Walt Disney Pictures recently released an awesome live-action remake of the classic childhood favourite Aladdin, and boy has it got people talking. From Princess Jasmine’s stunning outfits to the epic dance numbers, to the ever-so-charming Will Smith’s portrayal of the Genie – this fantastic film was truly a whole new world!
While all of the characters played an important part in the movie, one underrated sidekick was solely responsible for keeping Aladdin alive and leading him to the love of his life – the magic carpet. The magic carpet isn’t just any old rug; it has a rich history behind it.
Here’s everything you need to know about the history of magical flying carpets.
The Magic Carpet in One Thousand and One Nights
For centuries, the magic flying carpet has helped protagonists and antagonists achieve the impossible in Arabian folktales. The flying carpet has made an appearance in several ancient texts, but the most notable one is by far One Thousand and One Nights.
One Thousand and One Nights is a collection of numerous folk tales that date as far back as the ninth century. It includes stories from ancient Turkey, Greece, India, Persia, North Africa, and of course Arabia. Even some Jewish tales are included in One Thousand and One Nights.
This collection of stories is told by the ruler Shahryar and his future Queen, Scheherazade. Shahryar had a dark past of marrying young brides then murdering them the following morning, and Scheherazade was doomed to the same fate as his previous lovers. Luckily, she was clever enough to find a way out of her looming execution – storytelling.
Scheherazade told intriguing stories to Shahryar every night and always ended things abruptly with a cliff-hanger, which kept him wanting more. This went on for one thousand and one nights, and Shahryar ultimately fell too in love with Scheherazade to kill her. Scheherazade often incorporated magic flying carpets in her stories, and they transported characters swiftly and quietly from one location to another without them being noticed.
The Magic Carpet in Aladdin
The film Aladdin, which was initially released as an animated Disney film in 1992, was a combination of two stories from One Thousand and One Nights. One tale was about Aladdin and his magic lamp, and the other was about Prince Husain and his magic carpet. At some point, it was decided that Aladdin needed a little more help than just the lamp and voila, the magic carpet became a resident of the Cave of Wonders and an integral part of the storyline.
In older tales that contained the magic carpet in them, including the well-known story of King Solomon, the magic carpet was a representation of the power the carpet’s master held. In King Solomon’s story, which was written by 13th Century Jewish scholar Ben Sherira, Solomon was gifted a spectacular green and gold flying carpet by Queen Sheeba (or God, depending on who you ask). Solomon was already the most powerful Jewish king, and with the magic carpet in tow, he was able to travel incredibly long distances and transport up to 40,000 men.
Aladdin’s relationship with the magic carpet was a little different from King Solomon’s and instead of serving as a symbol of power, it guided Aladdin to his future success. The carpet risks its own lifetime and again to get Aladdin out of precarious situations and helps him win over the heart of Princess Jasmine. The magic carpet is intelligent, compassionate, and perceptive, and the bond it forms with Aladdin is unbreakable by the end of the film.
No matter what role the magic carpet takes on in the many stories it’s in; one thing’s for sure – this mysterious textile has won over the hearts of people everywhere.
Magic Carpets In Real Life
While us everyday folk may not have a magic carpet handy that’ll fly us around the world, we still do get the luxury of owning some beautiful, intricately designed rugs. At Love Your Rug, we don’t want your valued rug to lose any of its shine, which is why we offer professional area rug cleaning and rug repair services in Toronto. Our rug cleaning and repair experts have been bringing new life to rugs since 1894. Contact us today, and we’ll work our magic on your rug!