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Aladdin: teaser trailer review

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by Daisy Aitchison

The long-awaited teaser trailer for the new live action adaptation of Disney’s classic film Aladdin was finally released at last night’s Grammys. It’s certainly a teaser, with only the briefest glimpse of both the heroine, Princess Jasmine, and the biggest name in the film, Will Smith, who plays the Genie.

While undoubtedly the chief focus has been on the casting, personally I felt the setting was the most impressive part of the trailer, managing to convey the dramatic shifts in the surroundings in a very short space of time.

Last night’s preview was particularly highly anticipated due to the first glimpse of Smith’s portrayal of the Genie. The role was played by Robin Williams in the original animation, leaving big shoes to fill for anyone taking on the iconic figure. It will be interesting to see how much of the popular character’s traits are retained.

From the trailer, it is clear that Smith is attempting to modernise the genie, bringing his energy and enthusiasm to the role. Beyond this however, fans will have to wait to see what, if any, changes have been made to the characterisation.

Indeed, one of the most exciting parts of the film will be seeing what each actor can bring to their character. On this point, the trailer keeps us guessing, giving us a glimpse of no more than a few words from any one person. However, the cast is undoubtedly a huge selling point of this film, with Mena Massoud playing Aladdin, and Naomi Scott filling the role of Jasmine.

The director seems to have stuck fairly closely to the settings and plot of the original animation. Undoubtedly the emphasis in the trailer is on the set, with the initial darkness giving way to the brightness and vibrancy of the fictional city of Agrabah. This is one of the most impressive parts of the new adaptation, grabbing your attention whatever your prior knowledge of the story.

And we’re yet to really see how the palace will look, though if the rest of the trailer is anything to go by, it’s going to be something special.

The trailer has received mixed reactions, particularly regarding the quality of the CGI used to enhance the Genie. Hopefully, these problems will be ironed out in time for the release so as not to detract from the incredible backdrop that has been created.

The biggest challenge for the film will be to try and keep fans of the classic film onboard, while also hooking in a whole new generation of moviegoers.

It comes off the back of the success of the remake of The Jungle Book in 2016, and will have to compete with another live action adaptation, this time of The Lion King, due to be released just two months after Aladdin.

If the film can deliver on the promise of the trailer, though, it may well be another huge hit for Disney.

Aladdin will be released on May 24th 2019