of the prince is fitting for acquiring the hand of Princess Jasmine, who knew wealth before she even met him and saw it in him despite his state of impoverishment. It's necessary to eventually rid yourself of rags for the one who treasured you when you were a peasant. Jasmine was worthy of his efforts.
Wish/Step Two: Rebirth For A New Life- The second step for improving self-worth is the death of the old self for the rebirth of the new self. In literature and doctrines of societies that value enlightenment as a key to success, "the near death experience" is always partnered with a subsequent perspective change on the value of life. When Aladdin sinks to the bottom of the ocean, it prepares him for focusing on what is important for the next stage in life...whether that be marriage or a prospective Sultan.
Wish/Step Three: Adopting A Royal Ethic Code
-The third and final step to improving self worth is having a strong ethical code that you stand by in times of great conflict and decision making. After Aladdin and the royal family are subjugated to abject humilation, the only way to defeat the a deceitful villain is by chaining him to his own obsession for power. After Jafar is defeated and the old order is restored, Aladdin chooses to keep his promise and free the genie instead of turning himself back into a prince. In doing so, he becomes a KING! To be truly worthy of the title royalty, you should realize you are no one's master. A good king wishes for the freedom of all his subjects. Especially the ones that helped make him into a King.