Movie Review: Disney’s Descendants

 

In memory of Cameron Boyce.
Disney’s Descendants premiered way back in 2015 lol. I remember seeing the poster and hearing about it, but I wasn’t really watching anything from the Disney Channel because those shows, and movies don’t really interest me. BUT I love the Disney movies, like the villains and the princesses and what not so the idea of the movie following the kids of famous villains was an interesting idea. I don’t believe I caught it on television, but I ended up checking it out from the library (where I work) and watched it. This won’t be a formal movie review as there are three but more of a complete overview. All the pros and cons will be from all three movies.
Let me just say now, I love all three of the movies. As of right now, while I’m watching, the second one is my favorite one, but once I do a rewatch, I’ll see if that’s the same.
New Information: Now that I have rewatched the first two, the second one is still my favorite lol.
There are spoilers ahead so if you haven’t seen the third one yet, or any of them and want to, I wouldn’t read this review just yet. Watch the movies and then come back to me. 😀
Pros:
The Main Four. So, we have our main four villain kids or “VKs” as they’re called in the third one and these are the characters, we spend the most time with and who we grow to know and love.
  • Dove Cameron as Mal. She is the daughter of Maleficent and Hades. In the first movie, she’s probably the one with the most to prove since her mother is the “most evil” villain and she gets to interact with the daughter of the princess her mother cursed. She’s also the last one to change in the first movie of allowing their new life to have a positive effect. She still does some sneaky things to please her mother in the first one, but she manages to prove herself at the end. In the second one, she’s trying hard to please the people of Auradon now and is having a hard time figuring out who she wants to be. She runs back to the Isle because of that and is determined to remain a villain kid but her friends and her boo thang, bring her back home. She ends up pulling through at the end. The third one, she has a harder choice in that she’s about to be Queen and the people of Auradon are afraid because Uma is lurking around still, and Hades almost got through the barrier. She makes the choice to end the program that would bring over kids from the Isle. It’s a big secret she keeps throughout the film and I really liked the moment when everyone finds out and they all get emotional and stuff. She has a nice song during this moment. I like Mal, I mean, she’s cool and she’s relatable in a lot of ways. Dove Cameron does a good job at portraying all the sides of Mal we get to experience.
  • Cameron Boyce as Carlos. He is the son of Cruella de Vil and the youngest of the group in the movie and in real life. At least he comes off that way to me in the movie. When he first encounters chocolate, I’m still upset at how long they let him have melted chocolate on his face. But he matures as the movies go on, he stands up for himself a lot more and grows more confident and I love seeing him mature. It’s great. Cameron Boyce was a bright spot in the movies, and he will be missed. He was great. He was cute and sweet, and I really wish we got to see him interact with other animals to justify his comment about wanting to be a vet. That would have been a great subplot for him. *sighs* Rest in Peace Cameron.
  • Booboo Stewart as Jay. He is the son of Jafar and a little pickpocket. I wish we got to see Jay do a lot more than what we saw. He was also a very loyal friend and he showed that through his teasing of Carlos, through his looks and touches with Evie and just being there with Mal. They would exchange looks sometimes. I liked that he was the strong silent type of the group while also being a bit goofy and the jock. It worked for him. I just wish we got to see him do other things besides playing sports. I feel like there was some great subplot for his character that was missed. I’ve always liked Booboo Stewart though (I want him to play Tommy Oliver so bad) and I think he does a great job of the cool, handsome, sporty, thief and goofy personality Jay has. I just wanted more!
  • Sofia Carson as Evie. She is the daughter of Evil Queen and my favorite character. I like her personality. In the first one, she’s probably the one who acclimates to Auradon the quickest and one of my favorite lines, is in the second one, when she goes with Ben back to the Isle to find Mal and she says “don’t let me get stuck there again” and it says so much about her character. She loves her mom, but she doesn’t want to ever have to live that life again. It did seem like she was the most out of place there even though she knew how to operate on the Isle. I like her sense of style, I loved her loyalty and I think Sofia Carson has a great voice! I like how protective she is of her friends and that she’s always ready to go to bat for any of them. Plus, her chemistry with Zachary Gibson as Doug was cute and I really shipped them. I just wish we got to see her do more.
Other Characters. There are a ton of supporting characters, we get introduced to some in each movie but I’m only going to talk about the ones I really liked. But special shout out to Zachary Gibson as Doug, Jadah Marie as Celia, Anna Cathart as Dizzy Tremaine, Dianna Doan as Lonnie, Brenna D’Amico as Jane and Jedidiah Goodacre as Chad.
  • Mitchell Hope as Ben. He is the son of Queen Belle and Beast and on his way to becoming King in the first movie. It’s his idea to bring the villain kids to Auradon and it’s his personal project. He’s the boy next door type, kind and welcoming to everyone and he really tries to make the villain kids feel at home, even if he might be a little scared of them in the beginning. However, it was clear that he and Mal would have a thing because he was immediately taken with her. I liked that even though her love spell washed away when they went on their date, he didn’t treat her like a villain when he knew she spelled him. I liked that. I think he’s a good kid, and he really tries to do things that would help everyone. The only thing I don’t like is his stupid little roar to indicate he’s the Beast’s son. I think it’s stupid when nothing ever happens with it, he just does it and I’m like… boy sit down. Mitchell Hope is adorable and he’s very likable, he could tread the annoying line, but I think he does a good job at not doing that.
  • China Ann McClain as Uma. I looooved her. She was my favorite character that was introduced in the second one. She’s Ursula’s daughter and a villain who is upset with Mal for a rivalry they’ve had since they were kids. She has a plan and she manage to really succeed for the most part, until the end of course. I like her energy and sassiness and I loved her look in the second one. She’s a pirate queen and it just really works for her. China Ann McClain is great! Her giggles and smirks she gives throughout the second and third films are a mood. I like her friendship and chemistry with both Thomas Doherty (Harry) and Dylan Playfair (Gil), not to mention the rivalry she has with Dove Cameron. She really came and took over as a standout. Plus, whenever she’s on screen, I’m paying more attention and every song she’s involved in, I’m into. She’s great! I would love to have just an Uma movie, that way I can see more of her, Ursula and Harry and Gil.
  • Sarah Jeffrey as Audrey. She’s not in the second one but she is introduced as Aurora’s daughter and she and Mal have an instant dislike. Which was cool, I liked that. Throughout that first movie, she was Ben’s girlfriend and a little snooty and “perfect”. When Ben chooses Mal, when he’s under the spell, she starts dating Chad who becomes infatuated, even in the second one when she’s gone. But I liked her a lot more in the third one. She’s back from her trip and she’s upset and hurt about Ben and Mal, especially with Mal becoming Queen, that she allows her anger, loneliness and jealousy take over and she is enticed by Maleficent’ s scepter and is a villain throughout the film. Sarah Jeffrey clearly had fun playing Audrey like that.
  • Thomas Doherty as Harry Hook. He is a secondary character that is introduced in the second one and I like him too. First, he reminds me of Sebastian Stan and it’s uncanny. I need them to play brothers in a film, Seb can put on the accent. But he’s very…sensual. It’s a little weird because he’s a teenager, I guess flirty is the better, but Thomas Doherty plays Harry a little sensual, or at least that’s just his nature. I don’t know lol, but I liked him because his little laugh was great, the way he teased Mal and Jay was great with some history there that I wish we got to see and hear more about. He’s great to watch on screen and it seemed like he and Audrey might have hit it off at the end of the third one. I’m cool with that lol.
  • Dylan Playfair as Gil. His role is a lot smaller than Harry’s but he’s just as likable. He’s like an innocent puppy. He’s Gaston’s son and seems to be a little dim but with a heart of gold. He’s not that mean compared to Uma or Harry. I feel like he would thrive in Auradon, the way Evie did from the beginning. He and Jay really hit it off in the third one with their bromance, which was a nice addition since Carlos spent most of the movie worrying about Jane, so it was nice to see Jay make another friend. Gil is a puppy lol, best way to explain it and Dylan Playfair is really endearing as Gil. I would have love to see him interact with his dad.
Catchy Songs. Y’all the songs in these movies are super catchy. When I first started watching this, the only song I really remembered was “Rotten to the Core”, which is the opening song our main four VKs sing and it’s catchy. They often play parts of it throughout the movie, mostly Jay’s “rotten to core” part. It also becomes a little mantra for them through each movie which is kind of funny. Then the “Set it Off” song at the end was also catchy. Those are the only two I remember that I liked. I also remember the “Be Our Guest” rendition because it was terrible lol.
  • Descendants 2 has more songs that I can hear what they sound like and they’re great. My favorite is “Chillin Like a Villain” because I like the sequence, the lyrics, Evie’s voice is great on it and the dancing was great too. Uma’s song “What’s My Name” is also a BOP and I often find myself randomly humming it. She also does a rendition of “Poor Unfortunate Souls” which was good. “It’s Goin Down” is a fight song and it’s also catchy, it’s almost like they wanted to do a little rap, it’s kind of funny because it’s a little cheesy but it’s a nice song.
  • Descendants 3 has a song that I think I loved the most because I literally cannot get it out of my head, and I liked the sequence in the movie. “Queen of Mean” is sooo great and Sarah Jeffrey clearly had fun performing it. The rap or “Spoken Word” part is nice but I like the singing part. “Good to be Bad” is the first song in the movie and it’s nice. “Do What You Gotta Do” is the song that Mal and Hades sing, and I enjoyed that song and the “Night Fall” which I didn’t realize was the name lol, is a great and fun sequence.
Then of course each movie has their big song at the end where everyone dances but I think I like the one in the third movie the best “Break This Down” because I really liked the choreography and it has the most meaning behind it.
Awesome Dance Choreography. I think this is coupled with the music, but I really like a lot of the choreography in all three films. They really get to shine in “Rotten to the Core” in the first one and then of course the big number at the end. Same thing goes for the second film but “Chillin Like a Villain” has some great moves, particularly the little step in the gif below. Ben (Mitchell Hope) is really trying back there lol.
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I love that lol. In the third one, “Good to be Bad”, “Night Falls”, and “Break This Down” is dance heavy and I really like “Break This Down” dancing because they throw in some stepping and it’s so good. I mean, everyone gives it their best effort, but China Anne McClain, Cameron Boyce and Sarah Jeffrey really kill the step moves with Booboo Stewart having an honorable mention.
Interesting Stories. I think overall, the movies had interesting stories going on. I liked the first one in that they had to not only fit in with the kids at Auradon, but please their parents. I wanted to see more of that in later films, since Jafar, Cruella and EQ were still around. I feel like at least Jafar would try to get in touch with his kid because he’s crafty. In the second one, Mal had her personal issues but I enjoyed her rivalry with Uma, it was childish but a fair rivalry. I wanted them to take some of it even father further considering how it was clear there was a big issue between Uma’s group and Mal’s group. Then later, Audrey returned from her hiatus in the second one and she’s angry at everyone basically. She’s mad at Ben and Mal because Mal stole her boyfriend (which legit, she did) and Ben chose Mal in the end. So, she decides to steal the Queen of Auradon’s crown from the museum and then is enticed by Maleficent’ s scepter, not by much though, and wreaks havoc. I quite like that she was a bad guy, it made sense and it was fun to see a hero be a bad guy for a while. Plus, she has a great villain song.
Character Chemistry. One of the highest praises is the chemistry between our main four together and separately. Right away it’s clear that Mal and Evie are best friends and Jay and Carlos might be closer, but they all depend on each other. I like as the series goes on, we see these relationships get stronger and then we see some other moments like with Jay and Mal being rather close in the second one. He stays behind a little longer after the four of them have a moment and I wish we got to see more of that. I like the idea from the books that Jay and Mal were “friends” first and might have a stronger friendship because of that. Sure, Evie and Mal are best friends but I feel like Jay could have been able to reach a different side of Mal. When they did those things, I liked it a lot I just wanted them to do more of it. As for the romance relationships, I thought everyone had great chemistry where it counted. Ben and Mal are cute together, they really have nice chemistry. Evie and Doug were also super cute, and I wish we got to spend more time with their relationship. Carlos and Jane were cute, especially when Jane grows on you in the second one because she was a little meh in the first one. As for Jay, I liked the chemistry he had with Lonnie, I’m not sure what happened there but they would have been cute.
Interesting/Nice Costumes. The costumes for the characters on the Isle all have that skater/leather/put everything on look to it. Each movie costumes have evolved, and I wanted to try and share some evolutions, but it didn’t quite work out that way. But I think the outfits in the second one is my favorites. I like Mal’s lighter purple bangs and Evie’s dress she wears during ‘Chillin Like a Villain‘, it’s nice. I also really love Uma’s look, her braids, hat and everything. In the third one, I liked their “motocross” outfits, the leather jumpsuits. I liked Evie’s hair in each movie, but I think I liked it the best in the first and third one, when it’s down. I hate Carlos’ hair in the second one, the wig is bad! lol, I like his curls! I also think it was cool to see the modern takes on some of the classic Disney princess/villain attire, like Audrey’s Sleeping Beauty inspired outfit in the third one. I prefer Uma’s long braids compared to her hairstyle in the third one. I also like how each character had their color schemes. Mal=purple and green, Evie=blues and reds, Jay=yellows and browns, Carlos=whites, blacks, reds. It’s cute.
Cons:
More Carlos and Jay. I would even include Evie in some instances, Mal is clearly the lead, which is fine, but I think with her being the focus, we don’t get the chance to really spend time with the other three, especially Jay and Carlos. We do see character development but it’s so small as we didn’t know a ton about them to begin with, it’s almost like meh. At the end of the first one, Audrey runs over to dance with Jay and they kind of flirt so I thought we had that but then she was gone in the second one. But then, we got an interesting plot with Jay and Lonnie in the sequel, which I thought was going to be a thing since they have similar interests and personality, but I guess we just forgot about it in the third one. I would have liked that. Jay is a strong and silent type in many ways but he’s also a jock, he seemed “dumb” at times, but I don’t think he was stupid, just maybe not as book smart as Carlos… I don’t know, I feel like with his dad being Jafar, he’d be quite intelligent and witty, but he was just a physical dude. As for Carlos, he’s clearly the youngest and they all protect him, and it was nice seeing him grow up to be more confident, but it was almost like the extent of his growth at first was not being afraid of dogs. I mean, we do see him stand up to his mother over the video call and he chooses good along with the others at the end, but he didn’t have a clear arc other than the dog thing. At least that’s how I saw it. I guess in the end, he was quietly growing in confidence.
Emotional Support. We get this throughout the film, but I think the biggest thing is that I wish we got more of it from other people. Mal, Evie, Jay and Carlos are supposed to be like the squad, best friends and sometimes, it doesn’t always come off that way because they don’t get to have a ton of moments where they can be emotional support to each other besides Mal. In the second one, Carlos points out that Evie and Mal often go off to talk and leave him and Jay out of it even though they’re a family. That was really the only time an effort was made for them all to have a moment and just talk. It still ended up being about Mal and I wish we had more chances to just catch up with the main four and have them catch up with each other. They all had their own lives, but they were still a family.
More Villain/Hero Parents. I wanted to see more parents. In the first one, we see each of our main four’s parents, which is cool because we can see what they diminished to being on the Island, but I wish we saw more of them. Of all the parents. I wanted to see more villain parents. In the third one, we get to see Dr. Facilier (he looked super cool btw), Lady Tremaine and Smee (but he has no lines), and in the second one, we saw Ursula’s tentacles and that was it. I wanted to see more of them. Gaston and Hook’s sons are there, why can’t we see them too? Or what about the parents in Auradon? We see Belle and Beast and Fairy Godmother but that’s it. I think we briefly see Snow White because she’s a news reporter and we see Sleeping Beauty’s mother but no one else. We’ve met, Chad, Cinderella’s son, Audrey, Aurora’s son, Lonnie, Mulan’s daughter. Doug, Dopey’s son and tons of other kids but no other parents. It would have been interesting to see the VKs interact with the actual victims of their parents and not just their kids. Plus, none of them besides Mal, got to interact with the kids of the parent’s victims. It would have been nice to see Jay meet and possibly befriend Aladdin and Jasmine’s kid. Evie never got to meet Snow White’s kid, but I guess she fell in love with Dopey’s kid so that’s enough… meh lol, they’re cute but I wish there was more. As for Carlos, well, hard to say how that would be handled lol but still, Anita and Roger’s kid? Missed opportunity really. We got to meet Hades who was dope, but it would have been nice to have him more involved instead of being the original keeper of the McGuffin.
The Parents. They’re not all bad but I don’t think they’re that great either. In the first movie, we see Cruella, Jafar, Maleficent and Evil Queen and honestly, it’s funny to see what happened to them, especially since the ends of their movies, three of them die and one of them ends up as a genie lol but they’re all mere shadows of themselves and it’s okay but I think it might have been better to show them a bit closer to their animated counterparts. Maleficent is played by Kristen Chenoweth and I can’t really take her seriously as the character. It’s supposed to be funny but meh. Maleficent is intimidating and she’s just not. She worked sometimes. I liked that Cruella was a little crazy lol and I really wanted to see sooo much more of her. Evil Queen is there too and she’s charming and I liked her and Maleficent had a working relationship but you’re not quite sure if they’re friends lol. Jafar owns a junk shop but I feel he was also too silly too. I get it, it’s a DCOM but I think you can still be a little silly but maintain their villainy. I also think it was a missed opportunity to not have them at least shown in the second and third movies. It didn’t have to be large parts but at least at the end, so we know they’re still around at least. Maleficent not so much since she got turned into a lizard but still. Also, the parents in Auradon aren’t that great either lol. Fairy Godmother hardly interacts with Jane, Belle is okay, but King Beast is kind of meh, he tells Ben in one of the movies “this is all your fault” like dude, that’s your teenage son, I mean jeez lol. Why didn’t Evie meet Doug’s parents? I wanted to see if Dopey was still Dopey lol. COME ON!
More Complex Adventures/Stories. So, there is a book series that coincide with the films, written by Melissa De La Cruz and I listened to the first two books (read by Sofia Carson, Evie herself) and I must read the next ones, but I quite enjoyed the adventure they go on in both of those books. They can’t do this now due to Cameron Boyce’s passing (Rest in Peace Cameron) but I think it was a missed opportunity to not have these characters have experiences that were a bit more complicated. Yes, each one dealt with Mal having to make some tough choices, but I hated that the other three didn’t really have to be involved. I mean, you take them out of the adventures and what do you lose? Nothing. They’d just be Mal’s friends like how Doug and Jane are treated at times.
  • Jay- I think if they had things like Jay having to continuously deal with violent impulses or his thievery. Chad even calls him out on being violent in the first one and we know that he’s good at stealing and we get callbacks sometimes, but I feel like it wouldn’t be that easy. He plays sports but was he just accepted because he did well? Chad was a jerk most of the time but was he the only one? It was too easy with Jay. Not to mention, he and Harry Hook clearly did not like each other but it was just some teasing, you never quite learn why they don’t like each other. Was it just because Mal and Uma didn’t like each other? Missed opportunities. What was he even doing in the third one outside of the main plot, like his side job? No idea.
  • Evie- Had her designing business and her relationship with Doug but I don’t think she ever had anything really happen. No one threatened her business, she didn’t have to deal with anyone thinking she’ll do to them what her mother did. I think it would have been nice to have issues with her business or something else that would make her frustrated with Auradon or something.
  • Carlos- Boooyyy, I wish he had more to do too. First, I was so annoyed to see how often he was holding that damn dog. I get it, but I was like ughhhh put him down! But outside of learning to love dogs, he also only is there to build his confidence with Jane as his girlfriend. He does nothing else. I don’t even know what he was doing in the third one because they all clearly graduated from high school by that time.
Overall, I really like these movies. I knew I probably would when I first heard about them. I think they’re fun, creative and unique in what they do in this world. I mean, the kids of Disney villains? That’s awesome. I like all the main characters, particularly the main four, the acting is good and clearly the actors have lots of fun. The costumes are cool, creative and I like the nods to other characters and stories. I looove the music, some of these songs really get stuck in your head and plus the dancing for most of the dance heavy songs are well choreographed. “Chillin like a Villain”, “What’s My Name” and “Queen of Mean” are my jams. I like the stories we’re shown in these films and I think it’s been great to see them unfold and grow. Now, I do think these movies don’t focus enough on some of the other main characters, particularly in Jay and Carlos who are interesting. Not to mention, it was a missed opportunity not to introduce other villain and hero parents, or even show the kids of some of our favorite heroes. I mean, not having Jay meet Aladdin and Jasmine’s kid is sad. While I like the stories, I wish they would have either gone in a different direction with some of them or considered having more mature side plots so we’re not just following Mal everywhere with all her problems. It’s just not as interesting as what some of the possibilities could have been. But otherwise fun and great trilogy!
Rating: Collectively 3.79 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Disney’s Descendants? Which is your favorite movie in the franchise?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Don’t forget to like and follow this blog for more reviews.

My Thoughts: Aladdin (2019) Sequel

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So, anyone who has talked to me in the last two months or so knows I have been obsessed with this movie since I saw it when it came out. I’ve seen it five times. The last time being on Father’s Day with my parents and youngest sisters. I know there has been negative commentary about it and that’s fine, I don’t care, I think it’s crazy, but I LOVE THIS MOVIE.

There are mild spoilers ahead so if you haven’t seen the movie yet then I would exercise caution in reading this piece. You can read my Movie Review: Aladdin.

Anyway, the film ends with a great open ending in terms of the story. Yes, Aladdin and Jasmine marry, and Genie and Dalia go off and have kids which is beautiful.

Side Note: I have to say, I thought the romance between Genie and Dalia was cute, innocent and pure. I’ve seen people (mostly on Tumblr) say that it’s a “forced relationship” among other words and I completely disagree. I thought Genie and Dalia were sweet and awkward and Will Smith and Nasim Pedrad had nice chemistry. I mean, why shouldn’t Jasmine’s best friend and Aladdin’s best friend have some interest in each other? Neither one of them gets out that much and plus, the way that Aladdin and Jasmine supports the romance between Dalia and Genie is super cute.

Idea 1: Return of Jafar

It’s been a while since I’ve seen Return of Jafar, it’s the lesser of the two sequels I think, but it would make for a great live action sequel. At the end of this Aladdin (and in the animation) they get Jafar to turn himself into a Genie and he gets trapped in a lamp. Our Genie tosses him back into the Cave of Wonders. Now here is where things would pick up. It’s been a year since they defeated him. Aladdin and Jasmine are married, she is Sultana and doing a bang-up job at it and Aladdin is at her side as King, or Sultan or whatever his title would be. But I would imagine he’s a little restless considering his life of movement before.

But, I don’t necessarily want to follow the exact plot of the animated film. But somehow Jafar needs to be freed from the lamp. In the animated film, a different kind of thief comes across the lamp after Iago somehow manages to get himself and the lamp out of the cave and leaves the lamp in a well after being sick of Jafar’s bossiness. Now, I’ve never really liked Iago like that so he doesn’t have to have such a large role that he has in the animated sequel, but unless the Cave of Wonders resets itself every time someone failed to get inside or someone failed to get the lamp, or even that the Cave’s purpose is over since the lamp was already taken then it could just be a pile of rubble and our Genie’s magic never actually made it through whatever rubble the cave is in now, which would allow for some thief to get it, it was Abis Mal in the animated, we can keep him I guess but make him more competent. That was a run-on sentence, I know. OR, since it’s Jafar’s lamp now and he’s a terrible person, perhaps the Cave’s magic doesn’t work the same since this Genie is a massive jerk?

But regardless, I want to see Jafar get his revenge and I want to see him win for longer than a few hours. He threatened Aladdin before he got sucked into the lamp, so I would imagine he would be pissed and go after the princess who thwarted and defied him and the street thief who made him look like a fool. BRING IT ON. I might just write this sequel lol.

Idea 2: King of Thieves

So, obviously we need to explore Aladdin’s history, his parents and all that. In the movie he says he lost both of his parents when he was young, but I don’t think he ever said how. Perhaps his mother died but he’s not sure what happened to his father, so he just assumes he’s dead… WHICH HE ISN’T!! He’s the King of Thieves… Cassim, hot dad lol. Choose a brown actor and make sure he at least resembles Mena Massoud because I’ll forever be mad at Stellan Skarsgard’s casting as Orlando Bloom’s father in the POTC movies. They kept saying Will was Bill’s spitting image and they looked NOTHING ALIKE. Anyway, I would love to explore how Aladdin and his father are so similar and any other shenanigans. They don’t have to be looking for the Hand of Midas or pull exactly from the animated film, but I think it would be great to see Aladdin have a whole person enter his life who is into some dark and bad stuff. It would be a different kind of personal story since it’s his father and he never really knew what happened to the man. Oh, that would be so great!

Idea 3: Another Country

Let’s see some other countries in this world. We can go to Shirabad sure, but I’m thinking more along the line of, Jasmine and Aladdin visit another country on the Silk Road for something and perhaps the royal family, a rival young King maybe, is a super jerk? Or perhaps another kingdom wants to invade Agrabah and/or conquer all the desert kingdoms… let’s go to war! This is the lesser of my ideas.

Idea 4: Married Life

I wouldn’t mind having a romcom like film with Aladdin and Jasmine getting used to married life and all the shenanigans that happens with that, like what is Aladdin’s actual title now? I really like the idea of him having a difficult time being in a ruler, especially since he’s made a name for himself as a thief. I would assume the guards who were on Jafar’s side were punished so none of them would be a problem exactly, but maybe some people in the kingdom? I don’t know but I would be interested in seeing how they handle being married. It seemed like Genie and Dalia were returning to Agrabah at the beginning of the film, so are they there to stay? They already have kids and stuff, so Aladdin and Jasmine must have been married for a while or there is some pocket of magic that allowed time to move differently for Dalia and the Genie?? Let me just also say, I think Will Smith’s Genie should also retain some of his magic. Maybe not like phenomenal cosmic powers but some of it should be left if he’s had magic for 10,000 years. It can’t just be gone. Anyway, let’s get it.

Idea 5: Mozenrath

Do y’all remember him from the animated show?

Mozenrath He’s a dark sorcerer, similar in ways to Jafar and I would quite enjoy seeing him on the big screen. So, I know he’s really pale because of where he lives, but just hire a light skinned POC as it’s not an excuse to cast a non POC actor. Anyways, he and Aladdin often butted heads and I remember reading that they wanted to introduce him as Aladdin’s older brother he didn’t know about in the third movie, but they decided to explore Aladdin’s dad instead. Now, I’m not against the idea of him being Aladdin’s older brother, perhaps from another woman, but we’ve seen that many times, so I would rather that not be the case. I’m even hesitant on him being a friend Aladdin knew from the city. Sooo, perhaps he was “friends” with Jafar, perhaps he knew Jafar from Shirabad since Jafar is clearly from Shirabad and not Agrabah.

There are a few episodes in the show that have good plots they could adapt. “Two to Tangle” is about Mozenrath dying because of his dark magic gauntlet or whatever, so he wants to transfer his body into a younger, stronger, healthier one and he chooses Aladdin. That could be interesting. There are a few others but this one is a little less cheesy lol.

This is My Thoughts on an Aladdin sequel with my Top Five ideas. I really think this movie deserves one, way more than Maleficent does, don’t even get me started on that, and there is a ton of material to pull from with the animated show, or even creating a new and interesting story. Plus, I want to visit this world again with Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott leading the charge. Shoot give me a television show on Disney Plus! Something!

Thanks for reading! And thanks to everyone who has liked and followed this blog! I am so grateful for my readers! Also, to everyone who has followed me, thank you so much!

Please feel free to comment, I love feedback. Let me know what you think of these ideas AND what would you like to see in a sequel. Tell me something good!

Movie Review: Aladdin (2019)

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Summary: A kind-hearted street urchin and a power-hungry Grand Vizier vie for a magic lamp that has the power to make their deepest wishes come true.
I think it needs to be said as I’ve seen a lot of negative reviews compare it to the animated version. YOU CAN’T COMPARE THE MERITS OF A MOVIE OFF OF IT’S PREDECESSOR! It’s destined to fail regardless if you do that. Yes, it’s a remake but it’s still its own movie and should be judged as such. As I’ve said before, I’ve been very optimistic about these remakes and I had such high hopes for this one. Probably even more so than the others.
You can read the two other posts about this movie. A trailer review and a thoughts piece.
I’m making sure not to have spoilers, at least nothing that will ruin the movie, or at least nothing that you don’t already know from being familiar with the animated film or that’s in the trailers.
Pros:
Cast and Characters.
  • Mena Massoud as Aladdin. He is an impoverished Agrabah thief and “street rat” whose been doing his thing for years. He steals because he must, but we see just how selfless he can be when he gets some food after a pretty good score and gives his food to a kid and his family. When he meets Jasmine and they go on their adventure in the city, he falls for her because she seems to understand him and vice versa. They have a connection and he’s interested in pursuing it. He believes that he might have a chance at something he might not have had before. He then gets mixed up in a task from Jafar and starts to think of how he can impress a princess as he doesn’t want to let their connection go. Aladdin is a pure character, very sincere in the beginning. He’s smart, he understands how the world works and while he might wish things were different, he isn’t mad at the world. I’ve always liked that about him. His situation is the situation and when he gets the chance to make it better, he isn’t automatically thinking of “I want riches”, “I want power”, he just wants to be with the girl he fell for. It’s naive but it’s innocent. He never intentionally sets out to be a liar. We see that about him. As the film goes on, we see him start to fall into the lie he’s created, and he gets punished for it in different ways and then must find a way to come back from all of that. Mena Massoud is my age, I think about 27 but he has a youthful energy about him in this movie which I really loved. I loved watching him play one of my favorite characters and one of my first crushes lol. He’s very handsome with a smile to die for and big brown eyes which helps the charm that Aladdin has. He has some great facial expressions he gives in certain parts of the movie and The Genie is right in saying “kid, is it just me or does everything surprise you?” and even Mena Massoud says that the best emoji face for Aladdin is the “surprised emoji” because his reaction to things he’s not used to is just so pure. I think he has a nice singing voice and I wonder just how much of the stunts he does because Aladdin does a TON of stunts in this movie. Whether he’s jumping off buildings, falling out of windows, hanging off walls/cliffs etc. I also love to see just how good of a thief Aladdin is. He is REALLY good at his job and I was so impressed at how much I liked him in the role. Great job Mena! I can’t wait to see you reprise this role in the SEQUEL! I AM CLAIMING IT NOW! Also, any future projects. I will be keeping my eye on you.
  • Will Smith as Genie. The genie is a being who has been stuck inside of a lamp for 1000 years, but he is surprisingly chill about it. Obviously, he wants to get out more, be outside and everything but he’s not like cranky. He is kind, eccentric and just a lot of fun. He has the power to grant the three wishes of anyone who possesses his magic lamp. He is an all-powerful being. He is a bit of a trickster in ways, but he becomes a great mentor figure to Aladdin. He comes to care for the kid and wants to see him be true and honest to himself. He seems to not want him to fall into any issues that he might have seen previous masters fall into. The Genie sees the greatness within Aladdin and he wants him to be more confident in the power he has inside of himself. He even says to him (which is the trailer) “I changed what you looked like on the outside, but I didn’t change anything on the inside” and I think that’s one of his best lines because that’s so true and he wants Aladdin to see that for himself. Will Smith did have big shoes to fill thanks to Robin Williams iconic and memorable performance, but I worked hard to not compare it, but I think he manages to pay homage to what Robin Williams did while also making the role his own. Just like Robin Williams pretty much played Robin Williams, Will Smith plays Will Smith as the Genie. He had great chemistry with Mena Massoud. He really felt like a father/brother figure to him and he was very energetic and clearly had fun while playing the part. I think he managed to make the role his own and while he might not be as memorable, I think what he did deserves praise. His jokes were funny, particularly the “brass” one. I don’t know why but I cackled each time I saw it at that part. Smith said he pulled from a lot of his earlier characters for the role and in certain places you can see that. I also liked a lot of his emotional and more serious moments, like at the Harvest Festival when he’s telling Aladdin that he didn’t change anything on the inside. Or the part where he finds out Aladdin probably won’t use his third wish to set him free. I thought he did very well in both of those parts and I loved his dialogue in the serious moments. Great job Will Smith! I was a little nervous, but I really enjoyed him!
  • Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine. She is the Sultan’s daughter who is feisty and wants to have control over her life. When we first meet her, it’s in the city where she’s already out there seeing how he people live. She’s young and there’s a lot that she must learn but at the same time, she smart and quick on her feet. She wants to be Sultan because she feels like she knows her kingdom and people more than any outsider Prince would. She has more than just “I don’t want to marry someone I don’t love” but that she can’t rule because she’s a woman. I know some people complain about “forced feminism” but I think that’s just ridiculous because it gives her more reason to turn down these Princes. She goes through more than just trying to decide who she’ll marry. She also must find her voice and the courage to speak out for her people and herself, whether it’s against her father or Jafar. I’ve always liked Jasmine, but I feel like she’s given more of a personality in this. In the animated version, she’s pretty one dimensional and we get to know her more in sequels and the TV show, but we know a lot of her here and I think you root for her more because of that. She loves her city and feels some type of way that she isn’t allowed to go out and experience it more, she really wants to be someone who can lead. Naomi Scott does all this well. I think she is the stand out in the film. She is a great reactionary actress. I love how expressive her eyes are. Whenever someone is saying something that is really affecting her, her eyes grow large and if she’s trying to hold back tears, you see that in her entire body. I was really impressed, and I really liked her. Great job Naomi! Plus, she absolutely KILLS her new song “Speechless”. I get chills every time I hear it. She also has great chemistry with Mena Massoud and I think their chemistry really elevates the story between Jasmine and Aladdin.
  • Marwan Kenzari as Jafar. In this he is a young man, the Grand Vizier of Agrabah and the Sultan’s chief advisor. He is frustrated with how the Sultan rules and wants to overthrow him once he acquires the Genie’s lamp. We get to know more about him in this movie. We learn a bit about his childhood and he even relate to Aladdin in some ways, he’s honest about that. I think because he’s a young man he comes off way more desperate. He may have played the patient game but it’s not like he’s an older man whose been biding his time for years. He’s somehow made it high up in the ranks to be closer to the Sultan and give him advice. Plus, he seems to have a penchant for war as he advises him on that in some areas. I quite liked Jafar in this. I don’t think he’s as scary or intimidating as he is in the animated film (which is one of the few times I compared the two) but that’s part of the interesting thing in his character. He’s not really intimidating but he tries to be, and he even has this crazy thing about him. There’s a place where Jafar calls out to Aladdin (as Prince Ali) and when Aladdin kind of dismisses him, he almost yells but tries to compose himself because they were in public. I love that lol. Also, later when he gets the lamp, his reaction is so great. I was okay with him not being this oily kind of man but a desperate young man. I think Marwan Kenzari was good and dynamic in the role. He’s almost a bit tragic, in a pitiful way. I hope there’s a sequel “Return of Jafar” because I would love to see him return with bigger intentions. He threatened Aladdin big time and I want to see them face off!
  • Navid Negahban as The Sultan. He doesn’t have this large role, but he is wise and noble and he’s very eager to find a capable husband for his daughter. He is kind but not goofy and aloof. He wants the best for his daughter and everything he does is to secure the future for Jasmine. He has a few active moments towards the end of the film. Navid Negahban is good in the role, he has a commanding presence which fit the world they created in this film. I was glad he wasn’t silly and easily manipulated.
  • Nasim Pedrad as Dalia. She is Jasmine’s loyal handmaiden and confidante. She clearly has been by Jasmine’s side for a long time and I liked her. Dalia was funny and sure she was comedic relief, but it wasn’t in your face and annoying, at least not to me. I just loved that Jasmine had someone to talk to and bounce her thoughts, dreams and feelings off of, because Rajah is great, but he can’t talk back to her ya know? Nasim Pedrad has great facial expressions, especially when she’s talking to the Genie in later scenes or even reacting to things between Aladdin and Jasmine.
Character Chemistry. There are a few interesting relationships we get in this film where the chemistry between the actors is strong.
  • Aladdin and Abu. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to include this one because Abu isn’t a human but the friendship between Aladdin and Abu is important because they’ve been living together for X amount of years. They have a routine of how they do things, how they steal and all of that. Plus, I’m not sure how often Abu is a CGI monkey, but Mena Massoud really made it seem like he was best friends with his monkey, friend and partner.
  • Aladdin and Jasmine. Obviously, the main relationship of the film and it’s important that they have a good relationship and chemistry with each other. I love the fact that she’s with him while he’s singing “One Jump” which allows both us and Jasmine to see how well he knows the city. They have a connection from the first moment he saves her from the accusing vendor and says, “Do you trust me?” they have a moment. Later, in his home, they have a chance to talk and get to know each other a bit more before she ends up going back home, even with a negative thought in her mind about him. He likes her so much that he even attempts to see her again.  He even willingly goes into the Cave to hopefully find a way to impress her. As Prince Ali, he’s awkward with her and it makes for a lot of endearing and humorous moments. I think the movie hits a lot of important beats for these two where their romance is young and innocent, and you root for them. Plus, Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott have great chemistry!! Even watching them in interviews I’m like “O. O”.
  • Aladdin and Genie. Their friendship is one of the crux of the movie. They meet in the cave when Aladdin releases him from the lamp and at first, it’s weird because Aladdin isn’t what the Genie thought would be the master, but then they build this friendship to the point where Aladdin trusts the Genie and vice versa. It’s a brotherhood and we see it grow as the movie continues. We see how much the Genie grows to care about this kid and how Aladdin looks up to him and even feels some type of way whenever the Genie seems disappointed in them. You get invested in their relationship. Will Smith and Mena Massoud have great chemistry together as well. They play off each other well and I was invested in their friendship.
  • Jasmine and Dahlia. Dahlia is Jasmine’s handmaiden and her friend. This relationship gave Jasmine another person, who understood her and believed in her, to talk too. Sure, she had Rajah, but he can’t talk back to her so giving her a friend I think, worked out. Dahlia is protective of Jasmine and vice versa, she encourages her, and I think Naomi Scott and Nasim Pedrad played off each other well.
  • Aladdin and Jafar. Aladdin and Jafar meet when they go to the Cave of Wonders. There is a tension being built between the two. Jafar clearly sees a bit of himself in Aladdin and he even has an honest conversation with him in some ways. As the film goes on and they meet again later when he’s Prince Ali, there’s a suspicion and dislike there from Jafar and of course Aladdin remembers him. So, there’s a tension that builds between the two whenever they’re in a scene together. I’ll mention their ending a bit later, but I was hoping for this tension to clash big time.
Production Design. Gemma Jackson who did production design work on Game of Thrones led the design here. I love the design of the world. In the opening credits while Will Smith is singing “Arabian Nights”, we go through Agrabah, through the marketplace and the palace. We pretty much get a quick look at what all the main characters are doing in that moment. Agrabah looks so realistic, crowded and like a thriving port city. Plus, we get to see that Aladdin really knows the city, I mean during “One Jump” he really goes through a lot of areas in the city and it allows us to see just how cast Agrabah is. When we see Aladdin’s home, it looks like something he would be able to throw together being someone of poor means. We don’t get to see a ton of inside the palace, but we do get very nice shots of the outside of the palace which is beautiful and the designs in some of the rooms we do visit are also beautiful. The Cave of Wonders also looks cool. The tiger face is put into the side of the mountain, which makes more sense. I liked that it looks like the inside of a mountain and that Aladdin had to really climb up this rock pillar (I mean he did a lot of climbing in this movie lol) to reach the lamp. I do think it looks like a set in some areas but once I got into the movie, which happened quickly, it doesn’t stand out as being a set that much.
Costume Design. Michael Wilkinson oversees the costumes, and these are some of my favorite costumes in the live action Disney movie spectrum. I love all of Jasmine’s outfits. I mean, most of them I’d seen before in the trailers and in promo photos but seeing them in the movie, like when she first walks down the stairs in that pink dress, like omg it’s so beautiful. Seeing her iconic blue outfit during the Harvest Ball and the “Whole New World” sequence is so beautiful! The attention to detail on her costumes. Just WOW! Also, Aladdin’s Prince Ali look is also a fantastic take on his iconic look and the color, while it was always white, it just looks so great on Mena and of course I like how he got a close shave and a haircut to add to the look. I also liked that he didn’t walk around wearing a giant turban lol. The Genie’s human look is based off the Broadway show which I thought when I saw it, but it’s also great. I love the colors on Will Smith’s skin. Aladdin’s “street thief” look is also nice. I know some people were upset because he’s wearing a shirt, and sure, I get it, especially since Mena Massoud is a gym guy (I follow him on IG) and he has a nice physique but I didn’t mind that he actually wore clothes because with all the stuff he’s doing, all the stealing what not, if he’s not wearing clothes that can fit his lifestyle then why have that lifestyle ya know? Like his red hoodie vest thing is great, all the pockets in that thing. I love how he uses it in the beginning when he’s stealing. GAH! I love the costumes.
The Soundtrack. Okay, every song from the animated film is in the movie. Will Smith starts us off singing “Arabian Nights” and there are different words in there. I was a little shocked at first when Will Smith started singing because I don’t think I ever really heard him sing, I’ve heard him rap, but the singing shocked me, and I think he sounds good. The arrangement of the music is also nice, I really got into the flow of it. Mena Massoud sings both “One Jump” and the reprise of that “Riff raff, street rat… I don’t buy that” that one and I think he sounds rather nice. “Friend Like Me” also gets a funky upgrade which I also like and its Will Smith in his element of the music he used to rap but it is still what you remember. He throws his own Will Smith flavor into it. “A Whole New World” is lovely and I think Naomi Scott and Mena Massoud sound good together. He almost sounds like Brad Kane sometimes. “Prince Ali” also gets a bit of an upgrade in the flavor of the song. Now, Jasmine gets a solo song “Speechless” which I knew about, and you hear it twice. The first time, it’s like a pep talk to herself and it’s only a few bars. Later, she sings it again as more of her anthem and I really like this song. It does feel out of place in terms of the arrangement and the “pop-like” sound it has, but Naomi Scott really kills it vocally and the arrangement doesn’t even matter to me because the lyrics make sense for her character.
Big Spectacle Sequences. Some of the songs have a smaller moment happening while they’re being performed on screen, like the first “Speechless” is just a quiet moment for Jasmine. “Arabian Nights” is the song for the opening so we get introduced into the world during that. But “Friend Like Me”, “Prince Ali” and “One Jump” are probably the ones that have a lot going on. “Friend Like Me” and “Prince Ali” are the Genie’s songs, so he gets to use his magic to show Aladdin what to expect and he goes all out. “Friend Like Me” is probably my favorite out of the two sequences we get from The Genie. It’s what “Be Our Guest” in Beauty and the Beast should have been. Plus, Aladdin gets to dance during this scene and I don’t know how much Mena Massoud did, but it was fun to watch Aladdin and the Genie get down. “Prince Ali” is probably the bigger of the two spectacles in theory, but it was very subdued to me and it was fun. I mostly liked watching Aladdin be all awkward up there as people are looking at him in awe.
It’s Really Funny. The first time I saw it, I had a good crowd, there was a lot of people laughing in places and sometimes people laughing is funnier than what’s happening on screen. When I saw it again later, there was a couple next to me who were super cute laughing at stuff. BUT the movie is funny. Aladdin in this is confident in ways but he’s also a young man. I’m not sure his age exactly, but he has some great dialogue. One of my favorite moments, is when he gets caught by some guards and the big one says “Evening” in his deep timbre and Aladdin says “evening” but it’s all high pitched and he clears his throat to sound more confident. Cute and funny. Mena Massoud has some nice comedic timing. Abu gets some laughs. The Genie got a lot of laughs from me. I mean, it’s Will Smith being Will Smith. Some of my favorite stuff for him is during the Harvest Festival scene. Jafar has some moments. Iago does as well. He talks but it’s like full blown conversations, he sounds like a parrot, but he’ll say shady stuff. Dahlia also has some good comedic moments as well. It’s lighthearted fun.
Guy Ritchie’s Style. This will be both here and in the con section. Guy Ritchie was an odd choice to film this movie, but I understand it because he films action well and while there isn’t like huge action sequences, there are smaller moments where we have action. During “One Jump” it’s a whole action piece of Aladdin and Jasmine running through the city. When Aladdin goes into the Cave of Wonders, he slides down a sandy hill, he gets pushed out of a window… Aladdin goes through a lot in this movie lol. In the pushed-out window scene, you see it in the trailer, not a spoiler, it does get slowed down and I like it in that moment. It slows down so you can see the terror on his face and then it speeds up in time to see him hit that water and boy… PAINFUL lol. Then of course the chase scene at the end, Ritchie loves chase scenes lol. I would like to see the movie in someone else’s hands who may have more experience in doing a movie like this, but I think his style is fine.
Cons:
Guy Ritchie’s Style. I don’t think this is wholly a con, but there are some instances where it seems weird. Guy Ritchie has his style when it comes to action. I’ve only seen a couple of his movies, but he has a style and it’s evident in this movie at times. During “One Jump” there is a part where Aladdin and Jasmine are walking away from the guards and they are oddly sped up in that moment. Like, they look like they’re walking normally, but it’s like two seconds faster. It’s just a bit weird. He also loves to do the slow-mo. moments that then go back into the action. It doesn’t happen a lot but if you don’t like when people do that in actions movies then it might get on your nerves.
Inconsistent CGI. There are times when I think Abu and Rajah look a little weird. I mean, I know Disney can do CGI well because Jungle Book is beautiful and so seamless but it’s just a few times where it doesn’t look the best. Same can be said of The Genie. I don’t think he looked as jarring as he looked when we first saw him in the teaser where it was like “Ummm” it fits much better in the movie. HOWEVER, there are plenty of times where his face looked really CGI and it wasn’t as seamless and it should have been. I think Will Smith did motion capture for the role and sometimes it doesn’t always translate well. It looks very uncanny valley. I don’t mind how his body looks, or any of that, I mean harping on him being “jacked” is just childish because he’s a Genie, so what? lol the CGI is just odd at times.
Anti-climactic Face Off. At the end of the film where Jafar has the lamp and all that stuff and Aladdin is trying to save Agrabah from him, I was into the chase scene (something that Guy Ritchie does well) but I was hoping for a faceoff between Aladdin and Jafar that was more than just a conversation. I think it was well acted by everyone in the scene, particularly Marwan Kenzari but they built up this tension between Aladdin and Jafar the entire movie and not much came of it, at least not the way I think it should have. They left it open for a sequel and I’m hoping for a sequel. “Return of Jafar” sure, but make sure it’s like good and stuff because I don’t really like the animated movie lol. I just wish that the climax held the same energy that the movie held in other places. It doesn’t quite stick the triumph of Jafar’s defeat the way it should/could have.
Overall, I LOVED Aladdin. I knew I was probably going to like it, but I loved it. I think all the acting is good and they all fit into their character roles well. I do believe Naomi Scott really shines in the film, Will Smith does a great job with the Genie and newcomer Mena Massoud really holds his own and I can’t wait to watch everything he does next. We see what we’re familiar with but also with some updated personality traits I think work for the film. The production design is amazing and Agrabah looks great. The costume design is BEAUTIFUL and one of my favorite things about the movie. The soundtrack has an updated sound to it and still maintains the upbeat and catchy sounds it’s known for. I love the chemistry built up between different characters and the tension we get between Aladdin and Jafar as they seemed to be cut from the same cloth just had different destinies thrust upon them. I think Guy Ritchie’s style of directing works in the film for the most part. This movie isn’t perfect no matter how much I seem to be singing its praises. Ritchie’s style comes off awkward at different points in the film, just as the CGI doesn’t always hold up, particularly on the Genie at times. I also wish the climax was much bigger because there was plenty of potential for that and it just doesn’t hit the way it should have. With all that said. I’m probably one of the few critics who wrote a review and absolutely loved it.
SOOOOO take that as you will.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars. 
Have you seen Aladdin? What are your thoughts on the film? What is your favorite of the live action Disney remakes so far? Which one are you most looking forward to?

Trailer Reaction: Aladdin (2019)

You guys! The official trailer for Aladdin dropped and I think it’s glorious!
As I said in “My Thoughts: Live Action Aladdin“, I’ve been hopeful and optimistic for this movie ever since it was announced. I love Aladdin, it’s always been one of my favorite Disney movies, favorite movie of all time. I think it lends itself to live action really well, it just depends on the people involved and how it’s handled. The teaser trailer made me smile but I was like “okay, this is cute” but THIS trailer has me rejuvenated and I’m so excited to see it. Now May is a tricky month, usually a lot of big blockbusters come out but I think Aladdin has some nice cushion that it won’t be dogged out by other larger movies. Plus, it’s Disney, plus it’s a live action reimagining so… I think it’ll be fine.
Now, I’ve only done this one other time and it was when Beauty and the Beast came out, you can look at that reaction here. I won’t do it all the time, but maybe just for the Disney ones, I don’t know. But I knew I wanted to do it for this.
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So here is Agrabah, at least the lower levels and I think it really gives this world some depth and I like how not only does it remind me of the animated film, but it kind of makes its own way.
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Here is our resident street rat doing awesome parkour stuff, which he should be able to do considering he knows the marketplace like the back of his hand and he must be able to escape from the palace guards whenever he can. It makes sense that he can do these cool awesome things. Plus, Guy Ritchie does action scenes well, so I’m hoping that the beginning with him running through the marketplace coupled with “One Jump” that it will be a fun opening, not to mention all the action that happens at the end when Aladdin returns to save the day!
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So I’ve always liked the foreshadowing in the animated film when Aladdin takes that rug and uses it to escape at the beginning only for him to find a living rug in the Cave of Wonders and it helps him escape then. So, I think it’s rather cool that they have him holding it like he’s going to use it but then he doesn’t, maybe it was a diversion?? lol I don’t know but it made me laugh when I rewatched the trailer. Not to mention, the rope he’s using also holds up the scaffolding the guards are standing on, so two birds one stone.
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The guards fall into a big thing of flowers, instead of cow dung lol and the flowers fly and slowly fall around Jasmine and I think it’s a really beautiful moment. Naomi Scott looks great in that scene and I love her slow turn with the flowers and then Aladdin’s “Whoa” moment upon seeing her. I know, she pretty lol.
THEN DISNEY LOGO. Side note, does anyone remember the old Disney intro with Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey Mouse using magic to make the Disney logo appear? If I find it while writing this, I’ll add it to the final edit.
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FOUND IT!

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So then we see Jafar walking towards a barred door with Iago flying in the background. Probably his secret lair where he finds out who the diamond in the rough is and he’s talking in the background to Aladdin. He’s appealing to Aladdin’s desires, which is of course super smart because you get someone to do the dirty work for you who is willing to do whatever.
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As he’s talking to Aladdin in the desert but the big difference I see here, is that Jafar is talking to him as himself. Which in the Broadway play, he doesn’t disguise himself as that old man, he just saves him from being killed by the guards and sweet talks him into helping him. So perhaps they’re going that route with this which I think is interesting because then when he sees him later, will he be quick on his feet about recognizing him and thinking he’s no good? I’m curious.
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Gosh her outfit is beautiful. Now we have Aladdin on the camel following Jafar and his people out into the desert to the Cave of Wonders and it looks really cool! I mean it’s built right into the side of the mountain and I wonder if it’s always there or if they have to summon it. I like the fact that it’s always there, just maybe not awake?
But he gets in there and the inside looks really cool! He’s climbing on giant rocks to the lamp and we get the shot we got at the end of that very first teaser.
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I like the way he’s looking at the lamp. It’s like wonder and awe but at the same time he’s really careful. He’s lived on the street all of his life, he’s surrounded by treasure and I’m sure he was told not to touch anything else and he’s probably like “Okay… nice and easy… don’t do anything crazy” because that’s exactly what I would be thinking while trying to pick that up. Plus… is it heavy? Aladdin is looking at the lamp and the details on it is very beautiful. He rubs it and here comes the blue smoke!
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He looks so good coming out of that smoke! So he’s putting on this booming voice and talking about working for the master and the wishes three and all that normal genie stuff… you know I have to say, I think since Robin Williams was pretty much Robin Williams while portraying the genie and it was iconic, it makes sense for them to allow Will Smith to do the same and I think he’ll do a great job at it. But he was kidding and then “Friend Like Me” plays and I wonder if it’ll be more like a rap. I mean the beat sounded the same but it had a bit of extra spice in it and I loved it. I can’t wait to see the animation and CGI in this scene. It has to be better than the “Be Our Guest” in Beauty and the Beast because while I liked it, it was a little lackluster.
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Definitely has some of that Fresh Prince flair to it doesn’t it? I’m actually here for it more than I was before.
Aladdin and Genie are overlooking the desert and carpet looks awesome! Genie snaps them back into a little shelter and he’s now looking like a regular Will Smith human. I really do like the costuming on his human form. Aladdin asks Genie if he can make him a prince and the Genie tells him there is a lot of grey area in “make” instead of “wishing” because make could mean… make a prince and he makes a prince lol.
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See the prince in the background? lol he just made him appear instead of “creating a prince persona” for Aladdin. I like this kind of personality he seems to have. I like that while he seems to be fun-loving, he also doesn’t use a joke for everything he needs to say. Not saying that it wasn’t great in the animation to see that Genie do that, but it’s nice that he’s already appearing like his own character. I also loved Aladdin’s reaction to seeing Genie magically appear in a different place than he was before. It was cute.
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He’s turning him into a Prince! I think this is such a great clip to show us. We get to see Will Smith more in the blue and it’s a lot less jarring than it was before, it fits and I like it. Not to mention, we get to see both Abu and Carpet hanging out and we get a nice little glimpse of his Prince Ali outfit which I wondered how it would look because it’s an iconic Aladdin look. AND LET ME TELL YOU….
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I AM EXCITED FOR THIS ENTIRE SEQUENCE. YA’LL BETTER DELIVER! I mean the colors! It looks fantastic and the Prince Ali outfit is amazing. I’m really curious about Jafar in this though since he’s a much younger guy. Like I said in “My Thoughts”, he’s a younger guy so is he just a young upstart who moved up in the ranks too fast? Will Aladdin be even more competition because they’re not to far apart in age? I’m really interested to see this version of him and to see the rivalry they have.
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So this looks like there is a party instead of a one on one kind of thing for Jasmine’s hand. Like a Cinderella like ball which is cool and I like this look from both men. Aladdin looks all clean and cute and I like the colors on Will Smith. The costumes are truly beautiful. HAVE IT COSPLAYERS! The Genie tells Aladdin that while he changed what he looks like on the outside, he didn’t change anything on the inside which is an important message. You can make yourself look beautiful but if you are nasty on the inside you’ll always be nasty and vice versa. Aladdin’s lesson to learn is that his outward appearance doesn’t matter because he’s a good person regardless of his circumstance. Not to mention, Jasmine falls for him because of what he shows her not because his clothes or standing. He just so happened to also be a “prince”, a fake one but still lol you get my point.
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SO BEAUTIFUL! LOOK AT THE OUTFIT!! ANYWAYS, Genie tells Aladdin it’s time to do his thing, he’s all like “No, I’m in charge, I say when I go” probably being a scaredy cat so the Genie uses magic to send him Jasmine’s way and its super cute. They talk, he’s shocked that she’s not allowed to go wherever she wants.
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Ya’ll it’s getting real out here! He asked her if she trusts him and she slowly slides her hand in his and the music is swelling and I’m smiling like an idiot because I’m so excited. I mean, I think I’m a little more excited than I was when the official trailer for Beauty and the Beast came out lol. I’m not sure but I was stupid excited for that too and I can’t even! She climbs up on the carpet and the music is swelling and
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A WHOLE NEW WORLD!! I think they sound really good together. I’m really interested in this scene too, so iconic. I keep saying that but it’s so true! The carpet looks great, she looks great, he looks great. *sighs* I need this movie now.
So while this song is playing, we see a couple of other clips. One of Aladdin and Jasmine dancing and I love her peacock shawl thing, y’all I’m drooling over the costumes.

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We have them throwing Aladdin over the cliff, looks like he’s tied to a chair. Word lol. Clips of Genie during the “Prince Ali” sequence. Aladdin running atop the buildings in the marketplace, most likely from “One Jump”. There’s a scene of him climbing and being awesome on some icy mountains which I wondered if that’s from when Jafar sends him away to die from the cold.
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Here is Abu trying to catch the lamp which makes me think it’s the part at the end where they’re fighting Jafar for the lamp and he gets turned into a toy. Probably won’t happen the exact same way but I’m hoping for a large action sequence at the end. MAKE IT BIG AND AWESOME because I had this chance to see an awesome live action fight between Aladdin and Jafar and Once Upon a Time had that opportunity and messed it up!
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Dunno what’s happening in the picture above but perhaps it’s the climax when he takes the lamp. I love the red though and his staff looks red here as well. Maybe it’s during the final battle. There are some clips of Raja maybe protecting Jasmine? The Genie dancing during “Prince Ali” and we get this shot with even more beautiful clothes.
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I think that’s Iago in the background as a giant bird and he’s chasing down Abu and Aladdin. I do wonder if Iago will talk, I would prefer if he didn’t because I don’t think he needs to, if anything Jafar talking to his bird makes him even more crazy. It’s better than having the bird actually talk back to him. But Run Boy Run! Iago is chasing them on carpet and then a shot from inside the Cave of Wonders again before we get the awesome logo where it looks like the hilt of a dagger.
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Ya’ll let me tell y’all how excited I am. I mean, I think it’ll be good. I’m not sure how good but I think it will be worth the watch because this trailer was everything. I like the casting, I LOVE the costumes and from what we hear of the music I really like that as well.
No matter what you think of the whole reimagining into live action, there are some things to be added and newly experienced for these new movies. Also the official poster is dope.
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So that’s my “reaction” to the official trailer. I’ve seen a lot of people saying that they’re more interested in it now because of this trailer and I think that’s great news because I think it deserves a chance.
What are your thoughts on the Aladdin trailer? Let me know your thoughts down below!
Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

My Thoughts: Live Action Aladdin

So, listen, I’ve wanted to do a piece on what I thought about Disney’s live action trek through our childhood memories. I did one a couple of years ago when Beauty and the Beast was coming out. You can read Disney Remakes Thoughts and the Beauty and the Beast review.
It’s no secret that I am optimistic for these remakes. I don’t have a problem with it and I will get into all of that when I talk about that. This piece is to specifically talk about the live action Aladdin movie before it comes out and I do my official review. These are my thoughts SO FAR. There isn’t much to really talk about since it’s not out yet but I’m going to touch on the casting and the costumes mostly because that’s what the promo photos have been for.
The Casting
So obviously I thought it was important to have a cast full of people of color for this movie because of where it’s set. Sure, Agrabah is a fake country but it is based on real places. I remember back when they officially announced it, everyone wanted Avan Jogia to play Aladdin.

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Obviously I get it, I mean back in the day, I would have been like yasss, but I like the guy they got to play Aladdin.
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I think he’s super cute and I follow him on Instagram and he seems to have great energy for the role. I just hope the direction and the writing allows him to be great. Sometimes actors can’t shine when the material won’t let them so I’m hoping it does because the animated film is so great. I think Mena Massoud is a fine choice physically, so we’ll see how it is acting wise.
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Now when Naomi Scott was cast as Jasmine, there was a lot of backlash because she’s not brown enough. Listen, I get it because representation is important, and I agree. It would have been nice to have someone who is browner to play such an iconic princess who is the first Disney princess of color. I get it completely. However, my issue came with the fact that people had such a problem with her when she is of Indian descent on her mother’s side, but everyone wanted Avan Jogia to play Aladdin when his father is British-Indian. It was so crazy to me. I often defended her casting whenever it came up in a conversation because it’s not like she not a person of color at all. But that’s over and done, I think she looks great in the role. I’ve only seen her in Power Rangers and a few episodes in shows. I think she’s a fine actress. I just hope they allow Jasmine to have a bit more character growth. She is my third favorite Disney princess, but I never really thought she had the best writing in the animated film. She’s a great character but she’s a flat character, which is why I hoped they took notes from the Broadway show. She has a lot more character in that and I think it’s important that we get to know Jasmine as more than just “I don’t want to marry someone I don’t love” just like we get to know and love Aladdin.
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As for Will Smith, I’m okay with this casting overall. I was a little skeptical when it was first announced, and I am not necessarily skeptical but curious now. I like Will Smith, he’s a likable guy but I can never see him as his character… he’s Will Smith. I think the only time I was like “wow that’s the character and not Will Smith” was probably Hancock just because that guy was a jerk and a bit different from the characters Will Smith plays that I have seen anyway. I know no one can fill Robin Williams’ shoes but I hope they don’t try to copy that iconic character but allow Will Smith to make it his own. Now, in the trailer, the way he started talking sounded like The Fresh Prince and I was like ummm… so I just hope it’s not too jarring outside of his physical appearance. I think he’ll be fine overall, but I’m just like… okaayyyyy.
The Costumes
I think they are beautiful. At least all the Disney remakes have had beautiful costumes, no matter what you think of Cinderella’s huge blue dress or Belle’s yellow dress. I think they’re both fine. I didn’t care for Cinderella’s dress at first, it grew on me but overall, it’s fine. I’m in the minority but I really liked Belle’s dress but ya know, whatevs lol.

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But I think the costumes in Aladdin look so good so far.
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I like Aladdin’s look mostly. Mena Massoud has great hair and it just looks weird, I don’t know if it’s because he’s supposed to be “dirty”, so his hair is greasy, I don’t know but that’s what throws me off the most. I mean, I know in the pictures he looks really “clean” as I have seen people say but I mean promotional pictures aren’t technically stills from the film. I think he looks better in the second photo with the genie. I can’t WAIT to see his Prince Ali look because it’s iconic and I can imagine the detail on it. *heart eyes*

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Jasmine’s costumes are so beautiful! I think her clothes are my favorite of our live action heroines so far. The attention to detail, the colors, how the blue outfit resembles her iconic outfit but puts a new twist on it. I think she looks amazing. The picture with the Sultan is a new one I discovered, and that yellow is everything. LISTEN, I don’t care, I think Naomi Scott looks great. The Sultan also looks good in that picture.
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Jafar’s costume also looks nice. I think his hat is a bit big lol, but perhaps he’s a young guy who moved up quickly in the ranks and obviously wants to be Sultan. I mean, in the animated film it was gross because he was a smarmy old man and he wanted Jasmine to be his queen lol. So, with this younger actor, I hope he acts super smarmy so make up for being a beautiful man lol.
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As for The Genie. I already said what I had to say on the casting, but I think the blue is a bit jarring. Perhaps when I see the movie it won’t be as weird because I’ll already be immersed in the world and when it happens, maybe it’ll look better. Maybe they’re still putting some work on his final look. I think the second photo looks better than the first photo. Maybe him being large helps this look. I don’t know but I prefer the more “human” look like in the picture above with Aladdin. Apparently, the human look is his disguise when he’s out in the world, but I wish he looked like that all the time. I mean, perhaps his hands turned blue, or maybe whenever he used magic it was blue to pay homage, but I’m not really feeling it. This is probably the first time I’m like…
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But I’m still optimistic. Update: I started writing this on 2/12/2019 and I have to say the blue look is growing on me. It’s still jarring but it’s growing on me.
The Music
This is the last thing I want to touch on. We know and love the songs from the animated film and I can’t wait to see how they do them in this version. I’m excited. I am however curious about these new songs. There is a new solo for Jasmine and Aladdin and Jasmine have a new duet, which is called “sweet”. I really wanted the two original songs from the Broadway show in the film, “Proud of Your Boy” which Aladdin sings in his home and “A Million Miles Away” which Aladdin and Jasmine sing together (but not together). I really wanted both of those in the movie, but I guess they’re not, instead there are two new songs. So, I’m curious to hear those and I’ve never really heard either lead actor sing, I know Naomi Scott was in Lemonade Mouth, but I never saw that, so I’ll just be waiting for the film.
Overall, these are my thoughts right now for the upcoming Aladdin movie. I am excited. As I said, I am generally optimistic about these live action remakes, I don’t think they’re useless, I think its kind of cool and I’m interested to see what they continue to do. I hope Aladdin does a great job!
Thanks for reading my quick thoughts on the upcoming Aladdin movie! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Are you not impressed? Why not? Are you excited? Tell me why! I’m interested in hearing from you!