Live Action Aladdin Review: Did It Live Up The Hype?

This weekend Disney opened our eyes to a whole new world…but did it live up to the hype?

If you are anything like me, you grew up singing these catchy songs and falling in love with our favorite street rat. Aladdin has secured itself as one of my all time favorite Disney movies, so this remake certainly had a lot to live up to.

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I will be honest that when I first saw the costumes and trailer, I was worried. In fact, I think my exact reaction was “NOOOOO!”

Luckily this movie packed a lot of surprises, so here is what I think worked and what didn’t.

What worked:

  • Will Smith made my initial doubts disappear after his first scene. Though I admit I was nervous after the first trailer, he ended up being the star of the movie. His comedic timing left me belly laughing over and over again. To be frank: this movie would have been mediocre without him.
  • Naomi Scott did a wonderful job portraying Jasmine. I loved the fresh take on her character, and I also enjoyed her additional song.
  • It was entertaining, and the nostalgia hit home!

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What didn’t work: 

  • The casting of Jafar was probably the biggest problem in my opinion. His voice was not menacing, and it was hard to see him as the villain from my childhood. Without a convincing villain, it was hard to buy into the majority of the plot.
  • The pacing and dialogue of the first 30 minutes was off. At times it felt corny and I had a hard time getting into it. The good news is that the movie picked up as soon as the Genie was introduced.
  • I wasn’t a fan of a few of the camera angles and the camera speed. The director decided to speed up certain parts of the movie, which made it feel a bit too “comicbook-y” for my liking.
  • I hate to say it, but the portrayal of Aladdin didn’t work for me. Aladdin is known for his charm, and that personality just didn’t shine through. The singing was also heavily autotuned(and at times awkward).

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Overall Thoughts

In the end, it was worth seeing. I had a ton of fun going to see it with my husband, and it made me nostalgic for the original. The casting and directing could have been better, but overall it was a fun movie for Disney lovers.

Let me know what you thought about the live action Aladdin!

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9 Comments

  1. I thought some of the singing worked for me, but I do agree that Jafar wasn’t as menacing as I would’ve preferred for an iconic Disney villain. Overall solid film, just not a classic like I hoped it would be.

  2. Good to know these things! I’ll probably wait until it’s out for legal streaming before I’ll watch it.

    – Laura || afinnontheloose.com

  3. I agree with you about the beginning being slow. Also Will Smith did make that movie because the guy who played Aladdin was mediocre at best.

  4. I am so worried about all of these things. I kind of assumed that Will Smith would make the film.

    I have loved the Disney remakes so far, but I feel like I am in no rush to see this one sadly.

    Thank you for the honest review x

  5. Just few hours before I watched this movie with my family on memorial day. And we enjoyed watching this. In fact I can say there were lot of children in cinema and every one was looking happy and delighted. For the kids who were seeing Aladdin , Jasmine and other characters for first time, they had no baseline to compare with. It depends on everyone taste and flavor what they like or not. For us it was like we were refreshing our old memories of Aladdin and Jasmine that we seen in Disney Cartoon series in our childhood days.Thanks for sharing.
    Heena.
    https://travelandhikewithpcos.com/2019/05/21/hike-to-panorama-point-at-mount-rainier/

  6. I watched Aladdin the first day it showed here! Sadly, my dad almost fell asleep in the beginning but Will Smith came to rescue! Loved how Aladdin can dance though!

  7. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m hoping to take my four-year-old grandson this week. To me, the Genie makes the movie, so I’m glad Will Smith was believable. Is Aladdin appropriate for a little one?

  8. As a Disney lover myself, I can agree with you in the fact that the movie fell short in certain areas. As a kid, one of my favorite (and scariest) characters that I recall from the original film is Jafar. His portrayal in the live-action film was different enough from the character in the original story that it almost made me lose sight of the cruel characteristics that Jafar continuously portrays throughout the animated film. However, the Disney lover in me loves the film regardless of how far it strayed from the original film taking into consideration how difficult it must be to try to recreate such a timeless film. \

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