Bleats

Aladdin Is The Latest Disney Live-Action Movie To Rewrite Women's Roles

Jasmine's been given more than just a banging new showstopper.

After months of waiting, the live-action version of Aladdin is finally here and it’s… actually pretty damn good,

The film looks and feels energetic, the reinterpretations of iconic songs like “A Whole New World” will still send shivers down your spine, and all those worries about Will Smith’s blue Genie are misplaced as he manages to make the character his own while still respecting what Robin Williams did.

But perhaps the most pleasant addition to the film was the expanded characterisation of Jasmine. While the animated film did lightly touch on some interesting stuff about her wanting to be her own person, the live-action film really fleshes out these aspects for the better.

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Aladdin features the same plot point of Jasmine going under disguise and exploring Agrabah but it adds an extra layer by changing her motivations. Instead of just escaping to the city as an act of defiance, Jasmine is also doing it to properly understand her people.

This addition leads us to the next big change to her character: she wants to be Sultan, and not in a Jafar-esque way.

The film takes time to show how Jasmine has been studying hard so she’ll be more than ready to take over her father’s crown one day, and how marriage is not exactly her number one priority. This adds an additional element of drama and conflict between her and her father as he says there’s been no female Sultan and remains insistent that she marry a prince instead.

While Aladdin stumbles a little bit in getting to the conclusion of Jasmine’s character arc – she reconciles with her father and she becomes Agrabah’s first female Sultan – the point is made perfectly clear: she is fiercely independent, powerful, and just as, if not more, capable as the men around her.

At the end of the film when Aladdin and Jasmine get married, it feels less of “boy gets girl” and more of “girl gets boy”.

As an extra sweet cherry on top, Jasmine also finally gets her long-awaited spotlight moment in the film with a banging new showstopper, “Speechless,” and it is arguably the best part of Aladdin. Naomi Scott’s acting is great but her voice is something else.

Aladdin‘s Jasmine is the latest attempt by Disney to update its roster of princesses for a modern audience and it’s proved to be a great move so far.

In nearly all the live-action remakes we’ve seen so far, such as Alice In WonderlandCinderellaMaleficent, and Beauty And The Beast, the major female characters have been reinterpreted to be proactive, multidimensional people, which is a refreshing change to the cute but relatively limited characterisations we’ve seen in the animated movies.

It’s pleasing to see how Disney has finally taken steps to rewrite women’s roles in its live-action films. One thing’s for sure, we’re super excited to see how this approach will continue to enrich the studio’s ambitious slate of upcoming live-action adaptations.

Today I Learned: The OG Story Of The Little Mermaid Is Actually Unbearably Dark

The chances of the upcoming live-action Little Mermaid movie following the original cooked story instead of Disney's sanitised version is probably slim to none.

In just the last 3 years, Disney have pumped out live-action remakes of The Jungle BookBeauty And The BeastChristopher RobinDumboAladdin, The Lion King, Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil, and Lady And The Tramp. That’s a large number of films, and that’s not even counting Alice Through The Looking Glass because it was awful and doesn’t deserve to be on that list.

With all the money and acclaim that most of these films have received, it’s no surprise that Disney is leaning quite heavily on this live-action remake schtick for the next few years to come. But of all the upcoming projects, the most interesting one is the remake of The Little Mermaid.

After years of development hell, word on the street is that the movie will begin production as early as 2020 and will involve Rob Marshall as director and Lin Manuel Miranda writing the music alongside Alan Menken, the original composer for the 1989 animated Little Mermaid film.

While we have no idea what the remake will be like or who will even play Ariel, we can almost guarantee it will follow Disney’s movie rather than the original fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen.

That’s because the original story of The Little Mermaid is unbearably cooked. We’re talking about childhood-ruining levels of messed up here.

What you’ll wish for after hearing about the OG story of The Little Mermaid.

The OG story and the Disney film share the same basic premise – mermaid sees prince on his ship, she rescues him from drowning, they fall in love, she visits the sea witch who takes her voice in exchange for legs, and the prince must kiss her within a couple of days if she is to remain human.

The big and twisted differences between the two versions of the story lie in the smaller details.

In the original fairy tale, the mermaid must receive a kiss from the prince or she will die (as mermaids don’t have souls and the prince’s kiss will give her a small part of his soul) as opposed to the animated film’s penalty of simply turning back to a mermaid. After turning into a human, it is also revealed that the penalty of having legs is every step the mermaid takes will feel like she is walking on glass and her feet will bleed everywhere, a little detail that Disney conveniently glossed over.

Rather than being sympathetic to the mermaid’s awful situation and kissing her straight away upon their reunion on land, the prince gleefully asks her to dance for him out of amusement, which so does so despite going through excruciating pain. It gets even worse from this point.

Instead of marrying the mermaid and giving her the kiss she deserves, the prince ends up marrying another woman who he thinks rescued him from drowning, something that the mermaid can’t correct him on since she, you know, traded away her voice for her legs.

Yes, the prince is a clueless and heartless dick in the OG story.

Such a dick.

At this point the mermaid is given a choice: kill the prince and turn back into a mermaid or have blood pour out of her feet like a firehose until she dies. While the prince more than deserves a knife to the heart rather than her love, the mermaid can’t do it and instead throws herself into the sea and turns into sea foam.

Despite warnings of going to the pearly gates if the prince doesn’t kiss her, the mermaid doesn’t completely “die”. Due to her selflessness, the mermaid turns into an spirit of sorts who is given the chance to maybe earn a soul (again, since mermaids don’t have souls) if she spends the next 300 years doing good deeds for mankind.

Aaaand that’s the end. It’s not exactly the happy ending like in the Disney film but it’s, well, an ending so let’s just leave it at that.

Yes. Yes it is.

Having read the original story of The Little Mermaid, it’s probably a good thing that Disney made all those changes to Andersen’s fairy tail because the number of traumatised children (and adults) would’ve been astronomical.

Dark and gritty may be the thing in Hollywood these days but we’re a few decades before Disney descends into this level of depravity. But hey, we’re at least a few years out from even seeing a teaser photo of The Little Mermaid remake so who knows what the final result may be. There’s a chance – albeit a ridiculously low one – we’ll see Ariel dancing for the prince while blood gushes out from her feet.

You know what, please just adapt the 1989 animated version. We don’t need any more nightmare fuel.

Two Avengers Are Getting Their Own Disney+ Show And The Title Will Make You Cringe

Surely you can do better, Marvel and Disney.

We’ve heard murmurs of Marvel cobbling together a heap of shows starring some of its MCU characters for Disney’s upcoming Disney+ streaming service for a while now.

And after literally months of speculating, Disney has come out and confirmed everything in a big flashy presentation. Loki will be getting his own show, as will Falcon and Bucky Barnes, and Wanda “Scarlet Witch” Maximoff and Vision.

Now it’s great to see a bunch of beloved MCU side characters get their turn in the spotlight but we’re a little worried about Scarlet Witch and Vision’s planned limited series.

You see, their show is going to be called – wait for it – WandaVision.

WandaVision. Wanda. Vision. Good grief.

Of all the things Marvel could’ve called their show – like The Scarlet Witch And The Vision or Visions of Scarlet and Witches – surely the creative team could’ve come up with something better than hurriedly mashing the two lovebirds’ names together.

Cringeyness aside, WandaVision does hint at a lighter tone than the other planned MCU shows for Disney+. Loki’s solo adventure will just be called Loki while Bucky and Falcon’s will be called The Falcon And The Winter Soldier.

This all bodes well for the future of these MCU shows because the difference in tone compared to the movies will help them stand out. WandaVision sounds like rom-com, Loki sounds like a comedic solo character piece, and The Falcon And The Winter Soldier sounds like a badass yet hilarious buddy comedy.

This pairing is just gold.

As for when we can feast our eyes on these MCU shows, well we have no idea but I imagine it’ll be a while away as nothing has been announced in terms of casting or crew.

In the meantime, Disney+ itself will be dropping this November so you can binge yourself into a stupor on all of Marvel’s other offerings before WandaVision comes trundling along.

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