Like most kids, I grew up watching Disney cartoons. Movies like The Lion King, Aladdin, A Goofy Movie and many others were some of my favorites. They were the movies that I would turn on tv to fall asleep to. So when Disney began making live action versions of some of their classic animated films I got pretty excited about it.
I had originally skipped over several of their first remakes like The Jungle Book and Pete’s Dragon. Not because they didn't look good, they just were not the films I had grown up with so my excitement wasn’t really there.
But then Disney announced remakes of The Lion King and Aladdin and I got pretty damn stoked.
Aladdin is the live-action remake of the 1992 animated show of the same name. It stars Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine, Menna Massoud as Aladdin and of course, Will Smith as everybody’s favorite Genie.
The movie begins with a short scene on a boat that transitions into the story of Aladdin and the singing of Arabian Nights. As soon as that song began, I instantly felt the excitement of my childhood run through my body. Just as the cartoon was, The remake is very much a musical fantasy film and includes all or the original songs as well as a few additional ones. The singing and choreography are both top-notch and the movie does a fantastic job of transitioning into the musical moments and then right back into the action.
“I Told Ya’ll I Was Gonna Be Blue”
When Aladdin was announced, I know there were a lot of people complaining saying that “You can’t replace Robin Williams as Genie” and that “Nobody will ever live up to those expectations”. And I felt the same way. That is until Will Smith was cast for the role.
Now I know as much as anyone else that there will never be another Robin Williams…and luckily so does Will Smith. Genie has many of the same lines as he did from the cartoon and several of the scenes as well. But Smith gave a whole new life to the character and at no point did it seem that he was trying to be Robin Williams. Instead he brought his own “hip-hop” style to the character which worked out really well and I honestly feel like he did justice for both the character and Robin Williams.
Just as much as I’d say nobody can replace Robin Williams voicing the Genie. I’d also say that nobody could have played the live-action version as well as Will Smith.
With a run-time at just over 2 hours long, I never felt bored or wished the movie would hurry up and end. It was a very fun movie to watch and it rebuilt my excitement for the future of Disney’s live-action films (after the disappointment that was The Lion King).
Overall, I’d say if you have kids or if you grew up watching Disney cartoons as I did and just want some of that childhood nostalgia, or if you’re just looking for a good fun fantasy movie to watch then definitely check this out. And If you have Disney+ then you have literally no reason whatsoever not to watch this.
I would highly recommend Aladdin to everybody.