The last movie I saw in the movie theaters was the remake of Disney’s Aladdin. I have to tell you, I loved the movie. I know, liking a musical doesn’t seem like a normal thing for me, but I really enjoyed the movie. The original Aladdin cartoon came out when I was in high school, and to this day, it is still my favorite animated movie.
What did I think of the movie? The same day I saw the movie, I got on my Amazon Music app and bought the soundtrack. Now I am living in a Whole New World while keeping One Jump Ahead of the competition feeling like Prince Ali while being very sure none of you will ever have a Friend Like Me.
How Will They Ever Replace Robin Williams?
The question on everyone’s mind is, “How on earth will they ever replace Robin Williams?” There is a simple answer to that question: You don’t. His role as Genie will be iconic for as long as my generation lives. The fact no one could do it like he did is not just truth, it is fact.
What I have to say to Will Smith, who plays the role of Genie, is kudos. Will Smith didn’t even try to impersonate Robin Williams. The role is Will Smith as Genie, probably the most different of the new interpretation of the characters. I really like Will Smith and I don’t know of anyone else I know of in Hollywood who could have pulled that off.
Mena Massoud was wonderful as Aladdin. It felt like he was pulled directly from the cartoon. He had the look, the voice and the presence of the original Aladdin. His singing was great and the parkour scenes were just as intense as I remember them being in the original.
Naomi Scott was Jasmine and she did a wonderful job as well. She sings beautifully and looked the part. I was glad they changed up her costume from the original cartoon to give her some dignity. They wanted to create a powerful female character in her, which included a change from the original. More on that in a moment.
The music was great, the cinematography was outstanding, everything was in excellent scale and the dance numbers were a complete delight to watch. There is one change from the original that I want to discuss, but before I do, I want to give you a big…
You have been warned.
The One Way the New Version is Different
The one change in the story is how the end comes about. In the original, after the Genie is freed, the Sultan changes the law so that the princess can marry anyone she pleases. The implication here is that once they are married, Aladdin would be the new Sultan. In this version, the Sultan changes the law so that women can be the Sultan, meaning she can now marry anyone she chooses.
We all knew that Disney would put in a girl power theme because they have done that in many of their movies. They did it in Star Wars: The Last Jedi and it was beyond terrible. They also did it in both Avengers: Infinity War and End Game and it was incredible. Please don’t interpret this as me having a problem with strong female characters; I love them. I just like good storytelling, which The Last Jedi failed to do on multiple levels.
So knowing it was going to be in Aladdin, I absolutely LOVED the change. It actually made a lot more sense and Jasmine has an incredible song added called Speechless, which is near the top of my most-played songs in my Amazon Library. When this song was done with her walking through the rest of the characters frozen in place, I couldn’t even blink. I loved it.
All in all, I loved the new Aladdin enough that I plan to see it again when it comes out on BluRay. For any of you who are children of the 80s-90s, this will be a nostalgic experience that will appeal to our modern expectations.
There is one complaint I have. On the soundtrack I bought, there is another version of A Whole New World sang by two people named ZAYN and Zahavia Ward. I don’t know either of these, singers but to say this version of this beautiful song is terrible would be a compliment.