Review: Disney's Aladdin
Updated: Jun 26, 2019
Costumes, music, and performances in Disney's live-action was phenomenal!
Despite reluctant feelings from fans of the original 90's Aladdin, the new live-action movie defied expectations and more. While it may make some of us uncomfortable to compare the two movies, we have to remind ourselves that each version of the movie truly depicts the time period it was created in.
Jasmine in the 90's Aladdin is sassy enough to let her Tiger bite you in the behind, but Naomi Scott's depiction of Jasmine has so much more depth to her character. This Jasmine is much more independent, and more worried about being a leader for her people instead of just being able to marry who she wants. Can we say feminist vibes? This Jasmine really kicks butt..with or without her Tiger Raja. The song "Speechless" she sings from the soundtrack literally left me speechless. Not only because of the message the song brings and how important and powerful the meaning of it is for little girls around the world, but because Naomi Scott is a force to be reckoned with. I loved her as the Pink ranger in Power Rangers, but this role really showed her talents off--vocally and on-screen.
Also, as much as we love the original costumes, the costumes from the live-action are as beautiful as they are original in their own ways. Disney stores are already selling the iconic orange dress Jasmine wears in the movie which I plan to get for my own girls.
Okay, but enough about Jasmine. What about our diamond in the rough, Aladdin? Mena Massoud brings his own boyish charms to the character, so you don't have to worry about losing that aspect from Aladdin. His comedic timing in the movie is perfect and his interactions with Jasmine are absolutely genuine. You'll love seeing these two connect on screen, especially when he tucks Jasmine's hair behind her ear.
Finally, moving to my last review of our main characters, Will Smith absolutely owned his role as Genie. He did not disappoint whatsoever! Now, I don't know if it's because of the pressure to not flop as Genie, since so many Robbin William fans didn't give Will Smith the benefit of the doubt, but I knew he would pull it off in his own way. There was even a part in the movie when they have the parade arrival of Prince Ali and Genie was the mastermind of how Aladdin's entrance would look. The people in the audience loved it so much, we all started applauding because Will Smith made it feel like we were there with the crowd. What I love most about this Genie is that they focused a lot more on his personality and life in this movie. He wasn't just a genie, he was wise like an older brother and had dreams of his own that really made Genie feel more human in the live-action.
Overall, the live-action stands on its own. The culture, music and the dancing was not only entertaining and on point, but it made the story of Aladdin less American-washed because it was inspired by real roots. The movie had a balanced focus on love, friendship, and feminism. It heightened the confident voice Jasmine always had in the 90's, ..and most of all it gave Genie the happy ending he always deserved.