It’s hard to top the original…
For every remake there has to be an original that preceded it. With the release of Aladdin (2019) now on Blu-Ray, 4K, DVD and Digital Download it only makes sense for Aladdin (1992) to make it out on 4K Blu-Ray and there’s no shocker that it’s quite frankly never looked better and is proof positive that you shouldn’t mess with perfection.
When a charming street rat named Aladdin vies for the love of a beautiful princess, he stumbles an opportunity to retrieve a magic lamp, he unleashes the Genie (Voiced by the iconic Robin Williams) and is sent on a magical journey of self discovery as he uses the Genie’s powers to become a prince in his own right and ends up learning more about himself and what it truly takes to win someone’s heart.
Before the age of Pixar, Aladdin was the animated movie that broke the mold that allowed itself a modicum of hipness while still working inside the classic Disney animated model and is proof positive that the old ways are often still the best ones.
The writing/directing team of Ron Clements and Jon Musker crafted a delightfully lean movie that doesn’t have a minute of waste to it with great musical numbers and a well written script. It’s also a visual stunner that holds up with the decades of classic features that have preceded it and while it plays a little simplistically in moments, there’s a marriage of styles here with classic animation stylings with the impudence and attitude of the decade in which it was made.
It’s also one of the first films that actually benefits from having some recognizable voices in the cast. While the likes of Frank Welker and Gilbert Gottfried did add genuine pedigree to the voice ensemble it was Robin Williams as the voice of the Genie that really elevated this film to the next level.
He was the hip force of nature that this film needed and even in spite of all the amazing credits to the man’s name, this actually might be the one that he is more recognized for. He brought his frenetic comedy energy and still made it work inside of a G rated structure. Robin Williams may have been famous before Aladdin but this was ultimately the role that turned him from actor/comedian to screen icon. It is one of the single best performances ever put to the screen, in any form.
The 4K picture and sound on Aladdin are first rate even if only a slight upgrade from the original and the special features include a 30 minute documentary hosted by Scott Weinger called Aladdin on Aladdin (the speaking voice of Aladdin) which is kind of delightful and a fun look back down memory lane. There’s a profile of all the different voices in the film, there’s an alternate ending, outtakes from the Genie himself; Robin Williams, a look at the Broadway musical version, a tribute to Robin’s countless impressions, a song select, multiple audio commentaries and two different ways to watch the film, either the original theatrical version or in sing-along mode.
When all is said and done, it’s OK if you liked Aladdin (2019) but getting another chance to appreciate the genuine genius of Aladdin (1992) is not something any self respective movie fanatic will want to miss out on because it quite simply looks better than ever.