Aladdin (Plus Bonus Content)

From Disney comes a thrilling and vibrant live-action adaptation of the animated classic Aladdin, featuring Will Smith as the larger-than-life Genie, with the charming street rat Aladdin and the courageous, self-determined Princess Jasmine!
Guy Ritchie
Will SmithMena MassoudNaomi Scott
ComedyKidsFantasyInternationalAdventureArts, Entertainment, and Culture
English [CC]
Audio languages
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4.5 out of 5 stars

57664 global ratings

  1. 75% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 13% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 8% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 2% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 3% of reviews have 1 stars
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Carl SchultzReviewed in the United States on May 27, 2019
3.0 out of 5 stars
The Ghost of Robin Williams
“Aladdin” Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, 128 Minutes, Rated PG, Released May 24, 2019:

The ghost of the late comic actor Robin Williams haunts the new live-action version of Disney’s 1992 animated blockbuster “Aladdin.”

Williams’ characterization as the Genie was so strong that the performance dominated Disney’s 1992 version of the tale. And even twenty-seven years after the animated film’s original release, Williams’ characterization as the Genie is still so strongly associated with the familiar tale that any actor would have a difficult time replacing the late actor in the role.

Even for an actor as powerful and charismatic as Will Smith, playing Aladdin’s Genie was probably going to be a futile endeavor. And if any actor could pull it off, it likely would’ve been Smith...had the filmmakers cooperated, and given him lines of dialogue more appropriate to his talents and artistic sensibilities.

But part of the problem with the new version of “Aladdin” is that the role of the Genie seems to still be written for Robin Williams. From the character’s first appearance about forty minutes into the picture, the Genie’s scenes and dialogue seem to have been tailored to Williams’ uniquely manic rat-at-tat delivery, and his distinctive ability to seemingly take aim at dozens of targets simultaneously.

Will Smith labors mightily in the role, and manages to at least leave his mark on the part. But Smith’s comedic style has always tended toward wry observation, a relaxed and almost genteel delivery, and occasional mild sarcasm. The hippest guy in the room, Smith’s technique is almost the polar opposite of Williams’s barely-restrained madness.

“Aladdin” is of course is adapted from the eponymous Middle Eastern folktale from the eighteenth-century anthology “One Thousand and One Arabian Nights,” and tells the story of a penniless street urchin who finds a magic lamp and discovers that inside is a genie bound to grant three wishes to the lamp’s owner. The urchin uses his three wishes to become a wealthy prince, and to win the hand of the beautiful daughter of the land’s ruler.

It’s unclear how the Disney organization reviewed the resume of director Guy Ritchie and decided the filmmaker would be an ideal fit for the live-action remake of a beloved cartoon classic. With a filmography which includes 2015’s disappointing “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” and 2017’s almost unendurable “King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword,” most of Ritchie’s recent films have been oriented toward more mature audiences...and with the exception of his “Sherlock Holmes” pictures in 2009 and 2011 have been markedly unsuccessful at the box office, anathema to the folks at Disney. Additionally, none of Ritchie’s pictures have been musicals.

As both the co-writer (with occasional Tim Burton collaborator John August) and director of the new “Aladdin,” Ritchie tries to push the live-action update through his usual template, emphasizing individual set-pieces over a coherent, naturally-flowing narrative.

There are a few dazzling sequences, but in veering uncomfortably from comedy to adventure to farce to musical, Ritchie’s version of “Aladdin” squanders its chance to excel at any of the above. The tale’s moral is somehow all but lost in all the confusion, and the familiar Academy Award-winning songs seem particularly out of place.

As Aladdin and Princess Jasmine, Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott seem to have been cast for their resemblance to their animated counterparts. The actors are adequate, and are certainly attractive and photogenic, but never seem to quite grow into their characterizations.

Among the supporting cast, Marwen Kenzari is appropriately slimy as the villainous Jafar, and Navid Negahban is wise and noble as the Sultan. New to the live action version are Billy Magnussen’s Prince Anders, another of the princess’ suitors, and Nasim Pedrad from television’s “Saturday Night Live” playing it straight as Dalia, Princess Jasmine’s handmaiden.

“Aladdin” is not a bad picture, except that at 128 minutes it goes on for too long (the animated 1992 version wrapped it all up in 90 minutes flat). The movie is filled with dazzling scenes and segments which clearly show the Disney magic at work. The ”A Whole New World” sequence is especially spectacular, if incongruous to the context of the scene and the picture’s overall narrative..

But it all seems to be designed in a calculated effort to resemble as closely as possible a live action version of the classic animated film experience, wrapped up in enough special effects and cinematic razzle-dazzle to make us almost believe we’re watching an animated picture. And where’s the sense in that? The picture’s worst fault: It just wasn’t necessary. Next time, Disney should just re-release the cartoon, as they did in the old days.

Released to 4476 theaters across the United States and Canada, “Aladdin” was expected to gross around $80 million during its four-day holiday weekend opening, against a reported production budget of $183 million. By the end of business Saturday, the picture had already accumulated a total exceeding $86 million in box office earnings, easily taking the top spot in the Box Office Mojo Top Ten, with the returning “John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum” in second place and the behemoth “Avengers: Endgame” in third.

“Aladdin” is rated PG for some sequences of action and mild peril.
201 people found this helpful
The JReviewed in the United States on August 27, 2019
2.0 out of 5 stars
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I went into this movie with mediocre expectations. It's hard to bring an animated staple of my youth to life in a live action representation. I was prepared to be forgiving, if it didn't live up to the original film, because there are certainly a lot of challenges to make something like this work. I did however, expect Disney to put their best foot forward and create a nostalgic experience for the die hard fans, as well as an entertaining and well made remake for new viewers experiencing this story for the first time.

Sadly, I was sorely disappointed, even with my low expectations. The production was sloppy, the direction was horrible, and I can't even begin to understand what they were thinking when they cast this thing. I liked the idea of Will Smith as the genie, in concept. But, in practice, it was just BAD. Every actor in this movie was horrible. The dialogue, the acrobatics, and sadly, the Genie. I respect Will Smith tremendously as an actor, but this was just sad. I can only assume that the blame for his lack of character falls upon the director and producers. The reason for the animated films success, lies in the fact that Robin Williams was given a great deal of room to bring his personality to the Genie. Instead of trying to cut and paste Robin's rendition of the Genie into the movie via Will Smith, I would have been more pleased to see Will bring more of his own magic to the character. At first glance, the set design seems to be above par, as well as the wardrobe, But if you're watching closely, it's easy to see where the set designers cut corners. In fact, there only seem to be a few sets in the entire production that weren't completely green screened. Even the CG was substandard, which should have fallen within Disney's wheelhouse. While this reboot may be a good distraction for your toddlers, with all it's pretty light shows and colorful outfits, it lacks the heart of the original. I doubt that you or your children will look back fondly on this adaptation in 25 years the way that most of us do for the original.
123 people found this helpful
SergioReviewed in the United States on May 28, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Amazing, Inspiring and even Educational!
I loved every minute of it. This real people version is 100 times better than the animated version (which was still Excellent). Reality and Animation meet to make the impossible possible. Love wins against all odds. Happiness is possible for both the Princess trapped in the palace and for the young man trapped in poverty. They both take risks, very daring risks in multiple ways and fight with everything they got even to the point of death, to make their Dreams become a Reality. Power is only Good when it is used to help others achieve their Dreams. But, the same power corrupts and becomes Evil when it is used only for the sake of becoming Powerful. Being True to yourself is one of the keys to Happiness and Faith in Love overcomes all obstacles and becomes the Ultimate Real Power. In real life only God Himself can make all of this happen. Because everything that is impossible with us men and women is possible with Him. God can make All of our Dreams come True. But we have to have Faith in Love and take Daring risks for this to happen and become a Reality. God is more Powerful than any Genie and wants our Happiness in this Life and in the Life to come. Do you Believe?
157 people found this helpful
InnaReviewed in the United States on September 18, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Finally A Movie I can Watch With My Kids!
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Finally a movie I can watch with my kids (Aged 2 & 4) without them having nightmares afterward because of scenes that are too scary! Absolutely amazingly made toddler/kid-safe family movie! Would buy this again over and over again (except that, you know, already have one ;)) Recommend to Everyone!!!
58 people found this helpful
Kenneth CalhounReviewed in the United States on August 29, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Will Smith delivers a great performance; Aladdin 2019 is a winner (^_^) updated
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The new live-action Aladdin movie is packed with colorful visuals and is a real treat to watch.

Will Smith CRUSHES IT as the genie and is a superb lead; he's one of my favorite actors and really shines in bringing the genie to life. Will, I'm sure you & the cast and crew worked hard on this one, and it shows. props. He brings his own epic cool flava to the iconic role and makes it funny, human, memorable and Disney-magic. 10/10

update 9/12: I've watched this three times in less than two weeks and really enjoy it.

Brilliant special effects for the Genie; world-class visual effects; especially the swirling cloud at bottom of genie + face work w/cgi; totally sells the shots, isn't obvious; blends perfectly; masterful compositing. cgi for the lion & abu is wonderful; I predict an Oscar for best special effects; they were some of the best work I've seen.

Set design was amazing; and truly great costumes (the ending sequence was hollywood classic big-screen style & terrific).

Choreography for dance numbers was tight, stylish and original; well done. Intro 'Friend Like Me' with Will is a legendary win; the singing, effects & 'sparkle' makes it easily the top song. Naomi looks great; she's graceful & strong.

... um and the other actors were ok, too. I liked the Aladdin actor, and the handmaiden was hilarious & a big plus for the movie; more of her & Will would've been great. Their dialogue for their first date was fun & well-written & acted, at the doorway. Plus she has great comedic timing for her lines, and she's funny; good casting.

Casting could've been better for other characters imho. fwiw the character actors at Disneyland Anaheim who portayed Aladdin & Jasmine (many years ago) in person looked a lot more like the original movie's version.

- the Jafar actor was not sinister/foreboding/tall like original movie. . At least the camera should've been a low-angle up to give impression of height; that's a DP/director miss. His voice is not deep or sinister enough. Movies are only as great as their heroes & villians.
- Imagine if Dwayne Johnson played Jafar instead; this movie would've been So much better.

- Jasmine actress Naomi was good; would've liked more curves & sass, like original. But why did they censor/change her outfit vs original so much? In the animated version she wore a tank top showing shoulders, in this one she's all covered up. And she's written Not as a typical princess but more an independent smart modern woman in ancient times; misses the mark from a character standpoint a bit. I will concede though that this princess portrayal is much better as a role model for today's generation of girls vs classic helpless princesses; I support that; I 'get it' re modernizing princess. Naomi's acting is well done; I like her confidence plus she looks great.

- the other actor playing her suitor; hmm a caucasian prince courting arabian princess in ancient times is not realistic. good comic relief though.

It's Will's movie and he *really* brings it. (btw it would be great to interview you by phone for yt vid for my traders if you're interested, longtime fan since fresh prince days)

A worthy family-fun film that's simply spectacular; one of the year's best.

Ken Calhoun, founder

p.s. Will Smith is great - epic fun and he's why i'll watch this movie a few times, super-fun & enjoyable. Overall a big winner. Grade A movie thx to Will, without him in it the movie would be a c+. True star power from Will brings this classic remake to life. Brilliantly done. (-mic drop-)
39 people found this helpful
P. de GreytReviewed in the United States on September 15, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
Horribly movie
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Alladin, where to begin flat singing if you can call it that, these people make Russell Crow's performance in Les Miss look like Pavaroti , one dimensional characters with the personality of a parsnip. this is total butchering of a classic, they ripped the personality out of Ijago and Abu, I really don't know what the point was of the sultan, since he might have well not have been in the movie , and let's not forget Jasmine, did someone forget to tell the actress that this is a children's movie not feminist propaganda hour? Jafar, probably the worst possible bad guy in history and not in a good way. Aladdin, I think the actor had forgotten how to act and had the personality of a potted plant. Will Smith as the genie, who ever thought that was a good idea, was on something, he "tried " to do a Robbins Williams impression, that is the current Robbin Williams, who is passed away and has probably still more charisma then Will Smith, the jokes were flat just as flat and horrible as his singing. I would give it a minus 5 if I could, someone please give the two hours back I wasted on this poor imitation of the original.
35 people found this helpful
NYC Gal Out☆Reviewed in the United States on September 5, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
Great Remake!
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Love Will Smith! Glad they found a big name to adapt Robin Williams animated role. I think Smith was excellent, whereas Williams was just being a voice actor in the animated film, Smith had to actually act in this live-action remake. He also definitely has singing and comedy credentials to help him out (love him in The Fresh Prince and love that he was never a part of that lame gangsta rap, he prove you can be a chart topping black rapper without that). His rendition of A Friend Like Me is better than the animated version (which I'm not even sure that Williams actually sang, it's not uncommon for movies, especially animated movies, to have different voice actors for the character and for singing - especially if the actor has no singing background).

The special effects are also really good, it did remind me of The Mummy (which isn't a total surprise since this was directed by Guy Ritchie, the guy who directed the Sherlock Holmes movies) - this gets 4 stars because of that. They chose a poor direction for Ritchie as the director. For some unknown reason, he loves using slow-motion to emphasize scenes in all his films (he could get away with it in the Sherlock films, but it's weirdly out of place in a Disney movie). They should have used one of the directors from The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, or George Lucas (I mean, hello, this definitely has elements of something that would fit for the creator of Indiana Jones... Cave of Wonder, flying carpet, thousands-year-old lamp, ancient Middle Eastern country, etc. - they probably couldn't afford Lucas though).

The casting is excellent because as an Asian, I am so tired of seeing white people being cast for ethnic roles - I mean, they used to cast white people as Asians back in the day (have you ever seen the classic, The Good Earth???), ridiculous! I love that the main characters (minus Smith) are all from Middle Eastern ethnicities.

Jasmine is excellent (and so beautiful), and has a great voice (she was in that Disney TV movie, Lemonade or something, where these teens have a band)... I love her singing in her song "Speechless" (definitely revivals "Let it Go" by Elsa, ha!). I wasn't too crazy about Jafar, I don't know, I felt the acting was lame - and Aladdin wasn't so great either. The stars of the show is definitely Jasmine and Genie.

It also kept true to the original animated series (thankfully, because I did not like the Cinderella live-action remake or the 101 Dalmatians live-action remake, which made some serious changes from their original animated versions)... but like Beauty and the Beast, this film kept with the original animated versions.
26 people found this helpful
Kindle CustomerReviewed in the United States on August 28, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
Good Fun Movie
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I came into this a bit leery of the movie because, like many people, I was afraid they would try too hard to make Will Smith into Robin Williams -- an exercise in futility if ever there was one! Fortunately, that did not seem to happen, and Smith managed to keep Genie both true to the original while also not trying to out-Robin-Williams Robin Williams. Smith's Genie is just as fun if not quite so wild or unpredictable, with a warmth and humanity that the original also had but could not convey as well as Smith does.

Honestly, I only really have three complaints about the movie, and two of them are pretty minor, so we'll begin with those. First, some of the directing and editing seemed a little off to me, with some scenes cutting feeling a bit out of place or cut off too quickly, but nothing worth making a fuss over. Jasmine's solo song "Speechless", while an excellent song and an incredible performance, felt very out-of-place compared to all the other songs in the movie in both musical style and choreography. Again, a minor quibble, but the difference between this new song and the rest of the sound track was pretty jarring to me, almost as if it belonged in an entirely different movie.

My big issue with the movie, and the reason I almost gave it three stars instead of four, can be summed up in one word -- Jafar. The original Jafar was delightfully despicable with just the right amount of sinister slinking and intimidating awesomeness. The new version....not so much. I never once felt like this Jafar was a viable threat to anyone. He came across more as a stereotypical bullied weakling dreaming of revenge that would have been more believable as a sniveling, whiny wanna-be than as a potential cosmic-level threat that Jafar is supposed to ultimately represent. I don't want to imply the actor was a bad actor; rather, the directing, the dialogue, and the physical and vocal characteristics of the actor all conspired to make this Jafar completely unbelievable as a threat, even with the powers granted by Genie.
22 people found this helpful
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