Disney's Live Action Aladdin Will Be Second Best To The Original

Though there are some fun moments, the re-make doesn't quite make magic like the 1992 film

May 24, 2019
Mena Massoud is Aladdin and Naomi Scott is Jasmine in Disney’s live-action ALADDIN, directed by Guy Ritchie.

Photo Credit: Daniel Smith © 2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Disney's live action Aladdin will introduce a whole new world to movie-goers who see the film in theaters, and while there is plenty of fun to be had, it is clearly not as magical as the original 1992 animated version.

Mena Massoud stars as Aladdin, who is a street thief on the streets of Agrabah. He finds Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott) in a meet-cute at a market, and the couple escapes in a well-choreographed jaunt through the streets.

From the jump, Massoud and Scott stand out particularly strong with their voices, with Aladdin's song 'One Jump Ahead,' and the pair's version of 'A Whole New World.' The soundtrack of both original and new songs are actually really, really fun. For as many moments that drag on in the film, the music is great. It almost reminded me of some moments from The Greatest Showman. Especially Scott's vocals on the original 'Speechless.'

As Aladdin sneaks in to visit Jasmine in the palace, its made apparent that director Guy Ritchie was going for, as close as he could, a shot-for-shot remake of the 1992 Aladdin. From Jasmine's tiger Raja, to the balcony in her room, the similarity is spot on.

Its well-documented that Will Smith was worried about portraying the Genie because of the iconic role Robin Williams voiced in 1992. But in the Cave of Wonders, during 'Friend Like Me,' there was a good mix of homage to Williams' original version, and satisfying deviation in Will Smith's depiction.

Will Smith is Genie in Disney’s live-action ALADDIN., directed by Guy Ritchie.
Photo Credit: Daniel Smith © 2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved..

The Genie is supposed to be funny, but also caring. He evolves from a servant of "wishes three" to best friends with "Prince Ali" (a.k.a. Aladdin). There are lines in the script for Genie that you can hear Williams saying. But Smith puts his own unique spin on them, and that felt honest, and earned. I bought into this new Genie, and that felt right.

Though the end of the movie felt like it dragged a little, there were no plot holes. Ritchie made sure everything was covered in Aladdin, up to the last climax. That being said, it could have been wrapped up in under two hours, instead of a little over 120 minutes.

The special effects were pretty spectacular. Everything from Genie's magic to AbuIago, and Raja was crisp, clean, and very believable. This gives me plenty of hope for another live-action remake, The Lion King, coming later this summer from Disney.

So if you're looking to have fun at the movies this theater and tap your toes to some great songs, Aladdin is your film. Its my opinion that you might forget about in a month, and in a year if you're looking to watch a version of Aladdin at home, you'll opt for the 1992 original.

Go for Will Smith's version of Aladdin, stay for Massoud and Scott's vocals. But you'll know the plot (pretty much) from start to finish, if you know the story well enough.

Disney's Aladdin opens this Friday, May 24th.

Ben at the Box Office Rating: 3 out of 5 Buckets Of Popcorn