Whenever we talk Disney on this blog the first thing I start with is “We’re huge Disney fans in this family”, which is true. And when it comes to Aladdin and this Disney period there is a special time in my growing up (or not growing up!).
From 1989 (The Little Mermaid) through to 1994 (at least) Disney was releasing huge hit animated feature films. These included Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and Aladdin. Three out of these four animations had music composed by Alan Menken (little shop of horrors) and lyrics by Howard Ashman (also wrote little shop of horrors). Alan continued on to create music for Disney for many years, while Howard passed away in 1991.
The Original Aladdin was FULL of Easter Eggs.
This was one of the cool things that I never looked for back in 1992, it was only about 6 years ago that I went through the footage scene by scene. Some were hard to spot like the scene where Jafar’s curse breaks and Rajah turns back into a tiger. There is a split second when you could see both the tiger cubs head and a mickey style tiger head.
There were more obvious ones like Pinocchio.
And a more hidden reference to Beauty and the Beast. (the film released the year before).
So, how does the new version compare for Easter Eggs? The answer is not too bad really. There is a scene that nods to Walt Disney World, There is a Cinderella’s Castle and eagle eyes may even spot the original Genie in drawing form.
What’s New in Aladdin 2019?
The hardest part of this film was to try and create it for a new audience. The issue is that for viewers like me I would always compare it to the original and it’d never be “as good”. However, I feel that the new version as a stand-alone movie is good.
Jasmine has two new songs that enforce her strong character. The songs I felt were more modern in style and would appeal more to the newer audience (although slightly Eurovision). Aladdin was pretty much a copy of the animated character. The Genie was the hardest role to fill and although there were minor issues I had Will Smith did a great job filling the role.
The main unanswered question from the 1992 version is answered in this version. At the beginning of the animation, a merchant is telling you the tale of Aladdin. As Robin William had so many voices it was hard to know if this was meant to be the freed Genie or not.
In the opening scenes of the new Film version, Will Smith is telling the tale of the Lamp to his children. As the film follows the same storyline confirms the fans theories.
Aladdin 2019 Review
As far as the movie goes all of us really enjoyed it. Catherine, who generally isn’t a fan of the musical style said it was good. She also wasn’t 100% if she’d seen the animation. The kids loved it, as did I. There is plenty of action and the story is relatively fast-paced enough to not have any slow parts.
Some scenes (Cave of Wonders) were a little dark and had Abigail reaching for my arm for support. And in one scene I had both kids holding my hands (for them, not me).
The Prince Ali scene seemed to make a little more sense as it unfurled. From what starts as a small fabrication of his character, evolved into a much more elaborate… lie!
With so many references to the original movie, it’s hard not to compare and this is where my minor complaint was. While Will Smith played the part well, his vocals seemed a little younger and not as rich as Robin Williams version. Yet his version was still strong, but slightly different.
This was one of the Disney movie releases, 2019 has lined up that we really wanted to see. I’m glad we’ve seen it, but I’m not desperate to watch it a second time straight away. Unlike Frozen or The Greatest Showman, where we rewatched within weeks. I think we’ll wait for it to be available on streaming next time.