Disney’s live-action Aladdin has thrown up some interesting new questions about the film’s characters

Disney’s live-action Aladdin remake hit cinemas this weekend and did a wonderful job at bringing a new generation into this whole new world.

Possibly for the first time, kids were introduced to Aladdin, Jasmine and the villainous Jafar and got to know the motivations, cares and hopes of the film’s characters.

But did you know that the character’s names in Aladdin have their own meanings? Stick around for Abu as this could get interesting


According to the best source of knowledge available (definitely not Google), Aladdin in Arabic means ‘nobility in faith’.

That meaning definitely works for the hero of the film as we’re shown him to be noble and just in his actions. Of course, lying to Princess Jasmine about his true identity is a bit of a no-no but at least he doesn’t try and take over the world like the power-hungry Jafar.  


As a courageous and beautiful Princess, it’s very much fitting that the name Jasmine means ‘a gift from God.’ 

In both iterations of the Disney movie, Jasmine is portrayed as a fearless leader who’s not willing to accept decisions she knows to be wrong or forced upon her.


Unlike Aladdin and Jasmine, Jafar’s name doesn’t quite ring true to his character as it supposedly means ‘holy water’.

There’s obviously little to go on there as you can’t really read much into that meaning for the evil and scheming Jafar.



Now, this is where it all gets very interesting, in Arabic, Abu means ‘father of’.

Now, I don’t know about you, but that sounds like rather a huge clue about Aladdin’s backstory. As I’m sure you’re all aware, Aladdin is an orphan who goes about the streets of Agrabah stealing food to survive and is joined by the kleptomaniac monkey Abu.

Of course, it could well just be a charming relationship between man and animal but if you think about the real meaning behind Abu’s name, we could have an explanation to the pair’s close relationship, Abu’s actually Aladdin’s father!?!?

We never find out how Aladdin became orphaned but my money is on Aladdin’s parents were actually the victim of a sorcerer. Obviously, we don’t know what happened to Aladdin’s mother but could Aladdin’s father actually have been turned into a monkey? 

Sadly, this game-changing discovery is totally moot if you factor in Aladdin and the Forty Thieves, the second sequel to the 1992 Aladdin where the titular character meets his father during the film but there is nothing in the new live-action remake that suggests that Abu can’t be Aladdin’s father.

Disney’s live-action remake of Aladdin hit cinemas on May 22 and is out now, whether our Abu theory has any meaning behind it remains to be seen.