“Aladdin, But Without the Bad Parts”

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One of my favorite co-workers has a daughter that was recently in a school play. I asked her which one, and – as astute readers might be able to guess by now – she said “it was Aladdin, but without the bad parts.”

Now, I’m not exactly known for having delicate sensibilities over here, but per my memory there’s really nothing in Aladdin that would need to be censored for a grade school audience. That’s when she told me this: “Yeah but I mean like, there’s no Jafar parts or anything, it’s just like, a love story about Aladdin and Jasmine.”

No Jafar parts. No parts with Jafar, the main antagonist in the film, the one character who drives every single bit of dramatic tension and conflict in the entire thing. Without that, it’s just a pointless, tensionless love story with a guaranteed happy ending. I mean, I know it’s a grade school play, I’m not expecting Arthur Miller here – but Christ on sale, I’d at least hope for better than Nicholas Sparks.

Anyway, here’s a quick list of other famous stories that have been similarly sanitized, in case anyone else wants to put on a grade school play:


  • Romeo and Juliet, but the Capulets are family friends of the Montagues
  • Death of a Salesman, but without the whole “salesman committing suicide” parts
  • Waiting for Godot, but Vladimir and Estragon just head home after 15 minutes of waiting
  • Glengarry Glen Ross, but Shelly makes like five big sales in a row and drives off in his new Cadillac
  • The Lion King, but Mufasa survives his fall and Scar is forgiven after he apologizes and claims he learned a lesson
  • Julius Caesar, but the conspirators’ plot is to throw Caesar a surprise party
  • Oedipus, but Oedipus sends his mom a nice Mother’s Day card and stays home alone all day



“Aladdin, But Without the Bad Parts”

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