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Disney's Aladdin

(Walt Disney Studios)

 

A live-action adaptation of the Disney animated classic, Aladdin.

 

Rated PG, for some action/peril

Genre: Fantasy

Viewer Appeal: Ages 12 and under.

 

First, let's be honest about expectations. If you somehow think that Will Smith is any kind of replacement for the late Robin Williams' breathtaking portrayal of Genie in the animated original version of Disney's Aladdin then, well, you're in for disappointment. So before you sit down to watch the live action edition of Aladdin, be sure you know what you're getting into: a reasonably good, fairly faithful reproduction of an irreplaceable original. Trust me, you'll enjoy this move much more if you're not constantly saying, "That's not the way y Robin Williams did it; that seems like a lame imitation of Robin Williams; why did Disney think they could replace Robin Williams" and so on.  

That bit of generational nostalgia aside, kid and families looking for a bright evening of far-flung storytelling, wonderful costuming,  and some really good music will find it in this live action update of Disney's Aladdin. . The story is the same as before - adapted and sanitized Disney-style from the timeless Arabian tale. A poor but virtuous "street rat" in the exotic, ancient Middle East discovers a genie in a lamp, tries to change his destiny with three wishes, and magic ensues. 

Will Smith, playing Genie, gets most of the hype for this movie, likely due to his megastar status. He is entertaining, but sometimes seems to be trying too hard to keep the energy and "wow" factor up. Watching for a few minutes is great; watching him over the course of the whole film is harder. My opinion only. And, as a Will Smith fan I never thought I'd say this but ... this new Genie could use some good old voice lessons. Still, Mr. Smith seems so happy to be playing the role, it's hard to hold it against him for long.

 

The real breakout star here is Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine. She gives unexpected presence onscreen to Jasmine that goes beyond her Disney-enhanced natural beauty and vocal talent. She, more than her costars, seems to lose herself in the story, to actually become the strong-willed daughter of an ancient sultan. Not bad for a brit-born, pastor's kid. Mena Massoud is also entertaining as the straight man to Smith's over-the-top comic relief.

All in all, Disney's Aladdin should be a pleasant movie-watching experience for the whole family.

“Aladdin” stars Will Smith as Genie, Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Jasmine, Marwan Kenzari as Jafar, Navid Negahban as Sultan, Nasim Pedrad as Dalia, Billy Magnussen as Prince Anders and Numan Acar as Hakim. “Aladdin” is directed by Guy Ritchie from a screenplay by John August and Ritchie based on Disney’s Aladdin animation screenplay by Ron Clements & John Musker and Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio.

Bonus Features on the Blu-ray edition of Disney's Aladdin include: 

  • ALADDIN’S VIDEO JOURNAL: A NEW FANTASTIC POINT OF VIEW – Watch behind-the-scenes moments captured by Mena Massoud (Aladdin) in this fun, fast-paced look at his personal journey.

  • DELETED SONG: “DESERT MOON” – Experience a moving duet performed by Jasmine and Aladdin, fully shot and edited, with an introduction by Alan Menken.

  • GUY RITCHIE: A CINEMATIC GENIE – Discover why director Guy Ritchie was the perfect filmmaker to tackle this exhilarating reimagining of a beloved classic.

  • A FRIEND LIKE GENIE – Discover how Will Smith brings talent, experience and his own personal magic to the iconic role of Genie.

  • DELETED SCENES

    • Falling Petals Into OJ

    • Jafar’s Magic Orrery

    • Anders’ Gift

    • Wrong Wishes

    • Silly Old Fool

    • Post Yam Jam Debrief

  • BLOOPERS – Laugh along with the cast and crew in this lighthearted collection of outtakes from the set.

  • MUSIC VIDEOS

    • "Speechless" – Music video performed by Naomi Scott

    • “A Whole New World” – Music video performed by ZAYN and Zhavia Ward

    • “A Whole New World” (“Un Mundo Ideal”) – Music video performed by ZAYN and Becky G.

 

Let's Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:

 

• What did you like best about Disney's Aladdin? Why?

 

• If you were hanging out with Aladdin and Jasmine, what advice do you think they'd give you? Explain.

 

• What would you like to tell the filmmakers of Disney's Aladdin? Send them an email at: TWDS.Global.Communications@disney.com

--AS

 

All product-related graphics in this article are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective publisher.

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