I have always loved the movie Aladdin. The storyline, the vibrant colors, the characters, and the way it was all brought to life. Diving headlong into the world of Agrabah, and taking in an unhappy princess, an evil sorcerer, a naive Sultan, and the diamond in the rough that brings it all together with a love story was magical!
The music was unforgettable, and even though the original animated feature came out in 1992, just after I turned 12, it is still one of my favorites 27 years later. So, you can imagine my hesitation when I learned that they were remaking it into a live-action Aladdin version, with Will Smith playing Genie. In my mind, nobody could replace Robin Williams as the iconic blue guy, so I will be the first to admit that I wasn’t feeling Will as Genie.
Boy, was I ever wrong! When my family and I sat down to make it a dual feature movie night, we started with the original classic. When we put in the live-action Aladdin, I braced myself, but almost immediately I relaxed and came to the pleasant realization that Disney had really outdone themselves. The songs were familiar, the characters were admittedly a little more upbeat, and there were a few scenes that were new to the story (the theft of Jasmines bracelet).
Still, the story flowed perfectly. Now let’s get into the meat of it because let’s be honest, we all wanted to see if Will Smith could bring Genie to life in a way that would satisfy those of us that loved the original. Y’all, he KILLED it! In true Will Smith fashion, he took the role of Genie, and not only paid tribute to the Genie we all know and love but put his own spin on it. When he first emerged from the lamp and started singing “Friend Like Me” I laughed; a good, happy, thrilled laugh!
He was able to spin his background in hip-hop music to make Genie a beat-boxing, dancing, and rapping phenom, and I loved it (anyone else notice that he sounded a bit like Humpty Hump at one point?)…when he started singing Prince Ali and the beat dropped after The Sultan tapped his hand, the swagger that he put into the dance was perfect, and so Will Smith!
I can’t even tell you how much I loved this movie, and yes, Will Smith DID bring Genie to life. Not only did he bring him to life, in a new and 2019 way, but he paid tribute to the man behind the Genie that we all loved and miss; Robin Williams. I think Robin would have loved the way Will portrayed Genie.
All in all, this is a great movie to add to your collection and one that I am sure you will watch over and over again…I know we will!