Director: Guy Ritchie
Cast: Will Smith, Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott
Release Date: September 10, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
Fans of all ages will enjoy the exciting, humorous tale of the lovable “street rat,” Aladdin (Mena Massoud), courageous and self-determined Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott) and the larger-than-life Genie (Will Smith) with all-new bonus features.
Disney’s animated classic ‘Aladdin’ comes to stunning life in the live-action adaptation of the animated masterpiece. Join the lovable street rat and accompany him and his buddy Abu as Aladdin’s life changes forever after meeting the love of his life, followed by a chance encounter with a genie which doesn’t quite go as expected; soon leading to Aladdin embracing his newfound luck in order to win over the heart of Princess Jasmine, while trying to thwart the dangerous moves against him from the Sultan’s lead advisor, the dastardly Jafar who will stop at nothing to acquire the power for his own evil intentions. So, gather up the whole family and get ready to dive into Disney’s magical new live-action adaptation of their beloved classic.
Directed by Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword) from a screenplay he additionally co-wrote with John August (Big Fish), Ritchie does a great job overall at the helm of Disney’s live-action ‘Aladdin’ film, smoothly guiding along the fun with fitting style and a dedication to the animated classic. The film also benefits from a capable and generally well selected cast that includes Will Smith (Suicide Squad), Mena Massoud (TV’s Open Heart), Naomi Scott (Power Rangers 2017), Marwan Kenzari (The Mummy 2017), Navid Negahban (TV’s Legion), Nasim Pedrad (TV’s New Girl), Billy Magnussen (TV’s Tell Me A Story) and more, with the majority offering solid performances in each of their respective roles for the most part.
Disney’s live-action ‘Aladdin’ film is a heartwarming, incredibly entertaining and visually magnificent new take on the animated masterpiece, smoothly and faithfully guided along by director Guy Ritchie who displays a clear love of the source material in his adaption. It’s no secret that the 1992 movie is one of my absolute favorite Disney animated films, so I had to try and keep my utter love of that movie from swaying my opinion, but while some moments could leave a bitter taste in comparison, so many other huge elements and scenes are brought so perfectly to life that it quickly manages to pull you in, even making some minor changes that work surprisingly well within and occasionally also with quite rewarding results. I would strongly encourage Disney fans in general, along with longtime fans of their animated ‘Aladdin’ film to try and give this new live action take a fair chance whenever possible. It may tweak with some of the material, but usually only with the best of intentions and still being careful to consistently prove faithful to the animated Disney gem it adapts. While some may not enjoy each new switch or alteration within, it delivers more than enough of the beloved popular elements to keep even the pickier fans generally satisfied, while adding some new life and expanded elements to the popular tale we know and love and it’s well worth taking the time to check out. There’s a pretty good chance it just might manage to win you over with its heartfelt approach, style and charm, and should also make a perfect candidate for a family movie night one relaxing evening at home; perhaps even a double feature with its animated counterpart if time allows.
Overall, Disney’s live-action adaptation of ‘Aladdin’ is a gorgeous, heartfelt and surprisingly faithful recreation of Disney’s popular animated movie that offers some expansion to the overall tale and even some new elements within, while at the same time beautifully recreating so many of the iconic moments from the original classic that we adore. The film is definitely recommended, especially for fans of the original animated Disney masterpiece and Disney fanatics in general who should all find quite a bit to appreciate within this new adaption from director Guy Ritchie that may not manage to hit every mark, but captures the overall style and passion of the 90’s classic capably enough to win over even the pickiest of fans for the most part. Even if you’re initially somewhat hesitant, I would still suggest giving it a shot at some point because you just might find yourself enjoying it far more than expected.
The Blu-ray release of Disney’s live-action ‘Aladdin’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks wonderful altogether and offers a sharp, clean and richly detailed presentation from start to finish, with no notable faults or issues to be uncovered throughout. It holds up smoothly even during the numerous fast moving, darkly lit and heavily populated sequences, never allowing anything occurring onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a fantastic high definition video presentation that shouldn’t have any trouble pleasing both fans and first time viewers.
The Blu-ray release features a 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack nicely compliments the onscreen magic, providing a crisp, smooth and consistently active audio presentation throughout. It frequently takes advantage of all seven available channels in order to send the musical numbers, along with magic carpets, genie activity and a whole lot more regularly whipping throughout the various speakers, while never conflicting with any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously. Overall, this is a great 7.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that repeatedly contributes plenty of additional fun to the viewing experience and shouldn’t disappoint in the slightest.
The Blu-ray release of Disney’s Live-action ‘Aladdin’ includes some fun extras. Included on the release is a ‘Deleted Song – “Desert Moon”’ (running approximately 2 minutes in length), along with some ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 11 minutes combined), plus some ‘Bloopers’ (approximately 2 minutes) and a few Behind the Scenes Featurettes that look at bringing the film to life, including behind the scenes footage, interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus more. The included Featurettes are: ‘Aladdin’s Video Journal: A New Fantastic Point of View’ (running approximately 11 minutes), ‘Guy Ritchie: A Cinematic Genie’ (approximately 5 minutes) and ‘A Friend Like Genie’ (4 minutes). ‘3 Music Videos’ are also included: ‘”Speechless” Performed by Naomi Scott’ (approximately 3 minutes), ‘”A Whole New World” – Performed by Zayn and Zhavia Ward’ (4 minutes) and ‘”A Whole New World (Un Mundo Ideal)” – Performed by Zayn and Becky G’ (4 minutes).