When it comes to Disney Princes, Adam and Aladdin are two of the best from the Disney Renaissance years. Aladdin, of course, is the hero of his own movie, a handsome street rat who saves a genie, a princess, and the whole of Agrabah from the evil Jafar. Prince Adam, meanwhile, is better known as the Beast of Beauty and the Beast – a spoiled young Prince who finds that love changes him back to his human form.
It may seem like there couldn’t be two more different Princes – a street rat and a spoiled brat – but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to compare the two. Based on their actions in their own Disney movies, which of the two is the better Prince… and the better man?
10 Adam: An Actual Prince (Not A Criminal)
There’s something to be said for the lovable rogue, but at the same time… there’s something to be said for men who aren’t literal criminals and thieves. Adam may be spoiled, but at least he’s not a thief! And while Aladdin has charmed fans into thinking that his thievery is an acceptable thing (he gives bread to hungry kids!), let’s not forget that in Agrabah, it’s likely that the stall owners he is thriving from have some pretty hungry kids of their own to feed. Overall, it’s probably just better to not be a criminal.
9 Aladdin: Definitely Less Spoiled
The one good thing about being a poor street rat is that Aladdin is the opposite of spoiled – and Adam is the definition of it, at least in the beginning. He is a demanding, rich, mean child who throws out an old woman into a frozen night (and as we see in the film, they get some cold and snowy winters). She even offers him what payment she could afford (and roses in winter are pretty impressive). Later in the film, Adam is still prone to temper tantrums and childish behavior – not exactly princely.
8 Adam: Willing To Change
While Prince Adam might be a brat in the early parts of the film, he definitely goes through the most change over the course of the film – and is clearly willing to work hard to change, too. While many Disney princes may learn lessons and go through changes, most of them simply stumble upon the lessons somewhere along the way.
It’s significantly rarer to see a prince actively work to change himself, which Adam does. From his struggles to learn to use cutlery to his laboriously slow reading practice, his commitment to self-improvement is impressive.
7 Aladdin: Willing To Admit His Mistakes
Aladdin may not be quite as committed to personal growth as Adam is, but he’s not afraid to admit his mistakes. Throughout the film, Aladdin quickly recognizes when he has done something wrong, and what’s even more impressive is that he apologizes for his mistakes as soon as he can. Whether it is apologizing to Abu (repeatedly), to the Genie, or to Jasmine, Aladdin is always ready to reflect on his own errors.
6 Adam: Risks His Life
When Belle runs away into the forests around the castle, Adam could well have simply left her to die out in the frozen woods – which would have been a terrible thing to do, but may well have fit with his Beastly persona. However, he not only rushed out to save her, he took on an entire pack of wild wolves, and ends up severely injured trying to protect her and Philippe. A truly beastly man wouldn’t have risked so much to keep a relative stranger safe.
5 Aladdin: Doesn’t Demand Jasmine’s Hand
One of the most impressive moments in Aladdin’s story is when he is attempting to woo Jasmine, and honestly tells her that she ‘isn’t just some prize to be won’, but that she should have her freedom and make her own choices. In the world of Disney, it used to be rare for a Prince to recognize the agency and independence of his princess love – and this is something that Adam, who literally locks Belle up and keeps her as a prisoner, definitely doesn’t do.
4 Adam: Refuses To Kill Gaston
While few Disney heroes are really happy about killing anyone, even the bad guys (who tend to just… turn into dust, or fall off tall things accidentally), Adam has the chance to kill Gaston, who is literally trying to club him to death and has just led a mob to burn down his home, and doesn’t.
In fact, he tells him that he won’t kill him because it’s not worth it, and then lets him go. It’s a far more merciful way of dealing with a villain than Aladdin’s – as he tricks Jafar and traps him as an eternal slave to whoever finds his lamp.
3 Aladdin: Literally Saves The City
Harsh punishments for evil Viziers aside, Aladdin does manage to save an entire city, which is a phenomenally heroic deed – and he does it at no small risk to himself. Adam, on the other hand, spends the entire film in the walls of his castle, and saves no one but himself (and arguably, Belle, although that’s a lot more metaphorical than Aladdin’s savior moment). In terms of heroics, Aladdin clearly comes out on top.
2 Adam: Selflessly Lets Belle Go Free
Possibly the most impressive thing that Adam does in the film is give Belle her freedom – and this is a selfless act, in many ways. With it, he gives up his chance at becoming human again, and that is no small sacrifice. However, given that he took her freedom away from her in the first place (and kidnapped her father, lest we forget), it makes this a little less impressive than it would otherwise be.
1 Aladdin: Selflessly Frees The Genie
Aladdin’s selfless act, on the other hand, is significantly more selfless – the Genie wasn’t trapped by him, and he gives up his chance as happiness (or so he thinks) to set him free. Of course, like the Beast, this is a less-than-perfect moment, because Aladdin should have given Genie his freedom long before he did, but overall, he comes out on top.
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