Warning: Salty review. Possible spoilers ahead.
I don’t typically do movie reviews, but since “Aladdin” (the Disney cartoon version) is my favorite classic Disney movie (fav. non-classic being “A Goofy Movie”), I just felt like I had to say something. (But, I also felt like I was being harshly judging this movie, since I kept comparing it to the original, so take this “review” with a grain of salt?) Maybe if you’d never seen the original, you would like it better.
(P.S. I also saw the live action musical last year. That had its flaws (and good points) too, but it didn’t prompt me/make me angry enough to write a whole review about it, however, lol.)
Overall movie rating: B-/C+
I even feel like my rating is being semi-soft on them, compared to others I’ve seen. But this was my internal rating before I read any others.
I went to go see this twice, but mostly because a separate group of friends/ family wanted to see it on different days. I judge how much I like a movie by how many times I want to re-watch it.
So, would I go again? Heck no. :0 I had to clean my mind by listening to the original songs on my way back home (the 1st time). But it was more bearable the 2nd time. Still, just… No…
I saw them really trying, and I commend them for that. But to relate that to one of Jasmine’s quotes from the movie, well, them trying too hard was a part of the problem.
Some things just rubbed me the wrong way. It was like they said in a meeting (to a lot of people who were involved), “So what should we add to this movie that you think should be in it?” instead of, “What should we change to make it better than the original?” (if that were possible). Who knows? Maybe they thought they couldn’t improve on “perfection”, and so they figured that every little thing that they added was there “just because” they wanted it, and not to add any real story deepnes. They added unnecessary things and took away the details which gave the original some of its charm and re-watchability in the first place.
1. The whole debacle with Jasmine wanting to be the Sultan. Okay… I get it… Women’s empowerment, etc. I’m all for that. I just felt like it was forced and not even a part of her character in the original. Not to mention, all that extra dialogue time could have been used for the other charming things they decided to exclude. I get why they thought it would be cool, but eh… Just wasn’t into it. Doesn’t even seem like the actress, herself, totally believed it either.
2. Unnecessary songs
These just ruined the mood for me and made things more comedic at the times they were supposed to be serious. Aladdin’s extra song wasn’t so bad as Jasmine’s (when she was captured/arrested). Like… That one was just laughable. 🤣🤣 Inappropriately laughable. And the people suddenly disappearing while she was singing, well… It just kind of took you out of the movie experience because it just seemed so random and inappropriate. Again, I can see why they did it, but it ruined the somber mood and tone. Not everyone needs a solo… Twice… (However, that “Speechless” song is currently in my head if that’s some consolation.)
3. Unnecessary relationships
Like… The handmaid… Why does everyone need to be a couple? Was I the only one who thought the whole Genie thing with her was a bit creepy…? He’s like… 10,000 yrs. your senior… Just sayin’…😬😅
4. The slow-mo… Again more comedic than anything… Welp. (The “chair”, anyone?)
5. The thing with the invasion. Not a big deal, but didn’t like how they added that in, but took out other things. See below…
Took away –
(I’m moreso salty because of what they took away)
1. Comedic bits. Some of this had to do with Robin W.’s original impromptu parts, but c’mon… Let Will S. let loose a little more too. It was supposed to be one of the more funny Disney movies.
2. Jafar’s end song and overall character. Oh, Jafar. 😢 They were trying so hard to make him a scary jerk that they forgot he was supposed to have a more well-rounded comedic side too. (Like, that the audience was supposed to laugh at.) I missed the Prince Ali (reprise) song. 😥 They also took away his semi-magical abilities, pre-Genie. How did he know Aladdin was the diamond in the rough? Just because Iago told him? Well, how did *he* know?? :0 I missed his crazy, maniacal laughing, and Iago telling him to get a grip, lol. (He did it a couple of times, but it was still too serious!! Lol) Also, no “Prince A-boo-boo?”…:/
3. Iago’s salty relationship with the Sultan. Little details like this made me angry. 😅 Like, where’s his revenge at the end??
4. Abu was supposed to be an Elephant until Jafar changed him back… Also, Rajah… No kitty needed, huh…
5. No plan from Jafar regarding marrying Jasmine to become the Sultan. Sigh. It just became a thing of “revenge”… Boring.
6. Time, itself. Some scenes felt rushed or squished together. (Ex: Cave of Wonders scenes/ Aladdin first meeting Jasmine in the marketplace/ Aladdin getting shunned at the palace gates (btw, he was supposed to get kicked in the mud by the Prince)) Like, they could’ve done it normally if it weren’t for the unnecessary things they decided to add. 🙄 It just took away the emotions & drama in the scenes because they wanted to rush it.
What I actually liked:
1. That they emphasized the fact that Aladdin was okay with lying to a loved one than telling the truth. As a kid, it had always confused me a little bit why it was such a big deal for him tell them the truth, or rather, why he just couldn’t free the genie and still keep the title of a “prince”, since he was only one in appearance anyway…
2. Aladdin, the actor, himself.
…..😅 He was charming, lol. Unfortunately, he was handed a mixed bag.
3. Great singing voices.
4. The “Jam” scene, lol. (Aladdin first meeting Jasmine as Prince Ali.) Laugh out loud-able.
5. Abu was cute and believable.
6. The scenery and other actors. P.O.C., represent! ✊🏼 Lol
1. Will Smith as the Genie. He did an okay job, imo. It would be hard to replace the late Robin Williams in any capacity, and especially in one of his most famous roles. So, kudos for him taking on the role. I’m sure it was challenging. Again, a person who was given a mixed bag to work with. Some of the comedy was great; some was hit and miss (again, trying too hard).
2. Carpet was okay too. (But they took away some of its personality as well).
3. Song remixes of the originals. They were okay…🤔
That’s the summary of my overall feelings– that it was “okay.” (And therefore, “average”, and therefore, a “C”)
I hope you can see why I thought this way. Just my opinion, but it’s because I loved the original version so much, that maybe I’m grading it too harshly, and maybe my opinion is jaded a little by nostalgia. That’s okay though. 🤷
But Disney… Just consider your original source material more and quit rushing your scenes, thinking that cool CGI effects will make up for the lack in story and characters. …It won’t. 😑