Jafar is the main antagonist of the 1992 Disney film Aladdin and its first sequel The Return of Jafar. He later appears as the main villain of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.
He is evil, the worst sort of traitor, betraying the Sultan while pretending to be a faithful adviser. In a cruel mirroring of the Genie's shape-shifting performance, Jafar went through quite a terrifying diversity of threatening forms as Aladdin waged battle with him to save the Sultan and Jasmine from Jafar's enchantment. Jafar's greatest moment of cruelty came when Jasmine was seeking out her true love; with utmost callousness, Jafar lied and told her that Aladdin had already been executed. Ultimately, his lust for power led to his defeat, and he was forced into less-than-spacious accommodations.
Jafar's physical appearance is similar to that of Ming the Merciless. He is tall and thin, and almost always depicted in flowing robes of black, dark red and other moody colors. Jafar has a pet parrot named Iago, who switched sides in The Return of Jafar. Jafar carries a cobra-head staff, which he uses for his sorcery.
Jafar is portrayed as an amoral psychopath who'll not hesitate to destroy anyone 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 cool-headed schemer and gaining the trust of those around him, despite his rather untrustworthy physical appearance. Even with this mask, Jafar's psychopathic tendencies tend to seep through and become apparent to the viewer, particularly in the opening sequence, where Jafar, outside of immediate initial anger over Gazeem not being the one who is the Diamond in the Rough and thus being killed, displays no remorse in sending Gazeem the thief to his death in the Cave of Wonders, simply proclaiming that "Gazeem was obviously less than worthy" in a rather dry tone of voice. The deleted song "Humiliate the Boy" also establishes Jafar as an emotional sadist, getting a laugh out of seeing "another fellow's dreams turn into nightmares one by one" and treating the Genie in an especially harsh manner. Jafar also displays narcissistic tendencies, his most obvious ones being his obsessive desire for power and sense of entitlement, as well as manipulating the Sultan to achieve his goals. It is not until Jafar gains control of the Genie's lamp that he fully shows his true colors, becoming arrogant and short-tempered with his subjects after usurping power from the Sultan. It is this impulsive behavior and lust for power that leads to his downfall, as he uses his third wish to become an omnipotent genie, unaware that doing so has bound him to his own lamp and the wishes of his next master. Jafar can have a somewhat comical edge that helps to add some humanity to his character, for example proclaiming "Ewww..." when contemplating his own beheading, a trait unusual in a Disney villain. 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 Nights. This sense of humor does not carry over in the film's direct-to-video sequel, which aimed to make Jafar more sinister and ruthless (though he did sing a song while taunting Genie which was comical and had quite a few jokes in it). He can also be rather loud; in one part, he says "If you won't bow before a sultan, then you will.." and then shouting "COWER BEFORE A SORCERER!" He is also power hungry; this is shown in one scene where Jafar has the lamp and tells the Sultan and Princess Jasmine that, instead of him bowing to them, they will bow to him instead.
He also was somewhat abusive towards his minions, as evidenced by his interactions with Iago and, later, Abis Mal. Ultimately, this proves to be his final downfall; Iago ends up turning against him twice in large part because of his abuse and not giving them credit when it is due, and Abis Mal (albeit unintentionally) ended up buying enough time for Aladdin and his allies to try to steal Jafar's lamp when he stopped mid-wish for Jafar to be freed from the lamp to ask Jafar whether he was going to actually allow him to keep the treasure, after he endured some abuse regarding his wishes, thus resulting in Jafar's lamp being destroyed (and finally Jafar's death).
Like some villain characters from other franchises, Jafar is attracted to a beautiful girl or woman that is a protagonist. Here, he's attracted to Princess Jasmine, but primarily for her beauty, 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 some time later, he changed his mind about the concept, instead sparing Jasmine's life.) He first creates a golden crown for her from her shackles 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". Genie couldn't grant this wish as he cannot interfere with true love, but after she spotted Aladdin and Abu above Jafar and the Genie in a balcony, Jasmine then had the idea to pretend to do so, and she and Jafar have shared both their first kiss together on the lips, in order for Jasmine to distract Jafar's attention from Aladdin as he tried to get the lamp back. (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 picked on by the populace of Agrabah, making him almost similar to Aladdin (although their similarities differed in how they handled their suffering).
Appearance and Outfits
Unlike most villains such as Hades and Bill Sykes who are slender and muscular Jafar is a tall, bony man dressed in extravagant clothing and 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 grey eyeliner. He carries a cobra-head staff, which he uses for his sorcery and hypnosis. Jafar was animated by Andreas Deja, who used the character Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty and voice actor Jonathan Freeman, as basis for Jafar's design. Most of the time Jafar is much like Ming the Merciless both dressing in dark clothing and experts at magic. He also has this similarity to Lord Voldemort, but has a more human appearance than Voldemort. As Royal Vizier, Jafar wears black robes that reach the ground overtop a red-violet 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 blood red interior. His shoes are brown and the tips curl inward. A red-violet sash is tied around his waist. He also wears an odd, light-colored 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 bright red feather placed just above it. More red-violet cloth hangs from the miter, draping over Jafar's shoulders. As Sultan, Jafar wears a white version of this outfit.
When he's turned into a sorcerer, Jafar's wardrobe goes to a more exaggerated form of his normal attire, with a head-dress 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 red-violet 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. Once Jafar makes his third lamp wish, he takes on a form resembling Genie himself, with some differences. Jafar's skin becomes blood 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), and when he uses legs instead of a tail, the legs look muscular and somewhat demonic, with claws. He retains his red-violet sash and five-fingered hands (albeit with claws, compared to Genie, who has four-fingers). He later is forced to wear the gold wrist bracelets symbolizing his enslavement to his lamp. When he's 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-violet. 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 did not seem to possess any genuine magical powers and thus could have been no more than an alchemist. The closest he has ever come to using actual magic prior to becoming a sorcerer was with his Snake staff's hypnotic properties. In the series it's revealed that he had many magical objects in his secret lair that allowed him to perform magic (which he possessed none of himself). He was also surprisingly effective at disguising himself when he was a regular human, as evidenced by his managing to somehow pose as an old prisoner who was almost half Aladdin's height when Jafar himself is much taller than Aladdin. He did this in order 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 became exactly that. He could levitate objects, breath fire, summon objects, and transform himself and others and presumably other powers he never had a chance to use.
In addition, he also became 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 witch gave him great strength and power. Jafar's next wish - to become a Genie - made him arguably one of the most powerful entities in the Disney universe. He now possessed phenomenal cosmic power but at the cost of his free will since as a genie he could only do what others told him to do (although he could twist and distort their wishes all he wanted). His life force was also tied to the lamp and when his lamp was destroyed, he died. However, after he was killed and later revived by Hades as a spirit in an episode of the Hercules animated series, Jafar no longer had his genie powers as his lamp had been destroyed, but he retained the powers of a sorcerer.
In Aladdin, Jafar's introduced as the sinister Royal Vizier to Agrabah's Sultan who desires power over Agrabah and lusts over the Sultan's beautiful daughter, Princess Jasmine. He is the second most powerful authority in Agrabah, answering only to the Sultan. He is always accompanied by his sarcastic, devious pet parrot, Iago. Whilst presenting a charming and respectable exterior to the Sultan and the people of Agrabah, he secretly holds everyone around him in contempt and manipulates the Sultan by means of hypnotizing him with a magical snake-headed staff, which he always carries on his person. He's traveled widely and amassed a wide knowledge of magical artifacts and legends. Until he uses Genie's powers to become a sorcerer, however, his magical abilities are limited to the use of the artifacts he's collected, and his prowess as an accomplished alchemist.
Like some villain characters from other franchises, Jafar is attracted to a beautiful girl or woman that is a protagonist. Here, he's 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 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".
Genie couldn't grant this wish, but after she spotted Aladdin and Abu above Jafar and the Genie in a balcony, Jasmine had the idea to pretend to do so, and she and Jafar have shared both their first kiss together on the lips, in the order for Jasmine to distract Jafar's attention from Aladdin as he tried to get the lamp back. (Much earlier, though, he says in a sexist manner that Jasmine's speechlessness is "a fine quality in a wife"). Jafar transformed himself into a giant cobra to kill Aladdin, but just as he was about to squeeze him to death, Aladdin's tricks Jafar into using his third and final wish to become an all-powerful genie himself. In this form Jafar was red in hue, possibly to represent his more "evil" nature, contrasting with Genie's blue tone. In Western culture, genies are almost always portrayed as being confined to small oil lamps until they are released to do a human's bidding; Jafar was therefore trapped in his newly created lamp by his own selfish wish for power. Screaming in rage he was sucked into the black oil lamp, dragging the protesting Iago with him. Genie then flung the lamp into the Cave of Wonders for 10,000 years.
Return of Jafar
After spending some time in the sunken Cave of Wonders, Jafar is freed from his lamp when Iago digs their war out of the sand and abandons Jafar in his lamp down a well where it is then found by one of Aladdin's enemies, a bandit named Abis Mal. Because genies cannot directly kill and since he can't actually travel outside of close proximity of the lamp, he attempts to arrange for Abis Mal to kill Aladdin for him. He initially used his genie form to persuade Abis Mal into helping him through fear, but then transforms into his human form after it became apparent that Abis Mal could not even respond coherently, much less agree to help him, out of intimidation of his terrifying genie form. Jafar forcibly recruited Abis Mal as his partner by forcing him to waste his first two wishes in a matter of seconds, first by transporting him to the bottom of the sea and then by returning him to the desert so he wouldn't drown. So that Abis Mal will assist him in his plot for revenge against Aladdin in order to get his third wish (although Abis Mal, having earlier encountered Aladdin, tells him he would've assisted him anyway after learning this due to sharing a mutual desire for revenge against him as well). Jafar reunites with Iago (who freed himself from the lamp a few hours before Jafar, and also put him into the well after refusing to release him due to his simply using Iago and not thanking him) and demands him to lure Aladdin and the Sultan into a trap. Iago successfully gets Aladdin and Sultan to go for a flight on the Carpet and while they're gone, Jafar invades the palace and begins to torment the Genie and Abu. After the tormenting, he captures the two and begins the next part of his plan. Aladdin, Sultan, Carpet, and Iago reach the destination and what seems to be a peaceful and relaxing area, turns out to be a death trap as Sultan is kidnapped by hooded men on magic flying horses. Aladdin threatens Iago saying he'll deal with him later and rushes off on Carpet to save the Sultan. Aladdin fails and is thrown down a waterfall by Abis Mal, but is rescued by Jafar. Abis Mal's in shock but Jafar explains their act of revenge's not completed just yet. Jafar frames Aladdin for the murder of the Sultan who's really being held in captivity by Jafar. Jafar disguises himself as Jasmine and right before Aladdin's executed via decapitation, Jafar reveals himself to torture Aladdin even more. However unknown to him, Iago, consumed with guilt for helping Jafar set up his new friends, frees the Genie who saves Aladdin in the nick of time.
At the palace, Jafar rewards Abis Mal with all of the treasure his heart desired, with the only thing he requests in return is for Abis Mal to grant his freedom. Before he can, however, the lamp's taken by Aladdin who knows that the only way to destroy him is to destroy his lamp. Jafar transforms into his genie form and battles the heroes, confident that they'll never destroy him because of his great power. He creates a wasteland in the palace's garden creating pits of lava as a trap for Aladdin and knocks out Genie. When it seems like he is succeeding, Iago unexpectedly comes to the rescue. Jafar is furious at this betrayal and tries to attack him as well. He badly weakens his former ally, but with his last ounce of strength, Iago kicks the lamp into the lava which results in Jafar who then says his last words "My lamp!", letting out a death screaming and violently imploding into a cloud of dust, destroying him and ending his reign of terror. Peace is restored and Iago is welcomed into Aladdin's home.
Hercules and the Arabian Night
Jafar later made one more attempt at revenge in an episode ("Hercules and the Arabian Night") of Disney's Hercules TV-show spin-off, where he was temporarily revived by Hercules' arch-enemy, Hades. The two villains teamed up to get rid of Aladdin and Hercules by having them fight against each other, but their plan failed and Jafar ended up dead again, and has not at this point made any reappearances in the official Aladdin continuity.
Kingdom Hearts Series
Jafar is part of the group of Disney villains in favor of total control of Kingdom Hearts. Jafar planned to use the Heartless and take over Agrabah. Maleficent ordered Jafar to kidnap Princess Jasmine, one of the seven Princesses of Heart, she also warned Jafar to not steep himself in darkness for too long or the Heartless would steal his heart. When Sora, Donald, and Goofy arrive they see Jafar trying to capture the princess. Eventually they meet up with Aladdin. He tries to save her by using Genie's powers to rescue her from Jafar. Jafar leads Sora and friends to the Cave of Wonders while there he uses his first wish to find the Keyhole to the world. His second wish was for Genie to crush Sora and friends. Genie then reluctantly fights alongside Jafar against Sora and friends. Jafar's third and final wish was to make him a all powerful Genie. Sora and gang go into the deepest part of the Cave of wonders and fight Jafar. In the end Sora takes Jafar's lamp and put him back in there. After the battle, Hades, Captain Hook, and Riku converse about his chances against Sora, and Hades states that Jafar may have won if Riku had supported him.
Kingdom Hearts VCAST
Jafar is the boss of Agrabah in Kingdom Hearts VCAST.
Chain of Memories
In Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Jafar appears with the Heartless to take over Agrabah. In order to get the lamp, he tricks Aladdin to get the lamp so he could make Jasmine marry him. When Jafar has the lamp his first wish is to have Jasmine back, his second is for Genie to protect him from a sneak attack, and third is to became a powerful Genie. He teleports Sora and his friends to the center of the earth and confronts Sora. His attacks were similar, except ice could not damage him. Instead of attacking Jafar directly, he attacks Iago and puts Jafar back in his lamp again.
Kingdom Hearts II
Jafar's lamp is found by the Peddler. Maleficent sent Pete to get the lamp and release Jafar from his prison and turn him into a Heartless. Unfortunately for Pete, Sora and friends have already arrived. Sora and gang head to the cave of wonders to give the Peddler treasures for the Lamp. At the Palace he confronts Pete. Pete summons two powerful Heartless but Sora defeats them and seals Jafar's lamp away
But this was not the end: Due to the manipulations of Organization XIII, the Peddler finds Jafar's lamp again and releases him. After forcing Iago to keep Sora occupied with a magical shadow clone of himself, Jafar kidnaps Princess Jasmine. Sora defeats the clone and finds Jafar. He and Jafar fight and Sora destroys Jafar in the end.
Along with Captain Hook, Jafar has his essence drained from the Cartoon World for the Heart Power, it can give Mizrabel to escape Wasteland. He serves as the second boss in the story, having been given a room in the castle by Mizrabel, who claimed to have turned him into the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Jasmine was even given to him. After being beaten in his cobra form, Jafar reverts and realizes that Mizrabel was just using him. Much like Hook before him, Jafar abides by Mickey's request to stay in his room and not bother the non-villainous characters than need to be saved. he also makes two request to Mickey one to rescue Iago and two to get the gems back for his snake staph claiming it would make a power full weapon against Mizrabel.
When sent home to reunite with his toon self, Jafar is told taking care of his friends it more important than power by Jiminy Cricket. Not really getting the cricket's message, Jafar says he's right as it's good to have friends in high places; he needed to get back and help the Sultan, who's helpless without him. A not-entirely false statement.
However, despite his death, Jafar has also had a recurring role on Disney's House of Mouse. He was even the central villain of the direct-to-video film Mickey's House of Villains. Jafar even went on a date with Maleficent in one episode and many fans agreed that they did make an excellent couple. The two are often compared as both have regal bearing, bird sidekicks, are exceedingly tall, and their robes seem to confine their movements. Also the magic powers and shapeshifting.
As far as Jafar's family goes, he has a fraternal twin sister named Nasira who tried bringing her brother back to life in the game, Nasira's Revenge. Jafar's sister is very similar both in appearance and actions as Maleficent. She respects Jafar and the sibling bond between them is very strong.
In the live-action movie Descendants, Jafar is more comedic than his animated counterpart. He has a son named Jay and is imprisioned with every other Disney villain and their accomplices on the Isle of the Lost, which is sealed by a magical barrier and the bridge is cut off.
He is set to be the antagonist of the live action remake of Aladdin in 2019
Jafar appears in the fourth and fifth book of the saga. In Power Play he encounters Maybeck and Willa at the Morocco Pavilion in one of their missions. He first appears as a fragile old man but then reveals his true appearance and asks for the "window magic" of the Keepers. He also seems in opposition or in a sub-division of Maleficent's Overtakers . After he shows he can turn into a cobra, like in the movie, to threaten them, Willa uses a flute in an exhibition to "charm" Jafar and she and Maybeck run away. In Shell Game he seems to have joined Maleficent and is seen in Castaway Cay speaking to Tia Dalma. According to him, Maleficent had promised him the lamp, something which he has not yet received. He also despises signing autograph, something he finds "an insult to my dignity". He also seems to be on good terms with Tia Dalma, as he says to her "Go in peace", to which she responds in kind. Here it is revealed that his Cobra staff can transform into a real cobra and into a wooden stick, which he uses to protect the surrounding areas.
- Jafar bears several similarities to Yzma as they are both comical. This is emphasized in The Emperor's New School where she transforms into both a giant cobra and an old man.
- Jafar is one of six male villains to shapeshift into a second form, the others being Judge Doom, Oogie Boogie, Turbo, and Pain and Panic. Jafar is also the only Disney Villain to have seven other forms (Old Man, Sultan, Sorcerer, Snake, Genie, Ghost, and Jasmine).
- Patrick Stewart was originally asked to voice Jafar. However, he turned it down.
- Mozenrath from the Aladdin series was often compared to Jafar, by both Iago and the viewers. Both were evil, used dark magic, were assisted by talking animals and wore capes. His only known connection to Jafar was that he was doing research in his former room.
- Jafar and Maleficent are both considered to be Disney's most popular, powerful and evil villains of all time. Jafar is described as very dark, tall, gloomy, and has a laughter only a true villain can produce.
- Jafar also has a twin sister named Nasira.
- Jafar is the male equivalent of Maleficent. They are both powerful sorcerers, have bird sidekicks, try to kill the heroes by transforming into giant reptile monsters, carry staffs which they primarily use to channel their magic and, of course, are pure evil. They both even met in an episode of House Of Mouse, when he was trying to date her.
- Jafar is also similar to Doctor Facilier from the Princess and the Frog both are evil wizards with power hungry personality and are slender with goatees in appearance and both want to take over something that does not belong to them Jafar wants to be Sultan and Dr. Facilier wants the riches and wealth of Big Daddy Lebouf and both have henchmen that they use help them get the stuff they want by promising them to give them what they want Jafar promises Abis Mal his third wish and Dr. Facilier gives Lawrence power to become Naveen and not get pushed around anymore and are both equal to their henchmen and both have things to keep themselves alive Jafar the lamp Dr. Facilier the voo doo talisman and both die after their things are destroyed.
- Jafar's voice in his giant cobra form is the same as when he was masquerading as an elderly beggar.
- The mouth of Jafar's cobra staff changes from closed to open when he makes his second wish.