The live action Aladdin trailer drops... oh dear

Prepare for your childhood to be ruined, kids, because the live action version of Aladdin looks horrible

Video by Jamie Dunn | 12 Mar 2019

It’s never wise to write off a film before it’s even been seen by the public, but the stench of stinker hangs all over the new live action version of 90s favourite Aladdin. First of all, it’s directed by Guy Ritchie, who hasn’t made a profitable film since 2011’s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (the two films he made in the interim, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and The Man from U.N.C.L.E., were major box-office disappointments), and hasn’t made a good film, well, ever. Second, the first images released for the film (see below), based on the beloved 1992 animation, looked like a second-rate panto promo. The release of the first full length trailer doesn’t reassure us that this will be anything less than a travesty.

Will Smith plays the all-powerful genie, which Robin Williams voiced in the original film, and raps Friend Like Me, which is fun we suppose, and certainly more pleasant than the bland version of A Whole New World we also hear in the trailer, as sung by newcomers Mena Massoud (as Aladdin) and Naomi Scott (as Jasmine). But as great an actor as Smith is, the clips from the trailer suggest he hasn't been able to match Williams’ freewheeling comic performance.

Smith is well aware of the large genie slippers he’s stepping into. “I produced The Karate Kid with my son Jaden, so whenever you’re doing things that are iconic, it’s always terrifying,” Smith told Entertainment Weekly. “The question is always, where was there meat left on the bone? And with the Robin Williams character, Robin didn’t leave a lot of meat on the bone.”

Despite the trailer suggesting that this live action Aladdin – like the Beauty and the Beast remake – will lift and recreate scenes from the animation wholesale, Smith insists he will put his own spin in the character. “Because the Genie is timeless, you get to really say and do anything so I started to feel confident that I could deliver something that was an homage to Robin Williams but was musically different and just the flavor of the character would be different enough and unique enough that it would be in a different lane versus trying to compete.”

Can Richie, Smith and co recreate the magic of the original Disney animation? Or at least, as Smith says, put their own spin on it? Take a look at the trailer in the player above (or on YouTube) and give us your thoughts.

Aladdin is released 24 May by Disney