If you’re a child of the 90s you get it. You’re one part thrilled and one part terrified of how Disney did with another live adaptation edition of our childhood favorites.
They’re serving them up like hot cakes and I can’t eat them all fast enough. Actually we nearly missed Dumbo but we saw that last weekend (super late review of that coming soon cause I know you still haven’t seen that one yet). Anyway, back to Aladdin.
Our family re-watched the animated version for movie night last week and I brought my two oldest kids to screen the new one with me. We hadn’t watched a full trailer and went in with no expectations (I’ve learned my lesson). We came out with… Well, here’s our spoiler-free review including their kids movie review. Also, now that this is out on DVD and Disney+, here’s a fun Jasmine-inspired movie night recipe. Some easy Aladdin party themed donuts.
Aladdin movie review
At the very beginning I was holding my breath and cringing through some of the opening. I literally had the thought “why did Disney go low budget on this?!” But the story brought me in and by the time we were meeting the Genie my mind had been changed completely.
Will Smith can’t replace Robin Williams but he didn’t try to. He added his own swagger to the Genie and in my opinion, he killed it.
Director Guy Ritchie, took a story we know and love (I mean raise your hands if you know all of the lines to the animated version) and flipped it around, changed it up and added so many new things while keeping the same spirit we fell in love with. I honestly think they did this better than many of the other live adaptations we’ve seen, including Beauty and the Beast.
Aladdin had me laughing, cheering and crying tears of joy. And the one thing I went into this movie hoping and wishing for: Jasmine getting her own song. I got! And it wound up being my kids’ favorite part of the movie. Yes, soundtrack, we will own you.
A common theme I’m noticing in all of these Disney refreshes is the desire to frame our beloved princesses in a better light. Giving them more of a voice and personality. The same is true in this movie. Jasmine embodies more of the “girl power” we want our girls to look up to, without taking over the movie.
I could dive in more, but I won’t because I want you to enjoy it as much as I did, and be surprised.
Oh and I lied, aside from Jasmine getting a song the other thing I really wanted was some Bollywood-style dancing and did they deliver? YES. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.
Is Aladdin scary for young kids?
Funny enough, my only gripe throughout the movie was feeling as though Jafar wasn’t really scary. But I think it makes this more realistic-looking version more appealing for families with young kids. As the movie began my 6-year-old son asked me “is this going to be really scary?”. But throughout the movie he never got frightened.
If you’ve seen the original you probably remember the giant cobra at the end. My son was really looking forward to that part, but I think he was also a little worried for it. That wound up being another part of the story that got switched up a bit but my son enjoyed the slightly less frightening alternative.
Further down below in Big T’s review you’ll get to see what he found scary but not surprising. Thankfully there are no foul words
Some parts were a little slow for him. And this version may have been a little more difficult for him to follow. There were a few times before Aladdin met the Genie that he asked me if the movie was almost over. And I was like no baby, we’re just getting started. But by the time Will Smith was singing, the rest kept his attention.
LIVE ADAPTATION VS ANIMATED VERSION
I think they did a great job keeping the main points across without feeling the need to rework the movie line by line. I was pleasantly surprised with how it came together. Some of our favorites lines were still there. The infamous “do you trust me” and we got several new gems.
I love how Aladdin and Jasmine got to know each other in the live adaptation better. And how we got some answers to their backstories. Overall there was just so much more meat to it.
It was as though I knew what to expect but still didn’t know what was going to happen and was so pleasantly surprised throughout the film.
I am a little embarrassed to say this but this is the first time I’m grappling with which version of the movie I liked more. Usually I leave feeling the animated movies are still far superior but Aladdin 2019 wiggled it way into my heart.
a note about COSTUMES
I need to take a moment to just give a shout out to the costume department. If they don’t win all the awards I will be so surprised. Jasmine’s wardrobe was absolutely breathtaking. I love that the signature blue made an appearance, but wasn’t all she wore. Each and every one of her dresses blew me away.
Alright so here’s what the kids thought.
ALADDIN KIDS movie REVIEW
Big T’s 6-year-old Aladdin review
Q: What did you think of the movie?
A: Good. Because the movie was good
Q: What was your favorite part?
A: When bad guys were chasing Aladdin.
Q: Do you think your friends would like the movie?
A: I don’t know
Q: Who was your favorite character?
A: The girl because her singing was more gooder.
A: Yea, better.
Q: Were any parts too scary for kids?
A: Not too scary. But it was scary when he pushed him in the water. But that’s what he did in the other one.
Q: Which movie did you like more?
A: Both. But the other one has a giant snake. I want to watch the other one again because there’s a giant snake.
Q: Do you want to go see this one again?
A: Yes. Thursday. Not this Thursday but next Thursday.
Q: If you had three wishes what would you wish for?
A: I would wish that I could be a train conductor. I would wish that I could have a T-Rex.
Q: So it could eat you?
A: A nice T-Rex. And that I could have a nice snake.
Lil’ J’s 8-year-old review
Q: What did you think of the movie?
(There’s a pun here you’ll understand after you’ve seen the movie)
Q: What was your favorite part?
A: When Jasmine was singing.
Q: Did you think it was funny?
A: Yes. It was funny when Aladdin was dancing.
Q: Which version of Aladdin did you like more?
A: This one infinity times more because it has more parts in it and more songs and it’s a new version of Aladdin. It is funny. At the beginning the movie wasn’t that good and at the end it blew me away.
Q: Would you recommend to friends?
A: Yes because I love it, I want to see it again, every day. Best movie ever!
Q: What age do you think this movie good for?
A: 3 to anything. Not too boring for a 3 year old. I think a 1-2 year old wouldn’t understand it but I think a 3 year old may have some questions would be able to figure it out.
(Note from mom… You know your kids best. I’d put this more in the 5 and up range).
Final thoughts from Lil’ J
“I liked Jasmine because she’s sweet with a pinch of spice. She’s no longer going to be silent and she was being a good role model. She’s my new favorite Disney Princess.”
My Final Thoughts
And there you have it friends. An Aladdin kids movie review.
To my fellow 90s children, I say set everything you’re expecting aside and go in with an open mind. Take your kids and have fun. Then come back and let us know what you thought!
Wondering if we have similar taste in movies? Here are some of our other Disney movie reviews:
Are you going to see it this weekend?