The rule was ‘no midriff’: Why Jasmine doesn’t bare her belly in ‘Aladdin’

Jasmine’s signature outfit from the animated “Aladdin” is iconic. You know the look: low-riding turquoise harem pants paired with a tiny off-the-shoulder top that leaves the princess’ bellybutton out in the open.

That is not an outfit that exists in the new world of Disney’s live-action “Aladdin.”

“The (animated) movie was done in 1992. We wanted to modernize the movie and some things are inappropriate these days for families,” says “Aladdin” producer Dan Lin.

So there was a rule on the “Aladdin” set to make sure the movie achieved that goal: “No midriff,” Lin says.

Naomi Scott, 26, who plays Jasmine in the updated film, says the costume decision “was about what makes the most sense for this movie and this time, and that’s what we landed on. I think it was the right decision.”

In 1992, animated Jasmine showed her bellybutton. In the new live-action "Aladdin," Jasmine (Naomi Scott) is more covered up in elaborate outfits. (Photo: Walt Disney, Daniel Smith)

Producer Jonathan Eirich had another reason to keep Jasmine from wearing crop tops: His wife.

“She told me I would get murdered if I had (Jasmine) in a (stomach-baring) outfit – or divorced at least,” he said. “I’m still married.”

There was a rule on the "Aladdin" set: "No midriff," producer Dan Lin says. Mena Massoud, left, plays Aladdin in the new film opposite Naomi Scott, who plays Jasmine. (Photo: Photo Credit: Daniel Smith, Daniel Smith)

Fans of elaborate costume design will likely support the filmmakers’ decision to keep the famous princess more covered up. Instead of wearing monochrome bra tops and baggy pants, Jasmine is dripping in sumptuous gowns with gold detailing, elaborate trains and vibrant jewels that highlight her regality over her sexuality.

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Yes, she still has a turquoise frock (with a bronze detail right over her stomach), plus clothes in orange, fuchsia and cream.

But, notably, there is no skimpy red “slave” outfit like there is in the animated film.


In the original movie, Jasmine gets enslaved by Sorcerer Jafar, who seems to have forced her into a cleavage-baring red outfit with a bandeau top and hip-hugging pants. While clad in this ensemble, Jasmine pretends to be in love with Jafar to help Aladdin sneak by. 

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“Your beard is so twisted,” Jasmine says huskily to Jafar, sensually twirling his facial hair. Finally, to keep up her distraction, she kisses him, before Jafar realizes Jasmine is faking it and he forces her into an hourglass rapidly filling with suffocating sand.

Naomi Scott is the beautiful and self-determined Princess Jasmine in Guy Ritchie’s live-action adaptation of Disney’s "Aladdin." (Photo: Photo Credit: Daniel Smith, Daniel Smith)

That 1992 scene is also not in the new PG movie. Instead, fans will find Jasmine singing a brand-new empowerment anthem called “Speechless.”

“It’s part of the decisions we had to make in this film about what works in an animated film and what works in live-action,” says Eirich, noting the new Guy Ritchie-directed film strove for “believability” inside “Aladdin’s” fantastical world.

Remember when Aladdin was bare-chested for much of the 1992 animated "Aladdin"? The character actually wears a shirt under his vest in the live-action version. (Photo: Photo Credit: Daniel Smith, Daniel Smith)

By the way, Jasmine isn’t the only character who’s less sexualized in the new film. Aladdin – whose signature 1992 outfit is a bare-chested torso with a purple vest and pants – actually wears sleeves this time around. 

“He found a shirt,” says Lin. “So it goes both ways!”

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