Disney has released yet another clip from the live-action remake of Aladdin ahead of its upcoming May 23 release, giving us a sneak peak of their take on the iconic ‘Prince Ali’ musical scene.
With Will Smith’s giving a great vocal performance as Genie and the parade of dancers looking tight, the musical number is very impressive. But it also looks like something you could see on stage at a live broadway performance.
It is, for the most part, realistic.
The box-office numbers speak for themselves, indicating that Disney’s live-action remakes are definitely enjoyable – even if just because we have such a nostalgic love for the originals. But by nature of being ‘real’, the remakes are less exciting than their cartoon/animated counterparts.
When the scenes are cartoon animated, everything is possible and everything is exaggerated. Nothing is bound by physics, or facial realism or realism of any kind. That’s why the ‘Prince Ali’ scene from the original Aladdin is so full of energy – along with the fact that Robin Williams’ comedic performance is bursting with irresistible energy.
Cartoons bring the fantastical to life, and live-action is restricted by the nature of trying to appear real.
This is the same situation that the live-action Lion King has run into. As a film, it looks like an incredible production in its own right. But when compared to the original, the CGI realism of the animals allows for less creative personification of the characters.
This is not to say that the live-action remakes are not impressive and enjoyable productions. There is something uniquely satisfying about seeing our favourite Disney films recreated as if they could exist in our own world.
But they do not have the same fantastical freedom that makes the cartoon/animations so exciting, and expecting them to is setting ourselves up for disappointment. The originals will always be better, and the live-action remakes are just a bonus.