Jafar is a fictional character featured as the primary antagonist in the Disney film Aladdin and its sequel, The Return of Jafar. He is an evil sorcerer and the former Grand Vizier of the Sultan of Agrabah. He does not appear in Aladdin and the King of Thieves since he is permanently defeated in the sequel, but he is mentioned by the Genie. Jafar has a pet parrot named Iago in the first film; the bird normally perches on Jafar's shoulders or his staff.

He is voiced by Jonathan Freeman.[1] Patrick Stewart was originally offered the role of Jafar, but scheduling conflicts with Star Trek: The Next Generation forced him to turn down the role. He has said in interviews that this is his biggest regret in his career, and in the top three of biggest regrets of his life.[2]



Jafar's name may be a derivitive of Jafar or Giafar (Arabic: ="ar" xml:lang="ar" >جعفر</span>‎) from tales of the Arabian Nights. Giafar was the protagonist of many stories in Arabian Nights, but he was never presented as a villain. The original tale of Aladdin, a Syrian story not originally attached to the Arabian Nights, features two characters who correspond to Disney's Jafar: an unnamed Vizier who is jealous of Aladdin but does not serve as a real villain, and an evil magician from the Maghreb in North Africa who introduces Aladdin to his magical lamp.

Another inspiration to the character is the villain Jaffar, played by Conrad Veidt in The Thief of Bagdad, from which Aladdin borrows several character ideas and plot elements. The Jafar of Disney's Aladdin plays essentially the same part as the character from the 1940s movie, and is drawn with notable similarity to Conrad Veidt's looks.[3]


Animator Andreas Deja decided to design Jafar in a way he was contrasting to the other characters, with many vertical lines against the curvy designs based on Al Hirschfeld.[4] When Deja first met Jonathan Freeman, he was surprised to see the lack of physical similarity to the character - but also included some of Freeman's acting and gesturing into Jafar's animation.[5]



Son of African magician, Jafar is evil at its most cunning.[1] He is the worst sort of traitor, betraying the Sultan while pretending to be a faithful advisor. With utmost callousness, Jafar lies and cheats to win.[1]

Physical appearanceEdit

File:FInders Keepers Aboubou.jpg

Jafar is bald, tall and thin, has broad shoulders, an elastic mouth, haughty eyebrows, and a thin strangely-shaped beard.[1] When he transforms into a cobra he has a black and red color scheme. When he wishes to become an all-powerful genie, he transforms into a massive, red-skinned entity with talons, glowing yellow eyes and an immense, muscular physique, giving him a devil-like appearance.


He wears flowing robes of black, purple, dark red, and other moody colors. When he is granted true magical abilities, upon wishing to become the world's most powerful sorcerer, his outfit's angular qualities become more exaggerated, his turban and his wardrobe's shoulders growing into elongated spikes. His golden, cobra-headed staff is also granted unnatural life, its mouth opening to spit spells.

Powers and abilitiesEdit

He is shown to be intelligent, as his secret chamber is filled with strange devices and stacks of tomes. Instead of casting spells, he relies on previously prepared potions capable of producing magical phenomena; smashing a vial of red liquid onto the floor, for example, in order to create a cloud of smoke to escape from the Sultan's guard. A gigantic hourglass which he keeps in his study also serves as a crystal ball for him, granting him the ability to see the outside world. He is a master of disguise, assuming the appearance of an old beggar man in order to gain Aladdin’s confidence. He operates largely through his underworld connections, such as with the thief, Gazeem, as well as his position of authority within the palace, which places the entire Royal Guard under his command.

After he makes this wish to be the ultimate sorcerer, he is able to perform an assortment of spells, such as manipulating physical bodies, levitating objects, materializing weaponry from thin air, spitting fire, and shapeshifting into a giant cobra. He is also able to revert Aladdin's first wish by the Genie, transforming Aladdin back into a street rat and revealing his true identity to Jasmine.

He wished to become an all-powerful genie at the end of the first film, granting him "phenomenal cosmic power" at the cost of being trapped inside his own genie lamp. In The Return of Jafar he is released from the lamp, but his life is still bound to it. As a genie Jafar has all the powers he had when he was a sorcerer, plus many others, making him significantly more menacing. He is capable of granting wishes, though he prefers to interpret the meaning of the wish in a way that furthers his own goals, such as himself being wished free. The consequence of this great power is, however, that he is still completely bound to the lamp and the laws of the genie. One of the laws that effects Jafar's abilities is that a genie cannot outright kill a person with their power. He can still threaten or inflict pain, or even set up a chain of events that will lead to a person's demise. The other law is that should his genie lamp be destroyed Jafar will perish, regardless of his great power.

Snake-headed staffEdit

Jafar relies heavily on his snake-headed staff which is capable, through its enchanted ruby eyes, of hypnotizing people. Although this is destroyed by Aladdin when he reveals Jafar's treachery to the Sultan, but a more powerful version is created after he wishes to become a sorcerer.



Main article: Aladdin (film)

In the first film, Jafar tries to find Genie's lamp in order to take over Agrabah. After stealing it from Aladdin, he first wishes to become the sultan, and then the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Jafar tries to win Jasmine's affections by offering to make her Queen of Agrabah, but a disgusted Jasmine refuses. Frustrated, Jafar decides to use his third wish to force Jasmine to fall in love with him. The Genie tells Jafar that he cannot make someone fall in love. After battling Aladdin using a series of bad puns, Jafar transforms himself into a giant cobra in an attempt to kill Aladdin, but just as Jafar is squeezing him to death, Aladdin slyly fools him into using his third and final wish to become an all-powerful genie in an attempt to rule the whole universe. The power-hungry Jafar is convinced that becoming a genie is the only way to have unlimited power, and he falls for Aladdin's trap. Now transformed into a genie, Jafar becomes trapped in his own lamp.

The Return of JafarEdit

Main article: The Return of Jafar

In The Return of Jafar, the now-genie Jafar is released by Abis Mal, and, after cunningly making Abis-Mal waste his first two wishes, threatens Abis into helping him. His plan includes kidnapping the royal family and framing Aladdin for the Sultan's "death," which would cause him to face death. With help from a reformed Iago, the heroes manage to escape. When Jafar discovers this, he opens up a volcanic fissure into the earth in an attempt to destroy Aladdin and the others. Just as Iago grabs the lamp and attempts to give it to Aladdin, Jafar shoots the bird down with a fireball. An injured Iago manages to kick the lamp into the lava, melting it. Jafar fades to a skeletal form and implodes into a cloud of dust and dies.

Video GamesEdit

In a video game called Nasira's Revenge it is revealed that Jafar has a fraternal twin sister named Nasira who tries bringing her brother back to life. Jafar's sister is very similar both in appearance and actions to Maleficent.

Kingdom Hearts seriesEdit

Main article: Kingdom Hearts

Jafar debuted in Kingdom Hearts as one of the members of Maleficent's inner circle. Here, he plans to use the Heartless and take over Agrabah. Operating as one of the villains led by Maleficent, Jafar is attempting to located both Jasmine (as she is one of the Princess' of Heart) and Agrabah's Keyhole. Sora, Donald, and Goofy first encounter Jafar in an alley in Agrabah where he sends a small group of Heartless to claim Sora's Keyblade (all of which are easily defeated). Jafar eventually manages to steal the Genie's lamp from Aladdin and kidnap Jasmine. The group tracks him to the Cave of Wonders where they briefly glimpse Maleficent and engage Jafar in battle. Jafar attacks the team with lighting blasts from his staff, a blizzard he creates in the center of the room, and will also light his staff on fire and attempt to strike a character. Upon his defeat he fakes death but returns and uses his final wish to become a Genie and battles the team again only to be defeated and sealed away in the lamp. Jafar appears in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories with the Heartless to take over a facsimile of Agrabah created from Sora's memories. In Kingdom Hearts II, Jafar's lamp is found by the Peddler, making him a target for Pete, who intends to make Jafar into a Heartless under his control. In the manga he is shown to be rather fearful of Maleficent knowing that his sorcery pales in comparison to her dark magic. Upon becoming a genie though he announces he no longer fears her before being sealed away.

Jafar's Japanese voice actor in all these games is Akira Takarada. He is voiced by Jonathan Freeman in the English version of the games. Jafar's attacks during battle include projecting fireballs, temporarily paralyzing Sora with a flash of energy from his eyes, and teleporting both to another dimension and levitating numerous buildings to throw at Sora.

Other appearancesEdit

Although he never appears in the Aladdin television series made after the movie, Jafar is mentioned.

In an episode of Hercules: The Animated Series called "Hercules and the Arabian Night" Jafar makes another attempt at revenge, and is temporarily resurrected by Hercules's arch-enemy, Hades. He has lost his status as an all-powerful immortal genie after dying, but Hades gives him a new cobra staff that makes him flesh and blood as long as he holds it, and the two villains team up to get rid of Aladdin and Hercules.

File:Jafar snake.JPG

Jafar also appears at the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts as a meetable character.

In the Disney's Hollywood Studios version of Fantasmic! Nighttime Show Spectacular, Jafar is one of the villains The Queen evokes to fight Mickey Mouse and ruin his imagination. He turns in to his incarnation of the snake, as he does in the first film.

Jafar appears with Ursula the Sea Witch, Oogie Boogie and Maleficent in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom halloween-themed fireworks program HalloWishes at Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

Jafar is featured in several episodes of Disney's House of Mouse. He also appears briefly in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse, and acts as the leader of the Disney Villains in Mickey's House of Villains.

Jafar appears in the manga Kilala Princess.


Jafar briefly appears in a cutaway gag in the Family Guy episode "Lois Kills Stewie" in a fictional film mentioned by Stewie called "Aladdin 4: Jafar May Need Glasses", referencing the sub-par nature of straight to video Disney films.

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Jafar Character History". Disney Archives. 
  2. "IMDb trivia". Retrieved 2007-09-04. 
  3. "Foster on Film - Fantasy: The Thief of Bagdad". 
  4. "Aladdin animator used subtlety to design strong villain". The Tech. 1992-11-20. 
  5. Aladdin Platinum Edition, Disc 2: Diamond in the Rough: The Making of Aladdin.

External linksEdit