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Genie’s lamp is impossible to fill

The live-action “Aladdin” will be released on May 24, and it seems that people are not as excited for it compared to other Disney movies. A lot of the controversy around the film has centered around Will Smith being cast as Genie. It is not fair to judge how good the casting is and to write the movie off before it has been released though.  

Live-action remakes are also controversial because some argue that the extensive use of CGI makes it an animated movie, and movies generally shouldn’t be redone. However, this movie was a childhood favorite of many, and this remake will expose a whole new generation to a classic tale.

Genie is an interesting character in “Aladdin (1992)” and pivotal to the overall story. Robin Williams made the role truly iconic with his portrayal. That simple fact is why a lot of people are having a hard time accepting Smith as Genie because it seems wrong to recast Genie following Williams’s death. I don’t think this is the correct approach for fans of Robin Williams to take though. Williams was known for trying to put good into the world. He would have wanted people to at least give the new adaptation a chance because there will likely be people who enjoy it. It still is a kid’s movie and this is a new generation that probably has not seen the original.

The controversy about Genie is with adults and not children because they know to just enjoy things at face value.

A remake was going to happen eventually because it happens with every extremely popular film. It has been 27 years since the original as well, enough time has passed. Genie is essential to the overall story and the casting of Smith seems to be a good fit. Smith has experience, is funny, and can make his own spin of what Genie should be like. Disney lovers should at least give the film a chance before giving up hope of it being good.

“Beauty and the Beast (2017)” suffered some of the same hesitancy because it was a remake and so many people loved the original. I love both of the “Beauty and the Beast” movies, but for different things. It is okay to like multiple versions of the same film for different reasons.

Disney’s live-action remakes have been visually stunning even if the stories have not been exactly the same as the originals they were based on. The stories that have changed are not bad either. “Maleficent” was different than the original “Sleeping Beauty”, but it was still a good movie. The new Aladdin may have a slightly different story than the original, but that won’t ruin it anyways. The original Aladdin film was an adaptation of a tale from “The Book of One Thousand and One Nights” as well so the new film shouldn’t even be judged for similarity compared to the 1992 film.

Disney has also faced scrutiny for referring to these new movies as “live-action” because CGI is used so heavily. People argue that it is not live-action if it is animated by graphic designer off set. It is a common point, but it doesn’t matter what the movies are called because almost every movie released today has some aspect of CGI in it. CGI has become so popular that it is almost redundant to use it as an argument when discussing the live-action remakes. The development of film has changed what truly classifies as animated, and “Aladdin (2019)” is a live-action film.

The new “Aladdin” should not fail months before its release because no one really knows what it is like yet. It deserves to have a chance to be released and fairly judged by its entirety rather than the short clips released for the trailer.

About Amanda Tackett

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