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Top 10 Things We NEED to See in Aladdin (2019)

VO: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
Is there any way we can get TEN wishes? For this list, we’re taking a look at plot elements and details we’d like to see explored in Disney’s live-action remake of their 1992 animated classic. Our list includes New Characters, More Development for Jasmine, New Takes on Classic Songs, Whole New Songs, A Diverse Cast, and more! Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Things We Need to See in Aladdin (2019).

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Top 10 Things We Need to See in Aladdin (2019)

Is there any way we can get TEN wishes? Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Things We Need to See in Aladdin (2019).

For this list, we’re taking a look at plot elements and details we’d like to see explored in Disney’s live-action remake of their 1992 animated classic.

#10: Moderation in the Editing Room

Director Guy Ritchie has a distinctive style, with quick cuts being among his most notable trademarks. Ritchie’s hyper editing usually fits the tone of his crime comedies, but it can feel out of place in the wrong environment. “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” was criticized by many for its editing, which frequently jumped around without much rhyme or reason. 2019’s “Aladdin” will reportedly take a nonlinear approach, which has us a bit concerned. While a nonlinear format could give this familiar story a fresh perspective, we hope it doesn’t come off as distracting and that Ritchie uses his fast-paced editing tricks in moderation. After all, this isn’t “Snatch” or “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.”

#9: New Characters

This remake will see the return of all the characters we know and love while introducing new ones as well. Billy Magnussen stars as Prince Anders, one of Jasmine’s potential suitors who may serve as a replacement for Prince Achmed. Rajah the tiger was Jasmine’s only friend at the palace in the original film, but the sheltered princess will also be given somebody more vocal to confide in here with the introduction of her handmaiden Dalia, played by Nasim Pedrad. The villainous Jafar is also getting more support, with Hakim the guard upgraded to his right-hand man. Hopefully all of these new characters earn their place in the story, helping to distinguish the remake from its predecessor.

#8: Animal Sidekicks

After the roles of the mice in 2015’s “Cinderella” were downsized, fans feared that “Aladdin” might do the same with its animal characters. It wouldn’t be the first “Aladdin” adaptation to do so: the Broadway version understandably cut Abu and Rajah entirely, and turned Iago into Jafar’s human assistant. Fortunately, it’s been confirmed that all three animal scene-stealers will make appearances in 2019’s live-action film. While we imagine Abu and Rajah will remain silent characters, it’s hard to picture Iago without Gilbert Gottfried’s voice coming out of his beak. Whatever the filmmakers have in store, we’re glad these characters are onboard for this magic carpet ride.

#7: More Development for Jasmine

There have been some truly empowering Disney princesses over the years . . . while others were products of bygone times. Jasmine falls somewhere in the middle. On one hand, she refuses to be married off against her will. On the other however, we never learn what she plans to DO with her freedom after her escape from the palace; and when she returns, she essentially settles back into the pampered princess life. This remake could provide more insight into what Jasmine wants out of life besides the desire to fly free like a bird. In addition to changing the marriage law, maybe she has other aspirations that could make Agrabah a better place.

#6: Shining, Shimmering, Splendid Visuals

Guy Ritchie has made some dazzling-looking movies, with his 2009 interpretation of “Sherlock Holmes” earning an Oscar nomination for its Art Direction. We believe Ritchie can bring a wondrous visual eye to his take on “Aladdin,” but there is one area he needs to put a strong emphasis on: color. While Disney’s recent string of live-action remakes have been generally well-received, one of the most common complaints is that the colors often appear muted in comparison. The original “Aladdin” had colors so vivid that they practically popped out at the audience. If this remake sucks out all the color, much of the magic will be drained too.

#5: A Fix for the Original Film’s Greatest Plot Hole

2017’s “Beauty and the Beast” corrected some of the original film’s biggest headscratchers, like how the Prince’s subject forgot all about him. Likewise, “Aladdin” could patch up its predecessor’s most gaping plot hole. Aladdin uses his first wish to become a prince, but later in the film he’s worried that Jasmine will find out he’s really just a street rat. So, does that mean Aladdin technically still isn’t a prince, even though his wish came true? Genie later tells him that he can make Aladdin a prince “again”, meaning that he was a prince at one point but isn’t anymore… for some reason. It’s all pretty confusing and this new version could do a better job at explaining the logistics.

#4: New Takes on Classic Songs

The original “Aladdin” earned Best Original Song nominations at the Oscars for “Friend Like Me”, and “A Whole New World,” which took home the prize. Alan Menken is returning to compose the musical score for this film, which will reportedly feature new recordings of all the classic tunes. We can definitely imagine rapper Will Smith bringing a fresh voice to numbers like “Prince Ali”. Naomi Scott, who plays Jasmine, also comes from a singing background, having recorded a few singles before hitting it big on the silver screen. Although Mena Massoud described himself as “an actor first,” he’s been training to perfect the singing chops and dance moves required to play Aladdin - keeping one jump ahead.

#3: Whole New Songs

In addition to the classics, this remake will also include new numbers from the songwriting duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who won a Tony for scoring “Dear Evan Hansen” and an Oscar for scribing “City of Stars” from “La La Land.” Their musical contributions to “Aladdin” include a solo for Jasmine and a duet between our leads, as well as a new verse of “Arabian Nights.” Along with these new numbers, we’d love it if this remake made way for the song, “Proud of Your Boy,” which Menken and lyricist Howard Ashman wrote for the 1992 film. This touching tune was ultimately scrapped, but eventually resurfaced in the Broadway adaptation and deserves to be heard far and wide.

#2: A Diverse Cast

During the development stages of this remake, producer Dan Lin asserted that Disney and Ritchie were striving to assemble a diverse cast. This seems to have been realized in the choice of Egyptian-Canadian actor Mena Massoud for the title role, as well the filmmakers’ picks for the Sultan and Jafar. On the other hand, the casting of an Anglo-Indian actress to play Jasmine has proven controversial, and so has the decision to cast a white actor as Prince Anders. Nevertheless, the studio promises that this is “the most diverse cast ever assembled for a Disney live action production” and that “more than 400 of the 500 background performers were Indian, Middle Eastern, African, Mediterranean and Asian.”

#1: A Unique Spin on The Genie

Speaking of skin color, Will Smith has confirmed that his Genie will indeed be blue. Smith has said that his performance is both an homage to Robin Williams but also “musically different”. He believes that it will stand out as unique, because there hasn’t been a lot of hip-hop flavor in Disney history. Based on Smith’s charismatic track record, he certainly has the potential to put an original spin on the Genie, just as James Monroe Iglehart did on Broadway. The film could even reveal more about the Genie’s origins and previous masters. And since this is a Disney film with a hip-hop genie, we think there’s definitely room for a “Kazaam” reference.

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