Anthony's Film Review
A true Disney classic with great music, feel-good humor, and a wonderful story...
Aladdin, Disney's 1992 feature-length animated film, was a movie that I really did not get a chance to see in theaters. I ended up renting it when it was released on video. Until that point, there were reasons to feel bad about missing it the first time. For one thing, I have heard some of the film's most memorable songs elsewhere and knew I would be missing out on a great movie. I also heard from critics and from others who have seen it already that the film was spectacular. Despite all of this, the viewing experience from video was still an exciting one. I'm glad to have finally seen it.
The film follows the Arabian legend of Aladdin, a young boy who comes into possession of a lamp containing a genie. Before we get to that, here's the setup. Aladdin lives as a thief in the city of Agrabah, stealing food and living in a shelter where he could view the city's palace. That is where his dreams lie. He longs for a life of wealth and riches without worry about survival. Entering the picture is the beautiful Princess Jasmine, who tires of the structure that royalty imposes on her. When she meets this young thief who saves her from her own arrest, there is almost a hint of envy for what the other has.
The character of Aladdin is voiced well by Scott Weinger, best known for a recurring character on the TV show Full House. Making the film funnier and even downright hilarious is Robin Williams as the voice of Genie. To me, this is one of his best comic roles ever. Whether the Genie is bored and trying to put on a show or in a treacherous situation, he cannot help but do something funny. Wht'a really amazing is how the character totally matches the actor's spontaneous style of humor. The Genie makes you laugh because he could literally change into any form at any time, which is why the humor works. Yes, I really love Robin Williams in this movie, but let's not forget that the other voice actors deserve just as much credit, including Gilbert Gottfried as Jafar's loudmouth parrot Iago.
Another reason this film works is the action and excitement, starting when Aladdin is told about a magic lamp with a genie that could give him three wishes. The Cave of Wonders is quite a mysterious place, and the shots of Aladdin fleeing the collapsing cave on a magic carpet are very breathtaking. I won't even tell you what happens next. Find out for yourself.
Last, but not least, the music is a key element here. The duet between Aladdin and Princess Jasmine featuring the song "A Whole New World" is not just a great song, but one of the best songs ever to be written for a film. I also enjoyed "Prince Ali" during the parade scene and "A Friend Like Me" with the Genie in the Cave of Wonders. Every song is a feel-good song. The soundtrack as a whole is very memorable because of this.
Disney's Aladdin has all of the elements of the Disney animation formula: story, characters, humor, and music. In a list of the top animated Disney films, this one will certainly be in it.
For more information about Aladdin, visit the Internet Movie Database.
In addition, check out my reviews of Aladdin in The Return of Jafar and Aladdin and the King of Thieves.