For years, Aladdin fans have wondered whether the street peddler in the beginning of the movie—you know, the one who’s holding the magic lamp—was actually the Genie. Well, it turns out that popular theory is true; director Ron Clements confirmed the twist to E! News back in 2015. Now, Disney’s even provided USA Today with footage of the 1992 animated film’s original conclusion and revealed why they decided to remove the alternate ending that saw the peddler transforming into the Genie.
However, the scene “was eliminated as Aladdin continued to evolve,” he said.
To be honest, we’re not completely shocked about this twist. After all, there were quite a few obvious tells to support this longstanding fan theory. For starters, both the characters were voiced by Robin Williams, which was a pretty major giveaway. Also, both the Genie and the street peddler had four fingers on each hand.
Clements said the decision to omit the original ending ultimately came down to aesthetics. In the movie, Aladdin frees the Genie before he and Jasmine soar away on his magic carpet. It felt more complete and offered a simple way to conclude the story, he said, even though it would have been a very epic full-circle moment.
You can see USA Today’s exclusive photo evidence of the Genie-peddler reveal over on its website. Otherwise, see the alternate ending for yourself on Aladdin, Signature Collection, which was digitally released on August 27th. It will also be available on Blu-ray come September 10th.