While in the 1994 film, they are introduced as traitor minions who tire from their leader's stinginess, since Mal was influenced by the greed of gold and was relying upon his thugs to do his jobs. Three of them also attempted to exact revenge on Aladdin after he stole back their stolen loot on the streets of Agrabah (even reminding their leader of who he was in minor annoyance when he failed to remember who he was), although they were ultimately forced to flee after Iago not only sent them flying into a cart of eggs, but the guards also recognized them, or rather, their leader for his prior thefts. They eventually tried to kill him at the well both for the failure and for his stinginess, although his unknowingly summoning Jafar from his lamp forced them to flee.
In "Air Feather Friends", tornadoes were raging through Agrabah, leading everyone to believe they were wind demons, but Aladdin believes they are only Abis Mal's gang, as he sees one taking a pile of gold off of a stand. Betting with Razoul and Fazal that he could prove the tornadoes aren't demons, Aladdin, Abu, Iago, Genie, and Carpet confront them and discover that they are Abis Mal's thugs. The group also found out that they were using Roc feathers to turn themselves into tornadoes.
When Genie comes out of his lamp, and tells them that the "wind demons" went north. They see the three whirlwinds and fight them. When Genie blows a huge gust of wind that sends the attackers away, three thieves fall out of the propellers, making everyone realize that they're Abis Mal's men. When Aladdin tries to stop the thieves, they grab golden feathers to form whirlwinds and escape.
At the hideout, Abis Mal berated his thugs for losing to Aladdin and planned to have them killed, despite Haroud's advising against it. Abis Mal then boasted about how he'd use his feather-wielding thugs to rule Agrabah.
Mal and his gang attack Agrabah the next morning, revealing their true identities to Razoul and Fazal. Aladdin was able to stop several of Mal's men with a tarp, a rope, and a snake, but Abis Mal and his remaining goons trapped them in a whirlwind and prepared to cut them to ribbons with their swords. Suddenly, Genie and the baby Roc arrived with the mother Roc, who blew Mal and his men away.
Some of the forty thieves who work for Cassim resemble members of Abis Mal's gang, however it is unclear if these are the same characters.