Disney’s second live-action remake of the year has hit theaters, which means both critics and audiences have finally had the chance to journey back into the Cave of Wonders. Turns out, Aladdin is a diamond in the rough that has caused quite the divide between the two groups of moviegoers.
While a vast majority of fans left the theater with their wishes granted concerning the live-action Disney epic, critics felt something to be desired from Aladdin. The Rotten Tomatoes audience score is currently at a near perfect 93%, while the Tomatometer has deemed the film “rotten” at 57%. So while the remake didn’t quite impress reviewers, it’s a big win for those who bought a ticket to go see the Middle East set musical.
Additionally, Aladdin passed with flying colors with its "A" CinemaScore, which measures movie appeal by asking movie theatergoers their opinions on opening night. While one might argue those who went out and saw it on the first night it was out were the most excited and invested group to see it, high anticipation can also place a more critical eye on movies too.
Many critics didn’t hate Aladdin, they just couldn’t help but compare it to the 1992 original and be disappointed. After Will Smith’s Genie previously received flack for his new look, many actually praised Smith as a high point of the film, along with the new Aladdin and Jasmine played by Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott. Perhaps the biggest criticism is toward Guy Ritchie being at the helm and the “notable limit to its creative energy” as CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg pointed out in his 2.5 star review.
Audiences were much more forgiving of Aladdin recycling from its previous iteration, and the film did bring plenty of new aspects for them to judge. The movie has an entirely new cast of actors, the live-action flair, new musical numbers, and laugh-out-loud improv scenes. The original film is almost 30 years old and may have benefited from its updating - such as Princess Jasmine’s new empowering song from the songwriters of La La Land and The Greatest Showman.
When you compare the Rotten Tomatoes score of the first film, the audience score is comparable at 92%, while the Tomatometer is just as complementary at 94%. The difference here being when Aladdin came out it was something much more original. Robin Williams’ iconic performance wasn’t a common occurrence in animation films and Disney was in the middle of a “Renaissance” that would also produce favorites including Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid.
The new Aladdin is a bit more divisive between audiences and critics than 2017’s Beauty and the Beast, even though both films recreated a beloved Disney musical with some similar methods. Beauty's Tomatometer score is 71% while its audience score is 80%. Perhaps critics have since grown tired of Disney’s repeated live-action remake formula since then?
You can check out Aladdin in theaters now and decide for yourself, then vote in our poll below. Don't forget that The Lion King is adding itself to this Disney list soon, with a potentially huge box office opening that may top Beauty and the Beast's record take.