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Disney's animated features are some of the most well loved movies ever made. Many of the recent live-action remakes, while not necessarily hitting that level, have been incredibly successful with fans. The second of three remakes hitting theaters this year is Aladdin and while the movie won't be released here for a couple more weeks, the film has screened for some audiences and the first reactions are now hitting social media.
Overall, the response has been largely positive, though there have been a few caveats in that. One of the big questions that had fans worried was the CGI that turned Will Smith into the big blue Genie. It didn't look all that great in the eyes of many and Digital Spy says that while overall Will Smith is great, the CGI doesn't work. Although, that might not be the worst part of the movie. According to them...
A lavish and enjoyable retelling, but not enough of A Whole New World to fully succeed. Mena Massoud/Naomi Scott are great, while Will Smith brings a fun energy to his take on the Genie, even if the CGI lets him down. The less said about Jafar, the better.
Since they don't say anymore, we don't really know what the issue with Jafar is, but clearly the feeling is he doesn't work in some way.
While Digital Spy isn't in love with Will Smith's CGI Genie, they're one of the few responses to the movie that really calls it out. Most of the reactions on social media are complementary of Smith overall. Joe.ie's Rory Cashin seems to agree that the CGI is a weak link, but he thinks that the movie is otherwise so strong that audiences won't care.
Can confirm that the majority of your concerns about Aladdin, especially anything Will Smith-related, will vanish once that first big song kicks in, but my pick for MVP has got to be Billy Magnussen! He might just be a comedy genius in waiting.
The word that Billy Magnussen is a highlight of the film is certainly interesting news. We know he's playing a brand new character named Prince Anders, but beyond that, we don't really know who the character is or how he fits into the story.
From everything that we've seen, this new version of Aladdin is going to follow all the same beats as the animated original. It's even a full musical, in the same way that the Beauty and the Beast remake was. If that film is any indication, Aladdin could be a massive hit.
If Andrew Jones is to be believed, that's even more possible, as he thinks Aladdin is actually one of the better remakes that Disney has produced, even if it is a little on the long side. According to Jones...
So Aladdin is Disney's second-best recent remake, after Pete's Dragon. Proudly a musical fantasy adventure, the jokes are strong, Smith's Genie is a lot of fun, the human leads work well. It's 20 minutes too long, but works a charm for the entire run.
The most stirring praise, however, may come from the BBC's Haroon Rashid, who compares Aladdin to a great Bollywood movie...
I just watched the new Aladdin movie and it is amazing! It was so good that I forgot my roza had opened. Also if Sanjay Leela Bhansali ever made a Disney film, it would be this! I felt like I was watching a cross between Ram Leela/Bajirao Mastani but without people dying.
The early word seems largely good, and a few hiccups in the CGI likely won't dissuade too many fans if everything else about Aladdin works. We'll find out for ourselves when the movie hits theaters May 24.