By The Nation
Disney began its successful Aladdin franchise with an animated feature film of the same name that starred legendary comedian Robin Williams and featured such memorable songs as “A Whole New World” and “Friend Like Me”. The film grossed more than US$502 million in worldwide box office revenue, which led to successful stage productions on Broadway and abroad. Twenty-seven years later, Disney is now set to bring the magic and adventure on the flying carpet back again with its release of Disney’s Aladdin (2019), a thrilling and vibrant live-action adaptation of the animated classic. This article has a glimpse of the new magical spells awaiting to unfold to moviegoers in theatres.
Here are five magical elements awaiting in the new version of Aladdin.
Magic 1: Latest appearance of a Disney Princess
The new on-screen presence of Jasmine (Naomi Scott) will keep the audience spellbound with her beauty in gorgeous makeup and more than 10 wonderful costumes designed by Michael Wilkinson. Among the highlights not featured in the animated film are a bright pink corset dress with gold-and-turquoise details and an extravagant pumpkin-orange dress paired with a cape in coral with gold-and-magenta embroidery. In addition to Jasmine’s stunning costumes, makeup and hairstyles, director Guy Ritchie made sure that the princess truly connects with her modern-day audience through contemporary interpretation and portrayal of this character, including her attitudes against arranged marriage and the convention that a princess shall only marry a prince.
Magic No. 2: Genie’s Magical Power to Grant Wishes
The magical elements that have previously captivated fans in the animated film will blow everyone’s imagination again in this live-action version, ranging from the magic lamp and the rides on the flying carpet through to the power of the blue Genie, played by Will Smith, to grant three wishes. Smith pays homage to Robin Williams’ flawless performance in the original 1992 film while still making the role his in this new version. In addition, he has honed many of his performing skills to top up this live-action Genie with top-class acting, singing and dancing skills, including rapping.
Magic No. 3: Full Host of Visual Effects Brings Agrabah to Life
Disney’s live-action films are renowned for their true-to-life quality in every aspect of production, and this live-action Disney’s Aladdin is no exception. Almost every type of visual effect work was utilised, including character animation, performance capture, set extensions, digital environments and FX simulations. In addition to a massive Agrabah set built outdoors at a filming studio in London, the film was shot on location amidst the stunning desert vistas of Jordan, with robust support of a talented creative team to bring Agrabah to life, including director of photography Alan Stewart and production designer Gemma Jackson (Game of Thrones).
Magic No. 4: “A Whole New World” Will Brighten Up People’s Hearts
“A Whole New World” from 1992 won the original Disney’s Aladdin the 65th Academy Award for Best Original Song and the 36th Annual Grammy Awards for Song of the Year. The song continues to be a top hit worldwide. In the 2019 live-action adaptation, Disney has worked with first-class music crew to create songs that will brighten up the world anew. Eight-time Academy Award -winning composer Alan Menken provides the score, which includes new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Oscar-winning lyricists Howard Ashman and Tim Rice and includes two new songs written by Menken, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Thai fans can also look forward to hearing this beautiful song in a Thai version, too.
Magic No. 5: A Classic Rich in Comedy, Romance and Action-packed Adventure
Disney has recreated this live-action adaptation based on the original animated film scene by scene. The Cave of Wonders, the Sultan’s palace, the lavish parade of “Prince Ali” and the scene when Aladdin takes Jasmine on a night ride on the magic carpet above the sky of Agrabah, among others, will bring back fresh memory of the animated classic.
Besides its four main characters, Genie, Aladdin, Jasmine, and Jafar, the 2019 film features an addition of new, lively characters including Dalia (Nasim Pedrad) as Jasmine’s handmaiden and the girlfriend she confides in, as well as Prince Anders (Billy Magnussen) and Jafar’s right-hand man, Hakim (Numan Acar).