Disney Classic ‘Aladdin’ Brings Magic to Theaters in Live Action

Movie Review



Aladdin was released in threaters on May 24th, 2019.

Duyen To and Christina Wong

Associate Editors Christina Wong and Duyen To  went to see the new live action “Aladdin” last weekend. In a conversational review, each writer shares her thoughts on the film. 

Duyen: I thought “Aladdin” was really good! Can’t beat the original though. The singing is on point, but I thought the romantic scenes were a little cringe. I liked how Jasmine got her own song, which she never got in the original movie. Will Smith makes the genie his own and this actually made this whole movie.

Christina: I enjoyed “Aladdin” too. I agree with Yen; like most movies, it’s hard to compete with the original because of the big impact it made in the beginning. Although, for a live action version of an animated movie, director Guy Ritchie did an amazing job! The musical numbers were beautiful, especially “Prince Ali,” where the visuals with the dancers, brightly colored flowers, and the scenery as a whole was breathtaking. One of the movie’s iconic songs is “A Whole New World,” and I think the actors really lived up to the hype. Naomi Scott’s voice in Speechless was amazing, it made me a little teary as well.

Duyen: Speaking of iconic songs, “Never had a friend like me” was also spectacular. From the   vocals to the astonishing animation, this number was one of my favorite scenes throughout the movie. The Genie definitely stuck out, just like Robin Williams does. Although, I did wish he was fully animated rather than being partly animated because it would’ve made it feel more connected to the original movie.

Christina: His character was charismatic and fun to watch, but like Yen, I admit I wish he was more animated with all of the screen time he had. The genie not being animated, however, gave but him not being animated gave him a chance to act in ways the original genie could not.

Duyen: Without the Genie being fully animated, it provides unexpecting scenes involving him, such as the intro of the movie,  which was different if compared to the original movie as well as some romantic moments with a new character. I’m glad the producers didn’t take away the magical element, figuratively and literally, from the original.

Christina: The producers did a great job using the original movie’s scenes as references, and turning the  fictional city of Agrabah into someplace that felt real. Aladdin and Jasmine rode on a magic red carpet at night, and sang “A Whole New World.” The live action made it even more beautiful, showing the whole night scene of the town.

Duyen: The scenery in the movie was absolutely breathtaking. From the lighting to the way the camera was able to capture the motions and actions of the actors, I was blown away. If the movie had more original songs, I would have loved it so much more. Some songs in the movie felt out of place, even if they were in the original. It made me realize how corny a lot of romantic disney movies are.

Christina: In contrast to Yen’s opinion, I felt all of the songs that were in the original and were used in the live action and connected to the plot.I don’t think they were corny; in fact, I think the songs were necessary to tie the whole storyline together.

Duyen: In the scene in which Aladdin and Jasmine were running away from the guards, I felt that the song “One Jump Ahead” was a bit unneeded. In the original, it was animated, making the song more fun and lively, but the live version felt a tad boring and lacked creativity. The scene also ended differently, which I didn’t like.

Christina: Once again, I disagree, I think the song was needed to show the chemistry that was slowly forming between Aladdin and Jasmine, and what better way to do that than with a song. In the live action version of this scene. Aladdin is shown performing dangerous stunts from high buildings to escape from the guards. It was nowhere near boring or cringy.

Duyen: Moving on, Marwan Kenzari did do a phenomenal job portraying Jafar. I especially like how they didn’t change much about the character. Marwan Kenzari fully acted his part as Jafar, making him one of my favorite characters throughout the move. Although he is the villain, Kenzari’s acting made me feel sympathetic towards his character.

Christina: On the flip side, Jafar’s sidekick, Iago, didn’t have the same defiant cocky attitude he had in the animated version. One major reason is that Iago is a parrot, and the producers wanted to stay true to making the movie feel real. I understand that, but it’s a shame that they couldn’t showcase Iago’s sassiness in a new way.

Duyen: Overall, the music and animation was absolutely amazing. I loved how the movie sent the message that you don’t need to lie to impress anyone, while showing how a person can be strong without the need of power or help from others. I would rate “Aladdin” live action movie, a 7.5 out of 10. My favorite elements of the movie were the beautifully animated scenes and the eye-catching scenery. The acting, singing and attention to character was outstanding, though, I did wish they hadn’t changed a few aspects of the original movie, like the addition of new scenes and characters. The movie was a magical ride throughout the cinema, and I’m glad I got the chance to see it.

Christina: The ending really conveyed that theme when Aladdin’s true identity was revealed to Jasmine. Even though Aladdin wasn’t a prince, Jasmine and her father accepted him for his true self. In conclusion, I would give “Aladdin” a 8 out of 10, because although I really liked the movie, it didn’t fully meet my expectations. Overall, the scenery, music, and actors and actresses were amazing.