There’s been a lot of side-eyeing with the upcoming live-action remake of Disney’s Aladdin. First, it was claims that the film was having trouble casting actors of color in the lead roles, then it was the not-so convincing blue skin on Will Smith’s Genie. However, the film might have redeemed itself just a little with its first trailer:
It looks like the plot of the movie will remain mainly unchanged, with Aladdin being a poor, young street rat who gets tricked into going into the Cave of Wonders. There he meets the Genie, who will grant him three wishes. One such wish is to look like a prince in order to win the heart and hand of Princess Jasmine. First, however, he must defeat the evil Jafar who is looking to overtake Agrabah.
First off, the visuals are stunning. Big sets, sweeping action scenes, and some really beautiful costumes. We do get to hear bits of the songs “Friend Like Me” and “A Whole New World” so we will be getting those numbers. We see some dancing so maybe there will be more songs added, like they did with the Beauty and the Beast film. Will Smith’s Genie also gets an interesting reveal, where it turns out that he will only be blue some of the time. I have to say, seeing him in action makes the whole thing feel like it works better, given that he’s so charming.
Mena Massoud’s Aladdin seems energetic and naive, but still very endearing and genuine. I keep thinking Naomi Scott (who is playing Jasmine) is Felicity Jones, but it’s basically because she has such a commanding presence and rebellious look on her face. We don’t get as much of Marwan Kenzari as Jafar, but it’s still cool to see him in costume.
For me, at least, the humor really sells the movie. The energy is high, the jokes are fast-paced, and it’s got that light-airy feel that lets you know that they’re not taking themselves too seriously. Still, there’s always a possibility that they’ve shown us all the good scenes up front so take it with a grain of salt…or maybe in this case, sand.
Aladdin premieres in theaters on May 24, 2019.