The live-action remake of Aladdin added a few interesting elements to the Disney version of the classic tale. The two biggest changes were a Genie with hip-hop style, brought to life by Will Smith, and a new, larger role for Jasmine that included her own song.
However, it turns out that "Speechless" wasn't the only original song created for the new movie. Another song, called "Desert Moon" was written, and filmed for the movie, but was cut before release. Now, part of the removed song has been released online. Check out the clip below.
The song is a duet, but Aladdin and Jasmine aren't together during "Desert Moon." Each one is looking up at the moon and thinking of the other. It's a standard song of longing for somebody.
The song appears to be set following Aladdin's abduction by Jafar, but prior to reaching the Cave of Wonders. Aladdin is out in the desert, and Jasmine is back to being a princess. The spark of the relationship between the two has happened, but they haven't been able to get to know each other yet.
The song sounds fine as far as it goes. We're hearing maybe a third of it here, so there's probably a lot more that will help determine whether or not it's great. Having said that, it certainly doesn't sound like's it's going to become another "A Whole New World."
It's not clear why the song was cut, but the most obvious reason is the song just isn't necessary. Seeing that Aladdin and Jasmine have feelings for each other is useful, but it's not information that we didn't have. Maybe the song will provide some insight into the characters that we don't get otherwise, but we certainly don't hear that in the clip provided.
By contrast "Speechless" the anthem newly written for Jasmine to sing along has much more value to the live-action remake. Jasmine simply isn't much of a character in the animated original. Even though she fights the idea of being married off by her father, her story is still completely focused on finding love, just doing it her way.
The Jasmine of the remake has goals outside of romance. She wants to take her place as the leader of her country. While she is frequently overlooked simply for being a woman, that's a state that she fights against, and the song makes that clear.
Howard Ashman, the lyricist behind several Disney Renaissance films, including Aladdin, always believed that if you could take a song out of a musical, and the story still made perfect sense, the song is not doing its job. Well, "Desert Moon" was taken out of Aladdin, and the story certainly didn't suffer, which is all the reason you need to understand why it was removed.
The new version of Aladdin is available on Digital HD starting now and hits Blu-ray September 10.
CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.
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