Aladdin is back, but is it better than ever?

A classic tale of a “street rat,” a princess and forbidden love, Disney first shared the story of Aladdin in 1992. Living in Agrabah, Aladdin falls in love with Princess Jasmine, but there’s a twist. A genie grants Aladdin three wishes to win his happily ever after with Jasmine. As the entire theater and I sat patiently waiting to see some of our favorite Disney scenes come alive, we held our breaths waiting to hear “Arabian Nights” start off the movie once more on the big screen. As a long time Disney fan and princess fanatic, it’s a big deal to see how this production compares to the original masterpiece, therefore making me a harsh critic.

While it may be difficult to recreate and modernize a film at the same time, I thought that the attempts at modernization were disappointing. Throughout the movie I became continually disheartened when each of the songs was interrupted by beatboxing. Right when you think you are about to sing along to your favorite lyrics, BOOM… Princess Jasmine is dropping a beat. Although Will Smith did shine as the Genie, it definitely does not mean incorporate rap into every scene. Seeing this in the movie was frustrating because it made the original energy disappear.

Still, praise is needed where praise is due. The makeup, set and costume design were incredible. Each of these aspects recreated the original in all of its glory while also staying mindful of Arabian culture. In my opinion, getting to see the characters and setting come alive was the absolute best part of the live action film. Turning more toward the positive changes that were made in this remake, the audience is given a furthered development of the character, Princess Jasmine. In the live action film, Jasmine is a bad*** princess who demands that she doesn’t need a husband to rule her city. She is on a mission to become the Sultan and refuses to be in a marriage with someone she doesn’t love. Jasmine uses her strengths and training as a princess to help save everyone instead of waiting around for a prince to save her. Jasmine shows the audience that women can hold a powerful position while also being in a loving relationship, defeating the stereotype that women have to choose. She sets goals for her future and strives for more than what is planned for her–this concept is one found in many other modern princesses and was an overall good change to the original plot.

When watching this movie, I was hoping to relive the days of my childhood, and in some ways I did, but young me would be disappointed that the magic of Aladdin was not nearly as strong in the live action remake. This movie was average. For my fellow movie-goers, don’t make this a priority to see, for it will be out of theaters soon enough to enjoy in the comfort of your own home. However, if you would like to see a very realistic CGI tiger and mediocre dancing, maybe it’s worth the 15 dollars and 128 minutes of your time.