Aladdin and the Lion King were my two favourite Disney movies growing up, so how does the new 'live action' Aladdin fair? And will it make me want to see the forthcoming Lion King version?
So when I heard the Disney cartoons were starting to be remade in 'live action' with real people and CGI animals, I was pretty excited. A refresh, and potentially a more life-like story.
Jungle Book was pretty good in 2016, and a popular film for Disney to begin their new live action endeavours with, though not in my top rated ones. It was a good start, impressing me with how life-like the animals were and their interaction between the human actors.
Beauty and the Beast (2018) was less good in my eyes, but it's probably my third favourite overall from the 90's cartoons, so it was always going to be a hard sell. One of my favourite parts was re-shot and missed out (when Belle sits on the fountain edge and the goat eats her book), and Emma Watson ... never been a fan. Please, autotune.
Yes, the costume design was good. Princess Jasmine grew some balls and some sassy, learned character attributes which I loved, and the new songs were pretty decent. What I disliked the most was the stage school vibe the actors had, Aladdin in particular. Sure, the actor needed to be able to look the part, sing, dance and act without a cartoonist's help, but he (no one!) spoke with any conviction and it felt all too rehearsed. I missed those odd voices like the "still I think he's rather tasty" woman in Agrabah's market at he start, and Prince Ali failed to live up to the original song - previously my favourite part. It felt like the Genie was the protagonist at many parts, and the royal parade announcing the arrival of another prince for Jasmine to check-out was one of these.
And Jafar? One of the first real bad guys I've ever loved, back in 1992. This portrayl by Marwan Kenzari was a complete let-down, even after him being billed as the all-new 'hot Jafar'. He wasn't evil looking enough, and he offered another flat delivery of the script. Where was the passion? Where was the signature twizzly beard??? And Iago, his pet parrot side-kick was just plain mangy.
So, overall, I enjoyed the Aladdin remake, but it could have been better. At least Aladdin had nipples in this version. How about a 7/10 for this movie. I'm on the fence as to if I'll bother with the Lion King live action remake.
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Born to be a Tourist