Aladdin is one of Disney's latest live action movies that are bringing back the nostalgic feel of many adult's childhoods, including myself as I grew up watching Disney movies as a child and continue to watch them as an adult. When I first heard that Aladdin was being remade, I was thrilled. Then I heard that Will Smith was going to play the genie and people were roasting him, criticizing him, saying he doesn't make a good genie and he looks weird. Other comments circulating are that the cast could have been better and that the movie doesn't have the same Disney magic as the other live action remakes that have been done. The movie has only been out since May 24.
The live action Aladdin still has the Disney magic and deserves more praise and credit than it is receiving.
Looking at the cast, the first person that comes to mind is Mena Massoud, the man who plays Aladdin.
All I have to say about him is he is such a great fit for Aladdin. He has the Aladdin smile down that would melt anyone's heart. He is charming, charismatic, and honestly straight up adorable. He does such a great job at portraying emotions, the dance moves are incredible, and his singing is on point. He truly embraces the character of the street rat turned prince.
Naomi Scott plays Princess Jasmine in the live action remake. While her appearance doesn't scream Princess Jasmine, she still is a pretty close fit. As a personal taste I like how they had her fully dressed and not in the crop top that the character had in the original Disney movie. In the live action remake she looks more like a princess. She has a beautiful regal appearance and embraces the role of princess. However, something Scott also does is play the role of feminist.
In the live action remake there is one new song not in the original "I won't be silenced" where Jasmine is singing about how she is going to use her voice and not sit on the side lines. She wants to be sultan and believes that she is the best person to rule her people because she knows her people whereas a man from another country doesn't know anything about them.
I believe that this addition is very important, especially for young girls going and seeing this movie. They will learn that it is important to use your voice and fight for what you believe in. While the song itself isn't necessary to get the point across, it's still a nice addition.
To the man taking the most heat during the release of the movie, Will Smith as the genie. Comments made about him as the genie is that it's weird that he's blue, while he isn't blue throughout the whole film, they say that he doesn't do the character justice and that he does a horrible job at playing the genie.
Will Smith did the character justice, honoring how the character was made while making it his own.
For those who don't know the history of the character, there was no script set for the genie. When Robin Williams was brought in they told him to go into the sound booth and start playing the part. The script was ad-libbed by Robin Williams, therefore written for and by Robin Williams. The genie was his character.
Due to the history of the character, I believe that it wouldn't matter who was chosen to play the genie in the live action movie. People would still complain due to the simple fact that it couldn't be played by Robin Williams.
Will Smith did the character justice, even having a tribute to the original character design while in the Cave of Wonders. He added his own personal flair while using exact quotes from the original movie. Even during the end credits he added a rap version of "You ain't ever had a friend like me". However, the songs for the genie which were that and "Prince Ali" were on point and exactly like the original. Will Smith deserves nothing but praise for taking such a high profile roll.
While some say that the live action doesn't have the Disney magic that the other movies have, I was in nothing but awe watching this movie. The genie's songs particularly had me (literally) on the edge of my seat bouncing and wide-eyed. As a child, the "Prince Ali" number was my favorite. Seeing it done in live action, while it was not exact in that they didn't take the parade inside, the words were word-for-word correct to where I was singing along in the theater. With "Prince Ali", "You ain't ever had a friend like me", and "A whole new world" being in the movie word-for-word if not super close, brought back so many childhood memories and I was nothing short of ecstatic.
There were only two critiques I had in regards to the live action movie where I was a little bit salty.
When it comes to the character Jafar, I feel like he did a wonderful job playing the character. In fact, I have no problem with how the character was portrayed by Marwan Kenzari. What I am salty about is that we did not get the character transforming into the giant snake, and he did not call Aladdin "Prince Ali Abooboo", which was one of my favorite moments in the original movie that had me laughing until I was in tears.
However, Aladdin is keeping up with the Disney live action remakes game and is continuing to bring the magic.