1993 – “A Whole New World” from the Disney animated film “Aladdin” wins an Academy Award for best song. It is performed by Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle. The previous year’s winner was the theme from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” which was also performed by Bryson, this time in a duet with Celine Dion.
Aladdin is a 1992 animated feature produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation, and released by Walt Disney Pictures on November 25, 1992. The thirty-first animated feature in the Disney animated features canon, the film is based on the Arab folktale of Aladdin and the magic lamp from One Thousand and One Nights. Several characters and plot elements are also based on the 1940 version of The Thief of Bagdad.
The film was directed by John Musker and Ron Clements, both of whom had just finished writing and directing The Little Mermaid (1989). The musical score was written by Alan Menken, with lyrics written by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. Aladdin features the voices of Scott Weinger, Jonathan Freeman, Linda Larkin, Frank Welker, Gilbert Gottfried, Douglas Seale, and, as the Genie of the lamp, Robin Williams. Although this was not the first time in which a major actor such as Williams provided voice-over work for an animated film, it was the first major American animated feature film in which particular attention was paid to a celebrity voice cast member, such as a major movie star, in the film as part of its promotion. This has led to a subsequent increased attention to the casts of later productions, as a major element of animated film marketing. Aladdin was followed by two direct-to-video sequels: The Return of Jafar (1994) and Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1996), and an animated television series, Aladdin, set between the two sequels.