Tag Archives: Aladdin

WHY I DEFEND WILL SMITH AS THE GENIE

Let’s be honest, how many people were honestly going to say they wanted to see the 1992 animated classic Aladdin remade in a live-action production? Well, Disney have been taking a huge number of the favourites and bringing them into the 21st century by utilising special effects and techniques which seemed impossible when the cartoon counterparts first debuted. While the various images and clips make the film look amazing, the biggest criticisms seem to come on Will Smith playing the all-powerful Genie of the lamp!

I for one was all up for this casting. We knew that you would never get a Robin Williams type of casting, but then again, I feel that makes casting Smith a better choice anyway as he will indeed be different. Over the last few hours, I have been reading some Twitter and Facebook messages and I will be defending this iteration of the blue being that will be at the centre of this remake!

Will-Smith-Genie-Aladdin

“He Is Just Doing Will Smith!”

Really? Well done for working that one out. Now I can not say that Will Smith is the best actor in the world, but when you cast the man, you have a good idea of what you are to get from him. When Robin Williams was cast, it is believed he was just allowed to be himself and become as zany as possible to create a Genie that was much loved and definitely the source of much of the humour in Aladdin. So is an actor being like himself really that bad? Nope!

“Why Was He Cast? He Will Just Play The Same Character He Always Does”

Well, can you really get an idea of the character he is playing from a couple of images and 5 seconds of video? If you can, then well done. Why is it the opinion can be stamped to an actor and/or character before the film comes out. Anyone remember Heath Ledger as The Joker? I think the internet exploded that day when the announcement was made. Everyone only remembered Heath for either his romcoms, A Knights Tale (oh god!) and Brokeback Mountain. But it turned out Ledger was awesome and the Oscar was well deserved.

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“I Had Such High Hopes For This…But I Can’t Get Past The Horrible CGI On Will Smith’s Genie”

If Genie was just a human in blue paint, would you be annoyed? Of course. Does a big imposing Genie with blue skin, otherworldly body and huge presence require CGI to work? I would say so. I can understand why many won’t like the CGI. But remember, this is just a few seconds of what is to come. I honestly think it looks OK, Will Smith looks like the genie with his essence all over it like I would have wanted. Also, am I the only one who likes the CGI?

“…I Wanted Gabriel Iglesias”

NO! OH GOD NO! NO NO NO NO NO!!! If I could have chosen, I would have loved to have seen Matt Lucas to create a truly laid back Genie with a rather animated look in real life.

“I Won’t Watch This Car Crash”

Ok, that is up to you. I honestly see that this film will be much like The Jungle Book and Beauty And The Beast and live up to its legacy and actually appeal to audiences old and new. Aladdin was indeed a great movie in the 90’s and the one thing that does sadden me is that Robin Williams didn’t live to reprise his role as The Genie. Apart from that, I reckon this will be a decent movie. It won’t be the best of all time, but it will be successful.

Genie-Disney

So, now that I have gone through my timelines and found some answers to the people complaining about the Will Smith version of the character really needs to either wait until we get a bit more footage or just go into the film with an open mind. I know this will not be the perfect iteration of the character, but no actor can ever top what Robin Williams brought to the part when he got in that voiceover booth and unleashed possibly the most iconic Disney character I have witnessed in my lifetime.

What do you honestly think? Do you believe Will Smith will be good? Do you believe he will sink the film? I for one can’t wait to see this film.

Aladdin will be out in cinemas May 24th 2019!

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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MY TOP TWENTY FILMS OF ALL TIME. #16: Aladdin

It’s time to get onto some Disney now. So, why not start with one of the greatest animated films of all time. Aladdin is one of them Disney movies which just seemed to get everything right. The 1992 movie explores the story of Aladdin who is joined by his pet monkey Abu. He is a young thief in Agrabah who does what he can to survive. Along his way, he meets Princess Jasmine, whom he saves from an angry merchant at the market. They quickly become close until Aladdin is arrested. Jasmine is later told by her father’s advisor, Jafar, that Aladdin has since been executed. This is a lie, as Jafar is actually looking to use Aladdin to obtain a magical lamp for his own need for power from the Cave of Wonders, a cave that can only be entered by someone who is a “diamond in the rough”. Jafar attempts access into the cave early in the film just for the petty thief he hired to get killed once he enters. Jafar, dressed as an old man, uses Aladdin to obtain the lamp. He and Abu are warned they can get the lamp, but must not touch anything else in the cave. While in the cave, the duo meet the magic carpet (Disney’s first ever CGI character) and the carpet helps them find the lamp. When Abu traps them in the cave, Aladdin then rubs the lamp and is stunned to see a genie emerge and sings the catchy ‘Friend Like Me’. The Genie (portrayed by the legendary Robin Williams) comes to Aladdin’s rescue and gets him out of the cave. The Genie then reveals he can grant his “master” three wishes. So we continue…

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Aladdin, after making his first wish to become a prince, re-enters Agrabah in the hopes of winning over Princess Jasmine. The Genie helps to make his entrance as grand as possible and the song ‘Prince Ali’ introduces Agrabah to Aladdin in his new look (Let’s just say it, the songs are brilliant and the ones with Robin Williams singing are just superb). Jafar attempts to stop any potential suitors for Jasmine as he wants to marry her for the power of being Sultan. Jafar, still upset about not getting the lamp, hatches a plan once he realises that Prince Ali is Aladdin and that he is alive because of the Genie when he sees the lamp. Aladdin has used two wishes and the third was originally to free Genie so that he could be free from the lamp and do what he wants, but Aladdin doesn’t want to give him up as he feels he will be nothing without the Genie by his side. Later, Iago, Jafar’s parrot, steals the lamp and brings in to Jafar for him to use the power. Aladdin, powerless and exposed as the thief that he once was, is banished from the kingdom and Jafar uses his new powers of sorcery to remove Aladdin. With the genie under the control of the evil Jafar and him taking over Agrabah, it is in the end a self-inflicted wish which sees Jafar finally defeated.

The film is very much a delight and thrill ride throughout its run time. Whether it’s flying on the magic carpet singing ‘A Whole New World’, exploring the beautifully created Cave Of Wonders or just the effortless comedy from Robin Williams as he makes Genie a pop-culture icon, this film has a lot going for it. The magic carpet shows that a character can show emotion without a voice and without a face as it becomes the heart of the movie as it helps the characters get out of certain dangers. The music is brilliant throughout, Robin Williams has a great presence in every scene he is in and the music he contributes his voice to is beyond amazing. Aladdin is definitely one of the all-time classics and an achievement on so many levels in both what you see and what you feel.

Written By Jonjo Cosgrove.