Review: Welcome to the Whole New World of "Aladdin"

After Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, it is time for Aladdin to be turned into a live-action by Disney. The movie, directed by Guy Ritchie, tells the story of Aladdin, a young orphaned man who practices small thefts through the streets of the fictional city of Agrabah along with his pet monkey, Abu. In one of those moments, Aladdin meets Princess Jasmine, who was walking through the city in disguise and introduces herself to him as the princess’ servant.

However, during a visit to Jasmine at the palace, Aladdin is captured by Jafar, the sultan’s royal vizier, and ends up in a cave with the mission of finding a magic lamp, home for a blue genie capable of granting three wishes to those who rub the lamp.

The movie shows itself to be very loyal to the original 1992 animation and brings a nice sense of nostalgia, since the original songs are still present, with only small alterations to the lyrics and the addition of two new songs sung by Jasmine. The major difference in the story revolves around the Princess who, in the movie, wishes to be the sultana of Agrabah, meanwhile in the animation, Jasmine was considered a revolutionary for wanting to marry for love instead of political obligations.

Actress Naomi Scott is responsible for bringing to life a full-of-attitude Jasmine, who is empowered and proves herself to be so much more than just Aladdin’s love interest. Aladdin is played by actor Mena Massoud, who surprises by his charisma and for being able to brilliantly mix Aladdin’s wit, agility, trickery and good heart.

Image Source: IMDb

A great uncertainty about this movie was the Genie, played by Will Smith, since the actor had the responsibility of carrying on the legacy of Robin Williams, the Genie of the original animated movie. However, Will Smith does his job very well, managing to give the character his own characteristics and granting the audience some good laughs. On the other hand, Jafar and Iago, Jafar’s parrot, are a bit of a let down. In the original, the villain is charismatic and has a strong personality, it’s not just about his wish to seize power in Agrabah and become sultan. However, in the live-action, Jafar’s charisma is put aside and the story is solely focused on his thirst for power. And Iago is kind of boring and does not resemble the greedy parrot from the animation.

One of the positive aspects of the film is the well-done and colorful costumes, which bring a “Bollywood” aspect to the production, just like the well characterised setting. The special effects in general are good, but come a bit short in certain moments.

Image Source: IMDb

Finally, it’s worth noticing that the marketing for this movie wasn’t the strongest, but that ended up being a good thing, because the movie was positively surprising! It was capable of showing that the fears about the actors picked for the movie were in vain, since Mena, Naomi and Will did a great job in their respective roles. And without a doubt, the live-action managed to take everyone, children and adults alike, back to the city of Agrabah and the magical universe of Disney fairy tales, with songs that defined a generation and a story that was amazingly retold.