According to critics, it really is a whole new world for Disney. Despite skepticism that its live-action remake of Aladdin would fall flat of the original cartoon, early reviews on Twitter suggest otherwise, praising the film’s cast and creativity.
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the remake ever since Disney announced that Mena Massoud would play Aladdin and Naomi Scott would play Jasmine, as people questioned whether the duo would be able to do justice to the characters. Things got even more questionable when fans were treated to a sneak peek of Will Smith as the iconic blue genie (originally played by Robin Williams) and were aghast at his very humanized appearance.
However, many critics, having seen early screenings of Aladdin, are now admitting that Smith was one of the best parts of the flick. In the words of Moviefone’s Drew Taylor, anyone who doubted Smith “will be eating their words” after they watch the movie themselves.
Not going to lie, was pretty enchanted by @Disney’s #Aladdin. Not a lot else to say besides how delightful I found the whole thing (@ILMVFX knocked it out of the park) and how everyone doubting Will Smith will be eating their words by the end of next week. 🧞♂️ pic.twitter.com/y0XMNwKbC5
— Drew Taylor (@DrewTailored) May 19, 2019
Alisha Grauso of Screenrant also addressed the skeptics of Massoud and Scott, remarking that the pair’s chemistry was on-point and that they anchored the entire film. (In a follow-up tweet, she even said that “Mena Massoud is *absolutely* gonna be the sexual awakening for a bunch of teens.”)
— Alisha Grauso (@AlishaGrauso) May 19, 2019
A lot of people also loved the movie’s musical numbers, along with the colorful costumes and sets.
Um wow I can’t believe I’m saying this but #Aladdin is fun! Lavish sets and costumes, an incredible Alan Menken score. Naomi Scott is MAGNIFICENT and Will Smith makes The Genie his own. Adds nice depth to the OG story takes some detours & while hit or miss at times is enjoyable. pic.twitter.com/38R7NucB0e
— Griffin Schiller (@griffschiller) May 19, 2019
My expectations were in the gutter, but #Aladdin was so much more fun than it had the right to be. The two leads were great and the visuals were amazing. Much better than Dumbo.
— Joe (@JoePassmore) May 16, 2019
And perhaps the best compliment came from Gizmodo’s Germain Lussier, who claimed that the remake captured the nostalgia of the original 1992 classic, which is exactly what many fans were worried about.
The second #Aladdin started, I began to get choked up. The original is an all-time fave & the remake plays to that nostalgia beautifully. It improves on the original in some ways & is inferior in others but as a long time fan, I truly enjoyed it. It made me feel like a kid again. pic.twitter.com/6VOFGsS001
— Germain Lussier (@GermainLussier) May 19, 2019
However, it wasn’t all positive. Digital Spy hinted that Jafar, played by Marwan Kenzari, may not have lived up to expectations and that the movie as a whole, was a bit of a flop.
#Aladdin Thoughts: A lavish and enjoyable retelling, but not enough of A Whole New World to fully succeed.
Mena Massoud/Naomi Scott are great, while Will Smith brings a fun energy to his take on the Genie, even if the CGI lets him down. The less said about Jafar, the better 😬 pic.twitter.com/LTJfkVZKYn
— Digital Spy (@digitalspy) May 8, 2019
Fans don’t have much longer to form their own opinions of the highly-anticipated film. Aladdin will be released in theaters nationwide this Friday, May 24.