This year saw the arrival of a live-action remake of Aladdin, which was the second of three live-action Disney remakes this year, earning over a billion dollars at the international box office. The new film was directed by Guy Ritchie, starring Will Smith as the Genie alongside Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Jasmine, and Marwan Kenzari as Jafar. Simply put, this re-adaptation of Aladdin is a bit of a mixed bag but still seems to be one of the better examples of this long slew of live-action movies from the studio, and there’s still quite a bit that works. For fans of this movie, or the Aladdin legacy at the studio, this release should pack in enough fun additions to make for a magical release.
As always, let’s dive head-first into the bonus features on this disc: There’s enough fun features here that fans are sure to enjoy, including a Deleted Song, titled ‘Desert Moon’, which was filmed and edited, but ultimately cut from the movie. Seeing Aladdin and Jasmine singing a melodic duet, yet in opposite locations, is something that seems wonderful and has a lot of heart, and it is interesting to see this Alan Menken song that almost was. There’s a feature titled A Whole New Point of View that was filmed by lead actor Mena Massoud on-set, chronicling his, and his co-stars’ journey through the film. It’s fun, and a cool behind-the-scenes look at the film, despite the frustrating vertical filming on Massoud’s iPhone, which means much of your horizontal television screen remains blank as a result while this feature is happening.
Elsewhere, there’s a feature solely focused on director Guy Ritchie titled Guy Ritchie: A Directorial Genie, who most notable for his work directing Sherlock Holmes and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Ritchie brings in a unique style to this movie, including his own unique visual perspective. Using his familiar action-style expertise, he channels his creative flairs to bring new scenes to life, including the vibrant Friend Like Me and One Jump Ahead sequences. Whereas Aladdin doesn’t always quite land on its feet, it is wonderful to have someone as passionate as Ritchie at the helm of the film, and the dedication to the film is showcased through the elements that shine brightly in this movie.
Recreating the magic that Robin Williams brought to the Genie character in the original film was perhaps one of the biggest challenges of this film. That challenge gets its own feature in A Friend Like Genie, which presented Will Smith the challenge of creating his own unique flair on the character; and the decision to separate this character far from Williams’ performance as much as possible. By not attempting to recreate the irreplaceable Robin Williams, the crew managed to create a Genie that is memorable in his own right. Finally, rounding up this release is a collection of Deleted Scenes, Bloopers, and some Music Videos to close out this live-action retelling of Aladdin on home media.
It’s not quite as jam-packed as other releases have been, but this version of Aladdin has some fun bonus features that stand alongside a fun film, and for fans of this movie, the opportunity to relive this movie on home media is always a good excuse to keep physical media alive before the arrival of Disney+ in November, which will include this film (with bonus features) either way.
Aladdin is now available on Blu-Ray combo pack