Pearson Education is collaborating with Disney to write a series of EFL readers using Disney characters. One unit features Mickey Mouse and co., one unit features Donald Duck and co., and one features the characters from Aladdin.
Let's sidestep the implications of using heavily commercialized characters in children's textbooks, and ponder this: One of the places these books are being sent is the Middle East.
Disney's Aladdin. In the Middle East.
That's like using The Rose of Versailles in a textbook for French children. That's like using... Oh, hell, I can't come up with a good analogy for Americans. Y'know when you're watching anime set in what's supposed to look like historical Europe? You know how there are 50's sofas in medieval castles and all the women's gowns are straight out of bad Golden Age of Hollywood musicals? You know how all the names are weirdly off (i.e., French courtiers named Oscar)? You know how all the "European" characters act like they were kicked out of the Meiji era for silliness? That's Disney's version of Aladdin in the Middle East.
And we won't even go into the issue of Princess Jasmine's wardrobe. Or lack of such.
Way to promote cross-cultural understanding, guys.