Disney and live-action remakes are beginning to become synonymous. In 2019 alone they are planning to a live-action remake of “Dumbo,” “Lion King” and “Aladdin” — arguably the most controversial of the three.
While many Disney fans are skeptical about the “Aladdin” remake for various reasons, I trust Disney to successfully execute the film and to hold up the integrity of the original 1992 animated version.
“Aladdin” was a clear candidate for the next Disney live-action remake. The original 1992 version was a staple of the Disney Renaissance period, and helped pull the Walt Disney company away from the financial and commercial struggles they had in the 1980s.
However, fans, like myself, still had many questions about the flick: Will it include a racially appropriate cast? How much CGI will be used? And of course, who can live up to Robin Williams’ unforgettable performance as Genie in the original movie?
Oddly enough, the choice to have Will Smith portray Genie wasn’t met with much backlash in the Disney community, and rightly so. Not a single actor would be able to exactly replicate Robin Williams’ Genie, but his performance should not be replicated.
We need a movie with improved characters that feels new, although it is branded as a remake. Will Smith has the charisma and individuality not only to live up to Robin Williams’ Genie, but to make the role his own.
The controversy comes not with the actor, but how Genie will be portrayed on screen. When the photos showing the at the film surfaced thought an Entertainment weekly exclusive, many fans were confused by the Genie’s rather normal, human-like appearance.
“And yes, I’m gonna be BLUE!” Will Smith said in a December 2018 Instagram post sharing the Entertainment Weekly cover with the “Aladdin” First Look. “This is how the Genie is in human/ disguise form. My character will be CGI most of the movie.”
Disney is no stranger to CGI, utilizing it heavily in both the “Jungle Book” remake and upcoming “Lion King” remake. However, even I was skeptical on how Will Smith would look with CGI effects and blue skin.
It would be incorrect to say I am not at all skeptical about the film. Genie is a hugely iconic and beloved character and because of this, the perfect live action genie does not exist. Everyone has their own opinion to how he should look, so it makes it impossible for Disney to create the perfect live action version of him.
We should know Disney well enough by now to know they are capable of producing great and successful live-action remakes. Just look at the “Jungle Book” (2016) or “Alice in Wonderland” (2010).
Disney has continually lived up to the high expectations set for it during the Disney revival era (all Disney films released after 2010).
Since 2010, Disney has made a long string of box office successes from “Frozen,” to their additions to “Star Wars” franchise. A remake of a beloved Disney classic is not where Disney will chose to cut corners. This movie is so special to so many fans, it would be a huge risk to not put to make this movie as great as possible.
I believe that Disney will live up to the expectations of Disney fans everywhere.
Makayla Grijalva is the multimedia editor for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @MakaylaEliboria.