Dreams and wishes are once again coming true as Disney brings the live-action adaptation of its iconic feature film Aladdin. With the animated classic endearing itself to kids and kids-at-heart back in 1992, the movie’s music and story now comes to life on the big screen for the new generation.
Almost two decades after its first theatrical release, the Disney classic gets a much-awaited reimagining with renowned film director and screenwriter Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes, The Man from U.N.C.L.E) at the helm. He lends his flair for fast-paced and exciting action to tell the adventures of Aladdin and Princess Jasmine in the port city of Agrabah.
Joining him in the production is Emmy Award®-winning set designer Gemma Jackson who took charge of bringing the Sultan’s kingdom to life. Inspired by the different elements and architectures of Middle East and South Asia, Jackson was able to portray the real-life Agrabah as a vibrant city of colors, cultures, and sounds.
The famed Cave of Wonders also comes alive through a combination of practical sets and visual effects work. The interiors, including the gigantic lion’s head at the cave entrance and the rock formations, were all built on sound stages at a production studio in England. The team also made sure to cover everything in shining and shimmering jewels and treasures to recreate the magic of the cave.
As much as the live-action features sets that pay homage to the original, Ritchie also touches on nostalgia as he sticks to the film’s musical roots. Eight-time Academy Award®-winning composer Alan Menken returns to provide Aladdin’s musical tunes, including new recordings of memorable songs “A Whole New World” and “Friend Like Me” with an addition of two new songs.
Bringing to life the well-loved characters from the animation, Will Smith takes on the role of the beloved and larger-than-life blue Genie, Mena Massoud plays the charming street rat Aladdin, Naomi Scott as the beautiful and courageous Princess Jasmine, Marwan Kenzari as the all-powerful sorcerer Jafar, and Navid Negahban as the wise and loving father of the princess. The live-action film will also introduce three new interesting characters played by Nasim Pedrad, Billy Magnussen, and Numan Acar.
The original animated film which starred the late Robin Williams grossed more than US$502 million at the global box office, which led to successful Broadway productions bringing Aladdin’s musical numbers, high-flying magic carpet rides, and classic love story across North America and the globe.
Aladdin is now showing in Philippine cinemas.