The much-anticipated live-action remake of Disney’s Aladdin is finally here! I can’t tell you how excited I was for this movie, there are so many new Disney releases this year; Dumbo, Toy Story 4, Star Wars, The Lion King etc. but Aladdin was the one I was waiting eagerly for! Myself and Lee went on the first preview night (22nd May in the U.K.) to see the new take on the movie and I can’t even put into words how much I loved it.
There’s been a lot of mixed reviews in the time leading up to movie’s release about whether it will do the original justice as well as a lot of people criticizing casting choices. Firstly, I personally think it’s important to watch it without comparison to the original film. I think comparing it to such an iconic and classic Disney movie is unfair to the cast and creatives that put so much hard work into the live-action remake. In terms of casting, I thought they got everything absolutely spot on. Will Smith was brilliant as the Genie and I think Robin Williams would have been proud at how much of a good job he did! Mena Massoud was pretty much born to play Aladdin, he had the same cheekiness and air about him to recreate the much-loved Disney character and honestly, if they were to have created a human being specifically to play Princess Jasmine, they still wouldn’t have been as perfect as Naomi Scott is for this role. Literally, everyone was INCREDIBLE. I’ll admit when I first saw the trailer I didn’t think that the guy playing Jafar seemed evil enough, but boy was I wrong. This casting is insane!
I really loved how the movie had echoes and nods towards the original film while still being a brand new standalone adaptation. I don’t think I could possibly fault anything about this movie. Some of my favourite things about it have to be the costumes, sets and choreography. I mean, if this movie doesn’t win awards then I no longer trust the judgement of the people who make the votes. I spent so much of the movie completely mesmerised by the costumes, longing to wear something as beautiful as that! I really liked that Jasmine’s iconic turquoise outfit made an appearance in the movie. I’ve always loved Middle-Eastern clothing, designs and patterns and this movie is in abundance of it. The colours are vibrant and the costumes and sets throw you straight into the story and make you wish Agrabah was a real place that you could visit- it’s visually stunning.
My absolute favourite thing about this movie though is the sense of female empowerment. Princess Jasmine in this adaptation is the Disney role model we’ve been waiting for. She is feisty, determined and headstrong, echoing the original character, but she is a natural leader in this version. She has such a love for her kingdom and the people within it and shows a clear understanding of what it takes to lead, despite Jafar trying to convince her otherwise (the misogynistic pig)
Naomi Scott (Princess Jasmine) completely steals the show with the new original song ‘Speechless’ – which just completely blew me away. The song was written by the iconic duo; Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen/The Greatest Showman) as well as the Disney legend that is Alan Menken. It tells how Jasmine is determined to let her voice be heard and that she won’t be silenced by anyone who tries to tell her otherwise. It is everything the world needs to hear in 2019.
I’m absolutely loving the path Disney is going down when it comes to female empowerment. It was apparent in the live-action retelling of Beauty and The Beast but Disney has seriously taken it up a notch in Aladdin. I know this is a big statement for me as Beauty and the Beast is my all-time favourite Disney classic, but I would go as far as saying I actually prefer the live-action retelling of Aladdin to the Beauty and the Beast remake. This movie completely captivated me.
The songs are incredible, I love the modern twists they’ve added to the classic songs. I was a little confused as to why they didn’t use some of the songs from the stage version of Aladdin but there were a few nods towards the show with the opening melody to ‘Proud Of Your Boy’ being used throughout the movie (each time I was secretly hoping that Aladdin would start singing it!) I just feel like there are so many amazing songs in the show that the movie could have definitely used, but ‘Speechless’ is so much more than anything we could have asked for.
There are so many similarities to the original film that I think even if you were to compare the two, I don’t think you would find a scene in the original movie that wasn’t in this one. They kept pretty much everything but added even more details to the storyline. As well as the many similarities the movie has to the original, I also loved all the little changes Disney made to the new version. I won’t spoil any for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, but there were a few things now that just make so much more sense. I loved the idea of the opening scene with the Mariner and his wife & children on the boat (although I guessed straight away who the wife was!) One thing that made me fall in love with the movie, even more, was one of the easter eggs I spotted in the scene with the maps. The Genie makes Fantasyland from Disney’s Magic Kingdom appear when Aladdin is trying to show Jasmine where Ababwa is. (I may or may not have squealed with joy a little bit) I can’t wait to try and spot even more easter eggs next time! One thing I will mention about the sets is that I didn’t think the cave of wonders was as extravagant as it possibly could have been but I suppose this helped set the slightly darker atmosphere of what was happening in the scene.
Last but not least, the choreography in this movie is amazing. The dance routines (particularly the one in the end credits) are just brilliant. For me, it’s one of those movies that make me wish I had the confidence (and the talent!) to be a performer. As I said, I really cannot fault a single thing about this movie. It is now one of my firm favourites for sure!
The sets, the costumes, the cast, the songs, the design, the acting – everything, and I mean EVERYTHING about this movie is just perfect.
You will laugh, you will cry (I know I did) and your heart will be warmed. I simply can’t put into words just how much I loved this movie, I can’t wait to see it again!