Aladdin is one of my favorite Disney movies. It has a great color scheme, great songs, and of course Robin Williams as the Genie. The 2019 remake is another in a bunch of unnecessary Disney remakes and much like Beauty and the Beast is pales in comparison but does have some good stuff.
The Genie this time is played by Will Smith. He does a fine job as the Genie even if he doesn’t have the same energy that Robin Williams had but still not a bad choice. Me personally I think John Mulaney would’ve been an excellent Genie. The original Jafar is a great villain, his design is great and is played wonderfully by Jonathan Freeman but here unfortunately he’s very disappointing. He just doesn’t look that intimidating or sinister and the attempted backstory they try to give him doesn’t go anywhere. He doesn’t even sing the Prince Ali reprise.
The original Aladdin has one of the best groups of songs in the Disney canon. Unlike the new Beauty and the Beast it doesn’t have that many new and pointless songs. Arabian Nights and One Jump Ahead are catchy and also have an Arabian feel to them which fits more with the location. The One Jump Ahead reprise however has a terrible beginning. The big and bombastic songs Friend Like Me and Prince Ali while not bad seemed very underwhelming in comparison. A Whole New World which is considered the best song in the original is definitely the most disappointing song. The new song Speechless is ok but nothing really new.
I know I keep comparing this a lot to the original but it just pales in comparison. One scene I think is one of the biggest examples of why the original is better is the climax. In the original Jafar turns into a giant snake and Aladdin fights him under the red sky, here he turns Iago into a phoenix and chases after them during the day time. The original also had a clever use of color scheme symbolizing good and evil and while it’s not used much here it’s still shot very nice and looks like an Arabian city.
Aladdin really does feel like one of those stories that would only work as an animated movie because of the Genie’s fast paced performing and animation. I would say that it’s a little better than the Beauty and the Beast remake (probably because I prefer Aladdin over the original BATB). It’s still the same “Whole New World” we’ve seen in 1992.
+ Shot nice
+ Will Smith as the Genie
+/- The songs
– Marwan Kenzari as Jafar
– Scenes pale in comparison