Aladdin has one of the most popular soundtracks in Disney history with song's like the Genie's showstopping "Friend Like Me" and the fantastic love song "A Whole New World." The new live action remake of Aladdin brings to life brand new versions of all your favorite songs, but it also adds an all-new tune to the mix.
With music by original Aladdin composer Alan Menken and lyrics by The Greatest Showman's Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the song is called "Speechless" and it's sung by Naomi Scott's Princess Jasmine. Alan Menken told Cinemablend's Eric Eisenberg that the new song fit well with a modern re-imagining of Aladdin, because of the song's modern themes of a woman who feels she is without a voice and wants to change that. According to Menken...
We thought, something new for Jasmine would be appropriate. Especially, in these times of Me Too, to really hear from her about wanting to be heard.
It's mostly just nice for Jasmine to get a song of her own because she never had one in the original animated film. Jasmine's only opportunity to sing back then was as part of the "Whole New World" duet. Most of the reason for that is that, unlike many of Disney's animated films, the princess isn't actually the main character of the story.
However, in the new Aladdin, Jasmine is a much stronger character, and her desire to be free of the constraints of the palace and be recognized for her own abilities is a major part of the story. The title of the song, "Speechless," references the state that that those around Jasmine, like Jafar and her father, seem to want her to remain in. She, instead, wants to be able to speak her mind.
Certainly, in a modern context having a female lead that is little more than a bystander isn't going to sit well with more than half of the audience, and so making Jasmine a more fully realized character was going to be important to the movie. Part of that was giving her a powerful song to sing.
While it's hard to argue that the live-action Aladdin doesn't suffer in comparison to its animated original, one place where the new movie is actually the best version of the Disney story is in the depiction of Jasmine, and her relationship with Aladdin as a whole.
The soundtrack to the new Aladdin is now available, so you can give the song a listen now even if you haven't had a chance to see the new Aladdin.
To see Alan Menken's full comments on the new song, as well as Naomi Scott's feelings singing a song written by the Disney Legend, check out the full video below.