A Review of the 2019 Aladdin Remake

By Tamiera Vandegrift on June 9, 2019

When I first saw the trailer for the Aladdin remake, I cringed into my seat thinking to myself, “Why does Disney keep making live-action versions of the stories we already know and love?”

I expected Aladdin to be a cringe-worthy mess, but after watching it, I was pleasantly surprised. As a matter of fact, I found it to be more entertaining and perhaps even better than the original.

I know, how can I say such a thing? The original is a classic, after all! Even though the original animated Aladdin is absolutely timeless, I found a ton of things to love about the remake. Keep reading for a spoiler-free review of the 2019 Aladdin remake!

First, let’s talk about the real star of the show. Yes, Aladdin is the protagonist we’re following from the beginning, but we all remember the story’s hilarious blue side character: the genie. Will Smith absolutely knocks it out of the park, putting his own spin on our lovable wish-granting friend. At first, one of my biggest problems with this remake was recreating one of Robin Williams’ most famous characters after his tragic untimely death in 2014. Maybe I’m overly sentimental, but thinking about the replacement of one of my childhood heroes was enough to make me feel uneasy about the movie. I was happy and pleasantly surprised to see that Will Smith’s genie was not only completely different from the Williams’ version but that he also had a very unique, distinct musical style. Kudos, Will Smith, kudos.

Aladdin, 2019 Aladdin, remakes, Princess Jasmine

Image via: BBC

Next, let’s talk about our hero himself: Aladdin. He’s just as much of a wise-cracking street thief as he was in the original, but he has just as much of a heart of gold. There’s a kindness radiating from actor Mena Massoud that makes us truly believe that he’s a precious diamond in the rough.

One of my favorite parts of this movie was Princess Jasmine. Talk about girl power! Actress Naomi Scott stole the show for me with her gorgeous vocals (Yes, Jasmine gets her own song!) and rebellious ferocity equal to that of her tiger, Rajah. To say anything more would be an absolute spoiler, but if Princess Jasmine was your favorite Disney princess growing up (She was mine for sure!), then you will absolutely love the justice the writers did for her character. Go, Jasmine, go!

Another thing I loved was the cinematography and the dance choreography. Holy cow, was this a beautiful movie to watch. In my city, the movie theaters screened a 3-D showing of the film and it’s easy to see why. The visuals, the dancing, and the music are all enough to give you goosebumps. The story nearly leaps off the screen with colorful energy and fun editing.

The only real critique I have is that the movie would sometimes take on a style different from the style and tone established early on. One scene, in particular, was so clearly trying to be artistic and unique that it baffled me. Is this really happening or is this a dream sequence? However, the scene doesn’t last for long.

Aladdin, Aladdin poster, Will Smith, Naomi Scott

Image via: IMDB

If you were a huge fan of the original, you’re going to love this movie. If you’re looking for an exact remake of the animated classic, you might find yourself disappointed as this film takes on a life of its own. Overall, I’m incredibly glad I got to see the Aladdin remake in theaters and I’ve definitely never known a friend like Will Smith’s genie. If you haven’t already, definitely go to see the Aladdin remake before the hourglass runs out on its time in theaters!

Tamiera is an alumna of Florida State University, having earned a BA in Editing, Writing & Media and a BA in Digital Media Production. Tamiera is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter, inspired by the works of Lars von Trier, David Fincher, and Darren Aronofsky. Tamiera has previously written for the FSView and Florida Flambeau, College Magazine, and more. She has recently published a creative thesis containing short stories based on mental illnesses in the media. In the future, Tamiera aspires to win "Best Original Screenplay" or "Best Picture" at the Academy Awards with one of her film projects. Besides writing and storytelling, Tamiera enjoys cooking, traveling, spending time with friends, and geeking out over movie trivia.

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