Monday, November 12, 2012

Aladdin (Ron Clements and John Musker, 1992) Review

Yeah so, I'm in a Disney mood. I guess that's what happens when I review Basil, The Great Mouse Detective. I went on record (if anyone was keeping track or...caring) that Basil was one of my favourite Disney films. Now that we're deep into the Disney Renaissance (I may have missed...all of the other ones), let's see if Aladdin truly deserves to be among the other great Disney films.

Set in the Arabian city of Agrabah, we see a lowly "street-rat" (I pretty sure this film coined that phrase) called Aladdin (Scott Weinger) who is on the run from the city's guards. Typical day for him, I'm sure. We then get a look inside the palace in Agrabah where the Sultan (Douglas Seale) is trying to find a husband for his daughter, Jasmine (Linda Larkin). The Sultan's advisor, Jafar (Jonathan Freeman) is trying to obtain a special lamp in 'The Cave of Wonders' (Frank Welker...yes it speaks) and uses Aladdin to try and get it. He ultimatly fails which gives Aladdin access to the Genie of the lamp (Robin Williams) and tries to win over Jasmine. So it's a battle of Aladdin against Jafar as they try to win over Jasmine.

This is easily one of the best looking Disney films. The colours are great, the characters are well designed and the animation is fluent. They really went above and beyond with this one. Of course, the voice acting helps too. Scott Weinger and Linda Larkin add some much needed depth to their characters while Jonathan Freeman plays a terrifyingly evil Jafar. There are two show stealers though. Robin Williams as Genie and Gilbert Gottfried as Jafar's talking parott, Iago (get it?! It's a Shakespeare reference!). Robin Williams proves his comedic worth by showing off his ability to chance voices in a split second while Gilbert Gottfried gives his usual wise cracking remarks with his trademark voice (hearing him read Fifty Shades of Grey was fantastic).

As with Disney films (but ironically, none of the ones I've reviewed), there always has to be musical numbers and Aladdin doesn't skimp out here. Of course there are the classics like A Whole New World and Arabian Nights but that's just for starters. Other great ones are Never Had a Friend Like Me and Prince Ali. Some of my favourite Disney songs stem from this film alone. They are all plot relevent (thank God) which only makes the plot better. It's definetly more action orientated than previous Disney films but it works here (and led to some games based on it...which were AWESOME!).

Aladdin is easily another one of the greatest Disney films. It's my favourite next to Basil, The Great Mouse Detective. It looks incredible, the characters are well voiced and written, the songs are memorable and all comes together as one of the greatest animated films of all time. I would say that I recommend it but really, I don't have to. You should have watched this WAY before I reviewed it and if you haven't, then you got some real issues to sort of out, mister.

A fantastic looking film that relies on some well acted and written characters to drive a great narrative.

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