Aladdin doesn’t have that fan love from me. Honestly, the further time marches on…the fandom for it still surprises me. I get that the Sega Genesis game was cool, but what about Aladdin keeps capturing imaginations? Peabo Bryson fans? Dig that magic carpet? Ladies and gentlepeople, I must know.
Director Guy Ritchie did an admirable job filling the Robert Stevenson role. Classic Disney film fans should get that reference. Stevenson was an English writer who directed a few British action movies in the 1930s. Then, he spent the rest of his life keeping the camera focused on Julie Andrews and Angela Lansbury. He also helped get Herbie the Love Bug out of the garage and into the streets.
Will Smith works as the Genie in the same way that Billy Joel didn’t start the fire. You believe that they believe they’re making the right choices, however the response is hollow. You’re not asking a lot of either man, however they have to carry the narrative that they’re telling. This becomes even more apparent as this version anchors the tale to Will Smith’s seemingly human framing device character. From that point, it’s a stylized tale of bland nothingness that would Zemeckis rage.
Now I know that this film has divided people into two camps. Especially since there is a vocal portion of fans that really loves the live-action take. It’s just that I’m not seeing what you’re seeing. Sure, I though the 1992 version was bland and only sported a memorable Genesis game. But, I get the weird nostalgia and stunted emotional growth that produced adult fans of 90s Disney animation. It happens across multiple genres and brands that the Grand Mouse Imperium is readying to purchase.
Disney is a hard studio to read at times. While everyone likes to paint them with the corporate overlord brush, they do make weird choices with their vast amount of assets. After the success of Favreau’s The Jungle Book, I knew that we were destined for years of the movies. While Lowery is the only one to perfect the concept with his Pete’s Dragon, everyone else falls into trite cloning. But, that’s the risk of imitation. Either you find a new path or make the film equivalent of a knock-off purse.
Aladdin hits 4K in Big Willy Style. The special features range from deleted scenes, bloopers, featurette and a deleted song. The 2160p 4K transfer is one of the best presentations Disney has released this year. However, I wish the Atmos track wasn’t so loud. The front channels seemed to overpower the lateral mix. Back channels were fine, so I’ll take it for what we get. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase to fans.