Movie Review: Diamond still in the rough, live-action ‘Aladdin’ sticks too true to the animated classic

by Matt Roseboom

Aladdin” (2019) is the latest release in Disney’s ongoing list of live-action remakes of classic animated films. And while reliving childhood stories has its charms, when next to nothing changes or is added, it leaves me asking why it’s been remade at all. 

Mena Massoud as the street rat with a heart of gold, Aladdin, and Will Smith as the larger-than-life Genie in Disney’s “Aladdin”, directed by Guy Ritchie.

By Quinn Roseboom

While there are some really great visuals and a couple of new songs, the overall story itself sticks almost too true to the original, unlike other remakes like “Dumbo” or “Maleficent”. They take the story and characters you love and have added a few twists, or enough new plot-lines that make it worth redoing. Even “Cinderella” and “Beauty and the Beast” changed and added enough to make it distinguishable from the original, but “Aladdin” was nearly the same exact story with only one or two tiny plot deviations.

Aladdin live-action poster

Making internet headlines upon the first trailer release, fans have been worried about Will Smith’s rendition of the Genie in this movie. Smith could never live up to Robin Williams’ performance, but it really seems to me he tried the best he could, while also adding a little bit of his own flare and beatboxing (perhaps unfortunately) to the character. Besides that particular decision however, the rest of the cast was great in their roles, especially Aladdin himself, Mena Massoud. He played the role perfectly – looking and sounding almost exactly like the animated classic (which is something I do what to be the same). 

If you’re looking for a new way to introduce the story to your little ones or to relive the memory of seeing the original in theaters, then definitely head out to “Aladdin”. 

Disney's Aladdin Official Trailer - In Theaters May 24!

“Aladdin” is rated PG and is out in theaters this weekend. There’s no end credit scene, however, there is a scene while they first start to roll. I had the chance to see the movie in IMAX, but I’d say to skip IMAX or 3D viewings for this one. 

In The Parks

Aladdin and Princess Jasmine can be found for a meet and greet at virtually every Disney resort.

At Magic Kingdom guests can fly magic carpets themselves in Adventureland and as part of Philharmagic; and at Epcot you can meet Aladdin and Jasmine in the Morocco Pavilion in World Showcase.

At Disneyland, guests can rub the magic lamp, and meet Aladdin and Jasmine in Adventureland, or enter the Cave of Wonders and see a miniature Agrabah on the Storybook Canal Boats.

Here’s a look at the ride at Magic Kingdom:

Fly over Adventureland on The Magic Carpets of Aladdin at Magic Kingdom

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