Disney movies have always generated fan theories—often dirty ones about naughty words written in the sky, or ministers who get a little too excited at weddings. But they’re not all dirty. One of the most popular theories is actually a charming and very innocent one: that the merchant in the beginning of Aladdin is actually the Genie. Cracked summarized the evidence last year:
Look at both characters: Blue clothes? Check. Red band around the waist? Check. Bushy eyebrows and a beard ending in a curl? Double check. If that’s not enough for you, how about the fact that they are the only two characters in the movie who only have four fingers? Oh, and they both just happen to be voiced by Robin Williams.
Now, on Thursday, co-director Ron Clements put to rest decades of speculation. As he told E! News:
That was the whole intention, originally. We even had that at the end of the movie, where he would reveal himself to be the Genie, and of course Robin did the voice of the peddler. Just through story changes and some editing, we lost the reveal at the end. So, that's an urban legend that actually is true.
That doesn’t mean all the theories are true, however. As for the dirtier one about Aladdin, Scott Weinger, the actor who played the titular hero, denied that the character ever says “take off your clothes.”