I can't believe parents are praising this film.
Oh, boy. Where to begin. Aladdin was by far my FAVORITE Disney movie as a kid-it had positive messages, great cinematography/music, strong character arcs, and, most importantly, 2D ANIMATION, which created an experience that no other film could capture. I'm now 26. This movie was AWFUL. Such a disgrace to Howard Ashman's legacy. Cheap-looking costumes, lifeless camera-work, clunky stunt doubles, and heavily autotuned songs (with the exception of Scott as Jasmine). What breaks my heart is how so many people are praising this film, especially how the character of Jasmine is portrayed as a positive role model. Let me tell you, I am a feminist and I felt her character was very poorly portrayed. Separating this from the original film, there are very little scenes in this movie that SHOW her taking action to change her circumstances. It's fine to change her character arc slightly to have ambitions and want a career (by the way, people, her original ambition in the 1992 version was NOT to have a man, but freedom. She didn't even want the crown! I am so SICK of people bashing Disney's classics about how women were powerless and lovesick without even bothering to understand the context, yet Frozen's Anna, who is even MORE obsessed with boys, is praised), but one little scene at the end where she stands up to her advisor while sitting in the palace pondering about Aladdin the rest of the film is not enough to justify this new arc. In the original, Jasmine shows sprit, courage, and fights back for what she wants. Here, she sings about how "Speechless" she is and just waits around for Aladdin. Beautiful song, but completely out of context here. For such a powerful women, in the beginning we even see her being afraid to jump across the building with the pole saying "oh my gosh I can't do this!!" Where in the original, she does it no problem. Jasmine aside, important scenes are cut and unnecessarily swapped around, such as how Aladdin and Jasmine meet up immediately in the beginning of this film. This ruins their potential chemistry and build-up to their stories. Why cut out the scene with Jasmine and the birdcage, or the scene when Aladdin gets pushed down and laughed at by the townspeople (One Jump Ahead Reprise?) Those scenes showed symbolism, foreshadowing and why their struggles made them so compatible. There's nothing wrong with falling in love and finding your best friend admidst your own respective personal journey, and the original Aladdin portrayed Jasmine and Aladdin as equals. Not so here.
One trend I notice with these live action remakes is that so much dialogue is crammed into each scene (with the addition of unnecessary backstory), to the point where the story TELLS, not SHOWS. The subtlety of the 1992 film where every pause, every movement, the soft romantic music and the beats of the way the camera showed expression on character's faces is replaced with speedy, zippy dialogue (which isn't organic or funny). On another side note, the portrayal of Jafar in this film was terrible. Where was the funny dialogue showing his maniacal tendencies? The scene where he turns into an old man? What about the huge climax where Aladdin fights Jafar and comes to terms with himself? Nope. Couldn't even give us that. And the Genie-don't even get me started on the Genie. His whole arc was changed from being free to see the world and being a kind mentor to Aladdin to pushing Aladdin aside so he could go "party with a women." The core values are still somewhat here, such as being true to yourself, the consequences of dishonesty, and having ambition, but they are watered down with the omission of certain scenes to the point where the story feels so hallow. I'm sorry to say that not even Will Smith, Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott's talents could save this souless cash-grab.
Parents, do yourself a favor and turn on the original. We should not be afraid to show our children fairy tales. Our kids are smart.