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Aladdin

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Aladdin Movie Poster Image
Live-action remake has charming stars, intense moments.
  • PG
  • 2019
  • 128 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 50 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 40 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Kids familiar with animated version will learn about adaptations and impact of live-action stories vs. animated ones. They'll also learn about importance of being true to themselves and of women's worth as leaders.

Positive Messages

It's important to look beneath the surface (social class, rank, etc.) to really know who people are inside. Other positive messages include idea that women -- not just men -- can be powerful, inspiring leaders and that true connection and love transcend superficial differences. Promotes value of telling the truth, honor, friendship, thinking of others' needs, and the ability to break free from outdated traditions. Courage and integrity are themes.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Aladdin is a thief but also helps others even less fortunate and cares about people -- and the princess. He's clever, brave, kind. He gets caught up in advantages of wealth and power but ultimately remains true to himself, demonstrating integrity. Jasmine is intelligent, thoughtful, empathetic. She grows to love Aladdin for who he his, not his status. Genie, despite being a slave to his master, is full of good advice for Aladdin. He's helpful, outspoken and teaches Aladdin about friendship. Jafar is power hungry, manipulative but is clearly a villain. The sultan is a little less clueless here than he was in the original.

Violence & Scariness

Cave of Wonders is scary. When Abu breaks the rules, it crumbles and spews lava, nearly killing Aladdin and Abu. Falls and perilous climbs/pursuits/flights. Jafar pushes a man to his death in a dark, creepy dungeon, later uses his powers to disappear people and torture the sultan. He also tries to kill Aladdin by pushing him, bound, into the water (it's a tense scene for a few moments while Aladdin is in danger of drowning). A giant bird chases the heroes, causing damage. Jafar is scary when he wields his full powers. Sultan's armed guards take hold of various people and chase/capture Aladdin. Genie is forced to make even dangerous wishes come true. Arguing. References to both Jasmine's mother and Aladdin's parents being dead. Carpet is damaged during an action scene, which could upset some young kids.

Sexy Stuff

Flirting, hand-holding, dancing, a few kisses. Genie makes a double-meaning comment about "feeling a little thirsty" after staring at Jasmine's handmaiden, Dalia; Dalia calls Genie "incredibly attractive." Possible reference to someone as "hot" (hard to hear). A woman calls Aladdin "tasty" in a song lyric.

Language

Some insults: "street rat," "riffraff," "nothing," "scoundrel," "thief," etc. Misogynist comments like Jasmine should "be seen and not heard," "be silent," "hurry up, woman," etc.

Consumerism

Nothing in film itself, but off camera Disney has endless merchandising tie-ins, from apparel and accessories to toys and games.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Genie has martinis on a couple of occasions.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Aladdin is Disney's live-action adaptation of its own 1992 animated classic. As with previous remakes like Dumbo, Jungle Book, and Beauty and the Beast, there are lots of computer-generated special effects, including the quite scary Cave of Wonders and co-star Will Smith as the huge, comedic, blue-skinned Genie. The effects and the live-action factor make the scenes of peril and danger feel more intense than in the cartoon (although it's pretty tame for a Guy Ritchie-directed movie). There are chases, falls, and near deaths, as well as one confirmed fatality when villain Jafar pushes a man down a dark well. The cave crumbles and spews lava, a giant bird pursues the characters, guards are armed with weapons, and there are references to dead parents. Language is very mild, with just a few insults along the lines of "street rat"; characters flirt and kiss, and Genie tosses back a couple of martinis. Thanks to stars Mena Massoud (Aladdin) and Naomi Scott (Jasmine), this musical remake keeps the spirit of the original and adds a boost of female empowerment to messages about friendship, courage, integrity, and honesty.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byConcernedMother101 May 26, 2019

Very enjoyable FAMILY movie!!!

There was no bad language--THANK YOU Disney! I do not recall any swearing or taking the Lord's name in vain. The Genie (Will Smith) brought lots of smile... Continue reading
Parent Written byKristen S. June 2, 2019

Sorcery was too much!

I'm glad that I read one reviewer who shared my viewpoint. This movie was very well done. I really enjoyed the acting and the songs and the plot was kept s... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old May 14, 2019

Aladdin shines in Hilarious reboot!!!!!!!

Great movie just a little bit of scary scenes and skimpy outfits and disney is in the top 5 of the toy empire.
Kid, 11 years old May 27, 2019

Wonderful Movie

I watched this movie with my cousin and I loved it. Jasmine and Aladdin were played by great actors, along with Will Smith as Genie (a helpful and important cha... Continue reading

What's the story?

ALADDIN is director Guy Ritchie's live-action remake of Disney's classic 1992 animated musical about roguish street urchin Aladdin (Mena Massoud) and his adventures. On the bustling streets of Agrabah, Aladdin meets a beautiful young woman who says she's a royal handmaiden but is really the kingdom's reclusive Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott). Meanwhile, the sultan's power-hungry vizier, Jafar (Marwan Kenzari), seeks someone worthy to enter the fabled Cave of Wonders to extract a special lamp that's hidden there. When Aladdin and his companion monkey, Abu, sneak into the palace grounds to find their new friend, Jafar arrests Aladdin, explains that the "handmaiden" is actually the princess, and commands the younger man to go after the lamp. What Jafar doesn't count on is Aladdin himself unleashing the lamp's power: a big blue genie (Will Smith) who's bound to  grant him three wishes. With Genie's help, Aladdin transforms into "Prince Ali of Ababwa" to woo Princess Jasmine.

Is it any good?

Thanks to its appealing leads and a strong soundtrack, Disney's live-action remake is considerably better than expected, even if Smith's Genie isn't as memorable as Williams' original. With his crooked smile and earnest voice, Massoud is perfectly cast as Aladdin (although it feels like the hair department worked too hard to get that one piece of mussed fringe "just so"). He has a lovely chemistry with Scott's Jasmine, who's much more of a feminist here than in the animated version. Scott also proves to be a fine singer, although Jasmine's new original song "Speechless" feels slightly forced (especially if you know the classic soundtrack by heart). Aladdin and Jasmine's shared songs are well executed, and "A Whole New World" continues to pack an emotional punch. Kenzari is believably ruthless as the ambitious, evil Jafar, and SNL alum Nasim Pedrad is quite good as Dalia, the real -- and amusingly opinionated -- royal handmaiden who catches the genie's eye.

As for Smith, whose role has been widely criticized on social media, let's just say that he's much easier to handle in disguise as Prince Ali's human adviser, rather than as the slightly off-putting blue CGI Genie. And Smith is certainly funny, but his performance of the genie's signature song, "Friend Like Me," can't live up to Williams' kinetic, rapid-fire delivery. The movie's production values are high, but Ritchie isn't in his element directing a musical; he's no Rob Marshall. The action scenes are more his thing, and he even manages to include his special slow-motion shots in a few scenes. Bottom line? Despite the heavy Smith-focused promotion, Aladdin ultimately (and fittingly) belongs to rising stars Massoud and Scott.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Aladdin's potentially scary or violent parts. Is it scarier to see scenes in live action than in animation? Why? How much scary stuff can young kids handle?

  • How do the characters in Aladdin demonstrate courage and integrity? Why are these important character strengths?

  • Discuss the differences between this version and the original. For example, what do you think of Jasmine's new song? Or the lyrical changes to the original songs? Is there anything missing that you'd have liked to see?

  • What mistakes does Aladdin make throughout the story? What are the consequences for those mistakes? Does he redeem himself? Why is it important for kids to see consequences in movies?

  • How does Jasmine compare to other Disney princesses? Do you consider her a role model?

Movie details

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