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Movie Review

With two wishes already fulfilled, Disney has given the lamp a final rub by releasing the last chapter in the Aladdin trilogy, Aladdin and the King of Thieves. Once again empowered by the wildly funny antics of Robin Williams as the genie, this straight-to-video hit features plenty of action, humor, romance and five new songs. It also affirms marriage, encourages forgiveness, condemns greed and examines the vital bond between father and son.

The film opens as Aladdin and princess Jasmine prepare to wed. Having grown up without a male role model, the groom grapples with feelings of inadequacy ("I never had a father to show me how to raise a family"). The plot thickens when Aladdin learns that his absentee dad, Cassim, is alive and leading a notorious band of thieves on a quest for hidden treasure. The boy risks everything to reform his father, and Cassim realizes that his son is infinitely more precious to him than gold.

Slight caveats (such as an omniscient oracle) may warrant family discussion—especially with young children. However, talking points also include loving and believing the best of people, taking responsibility for one's actions, a man's duty to his family and the dangers of greed. By making the parent the prodigal, King of Thieves helps young viewers identify with Aladdin, and what mom or dad might feel if their trust is betrayed.

Thought-provoking messages? Yes. But this animated adventure's moral insights in no way detract from the film's fun, upbeat tone. A huge reason is the genie's hip cultural references and clever, shape-shifting caricatures. Despite Disney's inconsistencies of late, this is one project that's entertaining and uplifting.

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