When I was a kid in the early 1990’s, Disney’s animated masterpiece Aladdin was one of my favorites. I even liked the two movie sequels and the cartoon series that spun off for TV. Now that Disney is remaking their cartoon classic with real actors, it was time for Aladdin’s turn. I wasn’t hyped enough to see it in theaters, but I was going to see it by the time the Blu-Ray came around. And sure enough, it was time.
The story is pretty much the same as the 1992 film. We get to see Aladdin, a young man with almost nothing to his name. But he is quite skilled in many talents. He’s a superb runner, jumper, and most importantly, a thief. One day he comes across a young woman who is almost hurt by a man who caught her with something.
Aladdin helps her, but he thinks she is a high-ranking servant in the royal palace. Turns out she’s Princess Jasmine, daughter and only child of the Sultan of Agrabah. Her heart belongs to the people of her country, so she’d often disguise herself and help the poor. Aladdin pretty much falls in love with her, but he’s not a prince, he’s just a nobody.
But the Sultan’s evil right-hand man Jafar offers Aladdin an “opportunity” of sorts. If he brings Jafar a magical lamp, then Jafar will make him wealthy and powerful enough to take Jasmine’s hand in marriage. Too bad for Jafar, that’s not going to work out so well in his favor. But the heroes should take caution, even Jafar can rival a genie in magic alone.
Overall the remake of Aladdin is inferior to the original, but not all of its magic was lost in translation. I blame part of that on the length of the movie, it’s quite a bit longer than the original cartoon version. I liked Will Smith as the genie, but he is in Robin William’s shadow and it’s nearly impossible for him to best that. I am glad I didn’t see the remake in theaters, but I did think it was a good movie.