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Aladdin Movie Review: It’s A Whole New World And It Shows

1992 was a great year that included movies like Wayne’s World, Home Alone 2: Lost In New York, and the original release of the animated version of Aladdin.

I can still remember my amazement when seeing Aladdin for the first time in theaters. Once it came out on video, I remember excitedly picking it out at Blockbuster and making plans to learn as many of the songs as possible while we still had the VHS rented.

“I’m going to sing Jasmine’s part, and you can sing Aladdin’s part” were fighting words on the elementary school playground. We ALL wanted to sing Jasmine’s part in “A Whole New World”

Fast forward to 25 years later (holy cow!) and the animated version of Aladdin remained my all time favorite Disney movie (along with Big Hero 6). VHS tapes became obsolete in this time frame and I remember having to run out and grab a copy of Aladdin on DVD.

So when Disney announced that they would be doing a live action version of Aladdin, I was thrilled. But also I was hesitant. I questioned how I could enjoy a movie that I loved so much if it was different. And as much as I loved Will Smith, there wasn’t a person alive that I felt could live up to being Genie as well as Robin Williams could.

I am going to be honest with you: the movie is good. It’s so good, that it’s not worth holding on to your childhood version of Aladdin and avoiding watching this new version. If you are someone who loved the original to the point that you warped the VHS tape or you wore out the music soundtrack in your Walkman: you will LOVE this movie.

Still need a little more convincing to go see Aladdin? Well, here are a few reasons why I know you’ll leave the movie theater very happy. And quite possibly with a song or two stuck in your head.

Princess Jasmine Is The Hero We All Need

It’s definitely a whole new world now. Female empowerment and female representation are both on the rise. If you got a big kick off of that epic “female Avengers assemble” scene in Avengers: Endgame, you need to see these Princess Jasmine scenes to keep your girl power momentum going.

Still showing us the same jaw-dropping beauty that she had in the animated version, Princess Jasmine lets us know early on that she is so much more than just her (albeit absolutely stunning) looks. She completely embodies her famous quote from the original Aladdin “I am not a prize to be won.” Disney builds her character arc in such an authentic and creative way that I left feeling so impressed with Disney and also so empowered in my own abilities. So many girls are going to want to be just like Princess Jasmine, and it won’t be to sport her infamous crop top.

The actress, Naomi Scott, might look familiar if you’re a Power Rangers fan. She played Kimberly, The Pink Ranger, in the 2017 film version of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. She’s definitely got a thing for playing powerful women. I felt that she was a FANTASTIC choice for Jasmine.

The Actor Who Plays Aladdin is Talented (And Super Fine)

Aladdin looking like a snack

In 2018, Disney conducted a worldwide search to cast the lead role of Aladdin. Mena Massoud landed that role. Coming from shows such as Combat Hospital, King, and Masters in Crime, I am certain this will not be the last we see of Mena. His talent in this movie really shines through. He even has that same signature Aladdin smile. I was won from the beginning.

And let me just get this out of the way, Mena is a very handsome man. He is f i n e. Seriously, if Princess Jasmine doesn’t want to be bothered, I’ll happily be next in line. Take your kids to watch this movie, but also enjoy the eye candy that is in front of you.

In all seriousness, what he brought to the table was amazing. His acting skills were a mixture between keeping up with the character Aladdin that we all know and love, while also adding a new layer of depth to the character that fell in line with what we knew. I look forward to seeing more from him.

The Changes From The Original Were Made For The Better

All of the changes that were made in this film, I truly believe it was for the better and still left the end product to become an enjoyable Disney movie. There were some smaller changes such as the lyrics to “Arabian Nights” to bigger changes regarding Princess Jasmine’s story arc.

Jasmine talking to her father in Aladdin

One big thing I noticed visually is that Agrabah seemed to be more culturally appropriate than the 1992 version. The way that everyone was depicted in this movie seemed to really capture an authentic culture in a very respectful way, so kudos to you for that, Disney!

I Thought I Would NEVER Say This: Will Smith Is My Genie Now

There was so much controversy over Will Smith being cast as the genie. People held on to their nostalgia like it was the last Beanie Baby in the world. It was understandable to an extent, as Robin Williams made the most amazing Genie in our formative years. How could anyone ever live up to that?

I won’t give anything away but I can tell you, Will Smith Does a VERY good job as Genie.

I’ve Seen The Original Movie over a Thousand Times…I Still Cried With This New Version

It’s hard to admit that I, as a full grown adult, cried over a movie involving things like genies and talking parrots. It’s especially humorous when you know how many times I have seen the original.

But something about seeing this movie in live action made it real. I clapped for their triumphs and I felt their losses.

This movie is not a tearjerker by any means, but if you find yourself moved by emotional moments as much as I do, you may want to bring a pack of tissue with you, just in case.

Aladdin taking Jasmine up stairs

Have you gotten a chance to see the new Aladdin? If not, what scenes are you looking forward to watching? We would love to know your thoughts in the comments section below.

About the author

Quinzel Lee

Quinzel comes to this site armed with a background in creative writing that's peppered in sarcasm and humor. Her current outlets are Geeky Girl's Guide to Life and SheUnplugged. She also makes appearances on the Geeky Girl's Night In podcast.

"A degree in theater will get you nowhere" she was once told. Who could have guessed that nowhere is a place of fun, amazement, and a world of writing.