The Whole New World of Aladdin

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The Whole New World of Aladdin

Alora Foote, Contributor

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On May 24, 2019, the live action release of the age old story of Aladdin was released to, hopefully, everybody’s expectations. The original Aladdin, released in 1992, became a classic disney movie along with Movies like Cinderella (1950), Alice in Wonderland (1951), and the original Disney classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs released in 1937. However, with the most recent version of the remarkable classic has stirred up not only lots of memories, but also a little cultural controversy.

Though some of the movie itself was filmed in a studio, located in the United Kingdom, a lot of the movie was filmed in the Wadi Rum desert, which is in the middle-eastern country Jordan. So, yes, it is possible to visit the exotic desert of Agrabah, or at least the place which inspired the colorful festivals and markets. The desert itself already looks like something out of a dramatic fantasy with the sand dunes and awe-inspiring rocky caverns and canyons, which has been attractive to multiple Hollywood movies. The place of filming was revealed by Mena Massoud, who stars as Aladdin, who confirmed in a picture of himself onset during the filming.

Disney has begun on the quest in remaking their original classics into expressive live-actions. However, not everyone is super happy about every film. Since the remakes are based on the original movies, directors don’t want to stray from the old storyline. Whereas this is kind of the goal of remaking the classics, viewers wanted changes in the storyline and original factors. The directors, however, it is not in their power to make major decisions and can only throw in unique factors like, for example, instead of Aladdin becoming the sultan, Jasmine assumes the title, which was not a common thought in 1992. However, distinguishes between the 1992 film and the 2019 film were not the only point of controversy.

Even in the original films, Arab culture was, in some instances, being overlooked or changed. The live action remake was able to avoid some of the backlash that came with filming another cultures traditions and customs. Naturally, people can poke holes in the films fabrics and point out unintentional racist elements that could be harmful in society’s eyes. ‘Although the original movie was a critically acclaimed masterpiece, it was also dripping in Orientalism and harmful racist depictions of Arab culture” (Vox). This clash in culture was bound to happen when an American company makes a story on legends who’s origin isn’t entirely known, with only whispers of where it originates from. Along with live-action controversy and cultural differences, critics are cut almost in half on their opinions on the cast. Some sources claim that Aladdin is an embarrassment for not only Disney as a whole, but to Will Smith (Genie) and Guy Ritchie, who directed the film. “An embarrassment for Disney, Will Smith and Guy Ritchie” (The Know).

As logic would have it, critics are adults. Aladdin was written and produced for Disney as a children’s movie. If the kids enjoy it, shouldn’t the adults enjoy seeing their memories come to life on the big screen?

https://www.mirror.co.uk/travel/asia-middle-east/aladdin-filming-locations-revealed-disneys-16173545

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6139732/

http://heknow.denverpost.com/2019/05/23/aladdin-disney-review-will-smith/215716/

https://www.insider.com/aladdin-live-action-review-2019-5

https://www.vox.com/2019/5/24/18635896/disney-live-action-aladdin-controversy-history

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