Let's Talk About These New Aladdin Clips

By now, I'm sure I've made my feelings about Disney's live-action remakes perfectly clear. In fact, when I saw the first trailer they released for their upcoming live-action Aladdin remake, it only reassured me that this would be a bland shadow of the original 1992 animated classic. However, Disney's clever marketing team has been stealthily dropping TV spots and other campaigns for the film over the past few weeks that make it look like it might be worth watching as its own entity. That's not to say that it won't be comparable at all since it does still feature the same songs, characters, and plot. Yet, there appears to be a bit more creativity in this remake than the watered down Beauty and the Beast clone they released in 2017. Of course, that could also be the result of a very well edited commercial. This "Rags to Wishes" promo shifted many of expectations about the movie I will be seeing on May 24th in a good way.

The promo starts with Aladdin somehow sneaking into the palace and pretending to be a server for Princess Jasmine, who recognizes him instantly. She tells him "you cannot just break into a palace like you own the place," to which he responds "if you don't have anything, you have to act like you own everything" with a charming smirk that's reminiscent of a familiar animated street rat, but unique enough for the actor Mena Massoud to make the role his own. This scene is very interesting for several reasons. First, it's completely different from anything that happened in the animated film where Aladdin never went near the palace until the Genie transformed him into a prince. A common complaint about Disney characters is that they use magic as a crutch to go after what they want. Walt Disney tried to defend this for Cinderella when he stated:

"She believed in dreams, all right, but she also believed in doing something about them. When Prince Charming didn't come along, she went over to the palace and got him.”

Of course, that was over fifty years ago. Today's audiences expect their protagonists be a lot more proactive. Having Aladdin sneak into the palace to see Jasmine and then brush it off like it's no big deal reveals a lot about his personality that we didn't see as much of in the animated film. Plus, it gives us an opportunity to see Naomi Scott's charming smile as Jasmine when she realizes that she is developing feelings for him. This does, however, place a complication on the scene where Aladdin lies to Jasmine after the "A Whole New World" sequence by telling her that he was really a prince the whole time. If that scene still takes place in this version, it would be a lot harder for him to convince her that an actual prince would need to sneak into the palace as a servant when he has every right to visit permissibly as a suitor. Perhaps the live-action movie will use this scene to solve some of the more problematic parts of Aladdin and Jasmine's relationship.

The new TV spots also showcase some more of Jasmine's beautiful new clothes. While it looks like she has a wardrobe containing every color of the rainbow, each of her outfits include a pop of the classic teal that she is known for from the original film. The gold dress she wears in the scene where Aladdin sneaks into the palace has a beautiful lace corset underneath in her signature color. My favorite look for her, as I'm sure many other princess fans will share, is the stunning hot pink and gold jeweled gown that with the long cape that trails down the stairs behind her as she walks. This outfit also includes a reference to her signature look by having the gown split open in the middle to reveal her classic teal pants underneath. I love all of delicate veils she wears with most of her outfits. The sheer fabric that trails over her hair sprinkled glittering accents creates the perfect finishing touch for the look of an Arabian princess.

In addition to the new television spots, Entertainment Weekly recently released some terrific exclusive images from the film. The one I'm most excited about is pictured above and portrays Jasmine in her signature outfit casually lying on a luxurious palace bed alongside her handmaiden, Dalia. Even though Dalia has not been featured in any of the clips we've seen thus far, this image is very telling about what sort of role she plays in Jasmine's life. She is reported to be a handmaiden as opposed to a lady-in-waiting, but the fact that Jasmine is perfectly comfortable with lounging around next to her in bed for a casual princess chat shows that their relationship will be similar to that of Rapunzel and Cassandra from the Tangled series (though hopefully without that awful betrayal we saw a few weeks ago). I love that modern movies are focusing more on women as human beings instead of just love interests, and I'm very eager to see what sort of person Dalia will turn out to be.

The upcoming Aladdin movie is looking better and better as Disney teases us with more hints of what to expect from it. I would love to see it stand as a separate entity from the animation so we can have a new adaptation of the story from a fresh perspective. If nothing else, all of Jasmine's costumes are incredibly intricate and like nothing I've ever seen before in a princess movie. I'm eager to get to know Dalia and to learn how Jasmine's relationship with Aladdin will change after seeing him sneak into the palace for her instead of just barging in as a prince via a magical parade. Even Will Smith is growing on me as the Genie. The Aladdin remake will be released in theaters on May 24th, so we won't have to wait much longer to see how these new clips will play into it.


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