Thursday, 12 December 2019

Disney remake aims to grant your wishes

Disney remake aims to grant your wishes

WITH a new version of The Lion King due to be released next month, Disney are busy giving some of their most beloved cartoon classics the live-action treatment.

Aladdin first graced cinema screens back in 1992. Brought to life in beautiful, hand-drawn animation, the Middle Eastern folk tale grossed $500 million worldwide, won Academy Awards and even became a West End musical.

Now Disney have given the classic story a fresh and vibrant makeover, with none other than Will Smith starring as the genie.

For the last three decades, Big Will has built a reputation as one of the the most bankable movie stars in the business.

Now he’s stepping into the shoes of Robin Williams — no mean feat. The late funnyman was iconic as Genie in the 1992 cartoon original, and Smith wanted to pay homage to his predecessor but stamp his own mark too.

“I said to myself, ‘What if I just infuse the character with a timeless version of myself?’” Smith told an interviewer. “And then that opened up for me hip hop, it opened up fashion.”

In fact, the genie’s style is divided into two distinct looks in the new film.

There’s ghostly, bright blue Genie, shooting straight out of the magic lamp, and then there’s his human form, complete with colourful robe and trademark long ponytail.

Both have the wit and boundless energy that make the character so beloved. Comedy is king in Aladdin and Smith provides plenty of laugh-out-loud moments.

Obviously, a genie needs a master to grant wishes to, and in Mena Massoud, Disney have found their Aladdin. Cast just two days before rehearsals began, Massoud confidently embodies the kind-hearted street rat who stumbles upon a chance to realise his deepest desires.

Disney needed an experienced professional to helm the project. In Guy Ritchie, the studio has bagged itself a director with serious action chops.

The film-maker cut his teeth in the late Nineties with sweary dramas like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch.

Since then, Ritchie has continued to develop his knack for a spectacular set-piece with a range of
big-budget blockbusters.

Drenched in colour and loaded with spectacle, the streets of Agrabah have been reimagined for a modern, action-hungry audience.

Ritchie has described his Aladdin as a “slightly broader world, a hybrid world”. For fans of the original, it’s a whole new world to dive into.

Aladdin is previewing from Wednesday (May 22) at the Regal Picturehouse.

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