So, I accompanied my three daughters who put their childhoods in Disney’s hands today as we saw the live action adaption of the animated Aladdin.
The verdict was positive.
Merging the existing storyline with some modern cultural sensitivity and some bollywood stylisation enabled the whole thing to appear more worthy without taking itself far too seriously.
The absence of Robin Williams was always going to be the greatest challenge; Williams was capable of subversion and pathos without alienating audiences or descending to sentimentalism. The movie’s solution is to allow Will Smith to play himself, a popularly likeable figure while also providing the character a story arc that effectively helps him bridge the emotional gap that Williams carried the first movie over.
The character development of Jasmine makes sense, with her song bringing the more recent power ballad style song (ie Let It Go) into the plot to stand alongside the more classic musical numbers. It also seems that the original probably lacked an ‘I Want’ song, so this provides that as well.
Some rebalancing of Jaffar and Iago meant Iago is more restrained and Jaffar is far more emotive, which makes some sense.
Anyway, not too bad.
We await The Lion King.

2 thoughts on “Aladdin 2019

  1. In “Alf Laylah Wa Laylah”, “A Thousand (or “many”) Nights One Night”, the Princess’ name echoes the original Persian version: “Boudroulpoudor” as Shahrazad, known here as Sheherezade, tells her tale to defer for one more night her butchery by the ominously named King SHARYAR or Sharia. God help women under such faith-fuelled tyrannies.
    From Mount Gambier, your Mystic East embraces Ballarat, ennobled by the great musicians it’s borne and nurtured, including Sir Bernard Heinze & Marjorie Lawrence, Wagner Festspielhaus’ greatest Brunnhilde of all time.
    South Street Comps? Love ’em! More relevant is its once internationally admired PANTOMIMES, in Her Majesty’s Theatre, with Australia’s best Fairy Godmother cum Widow Twankey et alia Pantomime Dame, John Sorrell, Traffic Inspector. Not even Disney’s philistinism and new-found political correctness can erase a 6 year old’s memory of the endomorphic Sorrell in a pink tutu, about to turn a pumpkin to a coach, rats to horses, frogs to footmen and a humble girl to a beautiful princess and fashion icon.
    Supported, Stage Apron Centre, by a star-tipped wand with a strong six foot handle, he kind of dances – échappée, échappée, échappée – mournfully singing
    “Nobody loves a fairy when she’s forty!
    Nobody loves a fairy when she’s old!”
    Great days indeed!

    1. Gary Ware says:

      Oh for the days when forty was considered old, indeed.

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