On Tuesday I went to the cinema with my friends and family to watch Aladdin
Now I have to confess that I am of the generation who saw the Disney Cartoon with the Genie being voiced by Robin Williams and this is part of the iconography of my life and being a parent.
Disney have brought out their latest live action version of a film in which the Genie is played and voiced by Will Smith.
Going in the conversations revolved around the obvious comparisons whether which will better or is the film just going to be a poor copy of the animation. Having heard mixed messages praising it as the best live action film from the Disney stable to it destroying the magic of the cartoon.
Well I have to say that because time has gone on (from mid 90’s) that special effects are able to replicate a lot of the scenes and movement that occurred within the original film’s animation.
In analysing the story, it remains the classical tale of the street urchin Aladdin meeting up with Princess Jasmine and saving her from being arrested. When they ‘meet up again’ in the palace, Aladdin is arrested by Jafar who needs him to bring back the lamp. Abu the monkey causes the cave to collapse and ultimately the Genie and magic carpet appear and so on.
This film adds a few ‘changes’ as compared to the cartoon and its attitudes towards women is updated- no more ‘weak and feeble princess’ waiting to be saved but instead a strong character supported by her friend the ‘handmaiden.’
The mixture of the live action, special effects and the additions to the story help to make the tale believable and less schmaltzy (as much as Disney can be) and a future classic in its own right.
The classic songs are there with some new ones expressing the strength of women, hip-hop and rap interspersed in the new rendering of the familiar refrains.
In summary it is a “whole new world” thanks to CGI and Will Smith has made the Genie his own without trampling upon the legend of Robin Williams and gets a wife in the end.
9 out of 10