Last Friday, dropped the latest live adaptation, based on a classic Disney animation. “Aladdin” stole the box office and Disney is preparing more live adaptations of its beloved classics, which at the moment can be only seen as 2D animation. The success of the movie, made me think, if the future of Disney animation is in live adaptations? I will break that down in the following paragraphs.
Truth be told, this is not the first live adaptation of a classic animation. For three years now, Disney has decided to transfer the magic of animation to a feature film, creating these adaptations. Currently, Disney has featured Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty (Maleficent), Beauty and the Beast, Jungle Book, as well as coming in next month – Lion King. Some of these may have passed by you because live adaptations are all on the principle, one is very good and one not so much. In this line of thought, “Aladdin” is one of those who are good but does it rise to the expectations and the standard set by the original animation is another angle on its own.
In order to properly evaluate the live adaptation, we must abstain from the original. It is a classic in its full meaning. It even spawned two sequels that people most likely missed but who are also at a pretty decent level. The voice actors are also very good, the most remarkable being the late, Robin Williams. He voices the genie, raising the bar very high for a cartoon character. William’s unique humor is simply contagious, and it is not accidental that when Will Smith was chosen to recreate the image in the live adaptation, the fans didn’t take it well. It was actually believed that no one could recreate William’s brilliant play, incorporating humor, jokes and even his little madness. The animated screen shone in color, in every frame in which he was present. However the story itself is not so unique. A poor boy falls in love with the princess and is seduced by the wicked Vizier to steal a lamp in exchange for wealth. Naturally, the Vizier breaks his promise, but on the other hand, Aladdin receives a magical lamp and a genie ready to fulfill three wishes.
The live adaptation follows almost toe to toe its animated predecessor. There are several new songs and more emphasis is set on the “girl power”, which is a very modern accent nowadays, but everything else is unchanged. The actors are extremely charismatic. Princess Jasmine and the genie, played by Will Smith, capture every scene they are in. I do not know if it’s intentional, but definitely the princess is a lot more involving than Aladdin, who supposedly has to be the main character. Will Smith, in turn, is in the swirl. From the first scene in which he appears he literally dominates. Everyone else stands in the background, which is typical of him. He is indeed one of the most charismatic actors in Hollywood. The films he plays in are always filled with strange humor and as if his characters always have something to say. His only weak film is “After Earth”, but not by his fault.
With all this in mind, the only real comparison is between the old and the new genie. I can honestly say that Smith is playing it brilliantly. There is not a single moment I didn’t have fun, coming from a truly childish story. The Vizier performance comes a little bland in this adaptation, but on the other hand, the other characters compensate. Jafar was not as evil or as cunning as in the original, but it could be attributed to the modern times we live in. In conclusion, the movie is extremely fun and enjoyable. Light and humorous, with several serious lessons, served in a typical Disney style. Grown-ups will take a stroke down the memory lane and the children will learn about the future of the classic animations. Hopefully most will be successful because it seems that Pixar will be responsible for new animations from now on. Now we are waiting for Lion King, from which we expect a lot, given the presentation. Once again, we will be humming Hakuna Matata, but until then, welcome to Agraba and its Arabian nights!