Director(s): Ron Clements, John Musker
Cast: Scott Weinger, Robin Williams, Linda Larkin (VOICES)
Release Date: September 10, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 9/10
Soar away to ”a whole new world” in Disney’s animated masterpiece Aladdin – now part of the esteemed Walt Disney Signature Collection. Join the charming street rat Aladdin, the determined Princess Jasmine and the hilarious Genie (voiced by the unforgettable Robin Williams) on a wondrous journey filled with action, laughter and Academy Award-winning music (1992: Best Original Song, Best Original Score).
Get ready to gather up the entire family as Disney’s beloved 1992 animated masterpiece ‘Aladdin’ joins the Walt Disney Signature Collection. Now you can rejoin the lovable Aladdin, the fearless Princess Jasmine and of course Genie (voiced by the legendary Robin Williams), the best friend a street rat could possibly hope for (aside from Abu of course!) in this magical animated tale loaded with wonder, romance and of course plenty of unforgettable original songs. Now back on Blu-ray (and additionally making its 4K Ultra HD debut) as part of Disney’s Signature Collection lineup with some brand new extras and a Sing Along version, plus more.
The tenth film to join the ongoing Walt Disney Signature Collection lineup (following ‘Cinderella’ which was released in June and marked the ninth title to join the collection; you can also find my review of ‘Cinderella’ Here) Disney’s animated gem ‘Aladdin’ returns home on Blu-ray (while also making its 4K Ultra HD debut) with its original 1.66:1 theatrical aspect ratio restored and therefore offering some additional picture elements on the top and bottom. Also sporting fantastic high definition video and audio presentations altogether combined with some brand new bonus content including an ‘Alternate Ending’ and some notable extras from previous releases (please see the special features section in the technical specification coverage of the review below for more detailed information), it’s likely to make the new Signature Collection release a must own for many diehard fans and those looking forward to upgrading to 4K. Those of you merely interested in the Blu-ray release are still likely to appreciate the new video presentation with its original aspect ratio finally in tow (something fans had been hoping for) and the few new extras, especially if you don’t already own one of the previous Blu-ray editions. For those of you that do own an older release, you can also find my review of the Diamond Edition Blu-ray from 2015 for comparison purposes Right Here.
Overall, the Signature Collection Blu-ray release of Disney’s animated classic ‘Aladdin’ delivers in nearly every way and should prove to be quite the treat for fans. Initially released in 1992, this animated masterpiece still manages to retain all of the beauty, magic and charm that it did during its theatrical debut so many years ago, remaining one of my absolute favorites from the Disney catalog to this day (and quite the impressive catalog it’s become over the years). Fellow longtime fans of this animated gem should be thrilled to see it return home on Blu-ray with a gorgeous new high definition video presentation that restores the original 1.66:1 theatrical aspect ratio. Accompanied by an immersive multichannel soundtrack and some new and old extras alike, The Walt Disney Signature Collection Blu-ray release of ‘Aladdin’ easily makes for the best release of the movie yet on the format.
The Signature Collection Blu-ray release of ‘Aladdin’ features a new, full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 1.66:1 theatrical Aspect Ratio (the previously released Diamond Edition featured a 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio). The release also offers the option of 2 ways to view the film, the Original Theatrical Version, or in Sing-Along mode. The video presentation looks great altogether, providing a sharp, smooth and vibrantly colored presentation with the newly restored theatrical aspect ratio also allowing for some additional content noticeable on the top and bottom of the screen. It serves up a consistently gorgeous and detailed presentation from start to finish that holds up beautifully even during the various darkly lit, fast moving and heavily populated moments within, never resulting in anything onscreen becoming negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a fantastic high definition video presentation of Disney’s animated classic that finally restores its original aspect ratio and should have no trouble whatsoever pleasing the fans.
The Signature Blu-ray release features a 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. As far as I’m able to discern, this multichannel soundtrack to be the same soundtrack utilized in the Diamond Edition Blu-ray released in 2015 which you can find more information on in our review of that release Right Here.
The Signature Collection Blu-ray release of ‘Aladdin’ includes a healthy collection of bonus goodies including ‘2 Ways to Watch’; either the ‘Original Theatrical Version’ or in ‘Sing-Along’ mode, plus some brand new, never been seen extras combined with some archival bonus content. Included on the release is Scott Weinger looking back at the voice role that changed everything in ‘Aladdin on Aladdin’ (running approximately 30 minutes in length), in addition to ‘Let’s Not be Too Hasty: The Voices of Aladdin’ (running approximately 3 minutes), 2 brief ‘Alternate Endings’ (approximately 2 minutes) and a ‘Classic Bonus Preview’ (1 minute) offering more archival extras on Digital. The Blu-ray release itself does include some previously released extras on the disc though such as ‘The Genie Outtakes’ (running approximately 9 minutes), ‘Aladdin: Creating Broadway Magic’ (approximately 19 minutes), ‘Genie 101’ (4 minutes), ‘Ron and John: You Ain’t Never Had a Friend Like Me’ (5 minutes) and ‘Song Selections’ from the movie. The release additionally includes ‘2 Audio Commentary’ tracks; the first featuring ‘Producers/Directors John Musker and Ron Clements, and Co-Producer Amy Pell’, while the second commentary includes ‘Supervising Animators Andreas Deja, Will Finn, Eric Goldberg and Glen Keane’.