Cast: Will Smith, Mena
Massoud, Naomi Scott,
Director: Guy Ritchie
Director: Chad Stahelski
Classification: 6 and up
Released By: Disney
It’s been a very long time since Disney’s vivified melodic film industry hit, Aladdin, flew onto our film screens and acquainted us with a totally different universe of new world of state-of-the-art animation style – at least it was for that time.
Exploding with vibrant colour, a memorable original music score and a star-studded voiceover cast, the most unforgettable character was undoubtedly Genie, who was voiced by the legendary late funny-man Robin Williams.
So, when it was announced that Disney would this month be releasing its live-action CGI version of the movie, fans were ecstatic – until they heard Will
Smith would be playing the role of the genie.
As soon as the trailer landed with a snippet of Smith kitted out in blue skin and a topknot hairdo, an international mob of ill-informed wannabe movie critics and so-called social media influencers who can barely string a sentence together, immediately took to the wires to lambaste the actor with their preferred method of communication … memes.
Comparisons ranged from the thumb people in Spy Kids to Tobias during his Blue Man obsessed phase in Arrested Development and the invisible monster in Bird
Box that makes people kill themselves.
Being the ever-suave and accomplished multi-Grammy-winning musician and actor that he is, Smith took the online attack in his stride. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly shortly after the barrage, he said: “Whenever you’re doing things that are iconic, it’s always terrifying … Robin [Williams] didn’t leave a lot of meat on the bone with the character.
“But I started to feel confident that I could deliver something that paid homage to Robin but was musically different.”
And, after watching the movie earlier this week, it’s clear that Smith has lived up to his promise – not just to celebrate Robin Williams but to also bring his unique
style to the character. From the moment he breaks out of the lamp and into action, Smith’s genie steals the thunder from the other characters played by the likes of Mena Massoud (Aladdin), Naomi Scott (Princess Jasmine) and Marwan Kenzari (Jafar the villainous vizier).
Adapted to screen and directed by Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes, Rock n Rolla, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) the movie, in addition to Ritchie’s value-adding signature visual trickery, also provides plenty of great choreography, awesome action shots and colourful dance scenes.
As the much-anticipated film hits screens around the world today, forget all about the naysayers and add this fun movie to your list of three wishes for the weekend.
Here are some little known facts about the Disney movie:
It caused a rift between Robin Williams and Disney overuse of Williams’ heavily improvised script.
The flying carpet ushered in the age of computer animation
Aladdin’s design was based on Tom Cruise
It was the last Disney movie that lyricist Howard Ashman worked on.
The voice of Abu the monkey was Frank Welker, who is also the voice of Scooby-Doo.