We saw Aladdin earlier this week in a pre-screening and if you didn’t get a chance to see my no spoiler review, we loved it! The visuals, the music and the cast were all amazing. But you know as a die hard Aladdin fan I spotted the differences VERY easily. And trust, the differences started right at the beginning. However, the differences in the live action film made it the amazing movie that it was. It told the story of Aladdin and still connected with audiences in so many more amazing ways. So what were the differences between the live action and animated aladdin? I’m about to break it down for you.
*** ALL THE SPOILERS BELOW ***
The Very Beginning
The differences in the movie started off from the very beginning. In the animated version of the movie, we meet Aladdin & Abu, we meet Jasmine at the palace, and then they meet each other. The live action version of Aladdin skips the whole Jasmine running away to the marketplace scene. While we know she’s there and being rebellious, we don’t see that interaction between her and the Sultan. Aladdin and Jasmine meet very early on in the live action version and he actually sings “One Jump Ahead” with Jasmine in tow. I’m not gonna lie I was side eyeing the movie at this point. I was worried because the change was there so soon, but it turned out ok.
We already know about the big controversy with Will Smith being the genie, him being blue, not blue and all that jazz. But was he really ALL that different than the animated version of the genie? Absolutely. Smith did not try to replace Robin Williams as the genie AT ALL. He brought his own flair to the character and modernized him in a way that only he could have. Also, in the animated version of Aladdin all genie wanted was to be free to travel the world. In the new version, Genie has the same aspirations but he also wants something else. To be human. This was a spin I did not see coming, and was a little sad about. At the end when genie received his freedom I was sad we didn’t get to see him zooming around freely with magic still intact.
Dalia is Jasmine’s handmaiden but it’s clear throughout the movie that Dalia has a story of her own. Not only is she Jasmine’s handmaiden, but she is also her best friend and serves up some laughs all throughout the movie. It becomes very obvious that Jasmine is not the only one that has been stuck within the confines of the palace walls. And Dalia and Genie end up having a love story of their own, which turns out to be super super cute.
Not gonna lie, I had a problem with Jafar from the trailers. Animated Jafar was old, and creepy and obsessed with marrying Jasmine so he could become the Sultan. He was villainous. I did not feel villain from Navid’s character in the trailers. But I take all that back. Navid’s version of Jafar was smarter in ways that animated Jafar didn’t come close to. He was solely driven by the constant reminder that he came second to the Sultan. He could care less about marrying anyone, he wanted to be number 1 in EVERY room. I’m not gonna lie I was disappointed we didn’t get to see him become a giant snake towards the end, but all in all this version of Jafar was perfect for the movie.
Naomi Scott received so much shade when she was cast as Jasmine. Then once the reviews started rolling in she quickly became one of the most loved characters. Animated Jasmine was the sultans daughter, confined within the palace walls and wanting to marry for love and not politics. Scott’s version of princess Jasmine was so much more. Knowing her father was getting older, Jasmine had her sights set on being the next Sultan of Agrabah, even if a woman had never been Sultan before. She constantly reminded people through her song Speechless that she would not be silenced even when people tried to remind her of “her place”. Her love for Agrabah and it’s people shined throughout the entire movie. I was so happy to see that her character was given different goals, a bigger voice and how she would not conform to the “norms”.
There were so many other differences that made the movie amazing. The Sultan was not the clumsy,bumbly version we loved from the animated version, Agrabah was depicted beautifully, and our favorite animals were all a little bit different than their animated counterparts. There was also a good amount of musical differences because of course,Will Smith. All in all the differences between the live action and the animated Aladdin made me fall in love with the movie all over again. I felt like I was in a whole new world, but in the best way possible. If you went into the movie expecting an exact replica of the animated version, you more than likely came out disappointed. But if you went in with no expectations and positive hopes, I’m sure differences between the live action and animated Aladdin had you smiling and laughing and singing right along with everyone else.
Disney’s live action Aladdin is now playing in theaters everywhere!