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Iago is, by most accounts, a male sapient parrot.
A hot-tempered and greedy talking parrot, Iago was originally a normal parrot bought by chance in a bazaar by the Grand Vizier of Agrabah, the sorcerer Jafar. After Jafar completed a magical experiment siphoning the brunt of his emotions into the bird, Iago, now a sentient individual with some serious anger issues, became Jafar's much-abused minion, confidant and advisor. One divergent account holds that Iago was merely a human henchman of Jafar, though retaining a similar personality and relationship with the sorcerer. In a slightly divergent timeline, Iago was originally a human sorcerer like Jafar and his partner-in-crime, but was irreversibly cursed into his bird-form by the Mage, Jafar's rebellious apprentice.[FANWORK]
When one of Jafar's schemes went awry and trapped him in a magic lamp, Iago was sucked in as well. Being trapped with Jafar for months certainly put a strain on the two evildoers' partnership, to the point that when Iago finally managed to dig their way out of the Cave of Wonders, Jafar's lack of appreciation for his hard work was the final straw and Iago betrayed him. Despite Jafar's later attempts to get the parrot back under his control, Iago sealed his betrayal by instigating Jafar's final demise, kicking his lamp into lava and killing him.
As a result, the reformed Iago ended up tagging along with Aladdin and his friends on their various adventures. In the end, however, he ended up leaving them for Cassim, who shared Iago's lust for treasure more than the Prince and Princess of Agrabah. Though no longer such a villain, Iago had rekindled a friendship of sorts with Jafar by the time both of them were guests at the House of Mouse, tagging along with him for entertainment value even if he didn't actually help the former Vizier anymore.
Behind the scenes
Iago first appeared in the 1992 film Aladdin. Interestingly, early concepts called for Iago to be a cool, collected, British-accented cockatoo, in contrast with a much more unstable, clearly insane Jafar. When Jafar was made cold and calculating himself, in trade, Iago took on the personality he is best-known for.
- Jonathan Freeman (deleted scenes for Aladdin)
- Gilbert Gottfried (classic voice actor since Aladdin)
- Don Darryl Rivera (Aladdin: The Musical)