Runtime: 2 hr 13 min
Post Credits Scene: No
Aladdin, the remake of the classic animated film of the same name…hang on, I feel like I did this a little while ago? Oh yeah:
And more to come (heyo Lion King!)…but back to this month’s feature.
I grew up on classic Disney animated films, so even though I am not as excited for some of these remakes as I am of others, I will see them all with a (mostly) open mind. However, after the trailer released for Aladdin my, and others, feelings were already headed downhill. These feelings mainly revolved around the travesty that was the computerized Genie, played by the iconic Will Smith. This is because it was not just a computerized smoke-tail, they computerized practically everything, including his face. The tail itself wasn’t the issue, it was the way his movements were along-side the tail that was disappointing. Make-up magic could have helped distract from the movement issue, but the whole package was painful. Newer generations who did not grow up with the Robin Williams’ Genie, won’t mind this version, and they won’t nit-pick the CGI, so they will enjoy it. I also saw my boss’s grandkids at the theater and Genie was their favorite.
Aladdin, played by Mena Massoud and Jasmine, Naomi Scott, are brilliant. There were some weird character changes to these two that I noticed because I’ve seen the classic so many times, but they are not major. Unfortunately, another main character felt really out of place here, Jafar. No hate towards the actor, but the casting was not well done for this character. Jafar is an older, creepy advisor to the Sultan, but Marwan Kenzari did not fit the bill for the vizier who wants the throne. He just seemed like a whiney kid to me. A friend described him thusly, “He gets shoved in the lockers on the regular by actual Disney villains.” Accurate.
The story sticks closely to the classic with some additional scenes to make the film longer. There were a few that felt out of place, or as if they just didn’t need them. I find this to be true for many of these remakes, especially when they put a new song in the movie. There was one new song that felt particularly forced into its place. The rest from the film stick closely to the originals. Some of the wording has changed to modernize it, but I only had minor issues with these new renditions.
This new version of Aladdin does not make my list of Top 10 favorite remakes. But it is a beautifully rendered (with one exception), vibrant, funny, and entertaining take on a classic. Kids will really enjoy it, and many Disney fans may still like seeing the magic of this film come to life.
Written by: Marisa Frozentundra