We are deep in the new age of Disney. One where beloved animated features are remade in a live action format, for better or for worse. When Aladdin was announced, I was game. The animated version is one of my favorite Disney films and I liked the look of the actor they got to play Aladdin. Will Smith’s genie definitely looked weird and creepy when they first showed him but I was still going to give this a fair shot. Having seen it, it was better than I expected it to be. As a matter of fact, it was thoroughly enjoyable.
The film is a bout a poor street thief names Aladdin, who one day encounters the princess of the city of Agrabah. He stumbles across a magic lamp and a eccentric magical genie who grants him three wishes. Aladdin wants to enlist the help of the genie to win the heart of the princess. However, an evil sorcerer who advises for the Sultan of Agrabah wants to get hold of the genie to enable his evil plans of becoming the Sultan himself. The film stars Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, and Marwan Kenzari.
I thought overall the casting was solid. Massoud is great as Aladdin in this, and emulates the animated version. Scott is a beautiful and worthy Jasmine, Smith is a highlight in the film due to his bombastic and entertaining performance. The only downside was Kenzari as Jafar. Was so unbelievably hammy and a terrible fit in the role, for me anyways. Apart from that its nice to see a live action update on a beloved tale. For the most part the effects, costume design, and the fantastical world created looked wonderful. At times the CG on Abu and Rajah looked ropy.
This is a long film. Its a full 40 minutes longer than the animated classic. It adds new elements to the film but overall feels like a modern and fairly faithful update to the animated film. Much like Beauty and The Beast. I can see people not being blow away by this but for what it was and how bad it could have been, I was pretty impressed. Not sure how I feel about the live action Disney films in the long run but Aladdin is one of the better ones for sure.