|“||Soon, I will be sultan, not that addlepated twit.||„|
|~ Jafar voicing his disgust to the Sultan and plotting to rule Agrabah.|
|“||Yes, YES! THE POWER! THE ABSOLUTE POWER! THE UNIVERSE IS MINE TO COMMAND! TO CONTROL!!!||„|
|~ Jafar becoming a Genie.|
|“||A snake, am I? Well, perhaps you’d like to see how snake-like I can be!||„|
|~ Jafar transforming into a giant cobra.|
Jafar is the main antagonist of Disney's 31st full-length animated feature film Aladdin, its 1994 direct-to-video sequel The Return of Jafar, and the 2002 direct-to-video film Mickey's House of Villains, the secondary antagonist in the Hercules crossover, Hercules and the Arabian Night and a posthumous character in Aladdin: Nasira's Revenge. He is Aladdin's arch-nemesis and Iago's former owner and boss.
In all of his appearances, he was voiced by Jonathan Freeman. In the upcoming live action remake, he will be portrayed by Marwan Kenzari.
Jafar is portrayed as a total psychopath who will not hesitate to destroy anyone that he perceives as a threat to his own sinister designs. Like numerous clinically diagnosed psychopaths, Jafar wears a metaphorical mask of normalcy throughout the film, establishing himself as a calm schemer and gaining the trust of those around him, despite his rather untrustworthy and treacherous behavior, as he was unsympathetic and cruel towards of his fellow conspirators or henchmen, especially Gazeem or Iago. Even with this mask, Jafar's psychopathic tendencies tend to seep through and become apparent to the viewer. He is also proven to be quite sadistic and merciless, as he enjoys putting people in suffering, such as demoting Jasmine and her father as servants after claiming as the new Sultan, and attempts to have Aladdin killed so many times with a few laughs, though this all ended up in failure.
In addition, in The Return of Jafar, Jafar was not outside of using loopholes to bypass the ban on Genies killing people via having Abis Mal arrange Aladdin's murder for him or using the environment to have death become an oppressive inevitability during the final battle, and was proven to not mind the Genies can't kill rule because "you'd be surprised at what you can live through", implying that he could torture people to the fullest extent without killing them. He is also proven to be quite narcissistic and egotistical, due to his desire for power and his manipulations towards the Sultan. It is not until Jafar gains control of the Genie's lamp that he fully shows his true colors, becoming very arrogant, traitorous, manipulative, and short-tempered with his subjects after usurping power from the Sultan. However, it is this power-hungry behavior that leads to Jafar's downfall, as Aladdin tricks him into using his third wish to become an omnipotent and transcendental genie, unaware of the life inside the lamp that he now has to endure.
Despite his psychopathic and deranged behavior, Jafar has a somewhat entertaining and comical edge that helps to add some humanity to his character, for example proclaiming "Ewww..." when contemplating decapitation, an unusual trait in a Disney villain. He is also very scathing and censorious, as he criticizes Aladdin for choosing to deceive Jasmine into thinking he was a prince instead of being honest with her, as he believed that Jasmine would never give him the time of day if she knew who he really was. He is also very close to his twin sister Nasira and relishes on her plot to revive him, so that they can rule the world together, even warning her to be cautious of Aladdin's intelligence and the Genie's power. In the episode "The Citadel", it was told that Jafar feared of a ruthless sorcerer named Destane, who was the former King of the Black Sand and master of Mozenrath; Iago explained that Destane proved to be far more dangerous, that even Jafar decided to steer clear away to avoid invoking Destane's wrath. Furthermore, Jafar has a sense of humor himself, spurting several puns in a row while keeping Aladdin and his friends from getting the lamp during the film's climax ("Your time is up!", "Don't toy with me!", "Things are unraveling fast now, boy!", "Get the point?", "I'm just getting warmed up!"), as pointed out by Hades in "Hercules and the Arabian Night". This sense of humor does not carry over in the sequel, which aimed to make Jafar darker than usual.
He is also somewhat abusive and argumentative towards his minions, as evidenced by his interactions with Iago and, later, Abis Mal. Ultimately, this proves to be his final downfall, as Iago ends up turning against him twice by destroying Jafar's lamp, resulting in his demise. This abuse heavily carries over to other characters in the film, specially during the climax as, following his hostile rise to power, Jafar immediately used his newfound abilities to ruthlessly torment Jasmine, the Sultan, Aladdin, and the Genie via physical abuse, humiliation, slavery, and other forms of sadistic torture, which he openly showed amusement in.
Like some villainous characters from other franchises, Jafar is attracted to a beautiful teenage girl who is a protagonist. Here, he is attracted to Princess Jasmine, but primarily for her good-looking body, and not for Jasmine herself as a person. His final wish was initially for Jasmine to fall desperately in love with him so he could make her his queen (he and Iago originally planned on killing her as soon as he became Sultan, but at some time later he refused to kill her, instead sparing her life); he first creates a golden crown for her from her shackles to do so with a wave of his hand, saying that a girl as beautiful as her "should be on the arm of the most powerful man in the world". (Much earlier, though, he says in what we would consider to be a sexist manner that Jasmine's speechlessness is "a fine quality in a wife").
Deleted scenes for the original film implied that most of his negative traits and motives stemmed from having to grow up impoverished and bullied on by the populace of Agrabah, making him almost similar to Aladdin, although their similarities differed in how they handled their suffering.
Jafar is a tall, slender man dressed in extravagant clothing, always seen carrying a gold, ruby-eyed, cobra-headed staff to supplement his magical powers. Jafar has a twisted black goatee and a faint mustache, as well as gray eyeliner. He is supposed to be designed as ugly, and Genie makes this obvious when he refers to him as "a tall, dark, sinister, ugly man". Apparently, he is completely bald, as evidenced by when he removes his beggar disguise, acting as the only time Jafar did not wear his distinctive headdress, although it was never made clear whether he is naturally bald or if he shaved his head for the disguise. He also carries a cobra-head staff, which he uses for his sorcery. Jafar was animated by Andreas Deja, who also used the character Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty and the voice actor, Jonathan Freeman, as basis for Jafar's design.
As the Royal Vizier, Jafar wears a black robe that reach the ground over top a red garment with bell sleeves. Underneath this second garment, Jafar wears yet another shirt, this one black with very close-fitting sleeves that reach his wrists. The shoulders of his outer robe are pointed and connect to a long, billowing black cape with a red interior. His slippers are copper and the tips curl inward. A maroon sash is tied around his waist. He also wears an odd, peach garment that covers his neck, the back of his head, and his chest. He sports a distinctive black headdress, seemingly a type of mitre, with a thin, yellow pattern wrapping around the middle, what seems to be a ruby set in the front, and a red feather placed just above it.
The headdress itself is apparently made out of metal, as evidenced by the hollow sound it made when Iago briefly knocked on it while trying to get Jafar to calm down from a laughing fit due to thinking he went insane (not realizing he was actually laughing because he realized that not only did the lamp actually survive, it is actually in close proximity due to Prince Ali (or rather, Aladdin) owning it). More maroon cloth hangs from the miter, draping over Jafar's shoulders. As Sultan, Jafar wears a white version of this outfit.
When he is turned into a sorcerer, Jafar's wardrobe goes to a more exaggerated form of his normal attire, with a headdress sporting horn-like protrusions. It doesn't have a red feather on it as it is used to, only conserves the ruby on the front. The shoulders of his outer robe are even pointer and maintain a higher position than before. His maroon sash on his waist is slightly different. Here he regains his iconic snake staff, but notably with an open fanged-mouth that fires beams magic on command. He also transformed himself into a giant black and orange cobra.
Once Jafar makes his third wish, he takes on a form resembling Genie himself while that last wish in the process would soon create his magic black Lamp, with some differences. Jafar's skin becomes red, his ears become pointed, his right ear gains a gold piercing, his hair becomes tied in a topknot, and his eyes become completely yellow (although there are instances where Jafar gains pupils, such as in "You Are Only Second Rate"), and when he uses legs, instead of his genie smoke, the legs look muscular and somewhat demonic, with claws. He retains his maroon sash and five-fingered hands (albeit with claws, compared to Genie, who has four-fingers).
When he is in his normal human form, Jafar wears a slight recolor of his sorcerer outfit, with red more prominent than before. Interestingly, his sash on his waist is seen black instead of being red. He retains his snake staff. When he guest appeared in an episode of Hercules, he regains his sorcerer outfit.
Powers and Abilities
At the start of Aladdin, despite having an extensive knowledge of arcane lore, Jafar does not seem to possess any genuine magical powers and thus could have been no more than an alchemist. The closest he had ever come to using actual magic prior to becoming a powerful sorcerer was with his Snake staff's hypnotic properties.
In the demo for Arabian Night, however, he was mentioned to be a part-time magician as well as a seer, although he is specified to be an amateur in the latter job. He is also surprisingly effective and authoritative at disguising himself when he was a regular human, as evidenced by his posing as an old prisoner to recruit Aladdin into retrieving the Magic Lamp from the Cave of Wonders after arranging for his arrest, and later to trick Hercules into fighting Aladdin.
However, after wishing to become the most powerful sorcerer in the world, he could levitate objects, breath fire, summon objects, and transform himself and others. In addition, he is also immune to the effects of fire, as evidenced by his passing through the flames generated by him unharmed immediately before transforming himself into a giant Cobra. Jafar's next wish - to become a genie - made him arguably one of the most powerful entities in the Disney universe.
However, after he was killed and later revived by Hades as a spirit in an episode of the Hercules animated series, Jafar no longer has his genie powers, but remains as a sorcerer.
Jafar is unique among Disney Villains in that he initially starts off as being relatively normal (i.e., non-magical, his staff's hypnosis capabilities aside), yet eventually gains genuine magical powers late into the film, as most Disney Villains before him either lacked magic from their various appearances (ie, Gaston, Percival McLeach, or Madame Medusa), or otherwise were magical from the start (i.e., Ursula, The Evil Queen, or Maleficent).
Video game appearances
Jafar appeared as the main antagonist of the 1993 video game adaptations Disney's Aladdin for the Mega Drive developed by Virgin Interactive's studio of Virgin Games USA and published by Sega.
Jafar appears as both the main antagonist and the final boss of the 1995 game Disney's Aladdin developed for the SNES and published by Capcom separately from Virgin's version, since Capcom still held Disney licensing rights for Nintendo consoles at the time of the film's release.
Jafar made an appearance as both the final boss and the main antagonist of Disney's Aladdin developed by SIMS and published by Sega, and released in 1994 for the Sega Game Gear worldwide and for the Sega Master System in Europe.
Kingdom Hearts franchise
Kingdom HeartsJafar also appeared as a boss in Kingdom Hearts. He served as one of the main antagonists in Maleficent's team and is her second in command. Jafar takes over Agrabah and manages to kidnap one of the princess. He is defeated by Sora and his allies. Jafar then transformed into a genie and fought again but was defeated.
Chain of Memories
Jafar was an antagonist in Chain of Memories and was fought in the memory Agrabah.
Kingdom Hearts II
Jafar was an antagonist in Kingdom Hearts II and the semi-final Disney boss. He was fought twice, once in mirage form and again in genie form. Jafar managed to take over Agrabah for a short time and planned to make Princess Jasmine his queen before being destroyed for good by Sora.
Jafar invaded the digital realms along with Pete and Maleficent, he uses a Lamp to cast a time stop spell over Agrabah and takes it over. He later fights Sora twice and is defeated.
Kingdom Hearts Manga
Jafar also appears in the manga series-adapted by Shiro Amano-along with other Disney villains like in the game-except that Clayton and Oogie Boogie were not in it. In the U.S the manga, after Kingdom Hearts 2 Volume 2 discontinued and Jafar and the others did not show for a while. The last appearance Jafar made was in Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories Volume 1.
The evil sorcerer was also in the Disney and Hyperion novel series, Kingdom Keepers. He was also an Overtaker, but he did not join Chernabog, Maleficent, Frollo, Evil Queen, Cruella and the others to take over the Disney parks at first. Like Shan Yu, he wanted the Kingdom Keepers' magic for himself. But after being tricked by one of the Kingdom Keepers, he later joins the other villains.
Kilala Princess Manga
In the manga, Jafar is one of the Disney villains that were supporting the main manga villain, Valdou-the others, Maleficent, Grimhilde, Ursula, Lady Tremaine, Gaston and their henchmen/women. Jafar was still a vizier like he was in the movie Aladdin. Not much changed with him and his scenes, except for when he saw the Sultan giving Kilala the diamond that he wanted, he was never too pleased, and when Iago and him talked about Kilala, Rei, and Sylphy intruding Agrabah and hanging out with Aladdin and Jasmine. Both Jafar and Iago were somewhat allies with the android Valdou.
Live action appearance
- Main article: Jafar (Once Upon a Time)
|“|| Jafar: You are late. |
Gazeem: A thousand apologies, oh patient one.
Jafar: You have it, then?
Gazeem: I had to slit a few throats, but I got it.
*He holds the scarab piece Jafar reaches for it*
Gazeem: Uh-uh-uh.... the treasure. (*Iago steals the treasure*)
Jafar: Trust me, my pungent friend. (grabs piece) You'll get what's coming to you.
|~ Jafar meeting up with a thief named Gazeem and promising that he will be rewarded for his services.|
|“|| Jafar: At last, after all my years of searching. The Cave of Wonders. |
Iago: (squawks) Cave of Wonders!
Gazeem: By Allah!
Jafar: Now, remember. Bring me the lamp. The rest of the treasure is yours, but the lamp is mine.
|~ Jafar telling Gazeem to go into the Cave of Wonders.|
|“||Yes. Only one may enter. I must find this one, this diamond in the rough.||„|
|~ Jafar planning to find the Diamond in the rough to retrieve the lamp from the cave.|
|“||Your Majesty certainly has a way with dumb animals. Now, then. Perhaps l can divine a solution to this thorny problem.||„|
|~ Jafar offering to help the Sultan to find a new suitor for his daughter Jasmine.|
|“|| Jafar: Sadly, the boy's sentence has already been carried out. |
Jasmine: What sentence?
Jafar: Death. By beheading.
|~ Jafar telling Jasmine that the guards have already sentenced Aladdin.|
|“||I think it's time to say goodbye to Prince Abooboo.||„|
|~ Jafar seeing Prince Ali as a rival for Jasmime's hand in marriage and plotting to secretly have him killed.|
|“||I'm afraid you've worn out your welcome, Prince Abooboo. Make sure he's never found.||„|
|~ Jafar revealing his true nature to Prince Ali and ordering the guards to ensure that no one finds him|
|“||This is not done yet, Boy!||„|
|~ Jafar before he escapes after Aladdin exposes him|
|“|| Jafar: I am your master now. |
Genie: I was afraid of that.
Jafar: Genie, grant me my first wish. I wish to rule on high, as sultan!
|~ Jafar making his first wish of becoming the new sultan and rule Agrabah|
|“|| Sultan: Jafar! I order you to stop! |
Jafar: Ah, but there's a new order now. MY order. Finally, You will bow to me!
Jasmine: We will never bow to you!
Jafar: If you won't bow before a sultan, then you will cower before a sorcerer! Genie, my second wish; I wish to be the most powerful sorcerer IN THE WORLD!
|~ Jafar before making his second wish of becoming the most powerful sorcerer|
|“|| Jafar: So Ali turns out to be merely Aladdin. Just a con, need I go on? Take it from me. His personality flaws. Give me adequate cause. To send him packing on a one-way trip. So his prospects take a terminal dip. His assets frozen, the venue chosen. Is the ends of the earth, whoopee! So long! |
Iago: Goodbye, see ya!
Jafar: Ex-Prince Ali! (*Laughs like a maniac)
|~ Jafar during the reprise of "Prince Ali" before banishing Aladdin, Abu and Carpet to the arctic to freeze to death|
|“|| Jafar: It pains me to see you reduced to this, Jasmine. A beautiful desert bloom such as yourself should be on the arm of the most powerful man in the world. What do you say, my dear? Why, with you as my queen... |
Jafar: I'll teach you some respect! Genie, I have decided to make my final wish. I wish for Princess Jasmine to fall desperately in love with me.
Genie: Ah, master. There are a few adenas, and some quick pro-gos.
Jafar: Don't talk back to me, you big blue lout! You will do what I order you to do, slave!
Jasmine: Oh Jafar, I couldn't help noticing how incredibly handsome you are.
(*Genie's jaw drops*)
Jafar: That's better. Now, pussycat, tell me more about... myself.
|~ Jafar V.S Jasmine and Genie.|
|“||That was... (*sees Aladdin*) You!! How many times do I have to kill you, boy?||„|
|~ Jafar after realizing that Aladdin is still alive|
|“|| Aladdin Are you afraid to fight yourself, you cowardly snake? |
Jafar: A snake, am I? Perhaps you'd like to see how snake-like I can be!
|~ Jafar before transforming himself into a giant cobra after being called a cowardly snake by Aladdin.|
|“|| Jafar: You little fool! You thought you could defeat the most powerful being on earth! |
Iago: Squeeze him, Jafar. Squeeze him like a--awk!
*Iago was hit by Genie.*
Jafar: Without the genie, boy, you're nothing!
Aladdin: The genie (*looks at Genie*) The Genie! (*looks back at Jafar*) The Genie has more power than you ever will!
Aladdin: He gave you your power! He can take it away!
Genie: Al, what are you doing? Why are you bringing me into this?
Aladdin: Face it, Jafar! You're still just second best!
Jafar: You're right! His power does exceed my own! But not for long! (*he goes to Genie*)
Genie: He's a little punch drunk. One too many hits with a snake.
Jafar: Slave, I make my third wish! I wish to be an all-powerful genie!
|~ Jafar before making his third wish.|
|“||The universe is mine to command, to control!||„|
|~ Jafar declaring himself as the ruler of the universe.|
|“|| Jafar: Get your blasted beak out of my face! |
Iago: Oh, shut up you moron!
Jafar: Don't tell me to shut up!
|~ Jafar's last words in Aladdin.|
|“||I am FREE!! Free to exact vengeance upon thee who has imprisoned me! (attempts to leave but can't as his shackles prevent him from leaving the proximity of his lamp) It is the curse of the lamp. All the power in the universe, and I am bound by the rules of the GENIES!!! Which means I can't kill that upstart Aladdin, unless... I have someone arrange it for me.||„|
|~ Jafar being released from his lamp by Abis Mal in The Return of Jafar.|
|“||Let's not be too hasty, my simple-minded friend. It's not enough that we simply destroy Aladdin. After all.... there are things so much worse than DEATH!!||„|
|~ Jafar after learning that Abis Mal wants to have revenge on Aladdin as well and warning him not to underestimate Aladdin's intelligence.|
|“||Good help is so hard to find these days, isn't it, Aladdin?! (laughs evilly until he spots Iago kicking his lamp into the magma) My lamp! NOOOOOO!!!!||„|
|~ Jafar's last words in The Return of Jafar moments before his death.|
- Jafar can be considered the male equivalent of Maleficent from Disney's Sleeping Beauty. They are both powerful spellcasters, have bird sidekicks, try to kill the heroes by transforming into giant reptilian monsters, carry staffs which they primarily use to channel their magic and, of course, are very evil.
- Jafar can also be compared to Ursula. Both of them are seemingly affable but are evil underneath their exteriors. Both are also skilled with magic and both succeed in their endeavors to become more powerful.
- Part of his design, motive, and his position in Aladdin could have been inspired by Zigzag from The Thief and the Cobbler.
- In House of Mouse, episode House of Magic, Jafar and Iago use the famous magic spell Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo to return the House of Mouse after Daisy Duck magically causes it to vanish, and were tricked by Mickey to receive "Agrabah" as a reward for their good deeds.
- Jafar also appeared in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse as one of the Disney Villains celebrating Christmas and is even shown in the music song, "The Best Christmas of All" as one of its notable singers, singing it with his fellow villains alongside with many Disney heroes. Also, Jafar, alongside with Iago (as well as his enemies Genie, Carpet, Abu, and all Disney characters), are all insulted when Donald Duck refuses to change his mood that is not Christmas.
- In the films, Jafar is the main and most recurring antagonist, except for the third film, where he is replaced by a new main villain.
- His My Life as a Teenage Robot counterpart is Dr. Locus because they both have side characters that turned good (Jafar has Iago, Locus had Melody), trap heroines, have handy objects (Jafar has a staff, Locus has a remote control), and got trapped in metal objects. (Jafar was sucked into a magic lamp, while Dr. Locus was eaten by a robot snake with a set of teeth for a head.)
- In 2014, when Aladdin was turned into a Broadway musical, Jonathan Freeman, who had voiced Jafar in his every appearance, returned to play the character onstage.
- Tim Curry, Kelsey Grammer, John Hurt, Christopher Lloyd and Ian McKellen were considered for the role of Jafar. Tim Curry, Kelsey Grammer and Christopher Lloyd have previously played villains before they were considered for the role: Tim Curry played Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Wadsworth, Lord of Darkness and Pennywise the Clown. Kelsey Grammer played Sideshow Bob and Christopher Lloyd played Judge Doom.
|Kingdom Hearts Villains|