Aladdin Shows Audiences ‘A Whole New World’ with the Remake


Photo Courtesy of IMDb

According to The New York Times, Mena Massoud hadn’t watched the original “Aladdin” cartoon until after he was casted as Aladdin himself. He only knew of the story because it was a well-known Egyptian folktale.

Ava Caleca and Giselle Villegas

The ‘Aladdin’ live-action casting Will Smith, Naomi Scott and Mena Massoud, has made over $105 million in the box office opening weekend, according to Forbes. Premiering May 24th, the re-adapted version of the Disney classic features many of the original songs such as “A Whole New World,” “Arabian Nights” and “Friend Like Me” with new additions such as “Speechless.”

Alan Menken produced the original score for the music, while also being best known for his scores of the original ‘Aladdin,’ ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘The Little Mermaid.’ He has also won two Academy awards, along with creating Broadway scores, according to the Alan Menken biography booklet.

While Alan Menken created many of the popular Aladdin songs that have been well-known for years by fans, there is a new stylistic choice in the new songs that sets the movie apart from the original. The music in the film can be seen as more triumphant than the traditional soundtrack, adding hip-hop along with an elaborate ensemble of instruments.

From the elaborate set design to the colorful costumes, ‘Aladdin’ showcases the 1992 story with a modern twist. Will Smith, portraying the Genie, adds a hip-hop rendition and style to many of the songs. In addition, Naomi Scott brings a strong feminist side to the character of Jasmine, which is especially seen during the new song “Speechless.” In this part of the film, Jasmine begins to stand up for her family and friends who are acquiring cruel punishments from Jafar while singing about how she will not be silenced.

Mena Massoud’s character, Aladdin, adds comedy to the story along with his loyal sidekick, Abu, who maintains his character as the witty monkey fans know from the 1992 Aladdin. However, Marwan Kenzari disappoints fans due to the lack of characteristics from Jafar such as voice and wickedness; Jafar is originally known as the twisted and dark antagonist, whereas in the movie, he doesn’t have a deep voice, but is rather bubbly.

The film begins with Genie telling the story of Aladdin to younger children, and fans are left on a cliffhanger throughout the film on the Genie’s storyline. Audience members are also introduced to additional love stories other than Jasmine and Aladdin’s that have not been explored in the previous movie.

Overall, the film highlights the importance of promise, honesty and power. Similar to the original, Aladdin has to endure many obstacles to live happily ever after with the Princess, while also learning more about himself in the process.

Younger viewers of the film may also enjoy the fresh interpretation compared to the original. Audience members can find this retold tale inspiring and relatable to their own lives, while also experiencing the fantasy and glamour portrayed through the characters and score.