Disney just debuted a more detailed look at the upcoming live-action Aladdin film. Directed by Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes series), the film adapts the 1992 animated film of the same name. John August has co-written the screenplay with Ritchie.
The clip gives what fans wanted — the classic blue Genie, played by Will Smith. But its CGI suggests there is more work to be done. More on that later.
The teaser opens with a stunning shot of a moonlit desert, and we see people mounted on camels trundling across it. The orchestral arrangement of the classic theme music plays in the background. Marwen Kenzari’s villainous Jafar (looking not at all villainous) appears and almost requests Aladdin to hand over the lamp.
Agrabah, the location of the story, is a thing of beauty in the teaser. The city looks crowded, lived-in — in short, like a real city. Some achievement this, making a city’s CGI believable in just a couple of shots. Great work there, Disney. Naomi Scott’s Princess Jasmine appears with her pet tiger Rajah padding behind.
A brief shot shows Aladdin inside the cave. Then the final scene shows him rubbing the lamp and the Genie coming out as a blue tornado, and the look of Smith’s character is disappointing. “You really don’t know who I am?” he asks Aladdin. “Genies, wishes, lamps — none of that ringing a bell?”
The film is still in post-production, so it is almost certain that this is not the final look, but character animation hearkens back to something out of the last decade. Let’s hope it is better in the theatrical cut of the film.
Aladdin releases on May 24, 2019.