When Matt asked me if I wanted to go see a screening of the new Aladdin, I screamed inside. Aladdin was my absolute favorite Disney movie growing up, next to James and the Giant Peach, so I was more than excited to see the live-action version!
I know some people cringe when they hear that Disney is remaking their original classics. I’m a huge fan of Emma Watson, but I wasn’t in a hurry to watch the new Beauty and the Beast or even Dumbo – it’s just that Aladdin is my homeboy!
(I am pumped for the new Lion King though… but that’s between you and me.)
As many of you know, Aladdin is about a charismatic street rat (Mena Massoud) who falls in love with Princess Jasmine of Agrabah (Naomi Scott). Since Aladdin isn’t a prince, he has no chance of marrying her, but ends up with the magic lamp. With the help of the Genie (Will Smith), Aladdin is determined to win the Princess over by defeating the Sultan’s “most trusted advisor,” Jafar (Marwan Kenzari), proving he is worthy.
This vibrant live-action adaptation of Disney’s 1992 animated classic does it justice. Directed by Guy Ritchie, I appreciate him for sticking to the original story. All the classic songs were sung well, and they even gave Jasmine a couple of new songs — as all Disney Princesses should have. It was interesting to see that even though this 2019 version runs longer than the original, they ramped up and de-escalated the story very quickly. I still really enjoyed the movie and thought the actors did a fantastic job portraying each character. Their singing voices even matched the original voice actors to where I almost thought I was watching the original!
Now, when I first saw the trailer that aired during this year’s Super Bowl that Will Smith was playing the Genie, I thought it was going to be weird. But because this movie is a modern take, it fits well. Will Smith is sassy just like the genie (and Robin Williams, R.I.P.), and although I do miss the merchant seller in the beginning of the animated movie, I thought Will Smith telling the tale of Aladdin to his kids was touching.
SPOILER ALERT! The Genie has a love interest and they have kids.
The biggest thing that won me over in this movie was the costuming and choreography. Every single outfit was stunningly detailed. The colors were vibrant and beautifully put together. And the choreography, OMG amazing, it had me dancing in my seat. Very Bollywood and I loved it so much. Like, Korean and Japanese dramas are making a comeback, why can’t Bollywood films?!
The only thing I missed from the original movie was more “dialogue” from Aladdin’s monkey Abu, Jafar’s parrot, Iago, and the Magic Carpet. Obviously, animals can’t talk in real life, but I wish they were incorporated more because they really are great supporting characters that make the small details work. Oh, well.
Aladdin was definitely a better-done live action remake from Disney than the rest. I’m interested to see how The Lion King works out!