- “I love the way your foul little mind works!”
- ―Jafar to Iago
Iago is the secondary antagonist in Disney's 1992 animated feature film, Aladdin. He is a loud-mouthed and sarcastic parrot that served as Jafar's henchman during the latter's attempt to rule Agrabah. Iago's primary obsessions are riches and fame, which—coupled with his disdain for the Sultan's crackers—motivated his villainous acts.
Iago's role expanded significantly over the course of the saga, the most notable example is the 1994 direct-to-video sequel The Return of Jafar, in which Iago reformed and joined Aladdin and Jasmine as an anti-hero.
Iago's past is mostly shrouded in mystery. However, it has been hinted at a few times. In "Fowl Weather", he mentions that he once lived in the rainforest, but did not enjoy its unpredictable weather, prompting him to move to the desert. In The Return of Jafar, Jafar noted that he purchased Iago in the bazaar at some point in his life. In Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams, Iago claims he was born to be a peacock "but got switched as an egg."
He is part of a royal menagerie in the Arabian city Agrabah and is named after the villain Iago in the play Othello by William Shakespeare, as evidenced by a mention in the TV series, revealing that he has a twin brother called Othello.
Iago was initially written as a prim and proper British-accented parrot. This was reflected in his early deigns, where he was referred to as Sinbad. It was eventually decided that the parrot would be portrayed in a more traditional manner, with John Musker referring to the old, "Polly want a cracker!" line synonymous with the animal.
Screenwriter Terry Rossio shared a concept behind Iago on his website Wordplay, in that Jafar took all his emotions and transferred them into his parrot, leaving him free of distractions and thus more able to conjure magic. Rossio also mentioned, since Iago is too small for so many emotions to be bottled up inside, "you end up with a feathered Gilbert Gottfried."
Directors John Musker and Ron Clements came about casting comedian Gilbert Gottfried after watching his stint in the film Beverly Hills Cop II. Animator Will Finn was a self-proclaimed Gilbert Gottfried fan and asked to supervise animation on the character, which the directors allowed. Finn's redesign of Iago took inspiration from Gottfried; some notable features like Gottfried's squinty eyes and toothy grin were incorporated into Iago's character. The filmmakers also saw the casting of Gottfried as a way to prepare the audience for the manic comedy that would later be provided by Robin Williams' Genie, who wouldn't appear until thirty minutes into the film, whereas Iago was one of the first characters to appear.
- “Conscience? Never had one. Never!”
Iago is amongst the most complex characters to originate from a Disney animated feature film. When first introduced as the loyal follower of Jafar, he appears to be just as evil and cruel as his superior—being uncaring, murderous, deceitful, and cunning. However, Iago is the more aggressive of the two, as well as the more vocal and easily-frustrated. He has a difficult time keeping his opinions to himself, and has a habit of shouting and ranting on about his annoyances, when things don't go as planned.
Like Jafar, Iago craves power; the thought of having control over the city (and more specifically, the Sultan), is what seemingly drives his motivations throughout the original film. Iago cared nothing for those he would have to eliminate to obtain power, and openly expressed his desire to have both Jasmine and the Sultan killed once he and Jafar were in control of the kingdom; sadistically cackling at the very idea.
Despite being the second-in-command of Jafar's nefarious schemes, it was Iago's diligence that allowed the duo to succeed as far as they did, as it was he who proposed that Jafar marry Jasmine to assume the throne, and he who eventually stole the Genie's lamp from Aladdin—using his own unique abilities and wit to do so with relative ease.
He also seems to hate crackers (which is not what you would normally expect for a parrot), which the Sultan—apparently being completely unaware of Iago's distaste for them—often fed him directly to the mouth, which also acted as the main reason why he aided Jafar in his treacherous ambitions against the Sultan in the first film. Upon Jafar becoming both the Sultan and the most powerful sorcerer on the planet, one of Iago's first actions was exacting revenge against the Sultan by constantly force-feeding him the same crackers he was fed by the Sultan, with the Sultan unable to fight back due to being hung up like a marionette, showing a vengeful side to the parrot. It's implied in Return Of Jafar that his hatred of crackers stemmed from a particularly bad experience at a bazaar where he, ironically, did indeed squawk "Polly want a cracker!".
Despite his highly antagonistic nature in the original film, The Return of Jafar shows a different side to Iago; one capable of growth and reformation. The film implies that Iago's harsh attitude and villainous actions were partially displayed due to a lack of respect and appreciation over the course of his lifetime. Even as Jafar's partner, Iago faced abuse and neglect, which would eventually lead to the downfall of their relationship. As an opportunist, Iago cunningly used Aladdin's caring nature to weasel his way back into the palace, though it was the latter's genuine compassion that first sparked a change in Iago's character. He was shocked (and touched) by the prospect of anyone treating him with care and compassion. Throughout the course of the film, Aladdin and Jasmine became increasingly accepting towards Iago, even going as far as to welcoming him back into the palace despite his attacks against them previously. This would result in Iago feeling guilt and reciprocated care for the couple, and their allies, prompting him to betray Jafar and risk his life for his new companions, despite coming dangerously close to death in the process.
Following Return of Jafar, Iago has come to understand what must be done to truly earn respect and love: giving it to others. From that moment on, he would remain a loyal ally to Aladdin and Jasmine. He's still very greedy though, but it's shown that he can be quite selfless as deep down, he appreciates his friendship with Aladdin, Abu, Genie and Jasmine and shows that he will help them when the situation truly calls for his assistance. He generally tries to avoid danger, however, and often urges the others to do the same. In the episode "The Secret of Dagger Rock", Iago was given the opportunity to keep away from a potentially dangerous mission, which he accepts. However, he spends the entire time worrying for Aladdin and Jasmine, to the point where he willingly set out to rescue them.
Nevertheless, Iago's villainous nature from the original film doesn't fade completely. He is still every bit aggressive, loud-mouthed, rude, and narcissistic, but in a more comedic light than anything; he is no longer willing to result to extreme measures such as murder to achieve his goals. Iago would instead become a mischievous schemer, retaining his flaw of constantly plotting by concocting various get-rich-quick schemes to cheat the citizens of Agrabah for their valuables. This ties into his unhealthy obsession with wealth. In Aladdin and the King of Thieves, he was even willing to steal one of the treasures given to Aladdin and Jasmine as a wedding gift, as it had the power to lead to a supposed "ultimate treasure". Now with a sense of moral, however, Iago ultimately sacrifices his greed for the greater good (such as the safety of others) in most, if not all occasions.
- Multilingual: Unlike most animals, Iago is perfectly capable of human speech (though it remains to be known whether he was taught this or a magic spell was used).
- Voice Mimicry: Iago is capable of mimicking voices as shown in the first film, where he perfectly mimics both Jasmine and Jafar. He utilizes this ability several times in the series as well, either to be sarcastic and mock people behind their back, or during a sticky situation.
- Flight: Like all birds, Iago is capable of flight.
- Claws: Like all birds, Iago uses his claws to pick up and carry stuff along the way.
- Feathers: Iago can use his feathers like prehensile fingers.
- Genius-Level Intellect: Iago is fairly intelligent, having come up with the plan to have Jasmine marry Jafar and then kill her and the sultan. He also devises plans to help himself and his friends out of jams in the series, and also comes up with various scams to earn easy money (which usually backfire on him).
- Knowledge of Magic: Due to his years with Jafar, Iago has vast knowledge of magic and mystical lore, rivaling that of even Genie.
In the first film, Iago has a supporting role as Jafar's sidekick, under the guise of Jafar's mindless pet parrot.
Iago is first seen during his and Jafar's confidential visit to the desert, in the middle of the night, where they are met by a thief, Gazeem. After forcefully handing over a stolen piece of a Golden Scarab, courtesy of Iago, Jafar is able to create one full, magical scarab, which reveals the location of the Cave of Wonders. Gazeem is ordered to enter in order to steal a magic lamp (as Jafar wishes to use the Genie to take control of Agrabah), but is killed in the process, as a result of being unworthy to enter. A frustrated Iago voices his annoyance, believing their mission to retrieve the lamp will forever be an impossible task to complete. Jafar, however, remains level-headed, and assures Iago that the lamp will be in their possession once they find the "Diamond in the Rough" that the cave's tiger head guardian spoke of.
After returning to Agrabah, Jafar and Iago visit the Sultan, needing his diamond ring to uncover the individual worthy to enter the cave. Here, Iago shows his disdain for the Sultan; specifically due to the ruler constantly shoving "moldy, disgusting crackers" down his throat. Jafar reassures Iago that they will no longer have to abide by the Sultan's reign in good time, with Iago gleefully plotting to extract revenge once that time has arrived.
After discovering a boy named Aladdin is the one worthy enough to enter the cave, he travels to the Cave of Wonders with Jafar, though the mission goes awry, resulting in both the lamp, and Aladdin, being lost. Afterward, at the palace, Iago concocts a new plan involving a rise to power. He advises Jafar to marry Jasmine, which would result in the vizier legally becoming the sultan. Once he holds such power, Iago continues, they'll kill Jasmine and her father. Jafar agrees, but their plot is interrupted by a new coming prince—Ali. Jafar and Iago soon discover that Ali is Aladdin, and holds ownership over the lamp. Iago is sent to retrieve it, doing so by cunningly disguising his voice as Jasmine to lure Aladdin away from the lamp.
With the lamp in his possession, Jafar takes over the kingdom, bestowing Iago with his own turban, to signify his leadership, as well as his own lounge area near the throne, with a throw pillow and plenty of fruit for his pleasure. After scarfing crackers down the dethroned Sultan's throat, Iago wallows in luxury before noticing Aladdin trying to steal back the lamp. Abu, Aladdin's monkey, tackles Iago to prevent him from alarming Jafar, which leads to a tussle. As a battle ensues between Jafar and Aladdin, Iago watches sadistically, rooting for Jafar to eliminate the threat, until Jafar wishes to become an all-powerful genie. Unfortunately for Jafar, this means an eternity of slavery and imprisonment, though his greed and lust for power made him oblivious to this.
As Jafar is quickly sucked into his lamp, Iago tries to flee, only to be grabbed by the villain, and dragged into the lamp, as well. Trapped and annoyed, Iago berates Jafar on his foolish decision, just as the two villains are sent to the Cave of Wonders to endure 10,000 years of imprisonment.
After spending some time in the sunken Cave of Wonders, Iago flies to the surface, getting him and the trapped Jafar out. He is freed from Jafar's lamp and his master demands that he frees him too, but he becomes frustrated with Jafar's insults and being treated like a slave. After Iago claims (with a degree of accuracy) that he does most of the work and comes up with the schemes, Jafar retaliates by saying that without him, Iago would still be in a cage in the bazaar, squawking "Polly want a cracker!". With that taunting remark, Iago dumps Jafar, still trapped in the lamp, into a well. He returns to Agrabah, claiming that he needs nobody's help and that he'll be running the town within a week. However, during his musical number, he ends up getting on the bad side of several merchants.
After discovering Aladdin now lives in the palace, Iago decides to use Aladdin's good nature to return to the palace, but Aladdin is not taken in by his act. But as Aladdin and Abu chase after Iago, all three bump into Abis Mal and his gang, and a brawl ensues, ending with Aladdin and Abu cornered by the thieves. In a turn of events, Iago (unintentionally) saves Aladdin from Abis Mal and his thugs, by causing them to crash into a chicken cart, destroying the eggs. The upset egg merchant calls for the guards and Razoul and his goons recognize Abis Mal and his thieves and the guards chase the thieves into the distance. In gratitude, Aladdin brings him into the palace, but locks him in a cage to give himself time to explain everything to the Sultan and Jasmine and convince him that Iago has turned over a new feather. Abu unintentionally lets Iago escape (he intended to open the cage to scare Iago for Rajah being nearby as a joke, but it backfired), resulting in Iago being chased by Rajah into the dining room, ruining an important dinner and blowing his cover. Aladdin protects Iago from the Sultan and his guards at the expense of losing the Sultan's favor and Jasmine's trust.
Genie talks Iago into persuading Jasmine to forgive Aladdin with the song "Forget About Love", in which he uses reverse-psychology to tell Jasmine that she's absolutely right about wanting to be alone, and that love is over-rated, while reminding her of how wonderful love really feels, and she realizes how much she still loves Aladdin despite their argument.
Soon enough, Iago is enjoying the Royal Treatment, planning his future, believing that Aladdin will become the Grand Vizier, and that when he becomes Sultan, Iago will become the Grand Vizier. He is however horrified when suddenly, the lights go out and Jafar (set free by Abis Mal) appears out of the darkness. Iago believes he's in real trouble and tries to make an excuse. However, Jafar still believing Iago is on his side isn't mad. He subtly threatens Iago, who is intelligent enough to know he will suffer if he disobeys again, into luring Aladdin and the Sultan into a trap. Iago talks with Aladdin and Jasmine, and finds it surprisingly easy to persuade Aladdin into taking the Sultan on a carpet ride without Genie. Jasmine apologies to Iago for doubting him. Then Iago has a sudden flash of conscience to warn Aladdin and Jasmine of what danger they are in, but Jafar's evilly omniscient eyes suddenly appear on the curtain above Al and Jas, and fearful for his safety, Iago refrains from warning them. As soon as Aladdin and Jasmine leave, Jafar appears from nowhere and sadistically praises the ashamed parrot for following through on his evil plan.
Iago's guilt over how he has treated the trusting Aladdin increases visibly to a degree where he appears sickened by his own actions, especially during the Sultan's kidnap. He frees the captured Genie to save Aladdin from being beheaded when he's framed for murdering the Sultan through Jafar's schemes, in the process also freeing Jasmine, the Sultan, Carpet, and Abu. Now that his debts are repaid, Iago leaves them to fight Jafar alone, somewhat surprised that they don't hold him to any further obligations. But in the struggle against Jafar, when all hope seems lost, Iago returns unexpectedly. He grabs the lamp and attempts to hand it to Aladdin, but is hit by an energy bolt by Jafar and horribly injured. Aladdin and the others believe that all is truly lost, but with his last ounce of strength Iago kicks Jafar's lamp into the boiling lava, destroying Jafar. Aladdin saves the helpless Iago from falling into the lava himself, but his injuries are so severe that for a moment everybody believes him dead. However this is not so, as since Genies lack the power to kill, Iago coughs "You'd be surprised what you can live through." The fully redeemed parrot officially turns from bad to good and is welcomed into the Palace, although he ends up upset when Aladdin decided to turn down the position of Grand Vizier.
In the series, he provides a sarcastic, realistic, or cowardly perspective on events and is only really willing to face danger if a great reward is promised. He is sometimes forced to battle his conscience (which was revealed, in one episode, to be a manifested replica of Iago himself, with higher moral standards which the bird despised so much, prompting Iago to go through great lengths in abolishing his conscience-self, perhaps explaining his unscrupulous ways; and due to moral standards, the conscience-self was none too happy), acting nobler than might be expected. A particular example of this was when Sadira used her sand magic to alter history so that she was the princess and Jasmine the street-rat; the animals of Agrabah were the only ones who remembered how history should be, and while Iago could easily have adjusted to this new world, he instead risked his life and security to lead Abu and Rajah in finding Jasmine and restoring the world to normal. Iago's common schemes involve trying to sell anything with any value (real or not), trying to steal things, and trying to treasure-hunt (Although he abandoned his greedy ways on one occasion after sustaining a bump to the head, he eventually returned to normal after his new charitable ways got him into almost as much trouble, concluding that at least greed was profitable). He can usually convince Abu to be his literal partner in crime, but Abu is rather less deceitful than Iago, due to his close friendship with Aladdin, and also more likely to run from danger.
Also during the series, he has a crush on the rain bird and protector of the rain forest Thundra and eventually becomes her boyfriend.
In the final movie, Iago is tasked with collecting the wedding gifts from the arriving guests and is shown to be more interested in the extravagant gifts than the actual wedding ceremony itself. During the raid of the Forty Thieves, he tries to defend the gifts from the King of Thieves (for personal gain, of course) but is stuffed in a perfume bottle. He's freed and they learn the King of Thieves was most interested in a beautiful scepter. Thinking out loud, Iago asks why out of all the marvelous gifts this was the only thing that the King of Thieves really wanted. But his question is answered by the Oracle from the Scepter who explains the King of Thieves seeks her in order to find the Ultimate Treasure, which piques Iago's interest. He tries to discover where the Ultimate Treasure is from the Oracle, but she is bound by one rule "One question, one answer", and informs him that he already asked his question, regarding the scepter's worth.
He accompanies Aladdin, Abu, and Carpet to find the Forty Thieves to find Aladdin's father. They sneak into the Forty Thieves' hideout and are discovered, and their law demands they die. but Aladdin's father, Cassim, who is, in fact, the King of Thieves, gives Aladdin a chance to save their lives by defeating Saluk, one of the strongest members of the Thieves, in single combat, which he does. They learn from Cassim his past and his dreams and goals. That he desperately seeks the ultimate Treasure, the Hand of Midas, which can turn anything it touches into solid gold and has proof in the form of a ship of gold. This causes Iago to take an instant interest in Cassim. When Cassim agrees to come to Agrabah, Iago helps him to get the scepter, but Razoul, the Captain of the Palace Guard, and the guards catch them in the act and the Sultan has no choice but to imprison them.
Aladdin breaks them out and is forced to join them in their escape, but refuses to leave. Iago tries to convince Aladdin to come, not wanting him to get locked up, but Aladdin is prepared to face the consequences. Aladdin tells Iago to go with Cassim, much to his surprise. Iago wishes Aladdin luck and joins Cassim.
They return to the lair only to be betrayed by the Forty Thieves under the command of Saluk, who survived his fight with Aladdin. With the scepter in their possession, they sail off to find the Hand of Midas, but Iago escapes and returns to Agrabah to warn them. They go to Cassim's rescue, and during the whole thing, Aladdin and Cassim finally settle their differences aside and truly become father and son.
Returning to Agrabah, Cassim attends his son's wedding to his new daughter-in-law but decides to leave to make a fresh start and a new life. Iago decides to accompany him in his adventures, and with a wave of farewell to Aladdin and his new wife, Jasmine, they ride off into the night.
In the episode "Hercules and the Arabian Night" which is set some time after the third film, Iago did not appear in the episode, since he was still touring around the world with Cassim. However, he was mentioned by Jafar, who was furious on how Iago betrayed him in the second film.
The conversation is as follows:
- Hades: Jaffy, let me show you how you're missing the villain boat here. Okay? First of all, you're the man. You know what I'm saying, a big bad dude, see, you got to use a minion or two.
- Jafar: I had a minion. A TREACHEROUS PARROT!*
(*Although the name Iago is not used in the episode, Jafar's term "treacherous parrot" refers to Iago.)
Like most characters from Disney's animated feature films, Iago made recurring appearances on House of Mouse, where the movies' continuity did not seem to matter and Iago was depicted as either Jafar's sidekick or exhibiting his protagonist behavior.
In "House of Magic", Daisy accidentally made the club and all its guests disappear and being that Iago and Jafar were late, they lent their magical abilities to bring the club and its guests back.
He also makes an appearance in "Gone Goofy", where after Snow White bites the poisoned apple from the Evil Queen, she drops it where Iago is. He asks if she's going to finish it, but no response. He gives it to Abu, asking what he thinks of it. When Abu falls out like a light after biting it, Iago calls out for a prince to kiss the monkey. Prince John enters the scene with Sir Hiss observing.
Iago was a part of the many villains to take over the club in Mickey's House of Villains, informing the villains that every year on Halloween they just sit around and think of evil acts instead of doing them, giving Jafar his idea to take over the club. Iago also appears in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse right before and during the club's Christmas transformation.
Iago appears as a supporting character in this straight-to-DVD movie. During her portrait session, Iago and Jasmine perform "More Than A Peacock Princess" as Jasmine tires of her dull princess lifestyle. Later on, the horse of Jasmine's deceased mother disappears, leading Jasmine to go on a search. Before she does, she attempts to find who let the horse, named Sahara, out and upon finding a fig, the favorite snack of Abu, Jasmine immediately begins to question the monkey. Iago joins her in the courtroom-esque drama and repeatedly interrogates Abu into revealing the truth. When Abu confesses, Jasmine takes it upon herself to find the horse, though Iago is openly doubtful about the situation. He eventually decides to join Jasmine, Abu, and Carpet, believing he'll witness a humorous failure. Eventually, Sahara is recovered, brought back to the Palace and all is well in Agrabah once more.
Iago appears in the short Inside the Genie's Lamp, featured on the Platinum and Diamond DVD releases of Aladdin, where Jafar releases Iago from the lamp, and the latter searches for a new home, coming across and entering the Genie's original lamp.
While Iago does not physically appear in The Genie World Tour short, he and Jafar play the lead roles. Here, they receive a postcard from Genie, who flaunts his freedom (and mocks their imprisonment) by showcasing his travels around the world via photos. Both Iago and Jafar are unamused by Genie's sass.
An emoticon version of Iago briefly appeared in the Aladdn entry of the As Told by Emoji short series, seen stealing Genie's lamp and handing it to Jafar immediately after Aladdin and Jasmine's magic carpet ride.
Iago first appears in "The Savior". He is shown to be kept in a cage by the Oracle. Through unknown means, the pair end up in the Land of Untold Stories, and then eventually to Storybrooke. When Emma begins to see visions within her mind of a battle to come, she asks aid from Hyde, who advises her to follow the red bird. Later at night, Iago appears while she is talking with Hook, causing her hand to begin to tremor. The bird flies away while Emma runs after it, eventually leading her to the Oracle.
Iago is now imprisoned on the Isle of the Lost and continues to serve as Jafar's servant. However, he is limited in vocabulary and only repeats what has been said or called, although he calls Jafar "Sultan" now since Jafar had gotten fat with gray hair. He has had children and one of them is named Othello who is owned by Evie.
In an alternate world where Jafar acquired the lamp and learned of the three things Genie couldn't do, he sacrificed Iago as part of his efforts to gain more power, Jasmine musing in hindsight that Iago was the only thing Jafar remotely cared for, which made the sacrifice that more potent.
Aladdin video games
In the Sega Genesis video game adaptation of Aladdin, Iago makes multiple appearances. In the SEGA loading screen, the Genie fires a starting pistol skyward, which hits Iago and brings him plummeting to the ground with a squawk.
He serves as an obstacle in numerous levels, flying back and forth in high places where Aladdin may be climbing or flying, though he can be dispatched with one thrown apple or a sword slash, and has no attacks.
Most importantly, Iago serves as an end-of-level boss to the level "The Sultan's Palace". Aladdin ends the level in Jafar's secret laboratory, where Iago is frantically working the storm machine from the first film. The storm machine summons ghosts which attack Aladdin, and barrels roll across the floor. Iago must be dispatched with apples. When Aladdin lands a hit with an apple, Iago will be spun around the gears a couple of times (as he was in the movie), though this does him no extra damage. The cut-scene following this battle explains that the fight was intended as a distraction so that Jafar could steal the lamp.
In the Super NES version of the game, Iago appears as a recurring enemy in the game's final level.
In Aladdin in Nasira's Revenge, Iago allows access to several check points. He also gives advice to either Abu or Aladdin, often telling them how to pass certain obstacles.
Iago has appeared in many games throughout the Kingdom Hearts series.
He played a minor role in the original Kingdom Hearts reprising his role as Jafar's lackey and assists the sorcerer in finding Jasmine and stealing Genie's lamp from Aladdin. During the boss fight against Jafar in his genie form, Iago carries his lamp around the area, but is forced to land and drop it for a short while to catch his breath due to the intense heat around the area.
In Kingdom Hearts II, however, Iago's role is expanded upon greatly, reminiscing that of his role in Return of Jafar. Here, Iago is freed from the lamp, and after accidentally saving Sora, Donald, and Goofy, the parrot is welcomed into their group and given the chance to apologize to Aladdin and Jasmine. After an adventure of stopping Pete from freeing Jafar, Iago gains the trust of the heroes. However, upon Sora's second visit, it's revealed Jafar was eventually freed from his lamp and forced Iago into working for him again, ordering him to lead Aladdin and the others into a death trap. Fortunately, the heroes escape, and Iago sacrifices himself to save Aladdin from Jafar. He survives and happily carries on his days in the palace alongside Aladdin.
Iago has a minor role in Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey, only appearing in Jasmine's world when the player sprinkles magic on a basket. When this occurs, Iago pops out letting out a squawk.
In Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, Iago is taken into Wasteland by Mizrabel along with other famous Disney characters, including Jafar, who asks Mickey to find and return Iago to him. Iago is found within the Cave of Wonders illusion room.
In the stage adaptation of Aladdin, Iago is portrayed by Don Darryl. Instead of being a parrot, however, Iago is featured as Jafar's human assistant in this version. He also sings, taking part in Jafar's song "Diamond in the Rough", unlike the original film, where he doesn't sing at all. Iago's fate also differs in the musical; whereas in the film, Iago is sucked into the lamp along with Jafar, in the musical, Iago is arrested for treason and his role as royal adviser is taken by Babkak, Omar, and Kassim (three friends of Aladdin) subsequently.
Iago is commonly featured in the Disney theme parks around the world, mostly in entertainment as well as merchandise. For meet-and-greets, Iago is sometimes seen along with Jafar, planted on the sorcerer's shoulder, as usual.
At Disney California Adventure, Iago appeared as a puppet Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular, living out a similar role as he did in the film. In the end, Iago claims he has reformed but instead flies away after his lies backfire when Genie threatens him with "two words: chicken nuggets!"
Iago makes a cameo appearance in Mickey's Philharmagic. During Aladdin and Jasmine's "A Whole New World" song, Jasmine gives the Sorcerer Hat back to Donald. Before Donald can return home, Iago knocks the hat off of Donald's head.
Iago also plays a role in Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. In Adventureland, Iago and Jafar are recruited by Hades to find a legendary crystal in a plot to take over the Magic Kingdom. Iago is first seen snarling at Merlin in the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. Later on, Iago is ordered to use the Sultan's powerful mystic blue diamond ring to uncover the whereabouts of the crystal. Before Iago can return to Jafar, the park guests eavesdrop on Iago, learning the location of the crystal. Iago then uses magic to battle the guests but is defeated. However, he regains his strength and returns to Jafar. At a later point, Iago heads off to steal Jafar's lamp back from Hades so that Jafar will no longer have a master to answer to. He is last seen in the final battle, where he nearly gets zapped by Merlin's magic.
Iago appeared as a puppet during the Halloween mini-parade, Villains Night Out!, accompanying Jafar's float.
Iago appears in Villains Tonight! aboard the Disney Dream ship, where he and Jafar are guests on "Hot Talk". Whilst Iago was initially on the show to voice his disgust for Jafar and working as the sorcerer's abused lackey, it soon becomes an evening of reconciling once Jafar arrives in an attempt to mend their broken friendship, proclaiming their villainous fondness for one another, much to Hades' (the host) dismay.
He tells the original Tiki birds that he and Zazu are big shot movie stars and is annoyed when Zazu warns him about the Tiki Gods. Iago does not care and insults the gods, causing Uhoa the Tiki Goddess of Disaster to rise up in the center of the theater and punish Iago for his foolishness. Iago is apparently killed off, leaving Zazu in charge. Iago then reappears at the end of the show, bandaged and carrying a crutch, having reformed and developed a new found respect for the Tiki gods, allowing the Room's inhabitants to keep their show as it was.
In January 2011, the entire show was ruined when a fire broke out in the building's attic, causing permanent damage to one of the two Iago animatronics and leaving the attraction closed. The damaged Iago figure was marked as too expensive to replace, leading to the decision to discontinue the unpopular Eisner-era Under New Management show and restore the Tiki Room to its original show.
- Iago was, at one point, to be voiced by Danny DeVito, but he was unavailable. DeVito would later be the voice of Phil in Hercules, also directed by John Musker and Ron Clements.
- According to actor Jonathan Freeman (Jafar), the original idea was that Iago would sound like Jafar, meaning that Jonathan would have to play the two characters.
- Jafar mentions that he bought Iago from the bazaar; it's never made fully clear whether Iago was capable of coherent speech before being purchased or whether magical experiments made him so.
- Iago is the first villain in Disney history to lastingly reform in a production other than his debut film. Among the few other characters to have this distinction are Anastasia Tremaine from Cinderella and Gantu from Lilo & Stitch.
- Iago claimed in Return of Jafar that he had a wife and three unhatched eggs. However, as this was meant to be a desperate plea to get Abu to unlock the cage, it's unknown if Iago was being honest about it or not. It's likely he was lying, as he later gets a love interest in the TV show.
- In the episode "When Chaos Comes Calling", Iago's head turns into that of his voice actor Gilbert Gottfried.
- In the same episode, Iago mentions that he's claustrophobic.
- While in service to Jafar, Iago proved to be one of the more competent henchman: he successfully retrieved the lamp for Jafar after easily tricking Aladdin by mimicking Jasmine's voice, he came up with a number of excellent schemes for Jafar to seize power, and despite his comedic demeanor, he did not display (at least in the first film) any signs of genuine stupidity, despite getting injured from time to time, and he can also be rather sadistic, as he suggested murdering the Sultan and Jasmine in the event that Jafar would manage to marry her, namely "drop [them] off a cliff."
- In the episode "Do the Rat Thing", when Iago was a lizard, his appearance resembled Frank the lizard from The Rescuers Down Under.
- In the episode "Moonlight Madness", Iago was said to have a cousin named Jeff.
- Gilbert Gottfried's role as Iago was highlighted in the 2015 documentary Life, Animated, which centered on the real story of Owen Suskind, a man with autism. After four years of not being able to communicate with his family, Owen's father took an Iago puppet and approached Owen while doing an impression of Gilbert. Owen recognized the Iago puppet as an "old friend" (as Aladdin was amongst his favorite Disney movies, and Iago was amongst his favorite Disney characters) and responded. This would allow Owen and his family to build on Owen's communication skills.