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The Contender
Con (against)
12 Points

Aladdin is a Superior Movie over The Lion King

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Voting Style: Judge Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/27/2014 Category: Movies
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 13,184 times Debate No: 59635
Debate Rounds (4)
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Out of many Disney movies I have watched, I felt like Aladdin was the best. (Have yet to watch Beauty and the Beast) However, The Lion King, however emotional it was, felt like it had no comedy side to it, and in addition to the *ahem* "strange" parts of the movie, could not make it to beat up Aladdin. However, my opponent does not think so. He even says his gut says The Lion King is the best Disney movie of all time. Thus, we come to a clash of an epic battle-- the only slightly better-than-average debater, 9spaceking, versus one of the best debaters on the site, Raisor. I am almost certain that I will concede at some point of this debate, or at the very least get my butt kicked all the way to Pluto, but I wish to see more of how awesome The Lion King really is. Can the Lion King really beat my second favorite movie? Will I change my opinion? We will find this all out within this debate.

Please wait at least one day to accept this debate, I am quite busy.
Round one is for acceptance only.
Good luck and I hope you have a magic carpet ride of a debate! :D

And yes, I am aware there's a zombie judge there.

I just put him there for fun and laughs. :P


I accept. Shared BOP.
Debate Round No. 1


1. The movie "Aladdin" is more humorous
A more humorous movie is obviously more enjoyable than one that isn't. Aladdin has the amazing hilarious genie with excellent performance, with a gazillion references to other famous figures...

And of course the parrot is really funny too, being "tortured" very often by the king, forced to eat terrible crackers.

Even though there are only two funny characters, they both contribute to the humor in Aladdin, especially the genie, whose voice actor was applauded for. He got the award for Best Comedic Performance [1] as well as the Golden Globe Special Achievement Award. [2] This just shows how entertaining and funny Aladdin is. In contrast, while The Lion King does have two funny characters as well, they don't make a comedic appearance and neither do they help contribute much to how funny The Lion King was.
The Lion King is a movie with very powerful emotions, possibly the most powerful emotions I have ever seen in any movie. However, the emotion of sadness is so strong. The death scene of Mufasa is what sets up The Lion King for its failure within entertaining us through humor, making the two sidekicks practically useless. As seen in [3], Mufasa is betrayed by his brother, Scar, and maliciously pushed off the cliff. What makes this scene so tragic is the fact that Mufasa helped Simba, regardless of how arrogant and prideful he was, and let him know that the kings will always be with him--in the stars. However, after Scar's manipulative plan and malicious backstabbing, now Simba thinks that he was the reason his father was killed! He does not realize that he didn't do it, not until the part in the movie where he was going to die!! This tragic event drags on and on all the way until the climax, which is merely 20 minutes from the end of the movie! The audience is not going to be happy if they know Simba was traumatized and depressed, thinking that he was the reason of his father's death, for years and years on afterwards!! This is so depressing, and the song Hakunana Matata does not help at all. Although little children may think it is a good thing that Simba is now released from his stress, and that it's actually funny somehow that he actually enjoys the gross-looking bugs, adults will instantly know it is meant to be an anti-moral, which doesn't help at all. These two side-characters are only helping Scar's plan by putting doubt in Simba's mind and making him think it doesn't matter; he doesn't have to go back and he won't go back. If it weren't for the wise monkey, Simba would have never gone back and Scar would have succeeded in his power-control of Pride Rock while slowly killing off his own henchmen and lion group.
...which leads us to my second point...

2. Aladdin's superior villain
Both villains in both movies are manipulative. Malicious. Clever and not revealing unless needed to. Both are experts at liars. However, while Aladdin's villain thought everything through while making merely two mistakes in the whole entire movie, (The monkey stealing his lamp, but we can't blame that he was taken by surprise; and his wish to become a genie, in which could be explained by his lack of knowledge that the Genie can't get out of the lamp even with all his power), The Lion King's Scar does not think his plans through. His subjects were all starving, asking to move, yet he was stubborn, laying in a wasteland and allowing even his henchmen to slowly starve down to death. What was he going to do anyways? We don't see him doing anything substancial in Pride Rock for all these years. It would have been the same with no ruler. On the other hand we see Jafar relaxing and taking his time, since he thinks Aladdin could not stop him--had it not been for the magical mat he would have succeded--and based on how well he hid his affiliation as a traitor, even fooling the emperor to think that he was his most trusted advisor--this just shows how smart Jafar is. His downfall was caused by many surprises--the combination of the magical mat and his greed for power impeded his way to victory. On the other hand if the lion group had fought against his henchmen, not only would he have no lion group left to serve him, his henchmen would be greatly harmed as well. He could not risk killing off everyone. He was taking a very hefty gamble; and all that was required to beat him and his henchmen was the addition of Simba and the two sidekicks. Just three creatures. I doubt the lack of these three would make a big difference, lions can fight just as well, if not better, than two sidekicks who lack fighting experience, and Simba, who gets beaten by a female!!

3. Aladdin's superior action scenes
In The Lion King, we see only three action scenes--Simba and Nala being chased, Mufasa's death, and finally Scar's death. All these three action scenes simply cannot compare to Aladdin's action scenes. We see Aladdin's slyness and quickness displayed easily within the very first song, Street Rat, and the Genie's actions within his song Never Had a Friend Like Me is crazy, off-the-walls hilarious, and shows his power at the same time. Furthermore, Aladdin's quickness and adaptability is further displayed when the tower is about to fall on him and crush him to death--he quickly runs and ducks beneath the only gap of the tower, showing us how versatile he is and how he uses the environment to his advantage. Finally, the battle action is very tense and Aladdin's smartness comes out again as he thinks of his third and final wish, which leads to the weaknesses of having so much power as a genie--you're trapped in a lamp! All of thse action scenes develop character, mainly Aladdin of course, and show his personality greatly while making the movie more exciting. As a general rule, if a movie is more eye-catching, more people are going to watch it, and thus it is better.

4. Aladdin's superior love story
The Lion King is simply unexplained. These two best buddies reconciliate after a long time, that's good--but all of a sudden they play that song...Can You Feel the Love Tonight? My answer: No. This is so random, why have you two suddenly dropped you thought that marrying each other is "ew" and that rolling around while being weird is okay?
Seriously, Nala. You look creepy.

In contrast, in Aladdin, the two can actually relate--Aladdin is trapped to his poor life, Jasmine trapped to her castle life and forced to marry a prince she doesn't necessarily want to marry...and Aladdin shows the outside world to Jasmine, with Jasmine gasping in astonishment at every scene... the Whole New World song is simply superb! [4]
Much better than that weird "sex" scene.

In conclusion, I have shown Aladdin superior to The Lion King. Onto you, con.

[2] The youtube video
[3] The 2cd youtube video
[4] The 3rd youtube video



Determining which film is “superior” requires an interpretive framework for evaluating the comparative quality of movies.

I advocate a holistic framework to evaluate the quality of films: we should judge by 1) how well the artistic choices serve the artistic goals of the film and 2) the value of said artistic goals. This framework considers all aspects of the film without imposing arbitrary judgments.

If neither movie is superior, Con should win- this position would negate the Resolution.

1. Lion King has more complex characters and themes, resulting in a more compelling narrative.

Most movies rely on flat characters that primarily act in whatever way the plot requires. One of the most striking features of the Lion King is how all the characters act as unique individuals to create a story rather than drive one.

a) Parental relationships are central to both Aladdin and the Lion King. Mufasa is a fleshed out individual with strengths and weaknesses. In contrast, the Sultan is largely a boob manipulated by Aladdin and Jafaar and exists largely as an object for plot development.

b) Nala shows the audience the contrast between how Simba was raised and what he has become. When first finds Simba as an adult, she is ecstatic over being reunited with a close friend. After talking with Simba and discovering his abdication of responsibility, she becomes disgusted with him. Even in brief segments of dialogue, Nala reveals that she is a strong-willed individual striving to save her home.

This is in stark contrast to Jasmine, as I will describe below.

c) Simba’s decision to return to his kingdom exhibits the narrative and moral depth of the Lion King.

Simba attempts to run from his past by fleeing the Pride Lands. Eventually he is confronted by Nala and the news that his kingdom is nearly destroyed. The cliché would be for Simba to realize he must save his kingdom, but instead Simba again turns his back on his responsibility. Simba is then enticed to follow Rafiki and is shown a vision of his father. This critical moment of character development is cinematic poetry layered with meaning. Simba realizes he can never run from his past because his identity is inseparable from his life experiences. The only way to be true to himself is to own responsibility for the “murder” of his father; he must honor his father by living up to his father’s values. This scene is incredibly rich- all the preceding events of the film collide to develop into a major character development. Simba’s decision to return to Pride Rock is organic yet radical and momentous.

d) Jafaar is a boring villain- he’s just an evil magician that uses his wizard powers to get what he wants. Scar is a rounded character. He manipulates people using trust and concepts of family obligation. Scar must work around being physically weaker than Simba and Mufasa by using cunning. This gives the conflict in the Lion King more texture than the straight-forward battles of Aladdin.

2. The intended moral themes of Aladdin are not consistent with the plot development.

A major theme in Aladdin is honesty and being true to yourself. But this theme is totally undermined.

Aladdin consistently ignores the Genie’s advice to be honest and flies to Jasmine’s balcony. Jasmine tells Aladdin to leave because she isn’t into cocky show offs. Aladdin shows off his cool rich guy magic carpet. Jasmine is suddenly super into Aladdin.

Aladdin’s big “in” with Jasmine is precisely his fakeness- his cool magic stuff. This scene is the equivalent of a guy picking up a girl by offering a ride in his Aston Martin.

When Jasmine realizes Aladdin LIED about not being the boy from the market, Aladdin LIES AGAIN saying he’s a prince but pretends to be poor. Jasmine forgives him immediately.

Aladdin is finally revealed as a liar by Jafaar but Jasmine is unfazed. There are NO consequences to Aladdin’s lies; Jasmine isn’t even a little angry about being lied to TWICE. Despite the movie’s insistence that lying isn’t how you win over a princess, it works out pretty much perfectly for Aladdin.

3. Aladdin lacks character development and characters act with inconsistent motives.

a) Jasmine is supposed to be an independent-minded princess that insists on being treated as someone capable of making her own decisions and uninterested in hotshot rich boys but she has no problem with Aladdin repeatedly lying to her and is totally into Aladdin’s hotshot flying carpet.

b) Aladdin is supposed to be a “diamond in the rough.” Yet he consistently proves himself to be an untrustworthy liar, even threatening to renege on his promise to free the Genie when he realizes he needs his power to keep up his lies. We see very little character growth in Aladdin- he never actually admits to his lies, Jafaar outs him as a liar by force. The character arc of Aladdin is at best superficial and at worst incoherent.

4. The Genie’s comedy overwhelms the film.

a) Robin Williams is like garlic: in the right proportion it makes any food taste amazing, but adding too much overwhelms the dish and drowns out the other flavors. The Genie is almost divorced from the story- the character is just Robin Williams riffing on pop culture and making funny voices. His jokes in many scenes are jarring- for example in the balcony scene there are sudden cuts from Aladdin and Jasmine to the Genie making random jokes as a bee. Genie literally exists in this scene as a distraction from the plot.

Furthermore, the Genie’s ability to break the fourth wall and make modern pop culture references has led to widespread fan theories trying to explain this bizarre incongruity with the rest of Aladdin. People have speculated that the Genie exists outside of time and space, thus allowing him to have pop culture knowledge of the future. Others have suggested that Aladdin is in fact post-apocalyptic, that the Genie knows about Jack Nicholson because Aladdin is set 10,000 years in the future.

5. Aladdin is a little bit racist

Despite the Arabian setting, Aladdin speaks like a good old boy from Gary Indiana while Jafaar is a caricature of and Arabian villain- his skin is darker, his eyes have a pronounced almond shape (compare to Aladdin’s round eyes), and he speaks with a notable accent. Jafaar’s ethnicity is seemingly used as shorthand for his moral character. Additionally, the Jafaar’s power comes from mysterious eastern magic.

6. Pro’s arguments are arbitrary and subjective- he just points out differences between movies without explaining why they make one movie better or worse.

Aladdin is at heart a love story so of course the romance is more developed. The inclusion of more humor is an artistic choice- it doesn’t inherently make a film better or worse. I have argued that the humor in Aladdin is often distracting. Pro needs to explain why the differences he points out make Aladdin better- Transformers has better action scenes than the Shawshank redemption, does that make Transformers a better movie?

Debate Round No. 2


I knew Raisor wouldn't disappoint me. Very strong comeback.

And with a deep nervous breath, Aladdin steps into the Cave of Wonders...

1. More complex characters and themes?
We know so much about Mufasa. However this only makes the movie more sad and tragic. Pumba and his good friend can't save us from continually being sad and depressed throughout the movie, and we don't want to be depressed all the way until only 20 minutes from the end. Furthermore this much we can't say about Simba--his character really is superficial. He's arrogant. He's arrogant. He wants to be king. He just can't wait. He's scared. He runs away. He's carefree and dumb. He's dumb. He is weird with Nala. He then turns into Heroic Mode because his father says so. He's heroic. He's heroic. THE END. There's really not much to know about Simba; Confused Matthew had a reason to dislike him. As for Nala, you still don't explain the love scene.

a) All the lessons and awesomeness
This lesson is awesome, of course, and it shows him finally standing up to his evil uncle Scar, but it only helps decline the status of Pumba and his friend. Technically they were helping Scar all along with their lame dumb song "Hakuna Matata". On the other hand the lesson in Aladdin was not to be too greedy; shown in Aladdin's generosity when he gave the bread and helped out Jasmine even when he knew nothing about the princess, and the final battle scene. The Genie didn't need Aladdin to wish for his life to be saved; he did it because Aladdin was a good man; the Genie knew that Aladdin had it in his heart. This just shows how complex the relationship between the Genie and Aladdin are; they are almost father-and-son, living in harmony in a symbiotic relationship, even after Genie belonged to Jafar, Genie tries to NOT follow the villain's orders and even apologizes to Aladdin. As shown here although the lesson in The Lion King was good, it made the downfall of two important comedy side-characters, while in Aladdin in developed the relationship between the Genie and Aladdin, making you want these two characters.

As for Jafar being boring, we see him NOT using his wizard powers and still getting what he wanted. He tricked Jasmine into thinking Aladdin was getting his head chopped off while lying very convincingly, while having another intention.

He successfully predicted Aladdin's escape and disguised himself as a creepy old man.

In fact, I didn't even realize it was Jafar until the parrot gave him away. These disguises and lies just show how developed Jafar is. Plus, my plan point still stands. (The one about Scar being a horrible thinker due to his inability to plan for the future efficiently) I accidentally ommited a part last round though, I meant to say that "Jafar is just taking his time executing his plan, knowing that Aladdin couldn't stop him". I didn't have enough space last round.

2. Intended moral themes not consistent with plot development?
Jasmine is far too surprised to show anger. Besides, she got her slavery life saved, I'm sure that's enough for her forgiveness. As for the lies, Aladdin wanted to tell her the truth because he realized it was a cornerstone for a well-lived life; it would be immoral to lie even if he wasn't found out. Aladdin almost managed to told Jasmine the truth!

3. Character development =/= inconsistent motives
a) Jasmine hasn't seen the world. It makes sense. Besides, the scenes are so beautiful...I nearly cried at them seeing them myself.

b) Aladdin actually tries to admit to his lies; he tries to change, he knows it isn't right to not be himself. At the end, he chose to free the Genie as he promised instead of going back to being a prince--he learns his lesson!

4. Genie's comedy is overwhelming
Genie may distract you from the plot a little bit, but it shows he cares about Aladdin. At first he goes wonky and tries to show off his powers like the arrogant Genie he is, but then later realizes this is not your average guy--he's a good guy, a "Diamond in a rough", and he tries to help him out. Furthermore, his display of powers only hints at what Jafar could do with his three wishes. After the magic carpet ride, Aladdin realizes that he wasn't really himself, and he's not satisfied, struggling to make the right decision, while the Genie states the true fact that Aladdin cannot depend on him forever; Aladdin is really not a prince! Aladdin then finally makes the right decision that being himself was the best thing to do, and Jasmine accepted him. Genie's comedy really isn't that overwhelming, it helps enhance the other parts of the movie, and reminds you of how awesome he is. Especially the ending. It's romanic and humorous, combining an "awwww" as well as a "hahaha!" This ending simply can't be beaten. The Lion King's ending had power, but Aladdin's ending had the perfect reminder of all the romance--the core love story--and the Genie's awesomeness/ silliness. Thus, if the rest of the arguments are tied, then I win because I proved thus far that the ending of Aladdin is more enjoyable than The Lion King.

5. Aladdin is racist
Yeah, and The Lion King isn't racist.
Here's what I see: white, black. White, black. White, black. White, black. Shall I continue?

6. Arbitrary and subjective
Okay, let me point this out--if the Genie's comedy distracts you, certainly the death scene and the lack of revenge from Simba would depress you enough to distract you from the plot. Plus, I have just made two characters in The Lion King completely bogus.

If The Lion King includes two practically useless characters, of course the producers did a better job in Aladdin. As for suprerior villain, you would definitely want to see a more developed and harder-to-beat villain. As for superior action scenes, this shows another way that Aladdin is better. Not only is its humor better, its romance better, its action is better. Action scenes are supposed to be exciting and seat-edge-grabbing. If Aladdin has better action-scenes, certainly more audiences would be wanting to watch it and be more nervous during these particular scenes.

My opponent has dropped the love argument. Nala and Simba's scene does not improve the movie much, it is a flaw, a plot hole, a randomly unexplained sequence. The audience would question their love and be extremely confused about this scene, and this scene would draw away from the rest of the movie. Thus, Aladdin's love scene would be better since it does not draw away from the movie, develops characters further, and is very sweet.
I have managed to still uphold my part of the resolution. I look forward to your rebuttals, Raisor.


Pro’s case:

1) I readily concede that Aladdin spends a lot more time on comedy- this is an artistic choice, and we must answer the question of whether this decision enhances or diminishes each respective film.

I have already made the case that the focus Genie’s humor distracts from the rest of Aladdin. I don’t dispute that Robin Williams had an excellent performance- he deserved those awards. My argument was that the performance overshadowed the rest of the movie- the balcony scene shows how the Genie interjects with tonally incongruous jokes during the middle of important character development scenes.

The Lion King contains plenty of humor- Timon and Pumbaa, as well as Zazu and hyenas are well remembered for their comedic support. The humor in the Lion King supports the plot rather than overshadows it- Pumbaa’s joke about stars as balls of gas actually facilitates character development during the star gazing scene

Finally, Pro’s argument seems to be “The Lion King is too emotionally powerful.” This is the mark of Lion King’s superiority- the movie strives to resonate emotionally and it excels in this respect. Pro’s characterization is incorrect though- Simba is not depressed throughout the film. Simba exhibits a range of emotions at different stages in his life because he is a complex character.

2) Jafaar is a straightforward villain, while Scar exists within a complex emotional relationship between Simba and Mufasa. It isn’t hard for Jafaar to trick people when he can literally transform himself. Scar must use subtle emotional manipulation to control Simba and the Lion Pride.

Scar’s failure as a ruler does not diminish his character, it only develops another theme- the relationship between moral responsibility and governance. These themes flow from the arc of the story and feed into character development. Mufasa and Simba are motivated to rule by a sense of justice and love of the balance of the kingdom. Scar wants only power and operates by cronyism. Bad governance by Scar results in mismanagement of resources and suffering in his kingdom, while good governance by Mufasa and Simba results in prosperity.

Governance and power in Aladdin are mere tokens of who is “winning” in the film. The only reason we care that Jafaar becomes Sultan is because he’s the bad guy and we don’t want the bad guy to win.

3) First, Aladdin’s action scenes are not superior. Mufasa’s death is visually compelling- from the antelope stampeding down the cliff to Mufasa’s final fall. This is one of the most iconic scenes in Disney canon and outshines any scene in Aladdin.

Second, neither movie is an action movie. Action scenes support the plot and color the film with excitement but do not define the film. This is a low-priority issue when evaluating a Disney movie. The Lion King contained more than enough action to keep the story gripping and exciting.

4) As much as I appreciate the imabench homage, I simply disagree that the love scene is creepy. “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” is a certified U.S. Gold song, so clearly a lot of people enjoyed the scene.

The love story is a side plot in the Lion King, even if it stumbles it does not detract from the movie as a whole. Pro is trying to hang his hat on one scene- compare that to the massive structural problems I have pointed out in Aladdin.

Con Case:

1. Pro argues the Simba is superficial by citing that Simba does the following: he goes from being arrogant, to being scared and running, to being carefree and dumb, then finally emerges heroic. That’s a huge range of character development, I really don’t see how that proves Simba superficial.

In contrast Aladdin is a liar until the very end of the movie when he suddenly decides to be a stand-up guy. Fascinating. In the Lion King we see Simba struggle to make heroic decisions- it take Nala, Rafiki, and his father’s ghost to bring him to his moral awakening. Aladdin undergoes none of this development, deciding to free Genie seemingly on a whim. Even Genie doesn’t understand why Aladdin doesn’t continue being selfish at the end.

Pro’s analysis is fluff. Nothing about Aladdin suggests a father/son relationship between the Genie and Aladdin- Aladdin OWNS Genie.

2. Pro’s argument is basically “Jasmine was so grateful for being freed from slavery that she overlooked Aladdin’s chronic lying.” What a great lesson! Girls, all men will be awful to you so just be grateful when one is slightly less terrible than the other.

Aladdin has no realization about honesty- what actually happens is all his friends are mad at him for being a liar, so he decides he should tell Jasmine the truth. Note he doesn’t actually do so, nor does he decide to immediately free the Genie as he promised. This scene, supposedly a major moral turning point, is underwhelming and forgettable.

3. Pro doesn’t address my character analysis of Jasmine. He just says she’s impressed by seeing the world. But this doesn’t change the fact that Jasmine was uninterested in Aladdin until he started showing off his sweet ride. Jasmine wants people to respect her and claims not to like show-offs, but is impressed by a show-off liar. In contrast, Nala demonstrates integrity when she is outraged by Simba's disavowal of responsibility.

Cross apply my analysis about Aladdin’s moral realization being underwhelming at best.

4. Pro concedes that Genie is at least marginally distracting.

Genie barely functions as the voice of reason. He tells Aladdin to be honest but he also tells Aladdin to be happy once Jasmine has believed the lies: “You’ve just won the heart of the princess! What are you gonna do next?”

Pro also ignores the troubling implications of Genie’s pop culture references. If the Genie lives outside of space and time, why couldn’t he use his knowledge to better help Aladdin and stop Jafaar from rising to power? Does the Genie not care? Are the actions of mortals like the actions of ants- just events for him to bounce jokes off of?

Aladdin’s ending is blasé. The ending of the Lion King shows Rafiki holding up Simba’s son- visual poetry echoing the start of the movie and the concept of the Circle of Life. Aladdin doesn’t compare.

5. Light/dark are common symbols for good/evil. A black mane doesn’t say anything about race. Jafaar is overtly Arabic while Aladdin is almost white.

The opening song to Aladdin had to be changed due to accusations of racism- the lyric “Where they cut off your ear if they don't like your face” was changed for implying Arabic societies were barbaric.

6. Timon and Pumbaa aren’t useless. Not only do they save Simba’s life, they serve as a philosophical contrast to Mufasa.

Pro doesn’t explain how his arguments relate to the artistic goals of each film. The Lion King isn’t trying to be a love story, the romance is a tertiary plot point meant to show that Simba is growing up. Thus it isn’t a serious flaw if the scene doesn’t quite connect. In contrast, Aladdin is trying to show the importance of honesty, so it is a serious flaw if it fails to do so.

Debate Round No. 3


FINAL ROUND. My opponent and I may make new arguments since there are no rules against it.
Does Genie really overshadow the movie? Genie was just causing up more ruckus for more tension in that specific balcony scene. Exciting=audience likes it more

The Lion King being emotionally powerful--yeah, but it's hard to pay attention to the plot when the main character is so sad and oblivious to his evil uncle's plot, and Pumba with Timon only help Scar's malicious plan.

Jafar transforming himself? We dont' exactly see him transforming using his base magic. All we know is that he can hypnotize people, and even that rather badly.

As for Scar's bad governance, this shows he's dumb and isn't really that sly. I mean, all he has to do is move to a different area. He'll still have his control, and everyone will still have to listen to him. He's just a stubborn idiot.

3. Action scenes
Mufasa's falling down is so sad it sets us up for inability to pay attention to any other moment of the movie. Up until the point that Mufasa actually communicates with Simba, we're left with ignorance by THE MAIN CHARACTER of this moment meant to be extremely emotional. Aladdin has many many action scenes, that combined together certainly beat up this scene that was simply dismissed by Simba. If kids care enough about Simba and agree with the song Hakuna Matata, then this tragic scene works towards nothing and no emotion is achieved.

1. Simba's character development? He just changes moods to the situation, he's really just the same lion he was before. He really doesn't learn anything.

Aladdin's development? Aladdin chooses to lie a lot in the beginning, he lied to protect Jasmine, then continually lied to be smooth, and then hesitantly lied about being a disguised prince. Then he realizes that what he did wasn't really right and really attempts to tell Jasmine, but is distracted by that dumb parrot. He goes through a transformation and realizes that love really isn't worth telling a lie about his true self. If only Jasmine had been a tad bit slower, then Aladdin would have revealed his true self and shown a transformation. The fact is that Aladdin reveals half of his true self by showing that although his status was "trapped", he isn't psysically trapped due to the vast world outside. Aladdin is really a cool guy, he went through transformation throughout his song and during the morning, debating with himself until he finally made his decision to tell the truth. The audience understands that Aladdin really has changed throughout this whole ordeal and is ready to accept his true self and hope Jasmine loves the real Aladdin.

2. Jasmine being grateful? Keep in mind that Jasmine also almost died from falling into sand. Rescue from slavery, saved her life, willing to reveal his true self and attempt to gain forgiveness...this all makes sense that Jasmine would forgive Aladdin.

No, I'm just trying to make a comparison...perhaps father-and-son is not quite right. The two really have a special relationship. The Genie could technically just make him an average prince, but he choose to make him a prince so grand even the sultan hadn't seen a bigger parade.

3. Character analysis of Jasmine? Jasmine is intrigued by the way Aladdin is smart, not falling for her flirtations. Jasmine also experienced a Deja Vu with his "do you trust me?" as well as his trick with the apple. Jasmine logically came to the conclusion that Aladdin was Prince Ali, and she was correct. Jasmine then loves him because Aladdin shows a good heart by helping her get out of a tough situation and understanding that "people should be able to make their own choices".

Aladdin's moral realization--I have mentioned this in my rebuttal to point one. See above.

Genie's pop culture references--Oh God come on....A good explanation is that the Genie knows the past but cannot predict the future. Genie acted pretty surprised when Aladdin wished him out, thus, Genie probably cannot predict the future, unless of course the owner wishes for it.
Genie functioning as the voice of reason--this adds more complication, and puts the burden on Aladdin to ultimately decide. This is not something for the Genie to decide, it isa choice reserved for Aladdin.

The ending of Lion King--dangit, I was worried you'd mention the beginning. I have to concede this point, because The Lion King's beginning is simply too darn of a masterpiece. Therefore if the rest of arguments tied, then you win the debate. :/

5. Light/dark meaning good/evil: exactly, Jafar is dark and Aladdin is light. Besides, this point is irrelevant to the debate. I only answered it for fun. As for the opening song changed, I'm glad it changed, but again it's not relevant to the debate.

6. Timon and Pumbaa saving Simba's life--and they also ruined and wasted a few years of it.

Finally, the artistic goals--I have explained Aladdin's transformation and showing that honesty is truly important. As for The Lion King, Simba really grows into a strange lion. He was persuaded only by his father, and his father was being super ambiguous and never telling him that Scar killed him. I mean, couldn't have there been at least one point in these years where Simba was alone so that his father could tell him the important information?
There's also another plot hole. After Mufasa dies, Scar tells the story that both Mufasa and Simba died in the stampede, but Simba appears alive and well later. Does not one lion remember that the two stories completely go against each other? Do they have terrible memory or something else? In addition, if this worked with logic, the real conversation would work like this:

"Simba, admit you're the reason of your father's death!"
"Wait didn't you say the stampede was the reason of Mufasa's death?"
"Yes, but Simba was there during the stampede"
"How do you know he was there? Why was he there in the first place?"
"Uhhhhh....I told him to play and he went to that rock."
"No...You told me to practice my roaring!!"
"Uhhhhhhh....what non-sense. This child is crazy."
"THAT's non-sense. GET HIM!!!!"

Plot holes make people wonder what happened in the movie and go away from the movie, making the movie bad. Thus, such plot holes ruin a movie like The Lion King, where logic is very important to display the morals and whether or not Simba really needed to go through so much pain.
Finally, the monkey does not necessarily help. He is a useless character in reality. You could skip his part and go to Simba seeing his father in the clouds, and it would still make sense.

You may have convinced the voters/judges, but you have not convinced me. However, I did get a new perspective at my 2cd favorite movie as well as The Lion King. I believe I have shown enough evidence that Aladdin's moral was thoroughly displayed, while The Lion King has many plot holes that deviate from the movie and make certain parts unbelievable or completely mess them up.
This was a tough, tough debate, but a good debate nevertheless.


First I will give an overview of why I have won this debate, and then I will briefly address some of Pro’s R4 arguments.

Why I have won:

In this debate, both sides have made a lot of arguments about diverse aspects of the Aladdin and The Lion King. What the judges need is some way to compare all these arguments and determine which are the most important. For this we can look to the Framework I provided in R1- we should decide which movie is superior based on which movie better achieved its artistic goals. The standard of evaluating the Resolution was never disputed by Pro.

The bulk of Pro’s arguments can be dismissed as un-compelling under this Framework- Pro mostly just points out differences between the two movies and arbitrarily claims that whatever Aladdin did differently is better. For example, Pro claims Aladdin has more action scenes and so is better. Since neither the Lion King nor Aladdin has the artistic goal of being action-packed, number of action scenes is a bad metric to evaluate the Resolution.

My arguments have largely centered on how well each film fulfills its artistic goals. I talk about how Jasmine’s actions undermine the type of role model she is meant to be, how the plot fails to bear out the stated moral that lying is bad, and how the Genie throws the movie off balance. My arguments evaluate Aladdin by the artistic standard it sets for itself; I am not applying an arbitrary metric like “The Lion King is sadder and therefore better.”

The upshot of this is that if I won all my main arguments AND Pro won all his main arguments, I would win this debate because my main arguments better speak to the Resolution. It may well be true that Jafaar is a better villain (it isn’t) but the Lion King isn’t trying to win a “Best villain” competition. At the same, it is a major fault if Aladdin fails to show that lying is wrong, since Aladdin IS trying to be a story about the importance of honesty.

Line-by-line Rebuttal:

-Genie digresses into weird pop-culture impressions and has spawned fan theories that Aladdin is post-apocalyptic – that’s the definition of overshadowing the rest of the movie.

-Pro just proves my point that Jafaar is a flat character that does whatever he wants because he’s magic; most of his success comes from his ability to hypnotize people.

-Pro’s claims that Scar could move are totally irrelevant; the degradation of the Pride lands was an intentional artistic choice to illustrate why bad people make bad rulers.

-Pro never answered my point that Scar manipulates complex social dynamics to get what he wants. Scar abuses the fatherly love of Mufasa to orchestrate his murder and uses Simba’s trust to trick him into running away. This villainous behavior is infinitely more interesting than using a snake staff to hypnotize people; it adds moral texture to the Lion King, a key part of the artistic goal of creating an emotionally compelling story.

-Action scenes are totally irrelevant to this debate. Both movies have more than enough action to serve the purposes of the film; this is a moot point. Pro also drops that Mufasa’s death is an iconic scene; this pivotal action scene has embedded itself in the psyche of pop-culture. Aladdin is best known for Genie’s show-stealing and the magic carpet scene. Of the two movies, the Lion King is more defined by its action scenes.

-Pro totally ignores my analysis of Simba’s moral evolution- Pro himself described how Simba went from being arrogant to afraid to heroic. Throughout the movie we see Simba literally and ethically growing up. He transforms from a child that is brash but also frightened and helpless into an adolescent struggling to reconcile “Hakuna Matata” with the moral truths his father taught him and finally into a mature adult willing to accept responsibility for his life. This is the character develop that Pro is comparing to Aladdin ALMOST telling the truth.

-Obviously Simba changes moods with the situation, that’s how mood works.

-All Pro can say is Aladdin ALMOST tells the truth. The bottom line is Aladdin was a liar the whole movie, was forcefully exposed, and suffered ZERO consequences for his lies. Jasmine doesn’t even bat an eye at Aladdin’s chronic dishonesty.

-Pro ignores my point that saving Jasmine doesn’t erase Aladdin’s chronic lying; Jasmine should have at least been a little mad or said “I forgive you but seriously knock it off with the lies.” Jasmine’s actual response to Aladdin’s lies is to say “I know why you did.” Her response is literally to just brush it off like it totally made sense for Aladdin to repeatedly trick her and manipulate her father.

-If you watch the scene it is clear that Jasmine is still skeptical when Aladdin says she can make her own choices but is finally won over when she sees he can fly. Again, bottom line is it’s the magic toys that seal the deal NOT the force of Aladdin’s character.

-Pro concedes “The Lion King’s beginning is simply too darn a masterpiece…if the rest of arguments tied, then you win the debate.” Pro himself says if voters are on the fence they should vote Con.

- Timon and Pumbaa saved Simba’s life and ultimately facilitated his return as King to Pride rock; how is that ruining a life?

I also briefly mentioned that Timon and Pumba serve an important role to the artistic vision of the Lion King. They represent a philosophy of “no worries” that Simba must learn to reject. They also engage in conversation that shows Simba struggling to come to terms with his past. Timon and Pumbaa engage with the plot of the Lion King while Genie is a stand-alone comedy side show.

-Pro’s plot holes are flimsy. It is ambiguous whether Mufasa actually spoke from the dead or if the scene is visual allegory for Simba’s personal realization. Also, Rafiki was clearly instrumental to the appearance of Mufasa- that’s why Mufasa couldn’t show up whenever. Also, a crowd of Lion forgetting conflicting info in the heat of the moment isn’t a plot hole; plus they could have thought Scar was simply mistaken when he said Simba died.

ALSO if we want to bring up plot holes in the final round: WHY DIDN’T GENIE SIMPLY PROMISE TO MAKE ALADDIN A PRINCE AFTER HE WAS SET FREE. Genie could have promised Aladdin infinite wishes once he was free! Or Aladdin could have wished himself a prince, then give the lamp to Jasmine to set Genie free. The number of plot holes in a move with an all-powerful genie is always going to be far greater than one about talking lions. I only bring this up in response to Pro’s new argument in the final round and because Pro said doing so was allowed.

Vote Con

Debate Round No. 4
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by 9spaceking 7 years ago
lol, glad you agree at least it's humorous
Posted by Raisor 7 years ago
The Lego movie was pretty funny
Posted by 9spaceking 7 years ago
you really made me rethink about both movies. Although Aladdin still stands at number two best, the lion king has vastly moved up. Good points tho.
Updated top 5 movies:
The Lego Movie
Shaolin Soccer
The Lion King
The Little Mermaid
Posted by 9spaceking 7 years ago
I'm tempted to rewatch Aladdin from a morality standpoint. The first time I was watching it from a critical perspective, shaking my head at the "silly, unsteady beginning", and disappointment at Aladdin's ALMOST telling Jasmine the truth, but the rest of the movie was good enough to keep me entertained and favorite the movie as one of the best. The second time I watched it from more of an entertainment audience perspective, and the movie flowed quite well for me.
Posted by 9spaceking 7 years ago
dammit, Raisor wiped the floor with me XD
Posted by 9spaceking 7 years ago
I hope the judges vote.
Posted by 9spaceking 7 years ago
wow, your racist irrelevant. I decided to troll it anyways.
Posted by 9spaceking 7 years ago
wow...this is so creepy...Raisors been online so long but he ain't postin' nothin' to the forums...I'm scared of what's coming up next... *gulp
Posted by 9spaceking 7 years ago
uff! Tough round, had to use up all 7,000 characters. Barely got everything in; had 0 characters left XD
Posted by 9spaceking 7 years ago
um, not to rush my own demise but when are you accepting, Raisor?
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: In the end, this is a subjective determination. Still, I think Con did a fine job of showing justification why Lion King should be considered superior. I'm a bit surprised that Con didn't point out archetypes or similarities to Hamlet, though, it could have made his case that much stronger, I think. But still, Con won, so pointing out he could have "won more" in a debate like this seems nitpicky. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.
Vote Placed by EndarkenedRationalist 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: This was a very engaging debate. PRO raised many points to contend Aladdin's superiority; however, as CON pointed out, PRO spent more time raising differences and arbitrarily saying Aladdin was superior than anything else. The main exception was that PRO kept saying The Lion King distracted people because it made them too sad. Even if I didn't disagree with this - drama is 1,000x better than comedy - CON rebutted it by pointing out how Aladdin's comedy could overshadow its plot and characters. PRO even concedes that Lion King has a masterful beginning. While PRO did prove that Aladdin has a superior love story, this point is not enough to outweigh CON's more objective (compared to PRO's) contentions and rebuttals. Arguments go to CON.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro just lets Con frame the debate, and from then on, Con is the one directing the debate and what matters within it. Pro makes a number of decent but subjective points with regards to what he views as "superior" and, specifically, focuses his attention on what grabs audiences most. Con's arguments are more objective, evaluating the artistry behind each film and determining which holds the most values chiefly by evaluating how well they establish and hold to a given theme. I simply don't see the level of response necessary from Pro to tack that back, and as Con gives me the most succinct and effective evaluation of the debate in the end, I can only award him the debate.
Vote Placed by Anonymous 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Within the framework CON put forward, he wins. PRO didn't really do a lot to successfully undercut that, nor did he compellingly make the case for an alternative framework to prefer.

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