REVIEW: Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ remake leaves audiences ‘speechless’ with its unique twists


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All actors’ performances shone equally.

“Aladdin,” Disney’s latest live-action remake of their classics, was released on Friday, May 24, and colorful confetti and smiles seemed to follow in its wake.

The movie stays true to the original plotline, adding only minor stylistic changes to help modernize the film. For example, the lyric “It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home” in the opening song “Arabian Nights” was changed to “It’s chaotic, but hey, it’s home.”

All three main characters, Aladdin, Jasmine and the Genie, have their own charms. There is no single character that really “steals the show.” Naomi Scott, who plays Jasmine, and Mena Massoud, who plays Aladdin, are both relatively unknown actors who were cast partly because they can really sing.

Massoud is especially notable in the song “One Jump Ahead,” where he jumps between buildings to help Jasmine evade the merchants who’s bread she takes and gives to hungry children. Massoud expertly expresses Aladdin’s clever, quick-witted manner throughout the song, charming both Jasmine and the audience and making this scene one of the most memorable in the film.

The largest change to the original movie is a new song titled “Speechless,” in which Jasmine expresses her will for power. Scott sings this anthem incredibly well as Jasmine breaks free of her orders to be seen and not heard. This song, being Jasmine’s only solo, is a great addition as it aids in developing her into a stronger character.

Lastly, “Aladdin” would not be complete without Will Smith, who plays the often-hilarious Genie. As the only well-established actor in the film, Smith sings a majority of the classic songs. Although he had the difficult job of following the original and iconic Genie performance by Robin Williams, Smith does not try to replicate the original, instead opting to incorporate his hip-hop roots into the classic song “Friend Like Me.”  

The set’s bold and cheerful colors and the energetic dance performances all contribute to creating a happy aura. “Aladdin” will be remembered as a joyful and likeable film.