"A Whole New World" is about losing your virginity
Last Friday, during my gin hangover, I discovered Disney music on Spotify, which provided me with the perfect excuse to sit at my desk and cry silent, manly tears (“She’s a beauty and he’s a beast, SO HOW COULD SHE EVER LOVE HIM?”). During the shuffle, I eventually found the soundtrack to Aladdin, which, despite the pretty racist undertones (undertones? I mean overtones) is my all-time favorite Disney movie, at least partly because one of the first times I saw my dad laugh so hard he cried was during “Prince Ali,” when the guards do their “HE’S GOT THE MONKEYS! LET’S SEE THE MONKEYS!” dance.
Also, Jasmine was the first cartoon I was ever attracted to, even before Jessica Rabbit. No, it’s not weird to be attracted to cartoons. Ask the internet*.
*Don’t ask the internet.
Anyway, so “A Whole New World,” comes on, and I feel my tender, spongy, gin-softened heart starting to swell, when I remember a friend, not long ago, explaining to me that “A Whole New World” is actually a metaphor for losing your virginity. And finally, as I listened to Disney at the age of 27, childhood ended, and I became a man.
Let’s work our way through this line-by-line, shall we?
The first three stanzas are clearly Aladdin, or Prince Ali, giving the creepy spiel every high school boy gives their girlfriend once dry-humping, chest-fondling, and toothy oral sex are no longer fully satisfying him, and he wants to brag about “going all the way” to his shitty friends. Actually, as far as high school boys go, Aladdin is pretty par for the course. He’s basically taking his shitty life and, through a mixture of confidence, dishonesty, and illusion, is making him seem bigger than he actually is. He is – and read into this as much as you like – trying to turn his monkey into an elephant. Here’s what he says:
I can show you the world.
(The world is his penis.)
Shining, shimmering, splendid.
Not so sure about splendid, but go on.
Tell me Princess, now when did
You last let your heart decide?
Aww. That’s actually kind of sweet! Okay, so Aladdin’s willing to lie about literally everything to get into Jasmine’s pants, but at least he’s letting her heart decide! Unlike the Beast, who’s basically just waiting for Stockholm Syndrome to kick in.
I can open your eyes
(and curl your toes)
Take you wonder by wonder,
Over, sideways, and under,
Ease up there, slugger. It’s your first time, you’ll be lucky to make it ten seconds into “over.”
On a magic carpet ride!
A whole new world!
A new fantastic point of view!
No one to tell us no!
Seriously kids, the only guaranteed way to not get pregnant is to abstain.
Or where to go!
As long as it’s not in the champagne room.
Or say we’re only dreaming.
Eh, I don’t know. Something about wet dreams.
Now we get into Jasmine’s part. This is where she’s clearly thought, eh, he promises to give me a magic carpet ride, now’s as good a time as any (just a reminder, she’s thirteen in the movie). So she’s going with it.
A whole new world!
A dazzling place I never knew!
But when I’m way up here, it’s crystal clear,
That now I’m in a whole new world with you!
“Well, that’s never happened before.”
“That is not how I pictured it looking.”
“Hey, could you do what you just did, but like, 200 times in rapid succession?”
Soaring, tumbling, freewheeling,
Through an endless diamond sky!
“On a beach would be fun, too.”
So by now they’re singing over each other. Shit’s happening right now.
Jasmine: A whole new world!
Aladdin: Don’t you DARE close your eyes!
Jasmine: A hundred thousand things to see!
Eh, in reality, like, a few dozen things to see.
Aladdin: Hold your breath, it gets better!
They all say that.
Jasmine: I’m like a shooting star!
I’ve come so far!
“Wait, what do you mean by so far?”
I can’t go back to where I used to be!
Aw, no, sweetie. No, you never can.
Aladdin: A whole new world!
Jasmine: Every turn a surprise!
“I did not like that at all.”
Aladdin: With new horizons to pursue!
“How do you feel about handcuffs?”
Jasmine: Every moment red-letter!
“Okay, now I feel like you’re being a little too effusive.”
I’ll chase them anywhere!
There’s time to spare!
Let me share this whole new world with you.
“Can we do this ALL THE TIME now?”
Both: A whole new world…
That’s where we’ll be…
A thrilling chase…
A wondrous place…
For you and me.
Awww. I hope there’s Planned Parenthood in Agrabah.
Honestly, during the writing of this article, I’ve listened to this song like, 10 times. And though I’m pretty convinced that Alan Mencken and Tim Rice, the song’s writers, at least subconsciously had banging in mind when they were writing it, I still think it’s an incredibly sweet song. Losing your virginity is a sweet, tender moment! It happens to most of us while we’re still basically kids – emotionally, at least – and it’s exciting, scary, awkward, weird, and new.
And don’t you dare tell me the fireworks at the end aren’t orgasms.
*Edit: As I’ve been notified in the comments, she’s actually fifteen in the movie. My bad. It sounds way creepier as 13 though, so I’m not changing it.