Disney released a new teaser clip today for their 2019 remake of Aladdin, in which Will Smith sings and puts his own spin on the song "Prince Ali". Audiences got a taste of Smith's performance as Genie earlier this month, in the official movie trailer, during his appearance on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and in a clip premiered at CinemaCon.
Director Guy Ritchie's live-action remake of Disney's animated 1992 film has already met with some criticism, most notably after the 5-minute viewing of the film at CinemaCon just months ago. In the clip, viewers got to see the full performance of "Friend Like Me", the song which was first sung by the late Robin Williams, whose shoes are certainly hard to fill. Smith adds his own style to the character, even rapping in the clip, revealing that the live-action film will be a truly new experience. While some things will of course remain the same, Disney is known for adding a more modern spin to the live-action remakes of their animated classics.
In today's clip, unveiled by IGN, Smith debuted his performance of the song "Prince Ali". The clip shows how Smith puts his own spin on the role of Genie, even "brushing his shoulders off" at one point. The former rapper adds a hip-hop flare to the song, making it his own, and serving as somewhat of a "hype-man" for the other singers. The clip also reveals Genie's full costume, which is of course blue, along with a sneak peek at the spectacular show of colors and the dazzling choreography in the upcoming film. The clip also shows a bit of Princess Jasmine, played by Naomi Scott, and Mena Massoud in the role of the titular character, Aladdin. Massoud's Aladdin rides in nervously on a giant elephant, decked out in his princely attire, likely the outcome of a wish placed with Genie. Jasmine watches the spectacle, which even involves Genie riding two ostriches while performing the song.
Some have already criticized the above clip, many repeating complaints made about the prior footage of Smith's genie, as well as lamenting the fact that Williams' performance will always cast a shadow over the film. Others assert that the song feels slow, when compared to the original. While things may look bleak, its worth noting that the Genie is a very beloved character, and that credit belongs to Robin Williams. And considering Williams' death, it's normal to expect some push-back from fans of the original in regards to Smith's take on the role.
Disney's Aladdin has yet to premiere, but the remake already has a lot of opinions building, following the release of these clips. Some of these opinions have been negative, but the film has more to offer than Smith's performance as Genie, so there may be other redeemable factors that could make the film a hit. And if all else fails, Disney at least has their other 2019 live-action remake of The Lion King to fall back on.
- Aladdin (2019) release date: May 24, 2019