Of all the animated Disney movies, Aladdin has always been one of my favorites. From the upbeat music to the brilliant colors, everything about it drew me in when I was a kid. I even starred in the theatrical version—Aladdin, Jr.—when I was in middle school. (Okay, when I say starred I mean I played Laundry Woman #3. But I did have one singing line in the “Prince Ali” number. Listen for it next time you watch—“A hundred bad guys with swords!” That was me. I was a star.)
It came as a big surprise, then, when Matthew told me had never seen it almost a year into our marriage. We immediately went to the library to rent the DVD (are we the only people who still do that?) and remedied the situation. He quickly realized what he had missed out on and now it is one of his favorites too.
So when we found out about the live-action remake we were excited. Sure, we went through the whole “why remake something that is already so good who cares if it’s real how good can the effects be Disney just wants our money I don’t want to give it to them but I am definitely going to see this in theaters opening weekend” thing. But once we got past it we honed in on just being excited. And then it hit me like a ton of camels—Aladdin. Date. Night.
The romance, the drama, the easy availability of Disney karaoke on YouTube. Everything about it sings date night. Below we’ve listed a couple of options of what you can do on your date night to escape to a whole new world. So hold on tight to your flying carpet, because we’ve created a date night kit that is going to blow you away in a desert sandstorm of awesomeness.
1. Read the Story
You may have known that Aladdin is based on a fairytale, but have you ever read it? It comes from Arabian Nights (or 1,001 Nights), a book of stories originally published in Arabic. The stories were translated into English in the 18th century. Interestingly enough, however, despite it being one of the best known stories in the compilation, Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp was not part of the original Arabic text. It was added to Arabian Nights by a Frenchman who first heard it from a Syrian storyteller. Therefore, its origin is a bit of a mystery.
One of the strangest parts about the original story is the setting: China. Almost nothing in the story coincides with our understanding of China’s culture. For example, they refer to their ruler not as the “emperor” but as the “sultan.” Some have speculated that it takes place in Central Asia, perhaps ancient Turkestan, which has a long history of cultural diffusion.
The story has been told and translated in many different ways, and continues to be told today. On your date night, read a translation of the original (like the one below) and talk about how it compares to the movies.
2. See the Movies
Now this part is obvious—go see the new movie! Want to heighten the suspense? Watch the animated original the night before your date (or right before) and compare the two. In our free printables below, we’ve included a list of questions comparing the movies and the story. You’ll have lots to talk about afterwards.
3. Play Open Sesame
Also in our printables below, we have come up with a romantic Aladdin-themed game called Open Sesame. Play the game before bed and come up with a few wishes of your own that your partner may just grant you.
4. Sing the Karaoke
Be honest—you already know all the words. You might as well take advantage of the fact with a bit of Aladdin karaoke. Grab your remote or your hairbrush and belt it out using the video below. If you are a big fan, you can use the Spotify playlist below to sing more of the songs. Either way, capture a video or photo and tag us @makeadateofit. We may just have a prize for you…
A Whole New World - Aladdin Date Night Kit
Time: 3+ hours | Cost: $ | Location: Indoors | Level: Easy
For millennials, Aladdin was an animated movie favorite growing up. Now Disney has dished out a live-action remake and it’s time to celebrate with an epic date night. Start with reading the original fairytale and learn where Disney got inspiration for the story. Then, optionally rewatch the 1992 animated version. Go see the remake and talk about the differences with our printable story questions before finishing the night with our custom printable game: Open Sesame.
Printable Story Questions
Printable Romantic Game - Open Sesame
Streaming Access to Aladdin (1992)
Tickets for Aladdin (2019)
Aladdin Karaoke (link above)
Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp original story (link above)
Download the free printables below--including the invite, questions, and Open Sesame game--and print. Be sure to print the Open Sesame cards double sided. Cut out the pieces (we recommend using a portable paper cutter like this one). Then, gather any other materials you may need.
Deliver the invite to your date. You could leave it out on the counter one morning, send it via snail mail, pin it to your fridge, or come up with something else creative. If you would rather text the invite to your date, screenshot this digital invite.
On the night of, read the original story (link above) aloud to one another. Then, if you have time, watch the original animated Aladdin (1992). You could also watch it the night before.
Go see the new live-action Aladdin (2019) and snack on movie theater snacks as you please.
Once you get home, discuss the movie and story questions from the printable date night kit. Talk about the differences between the movies and the story, as well as what you liked and didn’t like.
While you are still excited from the movie, sing some Aladdin karaoke, like A Whole New World (linked above). Video yourselves and tag us @makeadateofit when you post for a special FREE gift.
Finally, play our custom game: Open Sesame, the game where all your wishes come true. Read the instructions carefully before getting started and then go wild.
Don't forget to share a photo of your date with us on instragram or facebook and tag us @makeadateofit!