This is a good week for Disney’s Aladdin fans! The live-action version has received its 4K UHD and Blu-ray release, while the classic 1992 animated version has joined the Walt Disney Signature Collection. Of course, both home releases feature extra content for everyone to enjoy.
I was provided free copies of the live-action and animated Aladdin home releases by Disney Home Entertainment for review. The opinions are my own.
I’m going to begin by talking about the animated Aladdin movie, because we all know it’s the best one. The classic has finally been added to the Walt Disney Signature Collection, along with The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, and more.
It’s definitely one of my favorite Disney movies. My interest in it, growing up, led me to watch the sequels as well as the highly enjoyable animated series. I liked how, even after Aladdin and Jasmine got together, everyone worked well as a team in the animated series and Jasmine was definitely not a damsel in distress.
The current home release offers the animated feature in 4K picture presentation (for those who have the system to run such a format). If there’s someone in your family who hasn’t seen the animated Aladdin, I recommend you rectify that right away. It’s a treat to watch such a classic on Blu-ray. The colors pop, especially during the Cave of Wonders sequence.
There are also a lot of extra features that make the Signature Collection edition worth the purchase.
Bonus Features on Blu-ray & Digital:
- New Bonus
- Sing-Along With The Movie – Sing along to your favorite tunes as you watch the film. With magical on-screen lyrics.
- Aladdin on Aladdin – Join the speaking voice of Aladdin, Scott Weinger, as he reflects on almost 30 years of being Aladdin.
- “Let’s Not Be Too Hasty”: The Voices of “Aladdin” – Take your seat in the recording booth and watch as the voice actors of “Aladdin” work their microphone magic.
- Alternate Endings – Enter the realm of “what if” and see just how differently the movie could have ended.
- Digital Exclusive
- Drawing Genie – Join prolific animator Eric Goldberg as he draws and reminisces about the Genie.
- Classic Bonus – Revisit over 40 exciting bonus features from previous releases including:
- The Genie Outtakes
- “Aladdin”: Creating Broadway Magic
- Unboxing “Aladdin”
My favorite was the “Aladdin on Aladdin” feature.
I know what that sounds like! Stop thinking about it! We’re talking about a movie for kids!
“Aladdin on Aladdin” has Scott Weinger reminiscing about his role as the voice of the animated Prince Ali. It’s amazing to see Weinger share his memories and even getting to talk to fellow cast members and his family.
Again, go pick up the latest animated Aladdin release right now.
Now, we’ve reached the part where I talk about the live-action Aladdin movie being currently available on home release.
I’ve already written about my numerous issues with this live-action remake from Disney, and I don’t feel like repeating myself.
So, I’m going to take a more non-personal route and try and cover the live-action Aladdin home release in an objective manner.
Directed by Guy Ritchie, the movie doesn’t capture the appeal of the animated classic. However, that doesn’t mean it’s incapable of bringing something to the table. I liked Mena Massoud as the titular character. Will Smith also did what he could to make Genie his own. The story gave Naomi Scott’s Jasmine more to do (including a weird arc involving her mother) which I was meh about. She’s very good in the role, though.
Marwan Kenzari as Jafar was definitely the weakest link. He brought nothing to the role. There wasn’t a single moment where I found him intimidating.
The overall look is very colorful, and everything is visually pleasing to look at in the Blu-ray presentation. From the facial expressions to the numerous scenes during nighttime, everything appears clear and crisp.
But while Agrabah appears majestic during the overhead or aerial shots (the sunlit desert looks wonderful, too), things feel small when a scene focuses on a single location. The set designs have a ‘stage-play-production’ feel to them, which many of us thought was going to be the case the moment we viewed the trailer. The CG during the magical carpets flights isn’t the best either.
Anyway, the fact can’t be ignored that the live-action Aladdin was well-received. Released on May 24, 2019, in the US, it has gone on to gross more than $1 billion at the global box office. That’s a commendable feat, especially due to it featuring a cast of color as the leads.
The Blu-ray and Digital Bonus include:
- Aladdin’s Video Journal: A New Fantastic View Point – Watch behind-the-scenes moments captured by Mena Massoud in this fun, fast-paced look at his personal journey.
- Deleted Song: Desert Moon – Experience a moving duet performed by Jasmine and Aladdin, fully shot and edited, with an introduction by Alan Menken.
- Guy Ritchie: A Cinematic Genie – Discover why director Guy Ritchie was the perfect filmmaker to tackle this exhilarating reimagining of a beloved classic.
- A Friend Like Genie – Discover how Will Smith brings talent, experience and his own personal magic to the iconic role of Genie.
- Deleted Scenes
- Falling Petals Into OJ
- Jafar’s Magic Orrery
- Anders’ Gift
- Wrong Wishes
- Silly Old Fool
- Post Yam Jam Debrief
- Bloopers – Laugh along with the cast and crew in this lighthearted collection of outtakes from the set.
- Music Videos
- “Speechless” – Music video performed by Naomi Scott.
- “A Whole New World” – Music video performed by Zayn and Zhavia Ward.
- “A Whole New World” (“Un Mundo Ideal”) – Music video performed by Zayn and Becky G.
If you want to, feel free to grab a copy of the live-action Aladdin. There’s definitely some interesting extra content for fans who have already watched the feature film in theaters.
Do you think Disney will greenlight a live-action Aladdin sequel?
Feel free to share your thoughts with us.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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