Aladdin

Hello Beautiful People!

Sorry I have been M.I.A. I must admit it’s been a mixture of auditions, self-tapes, writer’s block and going on a hardcore fitness journey. I made time to see Aladdin yesterday since its obviously my favorite Disney movie.

Photo credit IMDB

We all know adapting a film from animation to live action is incredibly challenging, but Aladdin did a wonderful job. Will Smith managed to keep Genies light-hearted essence while infusing his personality into his character. I felt like we got a little bit of Fresh Prince of Bel Air and an all-knowing, sassy Genie in one. Dalia (Jasmine’s friend and handmaiden) was also added to the film. Played by Nasim Padrad, who has been on Saturday Night Live, Gigi from Scream Queens and Aly on New Girl. Ms. Padrad adds depth to Jasmine’s character by bringing out her softer side with girl chats and quick-witted comments. Don’t worry Abu and Raja make their appearances throughout the film as well.

photo credit Daniel Smith/Disney

A Whole New World was sung in a lower register but was still enchanting and beautiful since we got to experience the various dips and dives of the magic carpet ride in reality instead of animation. I love that the costume designer Michael Wilkinson took the various colors from Jasmine’s animated outfits, but kept her costume modern and modest. Instead of having Jasmine run around in a crop top and Harlem pants she made her corsets with tulip pants and occasionally a sheer cape moment. The influence of peacock feathers was a nice nod to the original animation while still making it modern. The various beautiful earrings and matching necklaces added the classic princess touch. Fun fact: Naomi Scott who plays Jasmine, was in the movie Disney movie Lemonade Mouth and she played the Pink Power Ranger in the Power Rangers.

The addition of the song Speechless, sang by Naomi Scott brought this film into the 21st century. In a time when women are quite literally still fighting for the right to make their own decisions about their bodies, Speechless was right on time. Scott belts out, “I won’t be silenced you won’t keep me quiet, won’t tremble when you try it all I know is I won’t go speechless.” You can watch here, 5 million views and counting I might add. I for one am proud that Jasmine continues to be the intelligent, strong, badass Disney princess we have always loved. She is determined to take Jaffar down and run her country for the sake of doing what is right for her people.

While I know the casting is not one hundred percent historically accurate, the dancing in some people’s opinions could have been filmed better, I loved it. I think Guy Ritchie did a great job of making Aladdin modern while honoring the classic without making it cheesy.

The film is a circular narrative and ends in a beautiful way that leaves the audience feeling satisfied. Have you seen Aladdin? What did you think?

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