Disney's live-action remake of Aladdin is largely a direct adaptation of the animated original. The plot follows the exact same story with virtually no changes whatever. However, there is one significant addition to the story in the form of an original song.
"Speechless" was written by Alan Menken, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and is sung by Naomi Scott in the film in her role as Princess Jasmine. The song was recently released online so you can hear it even without having to see the new movie, and it already has a lot of fans. One of them is Lea Solonga, who voiced Princess Jasmine's singing performances (while Linda Larkin provided the speaking voice) in Disney's original animated feature. She took to Twitter to give a total and complete endorsement to the song and everything about it.
As endorsements go, this is a pretty great one. The biggest hurdle that each Disney remake has to overcome is that the new movie is frequently trying to come out from the shadow of an original that has a lot of fans. Comparisons between the original and the remake are inevitable. Getting the person who helped create the voice of Jasmine to give you such unwavering support probably makes Naomi Scott feel amazing, and it likely gives confidence to any Disney fans who weren't so sure about the remake.
Whatever your view on "Speechless" as a song, and the views are mixed, it is certainly nice that Princess Jasmine actually gets her own song in the new Aladdin. The character's only musical performance in the animated version was in the "A Whole New World" duet and the character really deserves a song of her own.
It's too bad we never got a chance to really hear Lea Salonga sing in the original film, although, based on her tweet, it certainly sounds like she's tempted to give "Speechless" a try herself. How awesome would it be to hear the song in the voice of the original Jasmine? I'd love to see that video hit YouTube.
Based on the numbers, Lea Salonga isn't the only one who's taken with the new version of Aladdin. While it fell to number two at the domestic box office last weekend behind Godzilla: King of the Monsters, it put up a pretty good fight and has already made over $450 million globally, making it a bona fide hit.
This is not only good news for Aladdin on its own, but for the Disney remake train in general. The Lion King is barely more than a month away and considering how big a hit that movie was the first time around, the remake could end up being one of the highest grossing movies ever made.