The New Princess Jasmine

The internet went a little crazy when Entertainment Weekly released Disney's first promo photos of the fully costumed actors from their upcoming Aladdin remake last week. Many were disappointed with what they saw, which unfortunately tends to be the case for live-action remakes. For instance, Aladdin's signature purple vest was changed to red, making it closer to the Broadway version of the show. He was also given a relatively nice shirt underneath, which is more than a little confusing for those of us who remember how poor he was in the original film. Will Smith as the Genie looked a little too much like a normal human instead of a mystical blue entity, but apparently that's still coming. Princess fans were most excited to see previews of Jasmine's wardrobe. In terms of quantity, the internet did not disappoint. We now have images of three of Jasmine's looks that will be featured in the movie as well as a peek at her new handmaiden.

For me, this regal red gown was far more exciting than the redesign of Princess Jasmine's signature teal pant look. Her gorgeous purple princess dress from the middle of the animated film gets overlooked and forgotten so often that it's practically a crime. While all the other Disney Princesses are featured in their most glamorous ballgowns that they only wore for roughly five minutes of their films, Jasmine usually gets stuck in her casual wear. It looks like Disney decided to step up this time and give us an early opportunity to see Naomi Scott as in all of her royal finery. I think my favorite thing about this dress is the long train that drags gracefully behind her up the stairs. The design of the rectangular train is suspiciously reminiscent of a certain magic carpet. The gold and teal accents along the bodice and skirt of the dress make it look like a gown fit for royalty. The opening in the middle of the skirt also gives it a unique touch.

Of course, there was a great deal more concern about what she would be wearing for the majority of the movie. Disney has gone even further with their modest theme park redesign of Jasmine's outfit by incorporating elements of it into her new look. Just like in the theme parks, her midriff is now covered with some flesh-colored fabric and gold accents. Modesty seems to be an ongoing theme with the costume designs for this film since Aladdin also shows a lot less skin than he did in the animated version or even the Broadway play. I'm pretty indifferent to most of these changes, but there were some things that I really liked about the new version of Jasmine's signature teal ensemble. While I could do with out the stiff metallic cardboard-looking crown on her head, I liked it a lot more when I realized it was the top piece for a long sheer veil that matched her outfit. I personally love sheer fabrics, so having a veil draped over her long black hair that flows behind her when she moves is a beautiful touch. In the above image, we can also see her holding the sheer overlay that goes around her pants, which has a metallic peacock pattern on it reminiscent of the "Peacock Princess" song from the long-forgotten Enchanted Tales short.

Also pictured above is our first look at Dalia, Jasmine's best friend and handmaiden, who is a welcome addition to the cast. Disney Princesses rarely have ladies-in-waiting to express their feelings to, and Jasmine was particularly lonely in the palace with only her pet tiger Rajah to talk to. In the Broadway show, she was given three ladies-in-waiting, so this is actually not a first for her. However, having one instead of three should help with giving her more of an opportunity to bond with Jasmine. She is also a good candidate for Jasmine to sing her new song to. Even though Jasmine was given the wonderful song "To Be Free" for the discontinued Disneyland stage show and the slightly less wonderful song "These Palace Walls" for the Broadway show, she is reported to have a third original Alan Menken song written just for this film. I love how Dalia has a circlet and a veil just like Jasmine. Her red and gold dress is also lovely in a modest sort of way.

Of all the looks I've seen for Jasmine, I think this marketplace disguise from when she meets Aladdin for the first time is my favorite. It's also the only promo image released that shows her smiling. Even though it doesn't exactly scream "peasant," the sheer veil that covers her head and drapes around her shoulder looks both cultural and stylish at the same time. The subtle gold trim around the robes hint at her true identity, and I like how her teal pants are still visible underneath. Aladdin, on the other hand, doesn't look very much like a street rate at all with his striped button-down shirt, thick red vest, and plaid pants. I can understand where many of the complaints about these new images are coming from, but I'm grateful that we got to see so many of the costumes so early before the movie's release. Overall, it looks like what I would expect from a modern live-action remake of Aladdin. At the very least, we can take solace in knowing that Jasmine's costumes are far more regal and fitting of a princess than the hideous yellow dress Emma Watson wore as Belle in the remake of Beauty and the Beast.


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