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YMMV / Aladdin (2019)

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  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • In response to outrage over the film using white extras wearing dark makeup to appear Middle Eastern, several scenes were reshot and re-edited with actors of color.
    • Jafar, in contrast to the original, does not look like an example of Obviously Evil that would put the Sultan's intelligence into question. His voice even comes across as more benevolent in contrast to his original version where he would just open his mouth and you could say: "Yeah, obviously the villain." Of course, this hasn't pleased everyone (see WTH, Casting Agency below).
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    • Jasmine wardrobe is more fitting for a royal princess, rather than a simple Bedlah Babe costume.
    • Criticisms over the casting of the non-Arab Naomi Scott as Jasmine are at least partly addressed by the fact that this version of Jasmine is mixed race, with her mother having come from an Indian-inspired country.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The teaser trailer plays an intense, orchestral version of "Arabian Nights" before segueing into an epic blaring of "Friend Like Me" as the title is shown. And it's made even better when the climax of the song plays over Aladdin himself reaching for the lamp.
    • The official trailer has an outstanding cover of "A Whole New World", with Mena Massoud sounding a lot like the original Aladdin singing voice Brad Kane.
    • Jasmine’s new song “Speechless” is a very powerful song and shows just how amazing of a singer Naomi Scott is.
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    • The new extended version of "Arabian Nights" with all new lyrics.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Marwan Kenzari as Jafar was immediately declared this to the extent #TeamJafar started trending and Rooting for the Empire to the extent of wishing he would marry Princess Jasmine.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Memetic Mutation:
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    • The teaser poster's tagline "Choose wisely" had many cracking Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade jokes, like quipping about choosing the cup of a carpenter.
    • The teaser trailer's text dissolving like dust inevitably led to comparisons to the infamous finale of Avengers: Infinity War.
    • One of the promotional pictures featuring Genie talking to Aladdin led to jokes that Genie was telling Aladdin the story about how his life got flipped, turned upside down...
    • Will Smith as the blue Genie got made fun of and rounds on Twitter in no time. One famous meme is calling the Genie Will Smith's Stand.
    • People joked about the Magic Carpet being the best part of the Special Look trailer despite it being a merely background character.
    • The full trailer's focus on the Genie helping Aladdin romance Jasmine led to a lot of jokes that the movie is actually a remake of Hitch.
    • The much slower tempo of "Prince Ali" has led to lots of people on YouTube telling others to play the song at 1.25x speed to get a tempo closer to the original.
  • Nightmare Fuel: At one point in the official trailer, we see Aladdin and Abu running on a rooftop, and out of nowhere, a massive, monstrous version of Iago bursts out behind them with a screech. Just what the heck happened there!?
  • Older Than They Think:
    • The 2019 Aladdin is directed by Guy Ritchie, a British film-maker, and has attracted controversy for its casting of non-Arabic actors and an African-American as Arabic characters as well as its removal of animal companions. Once Upon a Time also presented Agrabah as a melting pot of various Middle-Eastern and Asian cultures. For example Jafar was first played by Naveen Andrews - who is Indian - and later replaced by Israeli actor Oded Fehr. Aladdin was played by an actor with Turkish ancestry, and Jasmine by an Indian-Chinese actress. Other cast members were of Indian ancestry or else Mexican in the case of Peter Gadiot.
    • The first preview of Will Smith's Genie in his human form received a large amount of criticism for not being an animated figure despite the fact that every major live action adaptation of Aladdin before this film, namely the Broadway and Disneyland stage show versions, featured a human Genie.
    • In the trailer, Jafar can been seen recruiting Aladdin as himself instead of disguised as an old man. Anyone who saw the stage musical will recognise this.
  • Tainted by the Preview: The Special Look trailer has been very negatively received across the board, racking up 80 thousand dislikes within a day after being released. Generally, it has been criticized for being poorly put together with some calling it a fake trailer but the specific points of contention were:
    • The reveal of Genie in blue was met with cries of "kill it with fire!!" from a number of people. Before the trailer's release, he was shown in human form which drew derision across social media with doing comparisons to Kazaam and Goro, if not just editing Smith to have blue skin. Once his blue form was revealed, it was nothing like people expected because of the disproportionate CGI body with Will Smith's head on top of it.
    • Jafar, due to his unexpectedly high-pitched voice. Even those who were willing to overlook his Age Lift or costume design, couldn't take him seriously because of the way he sounds more like a pretentious aesthete than a sinister arch-villain.
    • When the first teaser for Frozen II was released just a few days later, quite a few people suspected Disney had been planning to hold off on it a bit longer with the film still being almost a year away, but bumped it up to change the narrative of what people were talking about regarding the company.
    • The "Prince Ali" number hasn't gone over well with audiences. The animated version (especially the Genie's moments) was known for being very frenetic, which the live-action version makes little effort to capture. Will Smith's singing voice sounds monotone, the performers and attendants aren't given enough focus and the camera angles are fairly generic. It's also done at a much slower tempo (leading to many quips of "play it at 1.25x playback speednote  to get the proper tempo"). Even if you excuse the lack of special effects as being the result of this being a work in progress, it doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in the final product.
  • Tough Act to Follow:
    • Many critical reviews have compared the film unfavorably to the original animated film, which was one of the best-received entries in the Disney Animated Canon. This is even acknowledged in Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus for the film:
      Aladdin retells its classic source material's story with sufficient spectacle and skill, even if it never approaches the dazzling splendor of the animated original.
    • Will Smith has big shoes to fill in as the Genie. Since the Genie is one of the most popular Disney characters thanks to Robin William's performance, which became a high benchmark. Then's there are additional comparisons to James Iglehart's Tony Award-winning portrayal of the Genie in Broadway adaptations. Fortunately, Smith's performance was widely praised since he and the crew decided to portray the Genie as a laid-back wisecracking coach and avoid imitating the rapid-fire comedic routines of Williams or the exuberant Big Fun persona of Iglehart.
  • Uncanny Valley: Will Smith as the Genie in blue form looks very disconcerting to some people due to looking like a CGI creature with his face slapped on it. Even more so in motion. Much of the off-putting effect stems from director Guy Ritchie wanting the genie to have a photorealistic "70s dad bod" that doesn't match up with Will Smith's head, as while Smith is very fit and muscular, he doesn't have the brawny body, thick neck and large chin that the Genie has always been depicted with.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: While Jafar is just as bad as he was in the 1992 film (if less elegant and witty) this film still makes it clear that he crawled his way up from the humblest of backgrounds, a street thief, through sheer intellect, ruthlessness and drive and that some of his frustrations over his position are warranted even if that doesn't excuse his villainy.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Princess Jasmine is definitely a heroic character but she has no problem becoming an absolute monarch and throughout the film sees ruling Agrabah as simply her birthright than she never has to justify and is never asked to justify, other than her gender breaking with tradition (which makes a jarring contrast with Jafar's bitterness over his lowly origins as noted above.) If anything this Jasmine's royal nature is amplified compared to her animated counterpart as frequent references are made to her late mother, herself a Queen. The film even unintentionally makes Jasmine look like a hypocrite when she objects to Prince Sanders as a foreigner who would rule over Agrabah when Jasmine's own mother (whom she practically worshipped) was a foreign born princess.
  • Win Back the Crowd: After both the Teaser and the Special Look failed to wow audiences, especially with the terrible Genie, the first official Trailer won back many naysayers, especially towards Will Smith, who now think he's at least adequate to succeed Robin Williams.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • Casting the half-white, half Indian (and completely non-Arabic) Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine has attracted controversy, with many criticizing it as being racist and colorist, given that Jasmine is obviously darker-skinned in the original.
    • Will Smith as well. Not so much for the race issue (though some would've preferred an Arabian actor over an African-American to portray a creature of Arabic mythology), but because he seems unusual and too ill-suited/strange a choice to play the Genie. While Smith has starred in plenty of comedies, he's not really that similar to Robin Williams' characters, who were the inspiration for most of Genie's quips. Smith's musical talent may help out though, given his singing career before going into acting. Also, since Williams' performance would be a Tough Act to Follow for anybody, casting someone who has a distinctly different yet still-outsized, charismatic persona and can approach the character from a fresh direction might be the best choice under the circumstances to downplay comparisons. It then didn't help when the preview pics came out showing a human Genie (simply Smith bald and with a ponytail) that he himself had to assure would only briefly look that way, but otherwise primarily be blue and CGI.
    • Marwan Kenzari as Jafar. While most fans are willing to accept the Age Lift, some feel that his performance lacks the charisma and menace that the original Jafar had on display, and that his voice sounds rather jarringly high-pitched and almost effeminate in contrast to Jonathan Freeman's deep and powerful voice from the original.
    • Alan Tyudk as Iago. In contrast to the original, this version of the character barely speaks and when he does, it’s often just stock phrases or stating the obvious, lacking the comical bad temper Gilbert Gottfried gave him that made the character so memorable.
    • On the directing side, Guy Ritchie seems like a very odd choice to direct an Aladdin movie. Putting aside the divisive reception to his films, many feel that Ritchie's style (i.e. reliance on practical effects and rapid-cutting scenes) just wouldn't mesh with a grandiose and CGI-heavy fantasy epic.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: One thing that is agreeable is that the Magic Carpet looks dandy in live-action.
    • The Friend Like Me sequence is as close as we've ever gotten to a Disney song sequence come to life.

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