FanCasting: Treasure Planet (2002)

treasure_planet_main_image

Summary: A Disney animated version of “Treasure Island”. The only difference is that the film is set in outer space with alien worlds and other galactic wonders.

I distinctly remember when this movie came out in 2002. I remember the trailers and I remember the McDonald’s commercials for it. However, it was almost like it came and went. I’ve seen it many times and cut to some years later, I own it now and this movie is beautiful and amazing.

I have done a lot of research and watched videos on this movie. It took 10 years to make, which was much longer than the other movies at the time. It was also stuck in production hell for a long time. It seems like the men who ran Disney at the time, were wholly against this movie and did nothing to help it become a thing.

This film was pitched to Disney by John Musker and Ron Clements several times in their Disney career. During production of The Black Cauldron (1985), they asked but got assigned to direct The Great Mouse Detective (1986). They asked again but got assigned to do The Little Mermaid (1989) and THEN Aladdin (1992). They asked again after Aladdin, but the studio wanted them to do Hercules(1997) and they only agreed to work on that film if they could do Treasure Planet right after. Finally got smart. But they had some good movies in their career before they got to do their passion project. I don’t particularly care for Herculeslike that but the other ones in their repertoire are some of my favorites (TLM and Aladdin particularly)

Animated Voice Cast

This movie has a great voice cast.

  • Joseph Gordon Levitt as Jim Hawkins.This is JGL’s debut as a voice actor and he does a really good job in the role. He is youthful, he has a unique voice at this point in his life and whenever Jim goes through his anger spouts or even the emotional stuff, he handles it well. I’ve always wanted JGL to be the live action version of Jim but he’s too old now, but I’ve found someone who can bounce his amazing voice work.
  • David Hyde Pierce as Dr. Delbert Doppler. I’ve never really seen him in anything, other than Frasier, and didn’t watch it like that. It was just on and I’d kind of watch it lol. But he has a great kind of awkward and annoying combination of a voice. Delbert was endearing but he was also that Doctor character who thought they knew everything but never really experienced it themselves.
  • Emma Thompson as Captain Amelia. She is one of my favorite characters in the movie lol, she’s great and Emma Thompson is great at voicing her.
  • Martin Short as B.E.N. He’s a robot and Martin Short is a little annoying in the role but I guess that’s the point of him lol. Very distinct voice as well.
  • Brian Murray as John Silver. He is a cyborg and the pseudo-villain of the film. He has a great voice and he changes it up depending on his mood, I like that.

Live Action Cast

Jim Hawkins

Jim Hawkins is said to be 15 in the film, in a deleted scene. He can stay 15 especially with a few of my choices or we could age him up a little bit, maybe 17 so he’s not quite at 18 just yet. But he’s a bad boy who yearns for adventure. He just can’t seem to get his life together but he manages to figure out the puzzle he gets from Billy Bones and embarks on a quest to help his mom. He feels like it’s his fault. Jim goes through a lot in this film. He’s angry and acting out because his father left when he was a kid and he’s resentful for that. I think a role like this, is one we’ve seen many times and there’s nothing wrong with seeing it again in a different package. We see Jim grow throughout the film and I think with great writing coupled with his great acting, it would be awesome.

Top Choice: Timothee Chalamet

treasureplanet08-740x44424th Annual Critics' Choice Awards - Arrivals, Santa Monica, USA - 13 Jan 2019

 

 

 

 

I think Chalamet would be great at this role. Most of his roles are dramas and he’s so good at that but I would like to see him do something that’s a bit more fun and adventurous. That may not be his thing but I’d think he’d be great at that. With all the emotional stuff Jim experiences, especially the betrayal he feels when Silver does his thing, I think Timothee could really handle all of this. Plus, he still looks young, he’s 23 but he has a young face. I don’t know if that hairstyle would quite work on a real person and it doesn’t look stupid but I like Chalamet’s hair in the picture on the right, so I think that would work out fine, or have him grow it out a tad bit longer and definitely let him keep his curls because while I love Mena Massoud’s hair in Aladdin, I wish he got to keep his curls too.

Honorable Mentions: Booboo Stewart, Levi Miller, Ross Lynch, Nick Robinson. These three actors I feel like would also do a really good job at this role. I put them in the order of who I think would be the best for the role.

Captain Long John Silver

He’s never quite called “Long John” but that’s his name from the novel soo but anyway, Silver is ambitious, greedy, cunning and spent most of his life searching for Captain Flint’s treasure. Whenever he’s working with his crew in secret, he’s clearly their menacing Captain. However, you come to like and care about him because of his interactions with Jim. He doesn’t like unnecessary acts of violence and cruelty. He even plans to mutiny after they collected the treasure so no one would get hurt. He puts on airs of cruelty to keep his crew in line. I think as the film goes on that’s clear.

Silver is rather greedy and cunning, having spent most of his life searching for the treasure of Captain Flint, but he has a caring side, too, and understands that friendship can be more important than treasure. He dislikes unnecessary acts of violence and cruelty, originally intending to mutiny only after the treasure was in hand, and thus, avoiding bloodshed as much as possible, and is generally honest and honorable in his piratical dealings. Nonetheless, he maintains a constant air of harsh brutality and deception around his crewmates, understandably necessary to maintain his position as their leader.

Top Choice: Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Image result for treasure planet silver

Image result for jeffrey dean morgan

Sooooo, I think JDM and Javier Bardem are basically twins so physically they both could do it but I think JDM has a charisma about him that would work for John Silver. The man is a cyborg so I would think a mixture of CGI and prosthetic or motion capture or something would work for this character. He always seemed to also be an alien who also was a cyborg. But I think JDM would be able to pull off all the character changes that Silver does in the film. The unassuming Chef, a strong father figure/mentor to Jim and of course the hard pirate that he really is, even though he really becomes that mentor to Jim lol. Plus, while he can’t seem to charm Captain Amelia, I’d imagine he’d be able to charm and intimidate others. JDM would be great at that.

Honorable Mentions: Javier Bardem, Manu Bennett

 

Captain Amelia

Amelia is quick-witted, fast-talking, and a force of will. She is proud, strong-minded, business-like, and scornful of flattery. Her speech is educated, courteous and to-the-point, oftentimes sarcastic but always with undeniable authority that quickly dominates the conversation with others. She’s a hardass and I love her for it lol. She is enthusiastic about adventure, has great agility, sleight of hand and of course she’s British lol. She’s very demanding of her crew and will appreciate talent but maybe not quick on the draw about treason. She’s smart and very brave when she needs to be. She’s awesome!

Younger

Top Choice: Hayley Atwell

347e069648cef337274a24bfc119efff438321d3_hq

PeggyCarter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Captain Amelia is very similar to Peggy Carter in ways and it think Hayley Atwell would play all of her personality really well. She has that feisty personality; she has a classic look and I think she’d have a commanding presence to keep all of those men on her ship in line. Just like Silver, she could be prosthetic and CGI or motion capture as well, but I think with her being a cat/woman hybrid, there are ways to make it look real and not follow in the footsteps of this new Cats movie and whatever that is lol.

Older

Cate Blanchett-skews a bit older but I think if Captain Amelia is aged up a bit that would be okay. Besides, Cate looks amazing and after seeing her as Hela, she’d be great lol. Plus, I can imagine her giving the same energy with her own flair that Emma Thompson gave as her voice actress. Plus, she’d fit well with my older choice for the Dr.

Honorable Mention: Naomie Harris

Dr. Delbert Doppler

He is the classic astronomer who is clumsy in both body and words but he’s intelligent. He is a pacifist except when it counts lol. He’s very kind and he clearly cares a lot for both Jim and Sarah and he’s always willing to help them whenever he can. Being that he is a scientist, he gets excited about discovering Flint’s Treasure and funds the exploration. He gets to go through a lot of emotions in this film, as he starts off very optimistic, but unsure of what to do and how to handle being in space, and then not feeling useful because he doesn’t know how to handle Amelia’s wounds later on. Delbert might be a little annoying but he’s loyal and you can know he’s on your side.

Younger

Top Choice: Brandon Routh

Image result for dr. delbert doppler

lgn317c-0278b-1-1096631-1280x0

He would be perfect! Delbert is similar to Ray in ways from Legends of Tomorrow. Brandon Routh is so likable; he’s a dork and it works for Delbert! I think he’d be perfect! He can be clumsy, not coming off very brave until he needs to be and I think he’d have great chemistry with Hayley Atwell and she’d definitely come off much cooler than him. Routh would be able to handle this character and keep him just as lovable as he was in the animated film.

Honorable Mentions: Andrew Garfield, Matthew Gray Gubler

Older

Gary Oldman-skewing older for this character as well but I think he’d be good with Cate Blanchett as Captain Amelia. He is a great character actor and he’d be so good at this role. It’s an unassuming role and he’d get to have fun. I think he and Cate Blanchett would play off each other very well. I’d love to see it.

Honorable Mentions: David Tennant, Jeff Goldblum, 

B.E.N.

58475d484070c08137d0b4418f0682a5B.E.N is funny, forgetful (formerly), temperamental, rambunctious, hyperactive, neurotic, insane, friendly, optimistic, overemotional, melodramatic, sensitive, loyal, clumsy, obsessive, cheerful, talkative, somewhat irritating. He’s a robot who worked for Captain Flint and knows the location to the treasure but had his memory literally removed lol. BEN is annoying but he and Jim do create a friendship.

 

Choices: Martin Short, Alan Tudyk, Calum Worthy. I don’t have just one choice for this role because it’d could be played by anyone with nice comedic timing and I can’t help but to hear Martin Short’s voice each time I think about him. SO, I chose people in my top choices who I think would do well in general.

Mr. Scroop

Related image

This dude is scary… that’s all that matters here lol. The choices I have below are all the people I think could do this role. I mean, they’re all great at having various voices going on here and I would in particular like to see Jared Leto or Lee Pace do the role since Serkis and Cumbersnatch often play rolls like this.

Choices: Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumbersnatch, Gary Oldman, Jared Leto, Lee Pace

Sarah Hawkins

Image result for sarah hawkins

I chose actresses who I thought could emulate her optimism, hardworking, and frustrated attitude she has at the beginning. I also wanted to choose actress who I thought looked like Timothee Chalamet. It’s a smaller role but she has a big impact on Jim’s life and some of the choices he makes, so I think it’s important to have someone who can be that. Of course, the actress shouldn’t look too young but I think Sarah and her husband were young parents, so anyone in their mind 30s-late 40s would work well.

Choices: Bridget Regan, Olivia Wilde, Amy Adams, Sienna Miller 

Mr. Arrow

He’s a rock man lol. He dies in the film but he’s the Captain’s right-hand man, her first mate. He’s imposing and loyal.

tumblr_p3sq01xwm51t0xyebo2_250Top Choice: Laurence Fishburne
Image result for laurence fishburne

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boom done!

These are my choices for a Live Action version of Disney’s Treasure Planet. It’s such a great film and so underrated. I’ve liked most of the live action remakes so far, some way more than others obviously, but I think this movie would benefit for a remake and besides, it really lends itself well to live action.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below about my choices. Tell me your choices for your cast and let’s discuss!

Thanks for reading!

Advertisements

My Thoughts: Live Action The Little Mermaid

lead_720_405

So, anyone who knows me knows that my favorite Disney movie is The Little Mermaid. Ever since I was a kid, I have wanted to be a mermaid and Ariel has always been my favorite Disney princess. I know this movie pretty much word for word.

Back when Disney announced their slate for the live action remakes, I remember seeing The Little Mermaid being part of that list but it didn’t seem to be finalized like the others were. If read any of my other pieces about the live action, you know that I’m okay with these remakes. They don’t bother me the way they seem to bother other people. I loved LOVED Aladdin, I loved The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast.

You can also check out My Thoughts: Disney Remakes. I’ll probably do another post similar to this now that we have more of these.

I think TLM would be a nice big challenge to do live action and to do well. We’ve seen mermaids in other mediums but they never really show them having an entire kingdom and conversations under water. It’s always above water and what not but then after watching Aquaman, which I thought was just okay, it’s clear that it can be done. Now, I would imagine that with the resources and funds that Disney has, their effects would look a lot better than they did in Aquaman.

The Cast

So, we have a few confirmed actors for the characters.

Halle Bailey as Ariel

2019.07.05-12.45-boundingintocomics-5d1f466e3d1be

Ariel has always been my favorite Disney princess and I’ve always related to her curiosity and wonderment. Sure, everyone likes to pick on her because she gave up her life to be with a guy, and while I’m not saying that’s not true, she wanted to go to the surface BEFORE she even saw Eric. She sings “Part of Your World” before she even sees him. So, let’s not act like she saw him and it was a wrap. ANYWAYS, I like this casting.

I know a good majority of people wanted Zendaya and don’t get me wrong, I was up for that as well, especially when the picture below surfaced. It’s lovely fanart and I like Zendaya, I know she can act, I like her singing voice (they would just have to make the music in a lower range since Zendaya’s voice is just a tad deeper) but I’m not surprised as she’s doing her thing in her new HBO show AND she’s Michelle “MJ” Jones in Spider-Man.

0807c9ff8db4d829f96ec6833b79442e

But I’m not mad at Halle Bailey’s choice because I think she’s cute, she’s young (19) and has a wistful look about her AND she can SING. I am always impressed when she and her sister perform because they both have beautiful voices. I also really like her look and I love the fact that she has locs and I REALLY hope they keep that look and if they want to keep the red, which I am partial too, then just dye her locs a lovely red color.

I have not seen her act, I know she’s on Grown-Ish but I don’t watch that show right now, so I’m not familiar with her acting, but Ariel spends a majority of the movie silent. So, a lot of her acting will be emotional/dramatic and physical. It was cute to see her try to fit in with the humans and it’s funny. They also gave Ariel some great emotional and dramatic moments in the animated film and she’s animated beautifully whenever she’s surprised, sad or anything of the like. So, I really hope that Halle Bailey can do all of that and more. It would really give her the chance to show what’s she got. I have faith in her.

Prince Eric

*swoons* He was one of my first movie crushes. Him and Aladdin lol. We do not have a Prince Eric just yet BUT I have some thoughts on this. So, I wouldn’t necessarily be mad if they kept Eric, Caucasian or if they race bended him to Asian, Hispanic whatever, but I would assume that his Kingdom would be just about located in/around the Caribbean so it makes more sense for him to also be black, plus, it would probably just sit better with people that Ariel didn’t leave her black family behind, or gave up her voice because she fell for a white guy. Just saying. I had a few ideas come to mind for him.

If they didn’t make Eric black then I would pick Shawn Mendes because I like him. I think he’s the right age, he’s cute and he can sing, they can give Eric a song in the movie lol and he’s biracial… his father is Portuguese.

My top choice right now is Jordan Fisher.

hero

I actually thought of Kelvin Harrison Jr. first, well his face not his name lol, I think he is super cute but I saw Jordan Fisher mentioned in an article about it and I was like OMG! Why didn’t I think of him sooner? I love Jordan Fisher. He has a great voice, singing and speaking, he is super charming and I think with his personality, they would give Eric way more to do (at least I hope so). He’s 25, which I think should be the cutoff age in terms of casting someone now that wouldn’t be too much older than Halle Bailey. I would assume when they start filming will be 2020 so she’ll be 20 and he’ll be 26 which keeps a healthy gap. Anyone older would be too weird.

mv5bnji2mja4ndayn15bml5banbnxkftztgwmja3mti2mte40._v1_

 

This is Kelvin Harrison Jr. He’s also super cute, he’s 24. Now, I don’t know about his acting just yet (He’s in the movie adaption of Walter Dean Myers’ book Monster, called All Rise which I’ve been waiting to see). I also think he’d look great with Halle Bailey.

 

 

Also also, my coworker just mentioned this, Avan Jogia could be a possible contender for Prince Eric. I still prefer Jordan Fisher but I wouldn’t be mad at making Jogia a Disney Prince.

avan-jogia

King Triton

My instant thought when I saw Halle Bailey’s casting was Idris Elba or Morris Chesnutt lol, which people are agreeing with me hahaha.

tumblr_inline_p8zia6kwav1scmuoh_1280

I think he’ll be amazing, plus with his great voice, whether he keeps his accent or not, I think he’d be great! He has that majestic feeling about him. I think he’d be great. Also give him locs like he has in Thor, make them nice of course, but give him silver hair instead of white hair.

Ursula

melissa_mccarthy-the_little_mermaid-getty-photofest-split-h_2019

I don’t like this casting at all. I enjoy Melissa McCarthy for the most part but the funniest I ever found her was Bridesmaids and Spy. Ursula is humorous yes, but she is also devious, she is cunning, a little sexy and she’s scary. Right now, I cannot see McCarthy pulling this off, in fact, in my mind, she’s doing her same old shtick. I have not seen the movie she was recently nominated for but this is a Disney movie, and I feel like she’ll go overboard. I don’t like it.

Queen Latifah

Some years ago, Annie Leibowitz, the photographer, does a series of photos where celebrities are Disney characters and they had Queen Latifah pose as Ursula. I think this is inspired casting because Queen is regal like Ursula, I think she can pull off the sexy and the terrifying!

LIZZO

lizzo-and-ursula-from-the-little-mermaid-758x397

I was introduced to Lizzo from RuPaul’s Drag Race, she was a guest judge and I loved her energy and humor. I heard that she expressed her want to play Ursula and I even saw her Twitter video of her singing a bit of “Poor Unfortunate Souls”, which of course needs to be SLAYED by whoever plays Ursula and I want an anthem, not some kind of talk/jokey hybrid. I enjoyed what I saw. I’m not super familiar with her music just yet, but I do plan on checking on her because I have liked what I heard so far. I’m down for it. She would be a younger Ursula but why not as Jafar was younger lol.

Sebastian

Obviously, he wouldn’t be an actual person but I wonder what he’s gonna look like because I mean, he’s a crab lol who looks a bit like a lobster. It shall be interesting. I heard someone mention Lin-Manuel Miranda for the part, but I think he should just stick to doing the music as the music was a nice highlight for Moanaso he should just do that and let someone else play Sebastian.

b7a736aa83ddcab72ac449f5583e4f47

 

 

Tituss Burgess played Sebastian in The Little Mermaid on Broadway and he was excellent. I saw it on YouTube years ago and it was great quality lol. He can totally reprise the role again here, he just won’t be on stage this time, but he has great energy, he’s sassy and he can SING. Let’s get it.

 

 

Jacob Tremblay as Flounder and Awkwafina as Scuttle

These two are together because they were the first cast announcements.

banner-copy-1-5-1-5-4-1-1-1-1-1-1

the-little-mermaid-scuttle-flounder-1176841-1280x0

I adore Jacob Tremblay ever since I saw him in Room, he was fantastic. He’s done well in everything I saw him in even if I don’t particularly like the movie lol but I think he’s a perfect choice for Flounder.

As for Awkwafina, she annoys me, her voice, she’s not that funny and I get this try-hard vibe from her so I’m like…

giphy

but I guess I’m okay with it in the end because Scuttle is also annoying so I guess it works out in the end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ariel’s Sisters/Atlantica/Eric’s Kingdom

Atlantica should just be a very diverse place as should Prince Eric’s kingdom. I’ve seen a lot of push for Eric to be Asian, so regardless if he’s Black or Asian, just make sure his kingdom has a bit of everyone in there, especially living on the water. Perhaps his Kingdom is a bit of a port city, a lot of immigrants I would think.

As for Ariel’s sisters, there are a lot of jokes out there right now, but I do think they should have Chloe Bailey be one of her sisters, perhaps the second to youngest, and maybe Ariel is really close to her. I’ve seen a lot of “King Triton should be white and some of her sisters should be” and I’m like “No, give me a black family.” So, they can clearly have different colored hair if you want to be funky, just make sure it doesn’t look ridiculous when doing it, but I do believe her sisters were all blondes and brunettes, so it could also just simple hair colors and have Ariel stand out with her having red locs. I think it would be pretty cool.

The Music

We know that they are bringing back the classic songs, which is great, and Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda are working together and I think there might be some new songs, which is cool. I think Eric needs a song lol. I just hope we keep the same feeling of the music, particularly in ‘Part of Your World’ but update it to fit the new world and Halle Bailey’s lovely voice. I really liked what they did to the music in Aladdinso it can be done in a contemporary way.

The Story

The story is well-known if you’ve seen the animated feature. It is very different from the original story by Hans Christian Anderson, thank goodness because that story is dark lol. But mermaid wants to go to the surface world as she has collected so many trinkets, one day she sees actual humans, including a human prince who catches her eye and now she really wants to go in order to meet him. She saves his life which allows him to have some idea of the woman who saved him and then shenanigans ensue.

I think in order to update this story line more, so it’s not just this girl giving up her life to be with some guy, but perhaps give her more opportunity to see him, or maybe even talk to him. Something so we see her have the chance to fall for him more. I’m thinking, we see the opening as usual, so skip forward to when she sings “Part of Your World” and of course the fireworks and the boat and all that. So, she manages to climb up high enough to watch the men on the boat, I would even say throw some women on there, women can be sailors, and they’re having a party, dancing, singing some song, sharing food and laughter. It would be a grand sight and she’s intrigued by all of this. Of course she sees Max, something she’s never seen before, but then maybe they break out into some sailor’s song or something and Ariel hears Eric sing (which leads into Jordan Fisher singing his song), something quick and she’s enamored by his voice, which I feel like it would be a nice connection because she loves music, she’s supposed to have this beautiful voice compared to her sisters and Eric also has a nice voice. She watches him as he dances, mingles and sings with his people and she likes his energy and charm.

So of course, she saves him as usual, she sings her song and then swims off. I WANT THEM TO MEET AGAIN as it would make more sense. This movie will probably be two hours long as it’s not animated and has the chance for more meat on its bones.

Hear me out.

After she runs off the first time, she comes back maybe a few more times. Eric walks the beach often with Max, maybe with the hope of seeing the mysterious girl again. Maybe Eric has a solo song? Something about his duty and freedom, lol I don’t know. Then later, Ariel goes a bit early, hiding in the same place among the rocky area and hums the song she sang or “Part of Your World” which she sang the reprise to him. He comes right on time and recognizes the song and she’s hiding in the rocky part of the beach and he’s like “It’s you isn’t it?” and then they have this awkward conversation, where she refuses to show herself to him. I feel like they could do this a few times to give them a chance to talk and for her to fall for him more which would attribute to her growing want/need to be on the surface.

When her father finds out she’s gone multiple times, talked to a human AND has fallen in love with him, it gives him way more of a reason to destroy her grotto and more of a reason to go into Ursula’s arms. Also, I feel like Triton should mention something about her mother, perhaps Ariel looks just like her and she was killed, like in the prequel movie. This is all good stuff. When Ariel finally shows up on land, of course she can’t talk so Eric doesn’t recognize her voice or her singing voice which means she just has to go off of her personality which is charming too as she is literally a fish out of water.

I think that they should give Ariel and Eric more interactions so she doesn’t just leave her family behind like others like to point out so often. Then the rest can follow as normal, just throw in more meat to fill in that runtime.

I think it’s important for their relationship to feel organic and not just rushed. I think it can be done if done correctly. I’m a little wary of Rob Marshall as the director but hopefully everyone surrounding him helps create a lovely story that is the one, we know and love but also updated.

Overall

I’m excited for the movie and to see what becomes of it. I am a bit nervous just because it is my favorite Disney movie and Ariel is my favorite Disney princess, so I definitely hold this one really close to my heart, but I’m not going to hate it before I even see anything. I always try to be open-minded so I can’t wait. Film production begins in 2020 and I think 2021 would be too soon so I anticipate May 2022 for release. We’ll see though lol.

giphy-1

giphy-2

Thanks for reading!

Movie Review: Aladdin (2019)

hero_aladdin-image-2

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.
Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 7.19.58 PM.png
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.
Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 7.21.40 PM.png
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!
Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 7.24.56 PM.png
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.
Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 7.27.56 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 7.28.18 PM.png
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.
Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 7.30.58 PM.png
FOUND IT!

anigif_original-25886-1446849676-9

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.
Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 7.33.40 PM.png
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.
Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 8.08.30 PM.png
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.
original
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!
Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 9.23.29 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 10.01.34 PM.png
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.
b1c
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.
Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 10.09.11 PM.png
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.
Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 10.14.03 PM.png
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….
Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 10.15.51 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 10.16.13 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 10.16.40 PM.png
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.
Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 10.33.06 PM.png
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.
Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 10.38.17 PM.png
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.
Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 10.40.54 PM.png
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
aladdin
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.

Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 10.48.51 PM

Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 10.50.07 PM

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.
Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 10.53.57 PM
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!
Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 11.23.46 PM.png
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.
Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 11.24.46 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 11.25.38 PM.png
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.
Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 11.27.22 PM.png
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.
aladdin-disney-poster-full-1162578
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!

 

 

 

Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast (2017)

15-beauty-and-the-beast-01

This was my most anticipated film of the year. I was so excited. I saw it twice and I loved it both times. Whatever I say here, unless I blatantly state as such, is not knocking the original animated film, nor am I detracting from it or anything like that. This review is for this film only. Due to it being a remake, I may say something about the source material but as comparison if anything.
Summary: An adaptation of the Disney fairy tale about a monstrous-looking prince and a young woman who fall in love.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. There are a lot of characters in this film but they were all so great that I have to talk about them. Some will probably get more detail than others, but just bear with me.
  • Emma Watson as Belle. I loved this casting when it was announced. I think she was prefect for the role, she embodied Belle’s intelligence, her spunky attitude (plus a bit more depth), her beauty and her love for those and the things she loved. I saw a lot of criticism before the film came out about Emma not being graceful enough for Belle and I think that’s just silly. In this film, Belle is a farm girl and she gets her hands dirty, she even makes her own washing machine. She’s beautiful yes, she’s whimsical yes, but she also takes charge and does her thing. When she goes to save her father, she drops everything and goes. I loved it. I loved how she stood up to Gaston, she didn’t stroke his ego, she just said no. Her love for books was evident, it wasn’t just holding one, she really loved them. I wonder if some of these aspects came easy to Emma being that she played Hermione Granger (who in some ways is very similar to Belle) and is very similar to Belle herself. When it came time for her to be graceful, she could. The dance was beautiful and she took charge there as well. I liked her quite a bit. She handled her emotional moments very well, and she had control of her eyebrows lol, sometimes Emma Watson does the eyebrow dance and it was under control here lol.
  • Dan Stevens as The Beast/The Prince. 
    • We see him as the Prince in the beginning, the douchebag Prince. It was quite entertaining to see that, I’m glad they did that, also by showing us that he was an adult when he was cursed. I know his age is still in question from the animated film** but he’s obviously well aware of his actions here.
    • The Beast: We spend the most time with him in his form and he was so sassy. I grinned like an idiot during a lot of his dialogue (I’ll talk about his appearence later). He was mean and he was course and unrefined. His shock at Belle wanting to take her father’s place I thought was well done, as his experience with fathers wasn’t good. He’s really only mean in the beginning and I thought Dan Stevens did a great job in portraying that, even if his expressions were CGI’ed, his eyes were a great catalyst for his acting. Some of the nuisances he would do, like his expressions or his movements were great additions to the character. He also had great chemistry with Emma Watson both as a Beast and a man later.
  • Luke Evans as Gaston. I like Gaston because he’s a villain in the animated film, but I do NOT like him as a character because he’s terrible. However, I actually liked him in this film. Luke Evans was so charismatic that he was more on the thin line of being a villain more than giving off that impression the entire time. I think it helped that he wasn’t a gigantic muscular dude. His humor was on point, his facial expressions when he’s admiring himself, when Belle turns him down, when he gets angry but is calmed down by LeFou, it was on point. I quite enjoyed him. Plus, I don’t think I ever disliked Luke Evans in a film. It’s easy to see that he enjoyed playing this part. When he did go into full villain mode, he was a scary dude. His demeanor changed and that makes for a scary villain.
Supporting Characters. Oh man. I’m going to go through them as quickly as I can.
  • Ewan McGregor as Lumiere. I think he was my favorite. I read about Ewan McGregor being worried about the accent, I’m not French but I thought it sounded fine. At least for the type of film and character. I liked that he was a little man who could make his form look like a candelabra, it helped him move differently and quickly. His take charge and almost busy body attitude makes him the orchestrator for a lot of things. Lumiere was also the source of a lot of humor in the castle. He’s so romantic and carefree it’s hard to dislike his character. His mocking impressions were great. The emotion at the end… *sniffs*
  • Sir Ian McKellan as Cogsworth. He was great. He’s the head of the household but he’s totally afraid of The Beast. It’s hilarious see him to talk about him to the others but when he thinks he’s around, how scared he gets. McKellan has a great voice and at first it might be odd but it fit the character.  He also had some dry humor going on which I love.
  • Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts. She’s amazing. Her Mrs. Potts is the same in her motherly attitude towards everyone but don’t make her mad, she will put you in your place. I loved it. The voice Thompson put on for her showed that she was mostly likely a village woman and obviously a servant. I loved her relationship with Chip and how she was the one who tried to guide the others.
  • Kevin Kline as Maurice. He was great, definitely can see in a way where Belle gets her “oddities” and headstrong personality from. Kevin Kline is great in this role. He is an active father and will do anything for his daughter.
  • Josh Gad as LeFou. He’s very different from his animated counter part, which was fine with me, all that controversy for this character didn’t bother me. He’s funny, he didn’t overdo it which I think he can do a lot. The little nuances he did for this character was great and cute.
  • Audra McDonald as Madame Garderobe. A renowned opera singer who gets turned into a wardrobe. I bet Audra McDonald had fun in the recording studio for her character, she sings more than she actually talks and she’s hilarious. Being that as the petals fall they become less and less human, she has a hard time staying awake. It’s great. Also, Audra McDonald is a QUEEN. Her voice!
  • Gugu Mbtha-Raw as Plumette. Also has a French accent, I think it’s really just her and Lumiere which was fine. She was flirty, sassy and romantic. I also loved her reveal at the end, it was so cute.
  • Nathan Mack as Chip. Aww so cute! He definitely seemed a bit older than his animated counterpart, but he was cheeky and used his saucer as a skateboard, which like Lumiere, helped him move around quicker.
  • Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza. I love Stanley Tucci, he’s a chameleon. He was a cool character, we don’t see tons from him but a talking piano, that’s awesome. He has some great scenes at the end with the mob.
The Costumes. Jacqueline Durran’s costumes are to die for! The attention to detail on them just blew my mind as I watched the film. I liked the little pockets on Belle’s apron, I liked the detail on the inside of her cloak. The red/pink dress she wears during the “Something There” was so beautiful. I know a lot of people didn’t like her dress but I loved it from the first time I saw it. It pays homage to the original dress but it puts it’s own spin on it. I’m not a big ruffle person but the way the dress moved, it worked. I read it took 12,000+ hours to make that dress. It was beautiful on Emma Watson. The Beast wears this tattered cloak and it’s so haunting and scary, it shows that he is still in his angry and pity mindset. Later, he wears this long blue cloak and OMG I wanted that thing. His suit during the dance was also beautiful and the suit at the end. The attention to detail on the clothes. Gaston’s red coat in his iconic “Gaston” scene was also beautifully made, I want that too. All of the clothes, all of the nods to the French fashion was there.
The Relationships. This is going to be broken down a bit.
  • Belle and the Beast. Of course this is the most important one and I thought they handled it well. They added a bit more for them to do, more conversations and interactions. We can see the influence she has on him. The looks they give each other, it’s really cute. I thought Emma and Dan had great chemistry, even with the CGI Beast lol. The ending is also really cute.
  • Belle and Gaston. He was definitely persistent and it was funny. However, I liked the fact that she always just said “no” or turned him down without stroking his ego. I also liked how she stood up to him during the climax. It showed her strength even more.
  • Belle and Maurice. Such a great father/daughter relationship. He really loves her and would do anything for her, and same for her. She wastes no time in going to him both times. The love they have for each other was evident, I thought Watson and Kline had some great chemistry.
  • The Beast and his servants. Always a humorous relationship. They are his family, no matter how badly he may have treated them. They were afraid of him but they also stood up to him quite a bit, mostly Mrs. Potts and Lumiere. The scene before the dance was a great scene with all of them.
  • Lumiere and Plumette. So cute and romantic. I also loved the interracial aspect of it.
  • Lumiere and Cogsworth. Of course, a great friendship. It’s easy to see that they are polar opposites but Cogsworth respects Lumiere’s carefree attitude and Lumiere appreciates Cogsworth’s loyalty and sarcastic comments. The ending scene when the last petal falls, quite emotional.
  • Mrs. Potts and Chip. I’m glad the whole idea of Mrs. Potts have 50 million children was “addressed” here, lol but they were adorable. Her frantic-ness at the end. This mother loves her son and I don’t think she was too old to have a kid that young. *rolls eyes*
  • Maestro Cadenza and Madame Garderobe. Another interracial that I loved. They were separated due to the curse as she’s a wardrobe and he’s a piano but the end lol. He misses her voice and she misses his music, perfect couple.
The Production Design. The sets on this film are so beautiful. The Beast’s castle is so large, with it’s many twists and turns and the attention to detail with the French inspired architecture. The way it continues to change as the rose continues to wilt is pretty amazing. The layout of his entire land, whenever there was an aerial view of the castle grounds, it was so breathtaking. The town is also nicely done, it looks like a small town, closed in which helps adds why Belle wants to leave it. The forest, the way the snow looked in the forest, and even how it looked at the castle. So beautiful.
The Character Design. I’ll mention this again later, but I liked how the supporting characters looked in their looks. I thought with Lumiere being a little man who can manipulate his appearence to look like a candelabra was smart and unique. It allows him to move quickly and more. Cogsworth was so intricately designed. I understand that some found Mrs. Potts and Chip to be creepy, but seeing them on the screen, I don’t think so. Definitely French designed tea set. I was a little wary about Plumette’s look but I ended up loving it. I liked the fact that she could fly, it made sense with all of her feathers and it made it easier for her to maneuver and do her thing, she was also really beautiful. The wardrobe, seeing her talk was kind of weird but awesome at the same time, her design was great and the piano as well. All of the trinkets in the house were very well designed.
The Music. Alan Menken returned to help with the music once again, especially as the iconic songs were slightly changed in their arrangement and he wrote four new songs for the film. I liked that The Beast had a song, it helped give a bit more insight to him at the moment and it was my favorite song actually. There’s a song that the main people in the castle sing and it was very sweet. It reminded me of “Human Again” but it was a slow and sweet song. Belle also has a song in a particular part of the film, I liked the song. Maurice also has a quick short song. The other songs were also very well done and I think the actors did well in the singing of them. I was impressed.
  • The Musical Numbers. So this film is definitely a musical and for the most part, they are very similar to how they are in the animated film which isn’t a bad thing, but they do put their own updated spin on it. In the “Belle” number, the town is smaller so it feels a bit more suffocating and I don’t think there is a Bookshop, I think that dude was the Priest but just happened to have books that Belle could borrow. I also loved how Gaston and LeFou were outside the town (which makes sense if they were hunting lol). “Be Our Guest” was also well done, it was colorful, it wasn’t as big as it could have been but I thought it was sweet and they did a good job. “Something There” allowed for us to see more interactions with Belle and the Beast and it was cute and had some funny moments. “Gaston” was definitely the most fun and “Beauty and the Beast” was lovely.
The story/Updates. So the story is the same as the animated film, obviously, they take some notes from the original story in which Belle asks Maurice to bring her a rose from his travels. I love this story. It’s not Stockholm Syndrome, especially not even here because she definitely could have escaped, was going too and she even leaves.
  • The updates (without spoiling): I’m just gonna name a few, I think a lot of the updates helped answer questions the original left a question.
    • The fact that Maurice was a music box crafter.
    • Belle made her own washing machine and wanted to teach girls how to read.
    • Maurice’s reactions to the castle.
    • Some extra details in the opening scene, about why the town doesn’t seem to know about the castle and prince.
    • A few more conversations between Belle and the Beast in understanding each other
    • How Belle got the Beast back to the castle after the wolf attack
    • A conversation between Gaston and Maurice
    • LeFou’s character
The Transformation Scene. I was worried on how they were going to do this scene and I thought it was handled well. It’s ultimately the same, but how it gets started is a bit different and I don’t mean with Belle’s confession. There’s a nice musical beat and BOOM. It was even better the second time around. Of course the close up shot of his eyes is always important. Funny thing: When I saw it the first time, and Dan Stevens did his dramatic turn around, my friend and little sister said “Ooooo” and “OH he’s hot. Oh yes” lol. When I saw it the second time, and he turned around my two friends said “Gaston is way cuter” and I just cracked up. I find Dan Stevens to be very handsome and I love his eyes and I think Luke Evans is also very handsome, two very different looking men.
Cons:
The Beast’s Animation. Overall, I liked his look but there were a few times in the film where it looked weird. Sometimes when there was a wide shot where he see his full body, it was strange. Also, in his solo song, he’s like bounding around, it looked kind of weird at times. Also, it would have been nice if he was a bit bigger, in terms of width, like his chest could have been a bit bigger. Sometimes, his height seemed to change, it might have been the camera angles but at times he looked maybe a foot or two taller than Belle and other times he look huge! It was inconsistent.
The Opening Scene. So, I appreciate the opening in that we get to actually see the Prince be a jerk, but it was also a little weird. I think it was the narration that wasn’t doing it for me. I think it would have been better to just see it without the narration attached.
The Paris Scene. So there’s a scene in the film, it’s about the halfway mark that I could have done without. It was cute and sweet and I liked Belle’s song but I also don’t think it was necessary. It seemed to be a deleted scene that was left in the film.
Overall, I loved this movie. It was easy for me to separate this from the animated film. I think the animated film is the best Disney movie to date and I was excited to hear about what they were planning to do. I was excited and I think my expectations were met, it didn’t exceed them but met them. I expected a good film, with a new spin on the original and I think I got that. If you love the original and think it should never be touched then you might not like this and should not see it. If you refuse to have an open mind, then don’t bother. If you love the original but are curious to see what they do, then check it out. The original will never go away, it will always be superior and it will always be there.
Beauty and the Beast did a lot of things right, the casting was well done, everyone was great in their roles, their respective looks and songs were good and I enjoyed watching and listening. I think Emma Watson and Dan Stevens had great chemistry and I think Ewan McGregor and Luke Evans were standouts in their roles. The music holds up, even with slightly new arrangements it’s still beautiful and I enjoyed the new songs. I loved the look of the film, the costumes, the production design, the attention to detail given to everything is so evident to me that I think this film will be a contender in some technical awards Oscar season. It does have it’s missteps, I think the animation of the Beast goes in and out on looking real at times, the opening narration just didn’t do it for me, I wish it was just the scene, the extra plot scene could have been put on the deleted scenes floor.
With that said… I still loved this movie.
 Rating: 4. 27 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Beauty and the Beast? Have you seen the original? If not, what’s wrong with you? What did you think of the remake? Comment below in the comments and let me know!
My Disney Live Action Remake List from Best to Least Best:
  1. Jungle Book
  2. Beauty and the Beast
  3. Cinderella
  4. Maleficent
I don’t count Pete’s Dragon as I never saw the original.
**I almost forgot about this, but in reference to my asterisks above, I wanted to mention about the Prince’s age in the animated film. I never thought that he was a child, I always assumed that time stopped. I mean, thinking about it now, it’s odd because that would mean did the town age? Or…? But the stained glass windows in the opening of the film didn’t look like a child whereas I guess in the Enchanted Christmas, he was a kid. I don’t know… it’s always weird to me. So I’m glad they made sure we knew he was an adult in this film.

My Thoughts: Disney Remakes

I love Disney, I have always loved Disney and I will love Disney FOREVER! I think their movies are great, sure there are some misfires but overall, Disney is solid. So there are a nice amount of Disney remakes coming up, they are live action remakes of some of their animated features.
Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty)

maleficent-5

I remember when they announced this, it seemed to take a while since I think Angelina Jolie got sick around that time. But, I was excited. I never really liked Sleeping Beauty like that, however, I started a Disney animated marathon (didn’t finish) and I have a new appreciation of that film. It’s a beautifully animated film. Man. Anyway, I expected more, I left disappointed. I didn’t mind the fact they tried to give Maleficent a reason to be angry other than “not being invited” but a few things I didn’t like:
  • The fact that her name was Maleficent as a child, her parents set her up for failure.
  • The fact that she mended her curse instead of allowing the fairies to give a loophole.
    • The curse is supposed to make “Aurora prick her finger and DIE!” and Merryweather uses her gift to make her fall into a “death like sleep”. In Maleficent, the King begs and she changes it herself. Meh.
  • The fairies were stupid. If anything, Sleeping Beauty is the fairies’ movie and I did not like how they were turned into twits just to make Maleficent look good. Meh.
Anyway, this is not a review but I’m just saying. Maleficent was okay.
Cinderella (Cinderella)

b39117792abfd8ef6bbd294724fd8bb4

I actually liked this one, I wasn’t sure how I felt about her dress because of the butterflies but once I saw the movie, the transformation, while long, was beautiful and I understand why the butterflies were there but I still didn’t like them.
I appreciated that Cinderella and the Prince (Kip) met before the ball and their relationship continued and that it wasn’t just a one night thing. I know in some versions of the story, it’s a three night festival but ya know Disney cut it into one. I also appreciated how Prince Kip received a story line instead of just being Prince Charming. The stepsisters of course were there and were funny but not important. Cate Blanchett was wonderful as the Stepmother and I did really like Ella’s character.
The only “negative” thing, I can think of right now is that it didn’t seem like Ella really had a reason to stay… she left and that’s how she met Kip in the first place. She said she didn’t leave because she wanted to protect her house or whatever, but then she marries the prince and leaves the house anyway. So, it didn’t really seem like she didn’t have a choice to stay compared to the animated film where Cinderella really seemed locked into her life… I don’t know, just something I noticed.
Cinderella was really good. Beautiful movie and the music was lovely.
The Jungle Book

3056512-poster-p-1-want-to-vacation-like-mowgli-in-jungle-book-airbnb-has-treehouses-at-the-ready

I really really liked this one, probably my favorite live action remake out of the three we’ve gotten in recent years. I would need to watch it again to do a review, which I always planned on doing, just never got around to it. But the young actor who played Mowgli was great in his role, I appreciate his casting. The music is great, and I just loved how real the animals looked.
Pete’s Dragon

petes-dragon-movie-disney-2016

I thought this was cute, I never saw the original but I enjoyed the movie. You can read my review for this film here.
So moving forward, we’ve had a few announcements about live action remakes. Up next is Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens which I am super excited about. Personally, I find Beauty and the Beast to be a masterpiece and to be Disney’s best animated film, so I have high hopes for the remake, it already looks promising. Next we’ve been told about The Lion King, Mulan and I think I saw rumors about Aladdin and The Little Mermaid, I’m not sure if the last two were confirmed but I’ll mention them anyway. I’m excited about them all honestly, yes the animated versions are amazing and are untouchable but that doesn’t mean we have to ignore anything else that comes out of them.
Mulan: Mulan 2
The Lion King: The Lion King 2, The Lion King: 1 1/2, a Broadway show, Timon & Puumba, and The Lion Guard
Aladdin: Aladdin: Return of Jafar,  Aladdin and the King of Thieves, Aladdin: Animated Series, Jasmine’s Princess Power Hour (it was a special thing with Ariel).
The Little Mermaid: The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning, The Little Mermaid: Animated Series, Broadway Show.
So it’s not like these movies are “untouched” lol.
Mulan

7c90ee388a420be40af69f5b133091b1

I think Mulan, if given a Pirates of the Caribbean treatment, could be awesome. Disney needs to give it an epic feel.
Cast: An all Chinese cast is imperative.
  • Eddie Murphy should reprise Mushu, if they bring him back. Excepton.
  • NO CRICKET.
  • Real horse for Khan but animate Khan’s expressions though.
  • I think Ming Na Wen should play Mulan’s mother, as she was the original Mulan voice.
Music: The music needs to be amazing.
  • “Make a Man Out of You” should actually be in the film.
  • “Reflection” could be instrumental in that scene, or be internal instead of outright sung.
The Villain: They should do a bit more with him because that dude is one of the “weaker” Disney villains. Very forgettable.
Mulan could be epic. Just imagine that avalanche scene in IMAX or even the scene where Mulan uses the fireworks to blow up the villain. I think it could work if they give it lots of care.
The Lion King

giphy1

It’ll be given the same treatment as The Jungle Book, which is fine with me.
The cast: Black actors. Do not ignore African actors.
  • Bring back James Earl Jones, Mufasa must be James Earl Jones
    • However, I will not be opposed to Samuel E. Wright voicing him. He was the Original Broadway Mufasa. Fun fact: he also voiced Sebastian in The Little Mermaid.
  • Heather Hedley could be Sarabi (Nala from original broadway cast).
  • Jeremy Irons should reprise his role as Scar, he would be an exception lol.
I think it would be nice to show Simba’s teenage years with Timon and Pumba.
Music: The Lion King has some of the most iconic music, and only three of them are technically sung by characters in the film.
  • “Just Can’t Wait to Be King” should be sung by young Simba.
  • “Hakuna Matata” obviously, though I was never a huge fan of that song.
  • “Be Prepared” I think that would be a cool scene.
I would like for some of the Broadway songs to be added:
  • “Endless Night” is such a beautiful song. I think that song could be part of the soundtrack, Simba doesn’t have to actually sing it, it could be an internal song.
  • “Shadowland” is great song for Nala and a nice introduction to her adult character.
  • “They Live In You” and “He Lives In You”
    • It’s been a while since I’ve seen the animated film, but perhaps the instrumentals of these songs are sort of there.
Thoughts on Rafiki: I am not against Rafiki being male in the movie, but I wouldn’t mind a woman like in the show and she can lead “Circle of Life”. We don’t have to see Rafiki singing it but the actress could sing it. I think it could be great! I’m excited lol.
Aladdin

giphy

My third favorite Disney animated film.
Cast: People of color. That’s it. As the location is based on a few different places, it’s hard to say so just people of color.
  • Iago shouldn’t talk if in the live action film.
  • Abu didn’t really talk but he shouldn’t either (think the monkey from Night at the Museum).
  • Rajah should also be there, as I read that tigers (and monkeys) are a large population in Agra India.
Agrabah is based off Baghdad, Iraq and Agra, India. The Sultan’s palace is based off of the Taj Mahal.
The Genie: I think this would be a challenge as Robin Williams has passed and he was iconic in this role. I’m not sure how he would be handled. They shoud look at some genie or jinn mythology
  • A physical person, use technology to help his appearence, but I don’t think he should look exactly like his cartoon counter part.
  • They shouldn’t try to copy Williams’ performance with someone else as most of his lines were improvised and that version was written with Williams in mind.
  • “Friend Like Me” is hard to replicate without Robin Williams, as well as that particular version’s energy, comedic timing etc… but if approached different might be okay. Otherwise, leave it out. Or look, at the Broadway show for ideas.
The live action Aladdin could have an “epic” feel to it too. Give a chance for more story telling, character expansion, especially for Jasmine.
  • Explore Aladdin’s life a bit more before meeting the genie.
  • The Cave of Wonders could be kind of scary in certain aspects.
  • Aladdin and Jasmine should have a few more meetings before they decide they’re in love.
  • I think the final showdown between Aladdin and Jafar should be a bit more involved.
    • It’s great in the film of course, but let the people do some stunts!
Music:
  • Aladdin doesn’t have to sing “One Jump”, it can just play in the beginning, just to prevent from being too cheesy and too “musical”.
  • “A Million Miles Away” is a song from the show, it’s during the scene in Aladdin’s apartment after they meet in the marketplace. It’s such a great and sweet song, gives insight into both characters.
  • “A Whole New World” can stay in the same spot. Bring it!!
The Little Mermaid

giphy2

My favorite and I will be totally critical of this one, so critical. There is a version in works with Chloe Grace Moretz attached, but to be clear, her version is based on Hans Christian Anderson’s book, not the Disney film, which is why she will keep her blonde hair and her name will not be Ariel. While the Disney film is based from the book, the live action DISNEY remake will be on their own movie, not the book. So, just like with Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman, there will be two The Little Mermaid movies.
Music: It’s such a big part of the movie and I think it should stay.
  • “Part of Your World” may be a challenge as it’s an underwater scene. It should remain in the movie but be handled carefully.
  • “Poor Unforntuate Souls” is the same, a great song and scene.
I think this one would require a ton of care due to the nature of the film. It’s not like mermaids can’t be done, we’ve see it, in Splash, Aquamarine, Hook, The Thirteenth Year, Peter Pan (2003), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and H20: Just Add Water, just to name a few. They all looked good in their respective movies and different, only thing would be with the talking underwater. Obviously, they wouldn’t really be talking underwater, but it’s just making sure it looks believable. So we’ll just have to see with this one.
So these are my thoughts, at the moment, on these Disney live action remakes. Considering what we have, I’m optimistic about what’s to come. I truly believe Beauty and the Beast will be wonderful and I think the others will be too, just as long as Disney takes my suggestions lol. Just kidding, but no seriously. I’m excited to see what they do with these upcoming films, I can’t wait to start pictures and I can’t wait for Beauty and the Beast.
Below are some links to songs I want to be included. Enjoy them, they’re all beautiful.

Aladdin: A Million Miles Away

The Lion King

“Endless Night” sung by Jason Raize (RIP).

“Shadowland” sung by Heather Headley.

“They Live In You/Reprise” Samuel E. Wright is Mufasa in this video and Rafiki is a woman here.