Picks and Pans Review: Coming Soon...

updated 06/13/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/13/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

>to Your VCR

THE RETURN OF JAFAR

Voices of Scott Weinger, Gilbert Gottfried, Dan Castellaneta, Linda Larkin, Jonathan Freeman ACCORDING TO DISNEY STUDTOS, THIS 66-minute sequel to Aladdin has skipped movie theaters and gone straight into a $22.99 video for the sake of a speedy release. Another possible reason? It offers fewer plot twists and lacks a good bi I of the charm of its redoubtable predecessor. The same characters are back (a few with different voices): quondam street rat Aladdin (Weinger), evil Jafar (Freeman), flamboyant Genie (Castellaneta, who works hard but doesn't erase the memory of Robin Williams); wiseacre parrot Iago (Gottfried), the video's best character; and Aladdin's ladylove, petulant Jasmine (Larkin). Return of Jafar picks up where Aladdin left off, with the power-hungry Jafar trapped in a magic lamp. Freed by a klutzy thief (Jason Alexander), he plots revenge against Aladdin, who must foil the nefarious plans and save the Sultan's kingdom. There are—thank goodness—no attempts to replicate the treacly Oscar-winning Aladdin love ballad, "A Whole New World." Instead, there are some inoffensive, up-tempo numbers by different composers this time. One song features Iago beaking out the splendid couplet: "Love is revolting/ It's almost worse than when you're molting." (G)

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