Whether the live action adaptations of Disney’s classic animation are needed is still a controversial topic. After all, each and every iconic cartoon of Disney already lives on with time: Beauty and The Beast, The Lion King, The Jungle Book and so on. It's understandable that they'd want to make more, though, since those live actions are earning a lot from their box office. Given that, though, we as consumers have the right to expect them to at least be good, right? With that in mind, I myself thought that I would definitely hate the adaptation of Aladdin.

The film trailer has not been properly taken care of, given the fact that it looks like a second-class film from 30 years ago. Fortunately, that image doesn't reflect the quality of the film. This adaptation is actually a great one. Should you enjoyed the original, Aladdin the live action would be able to bring you back to your childhood with more in-depth characters and a little bit of a modern spin.

Your favorite jokes are there, your favorite songs are sung, and the movie cast has a fair share of dancing, singing, and acting. Moreover, the director of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword – Guy Ritchie, was able to brought about breathtaking scenes in the Aladdin live action. Both the kingdom of Agrabah as well as the Cave of Wonders are stunningly designed, as seen in the trailers.

When the trailers were released, the greatest worry was Genie. There's a good reason for that too, considering that this character, who used to be voiceover by Robin William, is now replaced with Will Smith, and his performance in the trailers wasn't great. The film’s CGI is just hit-and-miss, not to mention Smith did not spend that much time in Genie’s typical blue appearance. This seemed wrong.

If that’s your concern, then worry no more, for Will Smith did a great job in the movie. He did not play to be the shadow of Robin William, but to develop his own signature Genie. And don’t you worry about his appearance, for he spent enough time being blue on screen.

Another concern might be related to how Smith is physically and charismatically bigger than any other characters in the live action. But then, the same issue happened with Aladdin when William played the role, so again, no worries.

Genie is blue and big
Genie is blue and big

Odd as it may sound, the film’s actors and actress suit their roles well. The homeless thief Aladdin, portrayed by Mena Massoud, is lovable, and the development of friendships between him and Genie, Abu, and the magic carpet is worth seeing. Naomi Scott, on the other hand, brought the image of Jasmine to a whole new level, not to mention the chemistry between our two main characters, serving as a great contribution to the movie’s success.

Some changes have been added to the story of Jasmine. Sorry for spoilers, but Jasmine in this adaption attempts to follow the footsteps of her father on becoming the next Sultan of Agrabah. But the tradition would not allow that to happen. How she overcomes those obstacles will surely be seen in the movie.

What’s good about these adaptations is that Disney actually changed some plots of the original story. While the old Jasmine rejected being in an arranged marriage, this new Jasmine is developed more, showing her ambition of leading her own people. This change from Disney is surely a wonderful one to make.

This new live action of Aladdin gives Jasmine a new female partner – a character played by SNL’s Nasim Pedrad – handmaiden Dalia. This is a small adjust, but it’s important because in the original plot, Jasmine has no friend but her tiger before Aladdin. Nasim Pedrad brought about an amusing environment, not to mention her chemistry with Genie.

Jasmine and her handmaiden Dalia
Jasmine and her handmaiden Dalia

Other cast members of the film are very good for their roles as well. However, Jafar – played by Marwan Kenzari – is not as charming as his original animated character. Navid Negahban’s Sultan does not have a lot to do in the live action, but he still shares a powerful connection with Jasmine.

Much as the movie is good, its faults are still visible. The initial part of the film is rather slow, not until Genie’s arrival does the film begin to get back to its flow. And not that I’m blaming Disney, but the climax’s CGI is kind of chaotic where it’s hard for you to tell one thing from another.

The main cast of the film

Guy Ritchie is known for using visual tricks in his movies, and Aladdin is no exception. Keep a close eye and you may realize how he sped up the film at some points in the sequence of “One Jump Ahead”. This kind of things are fine for me, but some would find it a sore thumb.

A problem with music is also found in the film. A new song has been written for Jasmine which fits the movie, but the way it is embedded into the film somehow feels terribly out-of-place. This music section could be cut out of the film into a standalone music video, and Aladdin the live action would still be fine.

All things considered, Aladdin is good, if not to say better than expected. Though the movie is not perfect, yet it is definitely a remarkable musical which is loaded with exciting moments, bright colors and fun performances. Will’s act on Genie is no better than Williams, but he brought about his own characterized merit. And if you are interested in this kind of thing – which you should be – our new Genie is rapping over the end credits, and what’s more, it is themed to the adaptation.