“Aladdin” Review

"Aladdin" is fresh and entertaining, but doesn’t pull ahead of the original.

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“Aladdin” Review

Courtesy of IMDb

Courtesy of IMDb

Courtesy of IMDb

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Even with the same plot line, this live action rendition of the Disney classic takes the original story to a whole new level with a fresh soundtrack, humor and action making this movie certainly enjoyable for all ages.

Disney’s live action “Aladdin” is a contemporary take on the classic story of diamond in the rough thief, Aladdin, and as he uses three wishes from a quick-witted genie to win over the princess Jasmine. In the Cave of Wonders, Aladdin finds the lamp that Jafar, a Royal Vizier, had been searching for in order to gain power over the city.  

With his first wish, Aladdin wishes to become a prince to, hopefully, win over princess Jasmine’s heart. But in turn, this wish turns out to haunt him in the long run when Aladdin is forced to reveal his secret to the Princess of Agrabah.

Jafar ultimately discovers Aladdin’s secret and continually attempts to undermine him to obtain the lamp. Aladdin must use his street smarts to stop Jafar and save princess Jasmine and the city of Agrabah from the wrath of the Jafar.

This new take on the classic Disney movie was filled with action, bright costumes and plenty of humor throughout the entire movie. Being live action added a new level of complexity in the scenes and background, making the viewer feel like they are actually in the land of Agrabah. Many of the film’s brightest moments are CGI, such as the famous magic carpet ride, and give the film more substance behind the scenes.

With new song additions like “Speechless,” the soundtrack of this “Aladdin” rendition certainly does not disappoint. All of the songs from the Disney classic are highlighted throughout this two hour movie, often remixed with the addition of a drum set or a new, faster beat. Along with the catchy melodies, the choreography of the numerous dance scenes is refreshing and engaging, while providing a lighthearted interjection to the plot.

Aladdin, played by Mena Massoud gives the classic rags to riches character substance as he illustrates Aladdin’s the struggle between wealth and identity. While Massoud’s singing voice isn’t show-stopping, his charisma and fresh portrayal of the famous prince are worth the watch.

As princess Jasmine, Naomi Scott illustrates the stereotypical daughter of a patriarchal ruler where she attempts to break free from the typical lifestyle of being seen, instead of being heard. Scott embodies the princess of Agrabah, giving the classic princess a fresh, feminist moral compass along with a strong singing voice.

The sidekicks for each main character do not disappoint, as Will Smith steals the show as the humorous genie, providing comedic relief to action pact scenes when the suspense may get too heavy without it. As well as light hearted jokes, Smith shines during the musical scenes with his fresh take on the classic songs like “Arabian Nights” and “Friend Like Me”. In addition, Jafar’s right hand man, who is actually a talking parrot named Iago, provides subtle comedic lines and repetitions throughout the movie that may be missed if viewers are not watching the movie closely.  

 Although this movie provides a new take on a classic, the animated Disney original still prevails with its strong moral message and, of course, Robin Williams’ humorous jokes.