So here are my thoughts fresh from the theater. I’m going to break this down into things I liked, things I didn’t like and things that could have been improved. As you all know, I was not a strong proponent for this remake and I still have mixed feelings about the movie. Remember, this is my favorite Disney film with my favorite princess!
Here’s what I liked. I liked the casting of Jasmine, the Genie and I half liked Aladdin. The streets were filled with color and the scenery was breathtaking. I liked the initial meeting with Jasmine and Aladdin and how they tried to give them some common ground with their parents. Abu and Rajah were done well. I’m still trying to figure out how someone can tame a tiger to be your pet and yes, I know about Siegfried and Roy but that didn’t really end well, did it? Either way, they were fine. I loved the new Sultan. The Sultan in the original was very naive and happy-go-lucky but this Sultan had a backbone and that’s what we needed in this remake. The fact that this Sultan knows what’s going on in his city and what he wants to do with it was refreshing to see because it wasn’t as easy for Jafar to manipulate him as it was in the original.
I enjoyed the hip hop flair they added to the storyline and music, which I assume had something to do with Will Smith being the Genie. I, personally, LOVED Will Smith as the Genie for this new generation of kids. The original Genie, Robin Williams, was for our generation and we will cherish him forever. In all reality, the original role was actually written for him so no one could take his place, but Smith made this role his own and I enjoyed every minute of it. I’ve heard some compare it to the dearly departed original but much like Williams, this Genie role for this movie was written for Smith. I’m almost certain Smith took some liberties and ad libbed a bunch of those lines which made it so Will and clearly not Robin.
I feel this is where I should detour back into CGI land and gripe about this CGI THAT WAS AWFUL STILL. Disney is a powerhouse. Let’s face it, Disney and Nickelodeon was all we knew growing up. Disney has and had the money to find people who could and should have made that CGI of that blue Genie look better. I would personally like to speak to the people who watched this movie for the first time and said, “Yeah, this looks great. Let’s put this out.” Now, I may be spoiled because I’ve lived in a Marvel world for ten years but still this should have looked as real as Thanos and Asgard. I was severely disappointed and I thought that they would have fixed this but clearly they just ignored it. Also, before I get off my soapbox, the syncing between Will talking and the lips of the Genie moving was off and I noticed because I’m an anal person. I think that was all for blue Genie. Let’s move on to Jafar. Jafar, Ursula and Scar were the trifecta. They made us tremble when we saw them onscreen. No one should have been scared of this Jafar. His voice wasn’t scary, his demeanor wasn’t scary and I wasn’t scared when he came on screen or when I first saw him. Mike Wazowski was scarier than this man.
In this version, they gave the Genie something to sort of look forward to when he gets free by way of an added love interest. This addition worked in some ways and in some ways it didn’t. The movie starts with the freed Genie on a boat with his kids. His wife encourages him to tell the children a story but we don’t see her face. Here’s my problem with starting the movie this way. If you haven’t seen this film, and for those who have, this opening scene ruins the ending where Aladdin frees the Genie. It would have been better if the wife, who was Jasmine’s handmaid and now Genie’s wife, started telling the story and we didn’t see Genie at all. I think this would have been better because we don’t know this chick but we know who Genie is. That bothered me a lot.
Another small thing that bothered me. WHERE WAS MY RED OUTFIT?! I literally have the Funko Pop of Jasmine in that red outfit from the original in my kitchen right now. (She’s next to my Funko of Prince.) There was no red outfit and I was looking for that outfit so shame!
Aladdin can be found (where else?) on Disney+ so, if you haven’t already, go watch for yourself and see if your grievances are the same.