As big a Disney fan as I am I actually wasn’t THAT excited about the live action version of Aladdin. That was mostly down to feeling underwhelmed by the cast (I’m a firm believer Jade Thirwall should’ve been cast as Jasmine but whatever), but actually it was super good.
The film starts with Will Smith telling the story to two children; a slight change from the animation but as we all know he plays the genie it’s closer than it looks on the surface. He starts to sing and I have to admit I cringed a little, but I think it was a bit like Emma Watson singing in Beauty and the Beast and just not what I was expecting so I soon adjusted to it and started to appreciate it. He was funny and I loved the little adjustments to the genies role that allowed Will Smith to really shine; for example the dancing in Never Had A Friend Like Me. Other than being the most memorable character from the original, Will Smith also had to live up to Robin Williams’ portrayal, and I have to say he did a really good job!
Mena Massoud plays Aladdin and he’s super cute; which lets be honest had to be Aladdin is one of the better looking Disney princesses. He has a good voice and was really able to sell the role of the loveable yet deceitful street rat. Princess Jasmine is played by Naomi Scott. She is beautiful and fulfils the elegant yet feisty elements of the character well. Of course, in this feminist revolution that we are currently living in they had to upgrade Princess Jasmine to be more self sufficient and less of a damsel in distress; although she was never a prize to be won! I did enjoy the new song they added into the film to allow her a strong female solo but the way it played out was a little bit cheesy!
The animals were amazing too! Let’s be honest Raja is the best character and it’s kind of hard to make a ‘real’ tiger cute but the protective nature fit so good. Abu was believably reliable and Iago was really annoying like he should be. But the carpet was my favourite. I always loved how Disney gave a rug a personality and I thought they brought it into the live action nicely; although he wasn’t quite as funny!
Oh and the costumes are amazing! See it just got that if you have to.
Overall, it was a good adaptation and I will definitely watch it again. The animation will still be my favourite though!