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“I noticed there was a confidence”: Tom Cruise’s Breakout Top Gun Performance Inspired Disney to Create its Most Iconic Character Based on $600M Actor

“I noticed there was a confidence”: Tom Cruise’s Breakout Top Gun Performance Inspired Disney to Create its Most Iconic Character Based on $600M Actor

As one of the most prolific and in-demand Hollywood actors of our time, Tom Cruise has been in every possible type of movie. He rose to stardom for his role in 1983’s Risky Business, but what cemented his career was his award-winning performances in Top Gun and Mission Impossible.

Tom Cruise Oscars
Tom Cruise

With all the film projects, endorsements, and accolades, there is no wonder why Tom Cruise became so iconic that even Disney was inspired to model a character after the actor. Indeed, the Top Gun star was the muse behind Aladdin, the guy who lives in the streets of Agrabah.

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Tom Cruise Is The Face That Inspired Disney’s Prince Aladdin

Aladdin is loosely based on the Middle Eastern folktale, One Thousand And One Nights, where the story follows an 18-year-old guy of Middle Eastern descent and his adventures with the monkey, Abu. He comes across Princess Jasmine, whom he falls in love with.

In the early production of the animated film, the designers were looking into Michael J. Fox as inspiration, but Disney Chief Jeffrey Katzenberg suggested Tom Cruise was a better option. Animator Glen Keane told Los Angeles Times:

I originally was thinking of him like a Michael J. Fox character, short in stature but with a big ego and lots of dreams. In all [Cruise’s] poses, I noticed there was a confidence, a look in the eyebrows, that gives him intensity and at the same time a smile that has kind of an impish look like he’s got something up his sleeve.”

Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise

Apart from Tom Cruise, the team behind the Aladdin production also revealed that Jennifer Connelly was their muse for Princess Jasmine, particularly with how they styled her eyebrows. Thus, the images of the actors were plastered all over the artists’ wall for reference. They even went the extra mile for giving the character a “straight-off-the-forehead nose” to make sure it resembles Cruise.

Because they ultimately chose Cruise over Fox, the artists had to make the character six inches taller, which rendered the animation process a bit costly. Despite the additional expenses, it obviously paid off as Aladdin not only became a box-office success but also grew as a franchise, producing a sequel and a stage play.

RELATED: Tom Cruise Dodged a Bullet By Losing a Disney Movie That Lost $200,000,000 After Disaster Box Office Collection

Interesting Facts About Disney’s 1992 Aladdin Movie

Aladdin Jasmine Disney
Jasmine and Aladdin

If Tom Cruise inspired Aladdin’s physical appearance and confidence, the character’s wardrobe was also influenced by another icon. According to Insider, the Disney prince’s Arabian-inspired pants were patterned after the culture’s signature clothes, but the movement was taken from MC Hammer’s dance videos. The animators painstakingly studied the artist’s motions to perfectly mimic them in Aladdin’s flowy pants.

Genie, voiced by the late Robin Williams, was actually created with the Dead Poets Society actor in mind. To a certain degree, viewers also noticed how Williams resembled the animated character.

Now that fans know Disney’s Aladdin was modeled after Tom Cruise’s appearance and attitude, it would be difficult not to imagine him playing the character in a live-action movie. While there’s an existing 2019 Aladdin film, it would not hurt to visualize the Oblivion star riding the magic carpet.

Aladdin is available to stream via Disney+.

Sources: Los Angeles Times, Insider

RELATED: “He was as good, if not better than I was”: Before His Death-Defying Stunts, Tom Cruise Impressed His Co-Star by Mastering Pool in Just 5 Weeks for $52M Movie

Written by Ariane Cruz

I write feature articles for FandomWire, mostly focusing on Marvel, DC, Star Wars, Netflix, HBO, and Hollywood news.