- “I've never had any real friends—except you, Rajah.”
- ―Princess Jasmine
Rajah was originally a circus tiger as a cub, who found his way into the Sultan's palace after escaping the touring circus group during a visit to Agrabah. He was discovered by a then-young Princess Jasmine, who assumed the cub was a gift from her deceased mother. As a child, Jasmine's mother told the princess stories of a star named "Rajah", prompting Jasmine to name her new cub in honor of those stories. Once the Sultan discovers Rajah, he expresses the need to have the latter return to the circus, though his mind is eventually changed and he manages to purchase Rajah from his original owner.
Rajah is Jasmine's best friend and fierce protector. As such, he cares deeply for the princess, and repeatedly supports her throughout the course of the franchise, not once showing a hint of disloyalty or true aggression towards her (though he showed offense when Jasmine mentioned a lack of friends; absentmindedly forgetting Rajah for a brief moment). He is mostly known for being rather aggressive and intolerable, as he takes a disliking to anyone who annoys Jasmine, even slightly—including narcissistic suitors, "Prince Ali", and even the Sultan. However, when with Jasmine, Rajah is docile and gentle. He appears to represent Jasmine's overall character in this sense as she too can be either fierce or loving, depending on whom she is interacting with. Mostly, Rajah seems to embody the typical personality of a dog or a cat.
At first, Rajah wasn't too fond of Aladdin, and often growled at him, but by the end of their adventure, he has grown more comfortable around him. He had an even harder time getting comfortable around Iago, ex-bird of Jafar. When he recognized the parrot, he tried to attack him before Aladdin stopped him. Even after the fully-redeemed Iago kicked Jafar's lamp into the lava, destroying him forever, Rajah, though warmed up to the parrot, still has somewhat of a strained relationship with Iago; as he threatens to eat the cowardly parrot if he doesn't cooperate in doing the heroes' requests.
Rajah is introduced with Princess Jasmine. When the snobby Prince Achmed tried to court Jasmine, Rajah attacked him and ended up ripping off a piece of Achmed's pants, successfully getting him to leave Agrabah. When the Sultan confronted Jasmine in the gardens, he found Rajah playing with the torn fabric and realized what happened. After an argument with Jasmine, the Sultan angrily mutters, "Allah forbid you should have any daughters!" Rajah becomes confused at this, believing the Sultan was referring to him.
Later on, Rajah catches Jasmine trying to escape the palace and attempts to stop her. Jasmine sadly states she can't have her life be dictated for her anymore and hugs Rajah goodbye. The tiger then helps her escape, becoming incredibly depressed afterwards.
Once Jasmine returns, Rajah comforts the princess as she mourns at the supposed death of a boy (Aladdin) she met at the marketplace.
The next day, Prince Ali (Aladdin in disguise through the magic of his genie) visits Agrabah as a suitor for Jasmine. Jasmine and Rajah take immediate disliking to the prince because of his flashy appearance and nature. When Ali approaches Jasmine on the balcony, Rajah immediately chases him to the edge whilst growling at him. However as Ali tries to be more natural, Rajah and Jasmine both warm up to him.
At the battle with the evil royal vizier Jafar, Rajah attempts to attack the sorcerer when Jasmine and the Sultan are incapacitated, but is magically turned into a tiger cub and imprisoned in a bird cage. After Jafar's defeat, Rajah is freed returned back to normal. He is seen celebrating Aladdin's heroism and bidding farewell to the now-freed Genie.
Rajah is a supporting character in the sequel, in which he showcases a slightly more mischievous side.
Rajah is first seen growling and seemingly ready to attack Aladdin as he arrived on Jasmine's balcony, only to harmlessly pounce on the boy and give him a welcoming lick on the cheek. Rajah also stops Abu from stealing the jeweled flower which Aladdin gifted Jasmine.
Later on, Iago, Jafar's sidekick, is allowed to stay at the palace as a reward for (unintentionally) saving Aladdin's life. Rajah finds Iago trapped in a birdcage with Abu guarding him. Abu immediately opens Iago's cage upon spotting Rajah, who recognizes the parrot and snarls at the him. Iago, terrified, begs Abu to close the cage again. But Rajah pounces on the cage, destroying it and chases Iago into the palace, unintentionally ruining the palace dinner and blowing Iago's cover. Jasmine scolds Rajah for his recklessness.
Rajah is then seen at the finale where he and the others welcome Iago into the palace after he saved Agrabah from a vengeful Jafar. When Iago protested Aladdin's decision to not be Grand Vizier, Rajah grows annoyed and pins the parrot underneath his paw in an attempt to shut him up.
Although primarily a minor supporting character in the TV series (mostly due to difficulties with animating him), Rajah played a major role in some episodes.
In "SandSwitch", Rajah, Abu, and Iago were the only three unaffected by Sadira's use of an unspecified magical sand that somehow altered the timeline so that Sadira was the princess and Jasmine the street rat; since the three animals were the only ones who knew that history wasn't the way it should be, the three escape the palace to find Jasmine and restore the world to normal.
In "Genie Hunt", it is revealed Rajah doesn't like baths, even though tigers love water.
A small running gag in the TV series is whenever Iago refuses the heroes' requests (i.e watching out for Abu), Rajah threatens to eat the parrot, causing Iago to immediately relent.
Rajah plays an extremely minor role in the third film of the franchise. He appears during Jasmine and Aladdin's wedding at the film's epilogue — in during which, he watches the ceremony with Abu jumping on him in excitement and serves as Jasmine's usher.
Rajah plays a supporting role in Jasmine's segment of the film. He is first seen delivering Jasmine's list of royal errands for the day. Later on, when Jasmine becomes a substitute teacher for the Royal Academy, the students prove to be rather rambunctious and disruptive. In an attempt to solve the problem, Jasmine brings Rajah so he can scare the kids into line. Although it appears to be successful at first, the children instead get excited at the sight of a "kitty", forcing both Rajah and Jasmine to escape by climbing up a tree.
In House of Mouse, Rajah makes a cameo appearance with some of his co-stars in the episode "Pete's House of Villains". Here, Jafar bans the rest of the Aladdin cast from entering the newly-established House of Villains—including Rajah, but excluding Jasmine.
An emoji version of Rajah appeared in the Aladdin entry of the As Told by Emoji short series.
In Ralph Breaks the Internet, Rajah appears as a netizen in Oh My Disney. When Cinderella asks Vanellope von Schweetz if animals talk to her, Jasmine can be seen snuggling Rajah in the background. Later in the scene after the princesses switch into loungewear, Rajah is seen sitting alongside Jasmine for the remainder of Vanellope's visit.
Rajah is present in the live-action adaptation. Like his animated counterpart, he is Jasmine's beloved pet tiger. He came to Agrabah from the Indian-inspired kingdom of Sherebad, where Jasmine's late mother hailed from.
In the movie's opening, Rajah is seen eating dinner with the royal family. He tries to catch and kill Iago, but fails.
Rajah can be aggressive and violent towards anyone he does not like for good reason; for example, after Prince Anders arrives from Skanland in a failed attempt to become a potential husband for the princess of Agrabah, Rajah immediately started growling at him. When the arrogant prince gets too close and attempts to pet the tiger, Rajah attacks him (off-screen). Afterwards, Rajah accompanies Jasmine to a meeting with the Sultan. When Jafar tries to hypnotize Jasmine with his staff, Rajah snarls at him in warning, causing Jafar to back off.
Unlike in the animated film, Rajah meets Aladdin prior to him returning to Agrabah as Prince "Ali Ababwa" when he suck into the palace to return Jasmine's bracelet, which Abu stole.
When Aladdin returns as Prince "Ali" in order to be with Jasmine, he fails to impress the princess, gaining Rajah's immediate disdain. Later that night, when Aladdin arrives at Jasmine's quarters (with help from Magic Carpet) to apologize for his earlier behavior, Rajah menacingly approaches him. Jasmine orders Rajah not to attack, sarcastically stating that the prince "needs his legs for dancing". However, when approaching "Ali", the tiger instead licks his face as a friendly greeting, much to Jasmine's surprise; unlike the princess, Rajah recognizes Aladdin immediately due to his keen sense of smell.
When Jafar, now Sultan, orders the guards to imprison Jasmine, Rajah roars at the men to keep them away until the princess calms him down.
At the end of the movie, Rajah is seen attending Aladdin and Jasmine's wedding.
- "Rajah" means "Indian prince" in Hindi and Arabic.
- A slight goof happens in the animated film when Rajah transforms into a cub: he meows like a house cat. In reality, tiger cub cries sound nothing like house cat calls. Because of this, some stories say that Rajah is turned into a kitten instead of a tiger cub
- However, this may have been an intended comedic moment.
- Although tigers are traditionally found in Central, Southern, and Eastern Asia and not the Middle East, it is not unreasonable to assume that because of the Sultan's wealth, he was perfectly capable of having one imported as a gift for Jasmine at some point. One subspecies of tiger, the Caspian tiger, did live in the Middle East, but it is now extinct.
- The book "A Pet for a Princess" actually confirmed this, where it was revealed that Rajah was born in a traveling circus, and was bought by the Sultan for Jasmine after escaping.
- Another book about the origins of Rajah, "Monkey Business", further confirms this by revealing that it was Abu, who set a tiger cub, later known as Rajah, free from a traveling circus cage, after which he met the princess and was adopted by her.
- At the end of the animated film, when everything begins to return to normal, Rajah's face turns into that of Mickey Mouse for a split second.
- In the 2019 remake, Rajah is shown to be very intelligent for a tiger and a good judge of character; he is shown to be friendly and docile with Jasmine and Aladdin, whereas he snarls at Jafar and Prince Anders and outright attacks Iago at several points in the movie.
- Originally Rajah was going to be a human handmaiden.
- ↑ Disney. Tales of Agrabah. Chapter Book, 1995. Print.