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The Controversy In The Upcoming Live Action “Aladdin” Movie

Let’s be honest, Disney’s live action movies are just a cash grab. They’re the safe play; there’s no risk in remaking an old classic such as Cinderella, Dumbo or Aladdin. By remarketing the old cartoons, Disney only has to mention the name of the movie and it’ll make money.

The live action Aladdin movie will be premiering May 24. It doesn’t look like there will be many changes to the movie according to the trailer, minus Jaffar looking way cuter than Aladdin. Will Smith seems like the only logical charismatic alternative to Robert Williams. The parkour is all that I ask for. Even with my nostalgia heightening my excitement to see a live action Aladdin, Lion King and Mulan, I still don’t see the need to remake masterpieces.

The obvious cash grab that is live action movie remakes, most of them so CGI that they might as well be animation, are so restricted from the nostalgia in the past that they are backed into a corner on their creativity. Any changes to the beloved stories can cause up roar, such as the genie not being blue for most of the movie. The backlash was so polar that the trailers moved from having no blue genie, to having a blue genie all the time, which was scary, then to the final trailer having both the blue genie and regular human Will Smith. Being afraid of backlash or the fear of not being different enough from the original to make hasty CGI visuals can ruin the whole look or tone of a movie.

More controversy comes from the casting of some background characters. An extra, Kaushal Odedra had stated that he had seen Disney putting makeup on faired skin extras to make them look more ethically darker. Hopefully Disney has changed their tactics, but even so, them thinking that they could do it in the first place is so insensitive that it can taint the whole movie.

If the creators of the new live action movies create their movies out of love and respect for the original movies and for those they’re trying to portray, and also create it without fear of creativity, it can be something amazing. If it’s just a cash grab mimicking under the guise of creativity, audiences might as well stick with the original animation.

Madelaine Formica is nineteen. She is the Campus Correspondent for the Hamline HerCampus Chapter. She's been published for her scripts on jaBlog and for a short story in Realms YA magazine. She's also a senior reporter for The Oracle and a literary editor for Fulcrum literary magazine.
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