The Genie is officially out of the lamp, and he looks a lot like a certain Fresh Prince… He’s definitely a long way from West Philly now.
Disney may have had a great showing with their movie trailers during the SUPER BOWL, but the debut of a new trailer for ALADDIN is making many people think that maybe they just don’t understand what people want from their properties.
When the animated feature ALADDIN was released in 1992, it was part of a renaissance of movies from Walt Disney Animation Studios that kicked off with THE LITTLE MERMAID in 1989. With one of Disney’s patented stellar soundtracks and a fun story, ALADDIN has become a favorite for many. The movie was followed by a few direct-to-video sequels and a Broadway show based on the story recently opened to good reviews.
The main attraction of the movie, for many, was Robin Williams’ performance as Genie. The comedian’s sometimes-manic delivery made the character a classic. When Disney announced a live action version of the story – following the successes of other live action adaptations like THE JUNGLE BOOK, BEAUTY & THE BEAST and THE LION KING (the latter two having also been adapted into stage shows) – a big question was who could possibly match Williams’ take on Genie, since the actor died in 2014.
Welcome to Miami, Aladdin.
I don’t think this is a particularly bad choice. Will Smith has his own particular brand of delivery. While he’s done a lot of action and dramatic roles since the late 1990s, we know he can bring the funny, especially if he can channel the energy he brought to the MEN IN BLACK movies and his sitcom THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL AIR. But it will certainly be a little bit jarring for anyone who grew up with Robin Williams in the role. Look at how poorly-received the first Aladdin sequel was when they cast someone else as Genie.