The Encyclopedia of Walt Disney's Animated Characters: From Mickey Mouse to Hercules
The beautiful Princess Jasmine
Walt Disney Character Description of Princess Jasmine from "Aladdin" (1992)
Mark Henn, who created the look of Jasmine for the movie, had various inspirations. One was a theme-park guest at Disney World in Florida, whose long thick mane of black hair sparked off an idea. The most important, however, was his sister Beth - although an actress called Robina Ritchie did live-action modeling to help the animation. Linda Larkin, who gave Jasmine her speaking voice, and Lea Salonga, who sang for her, looks not in the slightest like the screen version of Jasmine.
Continuing their practice in several previous movies, the Disney creators made Jasmine an independent-minded young woman; she is not going to be married off to any old lout, no matter how blue his blood, but is instead determined to marry for love. She is, moverover, impatient with her father's dictum that she should be confined within the palace (much of this movie's theme concerns confinement) and eventually escapes to discover what the outer world is like. There her naïveté lands her almost immediately in trouble, and Aladdin rescues her from a nasty fate.
Her antipathy to Jafar is evident early on. Her father believes that the vizier is his loyal adviser, but Jasmine can see right through him, and her solitary incentive to get married is made plain:
At least some good will come of my being forced to marry. When I am Queen, I will have the power to get rid of you
This of course gives Jafar an extra motive, when Iago suggests the idea, to make Jasmine marry him: as her husband and thus the new sultan, he could not be ousted.
The best description of Jasmine comes from the script itself:
GENIE: So how 'bout it. What is it you want
ALADDIN: Well, there's this girl--
GENIE: Eehhh! (Like a buzzer, and GENIE's chest shows a heart with a cross through it.) Wrong! I can't make anybody fall in love, remember?
ALADDIN: Oh, but Genie. She's smart and fun and...
ALADDIN: Beautiful. She's got these eyes that just... and this hair, wow... and her smile.
GENIE: (Sitting in a Parisian cafe with ABU and CARPET.)
Ami. C'est l'amour.
ALADDIN: But she's the princess. To even have a chance, I'd have to be a-- hey, can you make me a prince?
Jasmine also has a marked lack of clothing. In order to disguise herself so that she can explore the outside world she puts on an enfolding hooded cloak, but otherwise, in her life in the palace, she wears the skimpiest of two-piece outfits. Clothes play a fair part in the plot of this movie, in fact, for it takes a little while for her to realize that the visiting "Prince Ali" is in fact the same person as the street rat Aladdin who saved her from doom only hours before. The improbability - we recognize each other by our faces, not our clothing - is skillfuly glossed over.
Jasmine and Aladdin are betrothed by the end and do eventually marry, but not in this movie: the joyous event has to await until the second of the direct-to-video movies, Aladdin and the King of Thieves
Princess Jasmine and Aladdin as Prince Ali