This whole live-action Aladdin situation has been a rollercoaster ride, and the movie isn’t even out yet.
First we heard it was a thing – yay!
Then we heard Will Smith would be the Genie, one who’s “a little Fresh Prince, a little Hitch, and a whole lot of attitude”, according to Disney.
Then we saw pictures, and it was… fine? At least Jafar is hot?
Then we saw footage of Blue CGI Genie Will Smith. And oh no.
Now, certain critics and journalists lucky enough to be at CinemaCon in Las Vegas have copped some new and exclusive footage of Disney’s upcoming 2019 titles, including the sequence where Genie sings ‘Friend Like Me’.
Well – sings, raps, and beatboxes, apparently.
Reviews are… mixed.
New look at ALADDIN includes full performance of "Friend Like Me" (including Will Smith briefly beat-boxing). I'm going to be honest: it is pure nightmare fuel. It just looks … unnatural. The #CinemaCon audience liked it, though. Wishful thinking, I guess.
— Barry Hertz (@HertzBarry) April 3, 2019
— JoBlo.com (@joblocom) April 3, 2019
Disney’s Aladdin sneak peak at Cinemacon. Will Smith’s blue genie comes more into focus. Blue beatboxing and heavy CG, notbaure how I feel about it yet. Leaving my opinion open until I see full film.
— Derek Sante (@DerekSante) April 3, 2019
Wow the updated #Aladdin footage from CinemaCon is so much stronger than the earlier BTS stuff. Proves that post and VFX is everything on live-action adaptations. Had more personality than effects-heavy "Be Our Guest" number, which was flat, in hindsight.
— Matt Donnelly (@MattDonnelly) April 3, 2019
It just looks so strange in live-action. It ended with a sizzle reel including scene of Aladdin on magic carpet asking Jasmine "do you trust me" – there's a cool chase scene with the giant bird (griffin?), and lots of Abu hijinks.
— Rob Keyes (@rob_keyes) April 4, 2019
Much better reviewed was the footage from The Lion King, which was the recreated “everything the light touches” scene.
THE LION KING footage: yes, the animals talk AND look pretty damn real. I feel like folks have been rolling their eyes at this one, but… I dunno, man. Looks pretty great to my eyes (and likely to make a bazillion dollars).
— Scott Wampler™ (@ScottWamplerBMD) April 3, 2019
#TheLionKing and #Aladdin showed off recreations of two famous scenes: "Friend Like Me" and "Everything the light touches." I continue to see why these live-action remakes make so much money, and also to be disappointed at how pointless they seem as creative endeavors. #CinemaCon
— Angie J. Han (@ajhan) April 3, 2019
Also, just a reminder that Aladdin is directed by Guy Ritchie. So perhaps there’s a subplot where our fave street rat has to help Jafar fix an underground tiger-fighting match?
We’ll just have to wait and see.
— Asad Ayaz (@asadayaz) March 31, 2019