Disney’s Princess Jasmine isn’t based on a historical figure like Pocahontas. However, a handful of real women, comprise some cinematic icons, inspired the character and her appearance. Let’s see how old school Hollywood and contemporary influenced one of Disney’s most favorite princesses.
According to the 2010 book Discovering the Magic Kingdom, Jasmine’s character was based on American actress Jennifer Connelly. Looking at Jasmine and Connelly, it’s easy to spot a similarity between their distinct eyebrows. In the American romance film, Aladdin, Jasmine should be fifteen years old but as per the fans, she looks substantially older. The reason behind this can be that Connelly was in her early twenties when Disney released Aladdin.
In 1992, when Disney had introduced Aladdin, Jennifer was a major star, but not everyone who inspired Jasmine as famous as her. The Disney Books reports that Mark Henn, Disney animator had drawn several models but couldn’t find the right one for the film’s heroine. Finally, he gets an idea of making a drawing of his younger sister, Beth, who’s graduation picture was in front of him.
Moreover, an Old Hollywood actress, Audrey Hepburn was also an influence to design Jasmine’s character. Originally, Jasmine had looked like Julia Roberts-type character, But Terry Rossario and Ted Elliot, the Aladdin screenwriters decided of making her more like Princess Ann.
This was one of the reasons why Aladdin was a hit among the older audiences as their film remind them of a hit film with which they were familiar.
Besides, Jasmine was also inspired by Valley Girls? the Aladdin’s music writer, Alan Menkin told Entertainment Tonight, “It’s so much of the Disney style to make the characters also very recognizable, American types within that context. So, Aladdin and Jasmine are kind of Valley kids, as well as being these Arabian characters.”
The character Jasmine is from a fantasy land based on the Middle East, but most of the inspirations for the character are not from Middle Eastern. For more such content, keep watching this space.