Aladdin: A Magic Carpet Ride

When Disney announced they were re-making Aladdin into a live-action film, I was excited, and I thought it was the perfect choice for a live-action remake because of its setting, and story. I was looking forward to it, and willing to accept any changes they would make to the film, and I was even happy to go see it without the music. Whereas, with the Beauty and the Beast re-make, I NEEDED that one to be perfect, and to not disappoint me. I did not want Disney to ruin that classic for me. Thankfully, they did a FANTASTIC job with it, and it was just as magical and wonderful as the animated classic.
Wednesday 22nd May was the release of Aladdin, and I saw it that evening with friends. I had avoided clips, and reviews all day, but I did catch a few headlines of reviews, and started to hear opinions on the soundtrack, as that had been released as well. I was starting to get a bit nervous just before going into the cinema because I wasn’t seeing or hearing anything positive or exciting about it. The worry was setting in, and all of a sudden, I wanted the film to be as perfect as Beauty and the Beast.
I was remembering my Aladdin Bedding I used to have when I was 8 years old. I loved my Aladdin and Jasmine dolls, and I played with them the most. I had Aladdin pyjamas, lunchbox, glitter cup, plastic plate and cutlery set. I was remembering how much I loved the animated classic and all of a sudden, I NEEDED the live-action to be amazing.

Before I continue, I am about to describe how I felt without describing any particular scenes, so hopefully it won’t spoil anything for you. but if you don’t want to know anything, then stop reading now…

The film started and so did the butterflies. During the opening scene my face screwd up a bit. The impression I was getting was that this was going to be cheesy, and fun, so I had to clear my mind, and prepare to watch, possibly a cringy, cheesy, good feeling, fun musical.
It got right into it, and it didn’t drag the beginning. And within 15-20 minutes, MAGIC happened. Yes, The Genie was finally on the big screen, and he was big, loud, blue and BRILLIANT! Will Smith was perfect, made it his own, but also paid homage to Robin Williams too. He made the songs his own, he was funny, he danced, he got jiggy with it, and for me, he stole the film, just like Robin Williams did with the animated classic.
Like, Robin Williams, Will Smith is a big part of my growing up. I watched Fresh Prince, went to the cinema to see him on the big screen, and had his albums on repeat. But Will Smith has done a lot of dramatic films, especially over the last 10-15 years, and we’ve not seen the “fun” side of him for a while. He brings major 90s vibe in his portrayal of The Genie, and it was like watching a young Will Smith, like Men in Black, and Fresh Prince. Thank you Will Smith.

Aladdin and Jasmine were beautiful, and charming and fun, and they can sing! A Whole New World was so magical and beautiful to watch. Very romantic. Jasmine though for me, was more relatable, and a much stronger character. Nioami Scott really impressed me. Everyone is talking about her song ‘Speechless’ and it was a really good song, and she has an amazing voice. Her outfits were so pretty, and colourful, and she owned the screen. She is right behind Will Smith in terms of stealing the film. I’m excited to see her on screen again.

Jafar on the other hand was probably my only little issue with the film, but it didn’t spoil it. He was far too good looking lol, he was not scary or menacing enough for me, and there was no evil laugh! He didn’t look like a snake, or behave like a snake, which is how he is in the animated version. It was still a good performance, it just didn’t wow me like Luke Evans did with Gaston.

The Music was FANTASTIC! you heard and recognised it all the way through the film, from start to finish. Everyone who sang was amazing, of course WILL SMiTH WAS BRILLIANT! The end credit song is SO GOOD! I wanted to sing a long so badly. I had the biggest smile on my face during ‘A Friend Like Me’ and ‘Prince Ali’. They were two of the best bits in the film.
And Guy Ritchie, the director, known for making British Gangster films, I think, was a fan of the original, because his live-action re-make was NOTHING like a Guy Ritchie film. He brought lots of nostalgia, lots of colour, lots of humour, music and good feeling, to the film. For me, it was bordering on a Baz Luhrmann film, it had a bit of that feeling to it. So yes, Guy Ritchie, you did a great job, thank you!

This re-make is an enjoyable watch. All I felt was happiness while watching it. And if you want to go to the cinema and watch a film that will make you feel just that, then you will like Aladdin. I don’t think we enjoy films enough these days, I think we’ve become too critical, and trust me, I’m terrible for it. But now and again, a film comes a long that just makes you feel good and happy and theres nothing wrong with that. So go and see Aladdin, trust me!

Jamie

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