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Disney fans, if the spoonful of nostalgia in the upcoming Mary Poppins Returns is your cup of tea, you can expect a super sweet serving of it come 2019. Between Disney remakes for Dumbo and The Lion King is a new live-action Aladdin. The new Prince Ali Ababwa himself, Mena Massoud, looks to be excited about the film's music. Here's what he said:
We've got all the original music in there, plus a couple of new songs. They're really empowering. I gotta say one is very empowering for women, I think people are going to really, really dig it. The other one is awesome as well. We got the same guys who did La La Land and The Greatest Showman, we're in good hands.
Mena Massoud is right, you really can't go wrong with songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who wrote our favorite musicals in the past couple of years: La La Land and The Greatest Showman, along with the Broadway favorite Dear Evan Hansen. Those guys are on fire, and on Aladdin they also collaborated with the original animated film's composer, Alan Menken, for the remake.
The actor confidently commented on the new songs in Aladdin to Variety's Marc Malkin at the GQ Men of the Year party. The upcoming film seems to take note from 2017's Beauty and the Beast, which primarily used the original songs, but did feature some additional songs exclusive to the movie. While Alan Menken and his frequent collaborator Tim Rice returned to write the lyrics for songs such as "Evermore" in the live-action remake, Aladdin is calling upon the songwriters of the hour to pack some more songs in the film.
Benj Pasek and Justin Paul previously have said that they worked on two songs for Aladdin: one a song for Naomi Scott's Jasmine and the other a new duet between Jasmine and Aladdin. The song that Mena Massoud called "empowering for women" is likely Jasmine's solo moment, which is something notably absent from the original. On the original, Jasmine did have a song called "To Be Free," but it was cut from the film.
It's about time for the Arabic Disney Princess to get her own song, and another duet between Aladdin and Jasmine is a clever idea to add depth to the pair's relationship in the remake. The songwriting pair also contributed to adding a new verse to the film's opener "Arabian Nights."
Other than these couple of new songs, it looks like Aladdin will revive all your favorite songs from the 1992 film, such as "A Whole New World" and "One Jump Ahead." The film also stars Will Smith as Genie, Marwan Kenzari as Jafar, Navid Negahban as Sultan, along with new characters played by Nasim Pedrad and Numan Acar. The film is directed by Guy Ritchie, best known for Sherlock Holmes, Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Snatch.
Will the new songs and the originals work well together to bring the Arabian Night to life again? These wishes may be granted when Aladdin rides into theaters on May 24, 2019.