The Encyclopedia of Walt Disney's Animated Characters: From Mickey Mouse to Hercules
The evil vizier, Jafar.
Walt Disney Character Description of Jafar from "Aladdin" (1993)
The evil vizier is represented as a caricature villain - he has a long thin face, a curly black wisp of beard, two great spikes of something
sticking out from shoulders of his customary garb, an unpleasant habit of hypnotizing people, a sinister voice, and very much more. However, the exaggeration works: the characterization is such that we early become fully aware of his evil, and we cheer when he gets his deserved comeuppance. Much of this is, of course, a result of his deeds: we discover that he abuses power, both political and financial. He shows no compunction at all, having discovered the Cave of Wonders and cognizant that the Magic Lamp is contained within, in sacrificing the life of the criminal Gazeem in an ill-fated attempt to steal the Lamp. He lies cruelly to Jasmine in telling her that the street rat (Aladdin) who saved her from having her hand chopped off has been beheaded for the crime of kidnapping her (an obvious miscarriage of justice); the measure of his general cruelty is that she believes him. He employs every tricky means he can - notably hynosis using his cobra-headed stick - in order to gain complete control over the sultanate of Agrabah. When Aladdin delivers the Magic Lamp to him (or so they both think - Abu has filched it) he tries to kill the "diamond in the rough" whom he has exploited. And, when Aladdin is in his guise as Prince Ali, Jafar does his best to humiliate him by constantly getting his name wrong - calling him Prince Abooboo - a petty trick known to playground bullies worlswide. The list of sins is a long one.
Like the Genie, although certainly not to the same extent, he is a shapeshifter. When Aladdin has been clapped in jail for the crime of theft, there is an old beggar sharing his cell: he has a long beard, a crutch, rotten teeth... and is overall a character to be pitied. It is this person who persuades Aladdin that they must retrieve the Magic Lamp, and who engineers their escape from prison. The Beggar proves to be Jafar, disguised within this different form. Interestingly, the animators chose - once Aladdin's task within the Cave of Wonders had apparently been performed - to show the "beggar" stripping off his costume to reveal himself as the vizier, but this is a bluff on their part that does not work: the two individuals are so differently constructed, physically, that it is impossible that Jafar could have merely dressed himself up.
Ambition is what drives Jafar, and it is this ambition that proves his downfall. He wants to usurp the Sultan. He wants to marry the luscious Jasmine in oder to cement that usurpation. He wants to become the most powerful sorcerer in the world, a wish that the Genie is forced to grant. With his new magic he makes himself into a giant serpent so that he can squeeze the life out of Aladdin... Except that finally Aladdin tricks him into further desire than that: the vizier wants to become an all-powerful genie himself. What he doesn't realize, until too lte, is that genies are not in fact all.powerful: they can be confined in Magic Lamps, and this is exactly what Aladdin does to the transformed vizier.
The imprisonment proved not to be permanent, as we discovered in The Return of Jafar