Home Entertainment Disney announces an Aladdin spin-off based on Prince Anders, gets hit with instant internet backlash

Disney announces an Aladdin spin-off based on Prince Anders, gets hit with instant internet backlash

4 min read

Disney seems to have made the strategy behind their planned content for Disney+ clear: use it to build side stories to their big movie properties. It’s a strategy that seems to work given the popularity of many of their franchises and the existing hype around Star Wars’ The Mandalorian and the upcoming Marvel series.

It’s getting to Disney’s head because they’ve just announced a spin-off film of one of the characters to another big property and successful movie, except it makes absolutely no sense. That new live-action spin-off (as revealed by The Hollywood Reporter) is to centre on the clumsy and silly character of Prince Anders played by Billy Magnussen in the recent Aladdin movie. This despite the fact that the character is a very minor part of the film and one that very few people actually care about.

Disney seems to think differently, and Aladdin producers Dan Lin and Jonathan Elrich are working on the new feature with Jordan Dunn and Michael Kvamme already writing the script. It’s believed that Magnussen himself pitched the idea. We have no details on that pitch so we do not understand how he convinced Disney to choose Prince Anders as the topic for a spin-ff from Aladdin when there are so many more colourful characters to choose from. I guess we will have to wait and see what they come up with to see if what they are smoking is the truly good stuff.

Or perhaps not, if the internet backlash that has quickly arisen following this announcement is anything to go by. Several comments on social media have dismissed the Prince Anders spinoff in brutal fashion, with naysayers focused not just on the stupidity of the idea but the fact that this news came out just days after Aladdin titular star Mena Massoud revealed that he has yet to land a single audition since the movie debuted earlier this year. You would think the good-looking, singing/dancing lead of a film that earned over $1 billion and which was good would be enough to get your foot in the door, right?

Now while Disney has no control over other studios snubbing Massoud, the optics of them choosing to focus on a minor white character – and one which replaced an existing non-white character – on the heels of the non-white lead saying he can’t get another gig is bad.

So is Disney being deliberately racist here or just insensitive with their communication? Well, I would go rather with the latter, along with just perhaps not understanding the reason for the film’s real success and charm. While I have no disrespect for Magnussen’s performance as Prince Anders in Aladdin, it was far from the reason the film was such a success. If Disney wanted a spinoff, they should’ve chosen from the myriad of other characters to probably warrant a further look. It will be interesting to see how Disney responds following all this backlash.

Last Updated: December 9, 2019


  1. Pariah

    December 9, 2019 at 15:23

    Prince Anders is not The One. Where are those blue pills? Maybe the Genie can get us a few?


  2. Original Heretic

    December 9, 2019 at 15:23

    Jeez, very swak that the guy who played the lead can’t get an audition. He was solid in the role.
    And I’ve had to watch this movie SO many times….


  3. For the Emperor!

    December 9, 2019 at 15:23

    Complaining about the optics regarding Mena Massoud is stupid in my opinion. Perhaps he heard their plans and did a pre-emptive “poor me” to make them look bad? Or it was just “dumb luck”. Look, Hollywood has issues…but does he NOT want to work anymore by crying like that?

    This comment though is right on the money: “So we had to wait a decade for the #BlackWidow movie, but the guy who had five seconds of screen time in this year’s #Aladdin gets a spinoff? OK. Makes total sense.”

    That is a legit gripe! Also the one listing other characters that could have been used!


  4. Alien Emperor Trevor

    December 9, 2019 at 15:46

    I didn’t realise there was a toxic Aladdin fandom.


  5. CodeDisQus

    December 9, 2019 at 16:21

    Was this guy in the movie??


  6. Yozzie

    December 9, 2019 at 16:21

    Ah yes. Twitter and their anti white cards ready to duel in a game of magic make believe.


  7. SagatatiaRZA

    December 9, 2019 at 16:56



  8. Son of Banana Jim

    December 10, 2019 at 17:42

    lol, twitter was a mistake.


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