Aladdin (2019) – Reviving a Classic in Live Action

Disney has been going great guns with its live action remakes over the past few years, and the latest of their classic movies to get a revamp has been Aladdin. This charismatic Arabian tale won the hearts of a whole generation when it premiered for the first time in 1992, and now, ten years later, producers have placed a risky bet on reviving its popularity, despite Robin Williams’ sad absence from its cast.

So far, it must be said that Disney’s live action remakes have been quite hit and miss. Tim Burton’s re-imagined Alice in Wonderland took the world by storm in 2010, grossing over $1 billion globally, and in 2017, the Beauty and the Beast remake starring Emma Watson grossed an even heftier $1.26 billion, despite its tepid reviews.

The Lion King and Dumbo will also soon be getting live action versions of their own – and joining them will be Aladdin, starring Naomi Scott as Jasmine, Mena Massoud as Aladdin, and Marwan Kenzari as Jafar. What could go wrong?

A Remake with Big Shoes to Fill

Aladdin (2019) was directed by Guy Ritchie and Burton collaborator John August. Its 90s predecessor was a major hit, becoming the highest grossing movie of its release year, and helping Disney to stave off bankruptcy and revive their animation wing for many years to come.

Aladdin gave the company a brand new comedic edge thanks to the legendary work of Robin Williams as the Genie – more recently, this role has been filled by none other than a blue tinged, sassy Will Smith.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock (8811244ge)
Guy Ritchie
‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ film premiere, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA – 08 May 2017

The original film’s music was iconic and instantly recognisable, its jokes are still relevant and appealing today, and its characters have remained loved by audiences across the globe, in part thanks to the Broadway musical it inspired. On paper, the Aladdin remake was another guaranteed blockbuster in the making.

New Trailer Triggers Controversy

Alas, the film’s trailer was greeted by instant negativity and controversy, aided by scandals over its extras and Will Smith’s azure appearance. A teaser for the movie was released during the Grammys, and viewers immediately began noticing that the CGI seemed a little off, the style was bizarrely cheap in appearance, and Smith’s portrayal of the Genie quickly became the inspiration for dozens of memes.

Nevertheless, Guy Ritchie is a skilled director, and his Sherlock Holmes and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword films were much enjoyed, even by his critics. Live action might be a somewhat awkard fit for Aladdin, but the remake has kept true to the subject matter of the old version, and has paid its respects to Robin Williams’ memory wherever it can.

Certain story elements have been changed to stay relevant to a modern audience, but viewers can rest assured that there are no huge shocks or surprising twists in the modern retelling.

Live Realism Meets Cartoon Action

Aladdin (2019) has also got a more adult, mature appeal much like online betting sites, especially considering that it would be difficult to capture the original’s unreal and maniacal style in a live action scope.

There is a refreshing realism to the way the setting is portrayed and the characters within it – so there is hope yet that the film will prove successful at the box office! For now, however, fans of the 1992 classic will just have to remain hopeful until the movie’s official release date on May 8, 2019…