(1992)4Matthew DobermanIt is easy to forget the moribund state of feature-length animation before the 1989 release of The Little Mermaid. Beauty and the Beast kept the revival going and, with Aladdin, Disney proved that the animated film's resurgence was no fluke. Composer and lyricist Alan Menken rubbed his magic lamp once again to produce a toe-tapping (and Oscar-winning) score, including the radio-friendly A Whole New World. But if any one person can be credited with Aladdin's success, it is Robin Williams. With one-liners galore and imitations of everyone from William F. Buckley to Arsenio Hall, Williams' manic (what else?) genie is a comic whirlwind with an animated body that can keep up with the real thing's boundless energy. Not every joke in Aladdin hits, but more than a few adults were surprised to find themselves laughing harder than the little ones they brought in tow. The film falls a little short of the high mark set by its two predecessors, as its plotting and lead characters are somewhat more conventional. And not all viewers felt that Disney's foray into ethnic diversity was without stereotyping. But overall, Aladdin once again proved the Disney magic for creating an animated film worth watching with or without the kids.