Disney continues to crank out live-action adaptations of its beloved animated classics, with no fewer than three new movies hitting the big screen this year. Dumbo is first, in March, and The Lion King is sure to be a box office smash in July. Between those two is the film that may be Disney's biggest gamble of 2019: Aladdin.
Hitting cinemas in May, Aladdin will be a re-telling of the animated tale of a street-rat with a heart of gold, the magic lamp he finds, and the princess that he woos. From what we've seen of the film so far, Aladdin will follow in the footsteps of Cinderella and Beauty And The Beast, as a near shot-for-shot remake of the original.
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However, as with these previous examples, Disney has also updated Aladdin for the 21st century, adding in new characters and new songs, and making changes to existing characters. Based on casting details, stills, trailers and posters, here are all the differences we've spotted so far.
- This Page: Jafar, Genie, and Jasmie
- Page 2: New Songs and New Characters
Jafar Is A Much Younger Man
In the original animation, when Jafar takes Aladdin to the Cave of Wonders, he does so disguised as a wizened old man. The two meet when Aladdin is imprisoned in the Palace (for 'kidnapping' the princess, although Jafar would have fabricated some other excuse for trapping him had he not met Jasmine), and Jafar appears as a fellow prisoner, an ancient man with a long white beard and crooked teeth. He claims that he needs Aladdin to go into the Cave for him because he is too old and infirm, and he remains in this disguise until Aladdin has been trapped by the Cave's collapse.
In the trailer, however, we see Jafar standing behind Aladdin as he enters the Cave, and this version of the character is in his Vizier regalia, with Iago on his shoulder. This means that Jafar uses some other excuse to get Aladdin to enter the Cave for him, without the subterfuge.
There's another age-related change to Jafar in this version, as well; even as the Vizier, he appears to be quite a bit younger than he was in the original. While the animated Jafar isn't given an age, when he attempts to make the Sultan marry Jasmine off to him, the Sultan argues that it shouldn't happen because "you're so old!" In the live-action version, however, Jafar is played by the 36-year-old Marwan Kenzari. With Naomi Scott (Jasmine) aged 25, and Mena Massoud (Aladdin) at 27, it seems that the age gap wouldn't be significant for a marriage.
Jasmine's Costume Change (And Stronger Personality)
In the latest footage, Jasmine is seen walking down the Palace steps in an elaborate pink and gold dress that doesn't appear in the original. The animated Jasmine has only four outfits throughout the film: her brown 'commoner' disguise, her wedding outfit in the final scenes, the red outfit that she wears while serving Jafar, and the blue outfit that she is best known for. We've already seen shots of the updated versions of her blue and 'commoner' clothes, but it looks like this is a totally new look.
However, there is much more than just an outfit change for this Disney Princess. She has also been described as a stronger character than she was originally, with more of an ambition than to simply see a little more than just the inside of the palace. This version of the Princess will take an interest in actually running the kingdom, which seems to be an extension of the rebellious spirit of the original.
Will Smith's Genie
By far, the least-well-received change seen in the trailer is the first look at Will Smith as the Genie. It was always going to be difficult to find someone who could live up to the incredible Robin Williams, who voiced the Genie in the animation, but the overall look of the new Genie has left fans unimpressed. This Genie isn't the otherworldly being from the original, but simply a really big Will Smith, painted blue, and given some unusual facial hair. He also gets a necklace, and far more ornate jewellery (including those cursed cuffs).
While many of these details may seem like small changes, it's the overall look of the Genie that has left fans cold. Some of this may be smoothed out for the final film, as there's a lot of CGI going on here, and it doesn't look quite finished. However, it seems that the lynchpin of the movie, the Genie himself, could be one of the most disappointing elements.
Page 2: New Songs and New Characters
- Aladdin (2019) release date: May 24, 2019