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Damon Reviews Disney’s Aladdin (2019)!


As a child, Aladdin was one of my favorite movies. I even watched the direct-to-video sequels over and over. Then when the 2019 remake was announced I was cautiously optimistic.

Now, on to the mostly spoiler free meat of it all:

Personally, I thought the casting was quite good. The movie stars Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, Marwan Kenzari, and Will Smith as Aladdin, Princess Jasmine, Jafar, and Genie respectively. While the late and great Robin Williams’ portrayal of Genie is impossible to outshine, Will Smith does a good job of making the character his own. Mena and Naomi have a believable chemistry as well. Marwan as Jafar didn’t seem sinister enough from the trailers, but I was quickly reassured that he was just as much of a snake as ever.

The music may divide some people. Personally, I liked most of it. Will Smith’s background in music is showcased here, giving his songs an upbeat jam kind of vibe. “Friend Like Me” uses a lot of visual jokes just like the original, which was very welcome in my personal opinion. “Prince Ali” was surprisingly more lively than the original, even doing its best to emulate the 1992 scene with Genie playing multiple characters to further impress the crowd. A couple of lines of this song was changed to modernize it for a new audiences, as well as correcting “Sunday Salaam” to “Friday Salaam”. The only song that really felt flat with me was a 2019 original that Jasmine sang in the first act, which had a reprise during the third act.

The story? Have you seen the original 1992 version? Its basically just that, but with a few minor changes. Genie is given a little more character development and a love interest, but it is surprisingly not pushed too heavily. Jasmine is also given more development, showing that she has aspirations to lead her people. Overall, it doesn’t do much to change the formula, for better or worse.

Damon’s Final verdict: Honestly, remakes are a tough sell. You just cant please everyone. If you were expecting something more than a flashy live-action retelling of the animated classic, you’ll be disappointed. If you wanted fairly faithful modern adaptation of Aladdin, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

I give Aladdin (2019) a nice 7/10

Now, we wait for the remake of the Lion King…


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