Disney’s Aladdin comes to life in an all new, vibrant live-action adaption and we’re sharing the top 5 reasons you should make plans to take the whole family to see the movie! Now, if you’re anything like me (especially if you’re an ‘Xennial’), there’s a real possibility that Aladdin is one of your very favorite Disney movies. I LOVE the original. I’m pretty sure I had the entire movie memorized and most definitely ALL of the music. Robin Williams as Genie is one of the best characters EVER. So, I totally understand both the excitement and dread that some people are feeling over this live-action remake. I went into the theater with some nerves and tempered expectations. I wasn’t sure if it could possibly measure up. But, I’m here to tell you that it did! It really has everything you want in a fun family Disney film! Read on to see the 5 reasons you should definitely make plans to go see it as a family!
About Disney’s Aladdin
A thrilling and vibrant live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic, “Aladdin” is the exciting tale of the charming street rat Aladdin, the courageous and self-determined Princess Jasmine and the Genie who may be the key to their future. Directed by Guy Ritchie, who brings his singular flair for fast-paced, visceral action to the fictitious port city of Agrabah, “Aladdin” is written by John August and Ritchie based on Disney’s “Aladdin.” The film stars Will Smith as the Genie; Mena Massoud as Aladdin; Naomi Scott as Jasmine; Marwan Kenzari as Jafar; Navid Negahban as the Sultan; Nasim Pedrad as Dalia and Billy Magnussen as Prince Anders.
5 Reasons to See Aladdin
Here’s all the top reasons you should add Aladdin to your must-see list:
1. Stunning Visuals – Agrabah is really like a whole new world in this movie! From opening sequence until the film’s end, the visuals are absolutely stunning. Production designer Gemma Jackson, who won an Emmy Award® for her production design work on “Game of Thrones,” was the one tasked with bringing Agrabah to life. Envisioning Agrabah as a gateway to the Eastern world with a vibrant array of colors, cultures and sounds, her inspirations came primarily from Moroccan, Persian and Turkish architecture and featured elements of Arab, Indian and South Asian cultures.
All those arrays of colors and cultures really came through. Set decoration for Agrabah included fabrics, textiles and carvings similar to those found in Marrakesh, lots of colorful woods, metals, fruits and vegetables and a 1,000-year-old olive tree. So, it felt like there was always amazing visual details to see. Plus, the production filmed on the stunning desert vistas of Wadi Rum and Wadi Disi in Jordan where “Lawrence of Arabia” was shot (this also happens to be where a lot of the upcoming Star Wars movie was shot).2. Music & Choreography – Aladdin just wouldn’t be “Aladdin” without the music. It’s a musical, y’all. And I love it. There is new music in it to help tell the story, but don’t worry – your favorite songs are all still in the movie (though they have been given some little changes to sound and/or lyrics). Will Smith raps a version of “Friend Like Me” while the credits roll and I LOVED it. Will buy the soundtrack for that alone- SUPER catchy! And since it’s live-action, the choreography REALLY stands out here so much more than it does in the animated version. I LOVED the dance numbers! And all the acrobatics and stunts that Aladdin does are WAY more impressive in live-action than animation! 3. Prince Ali Musical Number – Yes, I know this falls under #2, but I thought it deserves its own category. This was great in the original, but in live-action it is such a sight to behold. I LOVED everything about this scene! It was a complete spectacle and SO fun to watch. In fact, this sequence is the biggest production number in the film with 250 dancers and 200 extras! Costume designer Michael Wilkinson and his team created more than 200 costumes from scratch just for the extras. The 30-foot yellow flower camel on which Prince Ali arrives at the palace was made from 37,000 flower heads and took 15 model makers three weeks to build. Isn’t that crazy?! That work paid off, because the whole sequence is fabulous! 4. Aladdin & Jasmine – Both Aladdin and Jasmine are played by relative newcomers Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott…and they both did a fabulous job! I LOVED them both in the roles. They’re beautiful, had great chemistry, and played the characters very well. Also, Naomi Scott can SING! She has an incredible voice. 5. Will Smith as Genie – I’ve seen A LOT of criticism and concern over Will Smith as Genie. Can he be “as good” or “top” Robin Williams? Of course not. Williams is irreplaceable. HOWEVER, Will Smith does a GREAT job in this role! He took the incredible foundation that Williams created with this character and then made it his own. It worked and he was great! So throw out your preconceived notions on this one and just enjoy it! So, I definitely enjoyed the movie overall and think it’s a great family-friendly film that you can kick off summer with. However, that does NOT mean that I loved everything about the movie. There were 3 things I didn’t love…
- Some of the new music. Yes I said the music as a reason to see it, but there were parts that just didn’t work. There were a few lyric changes to the original that I did NOT like and I really didn’t like Jasmine’s new songs (and that has NOTHING to do with Naomi Scott’s singing ability, because she has a beautiful voice). Stylistically, I just didn’t feel like the songs fit that well. So, some of that was “meh” for me.
- Jafar. This was my biggest casting let-down in the movie. While I think the actor (Marwan Kenzari) does an ok job in the role, I just am not convinced he was the right person for the job. He doesn’t look nearly creepy enough. There’s not that menacing, sinister vibe that we’re used to from Jafar. Maybe that’s what Disney wanted – a more understated villain. But, I just didn’t love this angle.
- Choppy Cinematography. Apparently Guy Ritchie (the director of the film) has a “signature” style with action…and I don’t care for it. I feel like I can’t accurately describe it, but I’m going to try. Basically, there were sequences in the film that were almost like simultaneously sped up and slowed down. Like it you should something at high-speed and then added slo-mo to it. I don’t know what it was exactly, but I’m not a fan. It made things feel a little choppy and just weird. And it was overused. So, I really could have done without it!
But even with those things I didn’t love, I still enjoyed the movie overall!
Is Aladdin ok for kids?
YES! Totally yes! I don’t even need to give you my usual “language, innuendo/adult themes/violence” categories here because there is basically nothing to report. NO bad language (YAY) and no inappropriate jokes or material. There is a little bit of violence and peril, but nothing even as scary as the original. So, I think you’re safe for kids of any age that are able to sit through the movie! This one is perfect for the whole family!
So buy your tickets and go see Aladdin in theatersMay 24, 2019!
Love all the details in the review!! We’re definitely going!!