When they announced a live action remake of Disney’s beloved Aladdin, I have to admit I was a bit skeptical. They did a great job with Jungle Book, but dropped the ball with Dumbo.
Then the early trailers showing an extremely blue Will Smith had a lot of people up in arms. The backlash from that trailer online was crazy.
I walked into Aladdin expecting to be underwhelmed. After the first 20 minutes I have to admit I was really liking the direction they were taking. There were a few changes from the original cartoon, but that is okay. I don’t want to see a scene for scene reshoot of something I have already seen.
There were some new characters and some new songs. I particularly like how they made Jasmine a much more independent and strong female character rather than just the object of Aladdin’s affection.
I also like that they didn’t whitewash the movie. They didn’t go out and cast a bunch of popular white characters to try to sell the movie on their names. For me, it made the movie that much better.
Let’s talk about Will Smith as the Genie. Robin Williams left some big shoes to fill in that role. I was concerned if Will Smith was up to the task of making the character his own while still paying homage to the original frantic nature that Robin Williams brought to the table. Overall, I was very impressed with Will Smith’s version of the Genie. He brought just enough crazy to counter-balance the all powerful aspect. I really connected with the Genie and found him to be a likeable character. Kudos to Will Smith.
You don’t have to take my word for it though. All of the audience members we spoke to, both young and old, really enjoyed Aladdin. It was a great movie from beginning to end. If you like the classic Disney cartoons, you won’t be disappointed with this live action remake.
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