June 29, 2016 by NowhereButPop
Besides maybe Hades from Hercules, the Magic Carpet from Aladdin is probably my favorite Disney character of all time. He is the Argus to Aladdin’s Odysseus; he’s the most loyal and selfless sidekick in all of Disney’s cinematic endeavors. The Magic Carpet is the nice guy in high school who got along with everyone, and went out of his way to be friends with the new kids. But where exactly did he come from?
All we know is that he’s been stuck in the Cave of Wonders for countless millennia and that his only friend is the Genie, whom he hasn’t seen for at least a few thousand years. We don’t know if the Magic Carpet is actually an enchanted carpet or something else entirely. Maybe he wasn’t always a carpet. We all know that the laws of nature and science don’t apply to Aladdin’s universe as this is a world where Genies exist, men can be made into genies, and monkeys can morph into elephants (and camels, and horses, and cars for that matter). What if the Magic Carpet was once a man, and not any random person, but one specific man who was turned into an anthropomorphic rug as punishment for the crime of trespassing?
Despite all the treasures that occupy the Cave of Wonders, the cave itself is highly selective over who may enter and who may not. For those not deemed worthy, like Jafar and Gazeem, the first person we see enter the cave, there are dire consequences, most notably the cave imploding and swallowing the infidel whole. Even those deemed worthy, the diamond in the rough, there are rules that they must abide by; chiefly that nothing is to be touched but the lamp itself. Whenever these rules are broken, the consequences are dire; the cave erupts into a sea of lava, collapses on itself, and buries anyone trapped inside alive. But, say the punishment doesn’t end there; after all, that’s just what viewers see. Maybe the sentient cave really wants to go overboard with judging and then punishing the unworthy.
Besides Aladdin himself, the only other person we ever see enter the cave is Gazeem, a man who audiences are explicitly told is a thief and a murderer. Unless they are trying to become a part of the Manson Family, thieves and murderers are generally considered unworthy of most decent things. We know that Gazeem is not pure of heart, and that he is not the diamond in the rough as the cave rejects him and then swallows him whole. For all intents and purposes Gazeem is dead and that’s the end of his story. Jafar is free to search for a new flunky to retrieve the lamp and no one will miss Gazeem. But, maybe that wasn’t the end of Gazeem after all. Maybe the cave sought to punish him for his multitude of crimes. We know that Gazeem is a bad man, and we know that the cave likes to dish out overly-sanguinary punishments. If the cave is able to turn into a giant sentient sand lion that can spew hot geysers of lava at will and houses an all-powerful genie, is it really that hard to believe that it can also transmutate people into home decorations?
Gazeem is the Magic Carpet; let me be absolutely clear about that. As punishment for his transgressions, which include theft, murder, and wrongful intrusion into the Cave of Wonders, the cave took it upon itself to turn Gazeem into the Magic Carpet. The carpet is the only other sentient being within the cave, and Gazeem is the only other sentient creature that we see enter the cave.
But what about when the Genie mentions that he hasn’t seen the magic carpet in a few millennia? The answer to that is simple—the scene where Jafar is introduced and Gazeem tries to enter the cave actually occurs centuries or millennia before the events of the rest of the movie. Being an all-powerful being, the Genie would most likely have no concept of time, nor would he be able to keep track of how much time he was stuck in the lamp between his last master and when Aladdin first rubbed the lamp. How then could Jafar still be alive if Gazeem first enters the caves centuries before Aladdin is even born?
Remember, Jafar is a sorcerer who can hypnotize and create machines well ahead of his time. He creates a scrying machine for crying-out-loud! It’s not unreasonable to believe that he’s found some way of unnaturally prolonging his life by centuries, maybe even millennia. With Jafar being an incredibly long-lived wizard, it makes it possible that his liaison with Gazeem actually occurred some centuries prior to the events of the rest of the movie. What if Jafar goaded Gazeem into entering the Cave of Wonders centuries before Aladdin was even born? Only the “diamond in the rough” may enter the cave, that one pure and noble soul, the needle in the haystack, so it stands to reason that this kind of person is an incredibly rare individual. It’d make sense then that Jafar wouldn’t be able to find that diamond in the rough until centuries later. With his skills in alchemy, engineering, and wizardry, Jafar could have very easily prolonged his own life span to await the arrival of this diamond in the rough.
So with Jafar’s first attempt to send someone (Gazeem) into the cave taking place in the distant past, and the cave then turning Gazeem into the Magic Carpet, why would the Magic Carpet then help out Aladdin? Two reason really:
- He generally wants to help Aladdin. After untold years of being the Magic Carpet, Gazeem was finally able to learn humility and altruism. Knowing that Aladdin could only have gotten so far into the cave only if he was the diamond in the rough, Gazeem recognizes that Aladdin is a good person and wants to help him.
- Gazeem knows that Jafar wants the lamp, so of course he would then help anyone else to obtain the lamp, thus depriving Jafar of his one goal in life. Even after countless centuries I’d still be pretty pissed off at the guy who got me turned into rug.
This is a fan theory, and most fan theories are really just for people who aren’t violent or paranoid enough to buy into governmental conspiracy theories. The best fan theories though, provide us with another lens through which to view movies through a new perspective or frame of mind. Just to recap this theory:
- The second scene of Aladdin, where Jafar and Gazeem meet actually takes place hundreds, if not thousands of years prior to the main events of the movie.
- Jafar, through the use of sorcery and alchemy has prolonged his life in his quest to find the lamp.
- Gazeem, being impure of heart is not only ingested by the Cave of Wonders, but is transformed into the Magic Carpet as punishment for his transgressions, not unlike the Beast from Beauty and the Beast.
- Over the years of being trapped as a rug and exiled from everyone else, Gazeem as the Magic Carpet reforms and becomes the kind, and helpful rug that audiences meet.
- The Magic Carpet agrees to help Aladdin in order to vindicate himself for Jafar’s actions at the beginning of the film.
So, there you have it. Another one of many crackpot Disney fan theories. And to think, this one isn’t based around subliminal sexual messages or hidden illuminati references.
 Presumably the length of time it took him to build his scrying machine given the measly technology of the time. Also assume that Jafar was building this machine in secret, so he couldn’t have devoted the necessary amount of time to build it.