There are a lot of theories surrounding the Disney movies, and Aladdin in particular. Specifically, no one really knows what to make of the Genie. He is one of those characters that fascinates just about everyone. Despite being a slave trapped in a lamp for over ten thousand years, he’s still upbeat and eager to help our hero out, even at the cost of his own freedom. While his mental state alone could be a post in and of itself, what really gets to people are all his pop culture references and how he seems to know so much. Coming to the rescue of all of us theorists, however, are Ron Clements and John Musker, co-directors of the movie, who recently revealed that one of the more popular theories—that Genie and the peddler are the same person—is true. While this is certainly big news indeed, it unfortunately doesn’t explain everything, specifically how Genie knows all those aforementioned pop culture references. Aladdin takes place c. 300 CE, so as Lady Geek Girl posits, Genie must have some form of omniscience, or at the very least, some form of precognition.
Another popular and plausible theory is that Aladdin takes place in the distant future, sometime after the rest of the world is wiped out by a nuclear apocalypse.