TX. Movies

Few companies have touched as many hearts in their lifespan as Disney. Many of us remember growing up watching these animated masterpieces that really helped shape our worldview and humor.

But over the last few years, Disney decided to mix up its formula by creating live-action remakes of some of the company’s most classic tales of adventure including “Cinderella” and “Beauty and the Beast.”

Their most recent endeavor? ”Aladdin.

The animated version of “Aladdin” came out in 1992 almost 30 years ago. But it has become a cult classic and a favorite for many. Aladdin was relatable and Jafar was terrifying. But the one thing everyone remembers is the genie.

Played by the late Robin Williams, one of the most beloved actors and comedians of his time, Genie’s humor and charm made him one of the most fantastic and lovable characters brought to film. Before seeing the new live-action movie, the replacement of Robin Williams was the biggest concern for die-hard fans of the original film.

The new genie in this 2019 remake is played by Will Smith, another well-loved actor. His performance would end up being the deciding factor as to whether or not the movie was a success or a failure. He needed to play into his strengths instead of copying Robin Williams and falling short of the legend we all remember.

And he delivered, Smith said in an interview that the only reason he accepted the role is because he felt that he could bring something new and unique to the character and respect the legacy that Robin Williams left.

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Smith brought a funny and modern twist into the movie, letting the other characters play off of his high energy and charismatic performance.

Besides the Genie, even more characters were given a tune-up. Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott) is even more independent and intelligent. She is given her own goals and motivations independent of Aladdin (Mena Massoud) and Jafar (Marwan Kenzari) and gets her own new song!

Jafar is back, too, and the filmmakers really amped up the malice around this classic villain. Even Iago, Jafar’s parrot and loyal sidekick (voiced by Alan Tudyk), is created as a darker and more realistic character.

All in all, the 2019 “Aladdin” remake was an excellent movie. The acting was great and the soundtrack was revamped and moving. But the real question is how does it hold up to the original?

There is a lot of nostalgia surrounding Disney classics. We all remember the animated movie to be funny and dark and engaging and wonderful. And we remember correctly.

The new live-action version is definitely worth seeing and is enjoyable to say the least. The actors, writers and producers did a really good job capturing the original magic. But it doesn’t replace the joys of the original with Iago’s witty commentary and Robin Williams at the height of his game.

In the end, watching the new movie just made me love the story even more than I already did and made me want to rewatch the original to recapture some of the childhood magic. And hopefully the new movie might just spur those who aren’t as familiar with the classic version to go and watch it.

I recommend watching both versions of “Aladdin” and losing yourself in Agrabah and the power of the lamp.

Alison Shepherd is a recent graduate of Bear River High School where she was on both the yearbook and newspaper staff. Email her at alison.shepherd1327@gmail.com.

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