Category Archives: my opinion

Review: The Lion King (2019)

Like promised here is my review for the 2019 film The Lion King, the reboot of the 1994 animated Disney movie of the same name. It is another installment of the Disney reboots coming out over the recent years.

Before I start, can I just ask “Why are Disney releasing two of their biggest hits in one year?” I don’t get it. I know they have a lot of popular Disney movies out there but Aladdin and The Lion King definitely belong to the big ones out there and I am really surprised to see them in the same year. Well, maybe it is just because they are my favorite Disney movies.

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General

If you haven’t watched The Lion King yet…well, were you ever a kid? Okay, if you don’t remember the story: Simba, son of the current lion king Mufasa, enjoys his life as the next king and throws it in everyone’s face. He also tends to get into trouble with his best friend Nala. One day his uncle Scar (who we know is the villain in the story) tricks him into a dangerous situation and makes Mufasa try to save his son. While trying to save him he is killed by Scar and the uncle makes Simba feel guilty for his father’s death, so the little lion runs away. All alone he meets Timon, a cheeky meerkat, and Pumbaa, a friendly warthog. They teach him to let go of the past and live for the future and he grows up with them. While he is away Scar tells everyone Mufasa and Simba are dead and takes over as king of the Pride Lands. He pretty much ruins the territory. Nala goes off to search for help and meets Simba, and the rest you can watch in cinemas.

I love The Lion King but I do admit I haven’t watched it for some time since I just could not stomach Mufasa’s death again. This was such a shock and pretty much Disney’s most dramatic death scene since Bambi.

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But when Disney announced they were gonna reboot The Lion King with a real life animated movie I was definitely gonna watch it, despite all the doubts I had. The Lion King is known for it’s great music and it has some pretty great animated song sequences. But if you want to convert that to real-life animation you have to cut a lot of the animation down since a lot of the stuff could never happen in real life (you remember the pyramid of animals in “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King”?) I doubted they could convert it well and thought the movie would suffer from that. I wasn’t totally wrong but I wasn’t right either.

The songs

The songs in the new movie are pretty much the same we know from the original, except there is a new montage song when Simba goes back to the Pride Lands…except for that I don’t think there are any other new songs. But what about the songs we know? Okay, be prepared to be a little bit disappointed here. They really did their best with the songs and to renew them with some new sass and modern styles but some songs where changed and cut down pretty obviously. The singing itself is nice and the voice cast did a good job delivering the lines according to their characters attitudes and feelings.

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About the animation sequences: They did as much as you can do if you want to do it in real-life animation. And Disney did well. It looks really good and seems reasonable. Like Zazu not being sat on by a rhino but being distracted by the other animals. Disney did an amazing job with the sequences, they look beautiful while also staying true to the original. The only thing I did not like was the first song. In the original opening scene and the “Cicle of Life” sequence, they played a lot with the colors and light but in this animated movie it was a lot more chaotic and so. I mean the scene itself isn’t gonna happen in real life anyway but it would have been nice to see it a little more dramatic. Overall I’m pretty happy and satisfied with the songs though. The Lion King is known for it’s music and Disney did a great job at delivering them!

The animation

Now let’s talk about the animation in general. Not much to talk about there though. It. Is. Absolutely. Amazing. Seriously, it is. It looks so real and it’s so detailed…no wonder the movie cost them over 250 million US-Dollars. The animators are definitely geniuses and the animation is really great.

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The story and fillers

In Aladdin, they had to add a lot of filler scenes and change some stuff because it was either not politically correct anymore or it would have made no sense. There are some things you can do in 2D-animated movies, you cannot do in live-action or real-life animated movies. That’s how it is. In The Lion King there were also a few not really correct jokes and Disney changed them for the 2019 movie. In general, they stuck to the original storyline and scenes pretty tightly but the script did change to some part. While the lions pretty much stuck to the original script (except for some fillers, like Scar wanting to get Sarabi, Simba’s mother, to be his queen) the characters who suffered most from script changing were Timon and Pumbaa. Some jokes were cut while other lines were added. I do remember a few jokes you would not be able to make today, so I understand the changes. Still, Timon and Pumbaa are great in the movie and Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner did a great job at delivering their lines.

For most of the movie, Disney stayed loyal to the original and only added stuff, that made it more modern or added some interesting story lines that weren’t there in the original.

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Overall

Overall the movie is a great reminder of the 1994 original and makes you remember all the great times watching the movie and being sucked into the world of The Lion King. The animation is great and the songs are modern but still similar enough to the original. I’m positively surprised by the movie and definitely love it, although different to the Aladdin reboot – the original The Lion King will still be on top of the 2019 reboot.

Still I recommend watching it in cinema. It is an adventure you don’t get everyday and while you may know the story it keeps you on your seat and enjoying the movie as if it was your first time watching the The Lion King story. So enjoy one of the biggest Disney movies in new animation and have a great time with the characters we all know and love!

2Moons 2 – Yes or No?

So recently 2moons 2 The series released a pre-episode 00 with some more content and interviews.

Let me tell you here and now, I was never a hater of the new series but I had my doubts. All the fans are used to the original cast and I doubted we could just start anew with such little time between both seasons. The chemistry and the new cast had to be amazing to make the series worthwhile. Today I’m here to write about episode 00 and what to expect from season 2 of the series and what I think about the new series now after watching it.

Where does the story start?

Right when they announced a new season everyone got excited, then they announced they were casting all the main actors anew and everyone started wondering would the story start out from the beginning? Were they gonna start where season one ended?

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Well, in episode 00 we finally got an answer: we are gonna re-watch some scenes from the first season with the new actors while the series will include a lot of new story. Also this time, as it has been announced some time ago, will include more about all three couples. Including all three couples and there love lines is probably one of the biggest differences to the previous seasons and might give the series a whole different story pace, especially as the previous one was pretty slow paced. This time it will feature the soft PhaYo, the cheeky MingKit and the passionate ForthBeam love lines but as I saw from some scenes we are getting quite some different story. While the beginning might be the same, this time they are going a little bit farther with the story, meaning we do see MingKit finally getting much closer, we see PhaYo fight through their jealousy and…well, we didn’t see anything about ForthBeam before so that will be a new thing in general.

Since I’m a big fan of the ForthBeam story line but the couples in general, I cannot wait to see all three on screen.

Do the characters change with the new cast?

Easy answer: yes. When I first saw the new cast I didn’t feel much. They seemed to have lifeless acting and it didn’t really assure me we are gonna get anything from the new series, so I think it was a good idea to make this episode 00 because I did change my opinion. Of course, I cannot judge everything from just a few scenes but the scenes I saw seemed good and finally I got some feelings from them (maybe it was because before you didn’t see them actually talk a lot in any of the teasers? 🙂 )

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Of course, with the new cast the characters are bound to change a little bit. Pha seems to be a lot more cold when he’s cold and a lot more soft when he’s soft. So he’s even more different depending on who he’s dealing with. One big thing that seems to be different is him not being a total softie when dealing with Wayo. Pha in the previous season went total softie when he finally realized who Wayo was but I think in this season, also because there is more story and not just them getting closer and closer, Pha also has more back bone when it comes to Wayo. When you think “oh so they’re not gonna be lovey dovey” think again, I do think they will still include that and there will be scenes to giggle our hearts out. I like Pha’s change I have to admit, since I’m a big fan of all-consuming love lines that still say when something is wrong or bothering them.

As for MingKit, I think they changed the most. This time Kit isn’t just the senior being pushed around by his junior and not being able to deal with his feelings straight out but he also seems to really be Ming’s senior and have some air of seniority about him. That was one of the things I did not like about the previous season: while I loved the cheekiness between them, Ming just kind of went over Kit and it was not noticeable at all, that Kit should have been more grown-up and Ming’s senior. This time Ming still seems to be the more active and cheeky part in the relationship but you feel that he gives more respect to Kit and the relationship seems a lot more serious and grown-up then before where it was mostly playful.

I like that change because it gives a whole new side to the characters but also to the couple in general. Also I love the the doctors gang around Pha seem to be a lot closer and more equal than before. Before it seemed like Pha was the number one and the others were “just” amazing but this time they seem to be closer as friends and actually joke around with each other more.

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As for Forth and Beam. I don’t know if we haven’t seen many of Beam’s playboy scenes or if they did turn it down a notch. In the interviews they said he is still a playboy but well, we’ll see. As for Forth he seems less like a love-struck puppy strolling around Wayo and more bad boyish and grown-up. But behind all that mature charm there is still some sentimentality and softness. I think it’s gonna be interesting to see them act together and what they make of it. I cannot really judge about them here, because their teaser scenes weren’t much and their story is the one that is most changed for the new season since they didn’t really do much previously.

Do they have chemistry?

Surprisingly they do. Before watching the special episode I thought they didn’t have any but after watching the interviews and teaser scenes from the episode it seems quite good. The cast seems to get along well with each other and seem comfortable and the scenes seem mostly natural and go along with their characters.

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Overall, is it worth a watch?

Before watching the special episode I’d have worried whether I should watch or not. I just didn’t feel the special factor with the new cast but after watching the special episode my doubts kind of went away (mostly) and I’ll definitely check out the new series and give it a chance. So I’m definitely gonna check out like the first four episodes and then decide from then on whether I like it or not and I would recommend the same to everyone else. Let’s give them a chance especially because it does look good and promising. Also the cast and series got the okay from Chiffon Cake herself, so 😉

For all the international fans who want to watch, apparently it is being released here: Mello Thailand Youtube
The series starts airing on June 29th. 

Review: Rocketman

Sooo it seems like, after the superhero phase, we are getting into the biography entertainment phase. First the Queen movie Bohemian Rhapsody movie, now we have  Elton John’s Rocketman.

Let me be honest here, I know both of them but I grew up hearing more about Elton John than Queen, mainly because my mum liked him more and Queen was more a band she enjoyed when her kids did not linger around. Elton John was one of the artists my mum and I love to jam to in the car and come on, I’m Still Standing is just a jam you won’t ever forget 😉

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So when they announced Rocketman I was excited and I really wanted to know what it was gonna be like. I did not really do much research before the film so please note that I cannot judge how much truth they put into the movie.

Rocketman – General information

Rocketman is a 2019 biography-musical film starring Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden and Bryce Dallas Howard. It tells the story of Elton John, from his child days to when he, well…became Elton John, I guess, and how he dealt with stardom and being one of the biggest stars out there. I don’t want to spoil too much of the ending really.

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Well, one thing be said here, thankfully, Elton John is still alive. Apparently he really liked and appreciated the movie, that’s good to know 🙂 Also you notice: Compared to Bohemian Rhapsody the movie is much more open and focuses a lot on Elton John growing up and learning about the industry. Also note, that the movie is less biographical about the songs and a lot more musical. I’m quite sure, Elton John did not actually run around and start singing like a musical in real life…at least I think he didn’t…(but wouldn’t that be cool?)

Still the movie packs quite a biographical punch and shows you some things you might not know about Elton John or, for those who actually don’t know him (where did u live? behind a rock?), you get to know more about him.

Cast and Casting Decisions

Before I say anything else, I have to say Taron Egerton did an amazing job and seems to be an amazingly varied actor. I mean, there is a lot of difference between playing Elton John in Rocketman and playing Eggsy in Kingsman: The Secret Service. He does an awesome job as Elton John. Whether it is young and slightly naive Elton John or the experienced man who breaks under the heavy pressure put on him. Taron Egerton plays the singer convincingly and in a charming way and leads the film with a enchanting aura.

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The rest of the cast is amazing too. Jamie Bell convinces as John’s best friend and song writer Bernie Taupin and while there may be moments you might want him to do things differently from what he does, you understand him and want to help him support Elton while also getting a happy end of his own.

I’ve seen Richard Madden in other movies and TV shows and while he did always convince in his role, he was never “awesome”. He was good and great and nice but not amazing. Well, I think he finally found a role he excels at. Even if the person he plays seems to be quite…well, not nice…he does an amazing job at portraying John Reid and showing his interactions with Elton John. He and Egerton really manage to give John and Reid chemistry while also putting something toxic in the relationship. It seems like one of those relationships that may seem great but are bad for one, if not for both, parties. It seemed pretty natural and convincing, helping to make the movie more real and dramatic.

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Bryce Dallas Howard acts as Elton John’s mother and she does an awe inspiring job. There are a lot of moments where I just want to ask her “Really? Seriously?” but that’s more about the person she plays. The actress did an amazing job at portraying a mother you want to love and hate at the same time. It’s hard to portray a role like that but Bryce Dallas Howard did a good job.

Overall, the cast is great and I have to give high compliments to the casting directors too.

Visuals and Music

The visuals and the music, of course, two very important parts of a movie like this. They did exceptional. From the visuals of the terrific costumes to the downright breath-taking music sequences. Some of them felt a little short but overall all our favorite songs are there and you can just enjoy the music. There is enough space in between the songs to breath some conversations and story development until you are sucked into the songs again. The costumes may look silly sometimes (I mean, you all thought it) but Egerton, just like Elton John, pulls them off perfectly. From the colourful head set to the glittering baseball uniform, all of them don’t just fit the movie and story development but also the scenes. I mean, he comes into therapy with horns!! He knows he has done horribly and needs to get better and he is pretty much dressed as a devil breaking off his horns. If that’s not an underlying message, I don’t know what is. (there is also this saying where I’m from: If someone has too big an ego, he should chaff his horns. I think it fits well, if you take it as it was too much pressure for the singer and he has to get down a notch to get back up again. Thankfully he did ^.^)

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Of course, the songs are nothing new, although it is sung by Egerton and the other cast and I really enjoyed his voice as well as how they did the music sequences: from the fast-forward growing up transition to the actual Rocketman sequence of one of the most shocking moments back to the stage. I also enjoyed the Crocodile Rock scene where he went from one sound to a total jam.

As you see, the visuals and songs mix well and fit together nicely. Just note, like I said, it is not a straight biography movie like Bohemian Rhapsody but more a musical movie. But even if you don’t like musicals it stills keeps drama and story and makes you watch with joyful focus.

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Overall

Overall the movie is a joy to watch and I definitely recommend it. Especially if you like Elton John, one of the actors, musicals or just music biography movies. I think Rocketman is one of the movies where you definitely won’t leave the cinema with a bad feeling or with the feeling you didn’t get enough for your money. Rocketman may be very dramatic but it is fun to watch and I hope younger generations get the chance to learn more about Elton John along the way and start liking his music.

Oh and I LOVE the sunglasses. So many, so beautiful ❤

Review: Boys in the Trees

When you are subscribed to any streaming service you always get recommendations, some are just your scene, others are totally not what you are looking for. And sometimes the recommendation sections knows better than you think. Boys in the Trees is absolutely not what I imagined I’d be watching but it was recommended and the reviews were quite good so I decided to watch it. In the end it turns out, the movie is a hidden gem. Why? Read on and find out.

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Boys in the Trees – General information

Before you throw this movie aside since you don’t like scary movies, just know, it is not. Not really. There are some jump scares or scary scenes but nothing that will keep you from sleeping at night. The movie is quite heavy though.

Boys in the Trees is a 2016 fantasy-coming of age movie from Australia and is directed by Nicholas Verso. It stars Toby Wallace, Gulliver McGrath, Mitzi Ruhlmann and Justin Holborow. The movie tells the story of the skater Corey who usually hangs out with his skater buddies, namely Jango. Being friends with them takes quite a toll on him especially because they tend to bully Corey’s former best friend and outsider Jonah. The story is set in 1997 Halloween night and about a night of fantasy and scares when Corey decides to spend some time with Jonah while also growing closer to the serious girl Romany and keeping his distance from Jango.

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The casting and the characters

The cast did a lot better than what I expected when I read the reviews. I totally expected a low budget movie without good acting. I got something different though. The acting in the movie is amazing. Especially Toby Wallace as Corey and Gulliver McGrath as Jonah show great acting and really bring their characters to life on screen. They totally convince in their roles and make you feel with them.

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One unusual thing about Boys in the Trees compared to other movies, it shows good and bad sides to all their characters. Corey is not just the good guy who befriended the wrong crowd, Jonah is not just the victim who just wants his best friend back, Romany is not just a grown up girl but has a temper too and Jango is not just a bully but also has things he cares about.

Jonah, while you always find new sides to him, has a little bit of character development, for Corey he mostly has to work through his personal problems during the Halloween night. Jango probably has the most character development I admit. Romany, I have to say though, doesn’t have much character development. She is mostly there as a side character who just says bluntly what Corey is already thinking. Overall though, the characters just kind of grew on you even if they had bad characteristics too.

The premise and story

The story packs quite the punch. It features a lot of slower scenes but it all fits together. Just 10 minutes in you already get that something is going on you don’t know about yet but really getting it is…well, you can sometimes guess but you will still get a little bit of a shock in the end. I present more about my theory of the movie down below, but since there would be spoilers I won’t post it right here.

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The movie works with metaphors and symbolism a lot but also sometimes twists the story around and you have to guess what everything means. I’m quite sure everyone has their own theories about the movie.

The story enchants and catches you though. Mainly because you really want to know where it is going. If it was usual it would be Corey hanging out with Jonah for Halloween and then cutting his friendship with Jango off but this movie is unusual so that’s not what happens. It is kind of ironic though that the story is fantasy related while the actions of the characters seem a lot more realistic than with some other movies.

The fantasy in general is kept as an underlying element. The main focus lies on the backstory of the characters, then comes the fantasy.

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My theories about the movie

SPOILERS

This movie lets you build a hundred different theories. I have a few of my own though.
Around the beginning you see Jonah around the water where he later on leads Corey to discover his dead body. I think that was the moment he did die but since there is some fantasy in the movie, I do think he or his ghost did stay. Mainly because he wanted to help his friend see that he cannot continue on following Jango and his buddies but Corey had to start making choices of his own. Even if they grew apart, Jonah definitely still cares for his best friend and while he does tease Corey a lot he definitely wants the best for him.

Corey on the other hand has to work through his childhood drama of abandoning Jonah when he needed him most. It says a lot that while that happened Jonah still cares for his friend. You see that Jonah might not like what happened and also have to deal with the aftermath, he does not directly give the fault to Corey but seems to kind of understand that they were still scared kids.

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As for the man in white and the ceremony in the movie. I think since Jonah was dead, Death (the man in white) came looking to take him away but Jonah wanted to stay and help his friend. Around the end Jonah understood that he could not stay and finally accepted what happened but was also happier since he could help Corey. So in the end he goes with Death and disappears. I think the ceremony was mostly symbolism to hint at Jonah being dead.

I think it is amazing how someone like Jonah, who experienced such a horrible thing as a child, still cared for his friend so deeply that he stayed even after he died.
I also think that Jango realized over time that Corey was his best friend and meant more to him than he first thought. So he kind of got his stuff together in the end and decided to be there for him and not be a jerk. Maybe there is a romantic aspect for him there but that could also just be my BL mind speaking 🙂

SPOILERS END

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Overall conclusion and review

Boys in the Trees is definitely a hidden gem and throws some stuff at you that you just have to think about and find out on your own what it means. It is quite a heavy movie though, so beware of that. I do like that it is not just a scary movie but has an actual story line.

The characters could be real people and don’t act totally fictional and while others might say it is low budget, I do think the images were good and had enough to be a believable movie and not scare people away with cheap images and directing. Not, it definitely is a good, even if heavy, movie.

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Review: Aladdin (2019)

Let it be known that I’ve been waiting for this movie even before the first teaser came out (which was in October 2018). I’ve been waiting for a much longer time: since I heard about a live-action remake of Aladdin when I did some research on Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and so on. So yes, I went crazy when the first teaser came out, rewatched the actual trailer about a 100 times (no lie, I’ve watched it ever single day in the last two weeks), and I’ve pretty much sucked in everything there is out there about the movie.

So, yes, guess what, Aladdin (together with The Lion King) is my favorite Disney movie. I’ve watched Aladdin more than any other Disney movie and I know the lyrics by heart (funny enough, I learned the actual lyrics when I was a grown-up and not when I was a child 😀 ). Yeah, I bet after reading this, you would’ve never guessed it is my favorite Disney movie, keke.

Well, all that aside – with this you should know, the expectations were big…like reaaaally BIG. This is like a dream coming true and the dream better be darn good! So here it is, my review for Aladdin (2019).

General information

If you don’t know Aladdin (1992), then, well, did you ever have a childhood? No, seriously, Aladdin is a 2019 musical film based on the 1992 Disney movie of the same name. I wasn’t even born then, hm…
The movie tells the story of Aladdin, a thief who lives on the streets of Agrabah. One day he meets the princess of Agrabah, Jasmine, who went into the city in disguise, so she can have a free moment from being stuck in the palace and having to think about her upcoming marriage to some not-yet-determined prince. They have a moment but then Aladdin is taken on a mission by the (evil) vizier, Jafar, and he has to go into a magical cave to find a special oil lamb. After some events happen Aladdin gets stuck and as it turns out the lamp is home to a genie. After freeing the genie from the lamp Aladdin is now its new master and has three wishes to make.

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The story has more than just a few flaws and I think some of its content is not really political correct either anymore. The animation was probably every animators nightmare (Genie’s power and his song sequences, omg). But the movie fits just so well together and totally takes you into Aladdin’s world and forget everything else. And the songs are just amazing. Aladdin is probably one of the more known Disney stories out there and it’s also one that got a second installment that didn’t totally suck. (not gonna talk about the third installment though, oh god, I’m still getting nightmares…that one was so…uuuuh).

Whether you liked it or not, it IS one of the most anticipated live-action remakes after Disney announced they were gonna remake their classics. Especially because it is a lot of fantasy and everyone knew it had to be great. So, now let’s talk about the 2019 version.

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Staying true to the original

The 2019 version of Aladdin, after watching the original version just last week, stays quite true to the original, I’ve to say. Around the end the story adds some actions by the characters and twists some things happening but in general it stays quite true to the original story line and development. If you know some of the plot holes and nonsense happenings in the original though, you also notice that they tried to fill some of them and make it more understandable and less…well, fiction?

There are a lot of new things too though. Of course, they remade some of the old songs and inserted some new songs too but let’s talk about the songs later.

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For one they changed a lot of the humor and jokes in the movie. There is one scene where the whole cinema laughed like crazy and I had serious problems calming down. Watch the movie and you’ll know what I’m talking about. The humor in the 2019 Aladdin is a lot more modern and dynamic than it’s original. Some of the jokes were definitely updated to not get in trouble but most of the humor comes either from totally new scenes, as well as a new spin on original scenes. I think that’s because they did try to add some more comedy and not just present everyone with the totally same story we all know. Also because a lot of fun in the original comes from the Genie’s powers. In the 2019 film, everyone and not just the Genie contributes to the fun.

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Character changes

Also we got a lot of new characters and character development. Remember, the original is an animated children’s movie. Movies like that tend to have like 10 characters at most and not really show anyone else (in Aladdin there are like 3 people, a tiger and a parrot living in the palace…a palace that has only 3 security people…sooo, do I have to continue?). That is something you cannot convert 1-to-1 to a live-action movie, so they had to add more characters and background characters. And they did well. There are some characters just for comic relief but also our main leads and main characters got a lot more background and character traits.

Aladdin is not just a true to heart guy from the streets who may be lying about his identity but still has his heart at the right place. In the 2019 version, you actually get some character where you see he may know his way around the streets but in the palace he gets serious self confidence problems and while he hopes he is worth more than everyone tells him all the time, he doubts himself more than everyone else. Still his heart is at the right place and he does realize when he goes too far. He seems a lot more human and relatable than his animated character, while also having a little bit less heroic and “perfect” traits about him.

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In the original, Jasmine is the beautiful princess that has to marry a prince and feels trapped by the palace. The only time she seems stronger is when she tries to help fight Jafar, as well as fight against having to marry a prince she doesn’t love. In general though she is defined by having to marry and wanting to marry someone she loves instead of just anyone. The 2019 version gives us a new spin on her. Jasmine may still be a princess trapped in the palace who does not know much about the world outside but she still wants the best for her people and wants to rule as sultan one day instead of just marrying and having a prince from somewhere else in the world, rule over her people. She fights for her dream and compared to the original she is also a lot more suspicious over Aladdin’s – or Prince Ali’s – origins.

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The Genie’s story has pretty much stayed the same, as well as Jafar’s. The Genie got some after the main story input and like a “end” story and Jafar got some background story, that was probably also added to give some reason why he acts like he acts and not just take it as a given. Also I really appreciated the fact, the sultan wasn’t just a little guy who likes to play with his little miniature figurines but actually had some backbone.

Compliments for the Cast

Mena Massoud was astounding as Aladdin. I didn’t know him before, even though I actually did watch the show Jack Ryan and so on but I just didn’t really know him. So when it was announced he was gonna play Aladdin I was curious how he would go about it and he did a great job. He portraited Aladdin’s good traits and warm heart but at the same time gave life to Aladdin’s little insecurities about himself. He showed that Aladdin himself didn’t feel great when he had to play someone he wasn’t. It was also endearing how he had this little smile that on one hand could show him enjoying himself, as well as being shy. Also, Massoud did a great job at portraying Aladdin’s awkwardness too. I’m curious what’s gonna come in the future.

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I knew Naomi Scott before her acting as princess Jasmine. Her other roles where really different though. But since I had seen her before I was curious how she would play Jasmine. I was curious but also worried. I wouldn’t have needed to worry, she did a great job. She shows Jasmine’s weak as well as her powerful and empowered side. She was amazingly believable as a princess with a strong will and dream. She showed tears in her eyes while not actually crying and she wasn’t just a princess but a strong woman who could think of her own and be suspicious, angry or just annoyed too. Oh and just as a side not: she was oh-so beautiful. When I watched the movie, my friends and I just gasped at how beautiful she looked. She is definitely the best cast for acting as a Disney princess.

Also Massoud and Scott’s chemistry is really good and I love that Disney made them audition together too and not just accept the cast individually. They are great together and really fit well together as Aladdin and Jasmine.

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Will Smith was criticized a lot for portraying the Genie. A lot of people commented on how he could ever fill the shoes left behind by Robin Williams. Let me just say something here: Robin Williams is absolutely great, he is. I just love him and his movies and I rewatch the regularly BUT I did not watch Aladdin in English originally. So I was never really fixated on the Genie being him. For me it was the animation and the story I loved. So that pressure wasn’t so big. Still, I know Will Smith as a funny, modern guy who was more “cool” than “magical”, so I had my doubts he could fit into the Disney movie in general. But Will Smith surprises. He does great as the Genie. He gives the whole character a new modern and dynamic spin while also staying true to the original. I also loved how he portraited Genie a lot smarter and more serious in specific matters than the role had been before.

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The one thing I have to criticize is Marwan Kenzari as Jafar. Not because he did a bad job or anything, because he did really well, but because he just seemed too nice…His voice had a charm to it, that I did not see as Jafar at all. He seemed a lot less threatening than I would have expected, tbh.

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Listen to the music

Well, Aladdin is one of the Disney movies known for their music. I think there aren’t many Disney movies more known than the music in Aladdin. The Lion King definitely but Aladdin is one of the movies where there is more than one known song out there.

So the pressure for the music is great.

In general the music stayed the same, except for making it a little more “great” and giving it more volume and therefore making it a little less melodic. I do regret that some of it’s greatest melody parts get lost in the full on sound of the songs but the songs still enchant you and I did catch myself trying to sing to it in the cinema. I definitely tapped my foot to it though.

There ARE some new song parts and songs there though. Most prominently “Speechless”. If the movie wasn’t as entertaining as it is and it did not fit as well into the story line as it did, I would have some negative points here though. The song is great, really, but you totally notice it is a new song. The song is so modern, you notice in like the first 10 seconds of it. If you put it before me and I hadn’t seen the movie I would not think it is part of the songs since the others are typical 90s Disney songs, whether they were modernized or not. “Speechless” is a modern song. It is a great and touching song, but it is definitely a new song. Even if you haven’t known the Aladdin songs, you will realize that this is the song that was added for the 2019 version of Aladdin.

As for the animation to the songs – I never expected them to give us so much Genie animation and I loved it. Friend Like Me is even more funky than before, Prince Ali is just as epic and stunning and the A Whole New World sequence may be less funny compared to the original but is still as touching and wonderful. The one that did surprise me for real was Arabian nights – 2 minutes into the movie and it gives you chills when the song chorus comes on.

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Take the little hints

As I said I did watch the original film just a few days earlier to renew my memory and be ready for Aladdin to come out and then on the 24th I watched it in the cinema.
So, if you watch Aladdin (1992) and the 2019 version, you notice some interesting things. Some just warm your heart, some, you notice, fill some really big holes in the story line. Let me just name a few things here.

I absolutely adored that they used the originals font of the main title and the “The End” note. It may have more volume and be a lot more golden but it is the same – or almost the same.

Also we have a lot of things filled in because some things you can get away with in an animated movie but not in a live-action. Most notably the scene where Abu steals the lamp back from Jafar. In the animation he just magically takes it out from his jacket (which is totally not possible since the lamp is pretty much the same size as the monkey in general), in the 2019 version he immediately puts it before Aladdin, after it fell behind a rock. Just as an example.

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Another thing I really laughed about. When the Genie tells Aladdin about how the Genie’s power works and how powerful he actually is. He takes a little paper and there are three people on there. The Genie, the sultan and Aladdin. And they are all in the original animation. I just loved that. Such a little thing but so sweet.

Synchronisation is…well…

Like I mentioned I did not watch the movie in English at first. I watched it in German on Friday and then watched it again in English on Saturday…yes, that’s something I do. Go watch the same movie two days in a row.

But let me just say something about the synchronization here. The English version: The songs were better, a lot better, and I think they stayed quite the same as the original as far as the lyrics go. The German version changed a lot about the lyrics actually and while the comedic scenes became even better since Aladdin seemed even more awkward, the song synchronization was waaaaay off. You could totally notice. I’m not totally unhappy about it since I can watch the movie in English and the comedy totally made up for it but I just think for all those out there who think that their voice synchronization isn’t perfect and the movie seems unnatural, watch it in English.

The bad things

Like with every movie out there I am going to mention the bad things too. If you were a big fan of Iago or Abu, don’t expect much. Abu is still a good friend and sometimes funny but he has a lot less scenes and Iago is pretty much just a parrot who tends to repeat stuff. I know why they cut their scenes but still it hurts just a little.

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Another thing I didn’t like. They used slow-motion and double speed some times. And while the slow motion was no problem at all, I really did not appreciate the double speed in the One Jump Ahead scene. It didn’t belong there at all. It was fine in the ending scene but nope, did not like it in the other scene.

Also talking about the dancing and the final dancing scene. The dancing scene in the middle was fun and really good with a modern twist I admit. The final scene was fun and all but there were some parts they really did not take seriously there. I don’t think that’s really a bad thing though. It is the finale and just like an extra scene so no hurt there.

Overall conclusion

Overall, I ABSOLUTELY recommend the movie. Really. I think Aladdin is one of Disney’s best and most wonderful classics and the movie is a two hour adventure you should see. While some criticized Disney’s decision to let Guy Richie direct the movie I think he stayed true to the 1992 original: It just takes you in and doesn’t let you go until you leave the cinema. You are just gonna forget everything around you. And I think for a movie where you actually know exactly what is gonna happen, that is a big thing to do ^.^

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