I am here for every single Disney live-action remake. I love that they are doing this. I find them so much fun and love taking my kids.
That being said, I wasn’t super excited about this new Aladdin after I saw the preview. I was worried the movie just wouldn’t measure up for some reason. I was worried I would be disappointed.
I was in junior high when the original movie came out in 1992 and I remember loving it back then. I have seen the movie a few times since then but it has been quite a few years.
We went opening night to see this live-action Aladdin and walked out of that theater super impressed. Sure, the movie was a bit cheesy, and Aladdin is a musical, so if you don’t like musicals, you won’t like this movie, no matter what else I have to say about it.
The plot is pretty much the same as the cartoon, with some changes. One of the biggest is the reason why Jasmine needs to find a husband. In this one, her father, the Sultan wants to marry her off for alliance reasons. However, she wants to be the next Sultan, even though she is a woman and not allowed to do so.
They also make some clothing changes and have added characters, such as Dalia, who is Jasmine’s handmade.
Overall, this was a pretty amazing cast. Since the movie takes place in an Arabian setting, although fictional, most of the main cast is from Arab, Middle Eastern, Central Asian, and Southern Asian descent.
Aladdin is played by Mena Massoud, whom you might have seen in Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. I enjoyed him as Aladdin, and I felt like he brought personality to the role. He very much became Aladdin for me.
Jasmine is played by Naomi Scott, who was the pink power ranger in the new Power Ranger movie. She was truly amazing in the role, showing us a very strong Jasmine who knew what she wanted, even if it seemed impossible that she could have it. She sings a new song, “Speechless” which is pretty amazing and I think the lyrics were pretty perfect.
The genie is played by Will Smith. He was pretty funny in his own way and he really worked as the genie for me. I wasn’t a huge fan with the way he looked like when he was in his genie form, something was a little off about it, but not enough to ruin the movie. I think the late Robin Williams would have been happy with the way he played this role.
Dalia was played by Nasim Pedrad, who you have seen on Saturday Night Live. She brings some of her humor to the role and allowing Jasmine to have a friend was smart. And I loved her storyline!
Jafar, played by Marwan Kenzari was okay in the role. Some have said he doesn’t seem scary enough but I thought he was, although a lot of his power came from his staff, not from him himself.
Navid Negahban as the Sultan was also a good choice. He played Jasmine’s father as supportive but also someone who felt a bit stuck in his choices because of tradition, and of course, influenced by Jafar.
My Final Thoughts On The Movie
The setting did look like a set in some ways, but it works and I couldn’t help but start singing along to the lyrics during the songs. I loved too that they kept the same animal companions and there were many laugh-out-loud moments.
If you have small children, they will probably do okay in the movie but there are just a couple of darker scenes having to do with Jafar.
One of the things I love about these Disney re-makes is remembering the original movies, and watching the stories in a different light, and this movie checked that box. I loved how much more modern Jasmine was, how she went after what she wanted, and what she brought to the film. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, so I will stop there but I think if you are a Disney fan, you will like this one.
Have you seen the new live-action Aladdin yet? What did you think?