SPOILER ALERT: This article contains spoilers of the live-action "Aladdin."
I will be the first to say that I genuinely really love Disney. Their animated movies are part of my childhood and the childhoods of so many other kids around the world. With that being said, I find myself really conflicted about their new live-action remakes of popular movies. I mean, I loved the new "Beauty and the Beast" (because who can't love Emma Watson — even if she can't sing?), but the whole concept of remaking something that was already really good screams "let's make more money" to me.
But I think "Aladdin" actually made an important difference when it came to a remake. It changed the narrative regarding women, and it gave Princess Jasmine a voice that she so desperately needed.
When I first heard that they were remaking "Aladdin," I was skeptical to say the least, mostly regarding Will Smith as Genie, because I didn't think that anyone could play the role better than Robin Williams. However, Will Smith did a wonderful job as Genie and gave it some new flavor and truly made the role his own.
I was really interested to see how this new "Aladdin" was going to stack up against the old one in terms of its treatment of women. In "Beauty and the Beast," Belle is already a strong female character, so Disney didn't have to work to make her any different than what she already is.
But in the original movie, Jasmine has no voice, no character growth, and not much of a personality, and I wanted to see what Disney was going to do with her character now that they had the chance to remake the movie.
Let me say this: the live-action remake of "Aladdin" turned Jasmine into a strong, badass bitch who isn't afraid to stand up for what she believes in. And I'm here for it.
If you're a fan of musicals at all (guilty as charged, over here), you might have already listened to the soundtrack for this without seeing the movie, and you might have stumbled upon the song "Speechless." This song belongs to Jasmine and Jasmine alone and it shows how important standing up for what she believes in is to her. The song highlights a new character trait that Disney gave Jasmine. Disney made her a strong character who believes in making her own way in the world and standing up for others. They created a character who becomes the sultan, a male role. They gave Jasmine the ability to choose if she wanted to go after Aladdin. Disney made everything about Jasmine strong. And I'm beyond excited with the way that she was portrayed in this movie.
Disney, I'm giving you a round of applause for finally realizing that the damsel in distress narrative wasn't working and giving us a strong Jasmine, even if it was a little late.