The Aladdin co-director explains that Superman served as the inspiration for the well-known song “A Whole New World.” John Musker and Ron Clements, the directors of The Little Mermaid, oversaw the endearing production, which starred Scott Weinger in the title role with Linda Larkin as Jasmine and Robin Williams as the Genie.
The comedian’s humorous yet emotional performance as the Genie has become one of the film’s fan favorites, and it helped the movie get further praise both critically and commercially. Aladdin was a success for Disney, being the first animated movie to earn over $500 million and the highest-grossing animated movie at the time of its release. The Lion King, another Disney powerhouse, broke that record two years later.
Princess Jasmine is given a ride on his magic carpet during one of Aladdin’s initial attempts to win her over, allowing her to escape the palace’s protective environment and take in a brand-new, thrilling experience.
The song “A Whole New World,” which has since come to be associated with the film and became a hit in and of itself, is played during the amorous scene. Musker reveals a surprising source of inspiration for the song, which originated from Christopher Reeve’s portrayal of Superman, in an interview with Yahoo! Movies. See what he says:
“We wanted a musicalised, ultimate dream date scene where Aladdin takes Jasmine flying on his carpet. We were influenced by the Superman movie where Christopher Reeve takes Margot Kidder’s Lois Lane on this amazing date. Did we know A Whole New World would become a staple of ice skating shows for the next 30 years? No, but kudos to Alan [Menken] and Tim [Rice]. It’s stood the test of time and become part of the fabric of American musical theatre.”