The Return of Jafar (also known as Aladdin and the Return of Jafar or Aladdin 2: The Return of Jafar) is a 1994 American direct-to-video animated musical fantasy adventure film produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Television. It is the first sequel to the 1992 film Aladdin, and serves as the pilot to the Aladdin animated series. Released on May 20, 1994, it was the first Disney direct-to-video animated film, and marked the first American direct-to-video animated film. Gilbert Gottfried, Jonathan Freeman, Scott Weinger, and Linda Larkin reprise their roles from the original film, with Jason Alexander (voicing the film’s main antagonist) and Dan Castellaneta (replacing Robin Williams as the Genie) joining in the cast.
Another direct-to-video sequel, Aladdin and the King of Thieves, was released in 1996.
Instead of the film receiving a theatrical release, Steve Feldstein, director of public relations for Disney’s home video division, stated the decision to release The Return of Jafar on home video was due to time constraints claiming that “to put the film in the theatrical pipeline would have taken up to five years”, but releasing it on home video would take “less than two years.” In addition to that, Feldstein confirmed that financing was also a consideration since producing a direct-to-video feature would be “less costly to make than Aladdin.” Likewise, due to an expanding video market, Disney claimed demand from theatrical and video audiences for Aladdin and other characters was another reason for a speedy follow-up.